I’d love to do a long writeup on the dish but I’ve just had a crazy weekend of cooking for my family, and I’m dead tired. So I’ll jump straight to the point.
– Vacuum Seal slices of Eggplant with salt, pepper, garlic powder, a splash of sherry vinegar, and butter
– Cook in a 85C waterbath for 50min
– Remove from bag and sear on high heat to give it a nice colour
– Top with a slab of mozzarella cheese, some tomato compote, and fresh chopped basil
Pros: The eggplant was soft, its not difficult to achieve a similar texture by simmering it in water, but the sous vide eggplant held its shape pretty well, you could cut into it with a fork and not have the whole thing disintegrate into mush. Definitely strong enough to act as a base for the dish. Flavour was well concentrated
Cons: That being said, the texture was nothing groundbreaking. I don’t think I would have been able to tell if this was done sous vide if I was served this dish blindly.
Thoughts: Considering the cost of sous vide bags, unless you’re doing a shitload of eggplants, or you have a running water bath at 85C(A lot of vegetables sous vide at this temp), I don’t see any real reason make any sort of special effort to cook eggplants sous vide. Also, running a 85C waterbath is definitely not for the faint of heart. Logically, you know nothing should go wrong, the immersion circulator is able to work with temperatures up to 90C, the sous vide bags state that you can use them in boiling water. But the amount of heat and visible evaporation is incredibly disconcerting. I had a water bath running at 57C for 3 days without batting an eyelid, but I was ready to crap myself during those 50 mins at 85C.