I have been looking for any excuse to use the sous vide controller I built, based on this Instructable. I also wanted something striking and Halloween-themed to put on the table, and thus, Ancient Aliens Sous Vide Potatoes were born. In my recipe I used a hard-to-find hot sauce called Elixer of Purira, and served them with a remoulade. However, the potatoes can be seasoned to taste and served with a variety of condiments.
The texture is a bit like a french fry, but without the oil. By cooking the potatoes in a sous vide bath and then finishing them on a grill or griddle, they take on a unique appearance as well as developing a crisp outer coating.
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 1/4 cup Elixir of Purira
- 1/4 cup remoulade (optional)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Step 1: Prepare Potatoes
After thoroughly washing and scrubbing the potatoes, cut the ends off and stand upright on a cutting board. Making four vertical cuts, fashion the potato into a tall rectangle. They are meant to evoke ancient megaliths, so there is no need to be neat or perfectly straight. Be sure to save the scraps for yummy "rubble" bits.
Step 2: Bag and Seal
Place each rectangle in a plastic zipper lock sandwich bag. Place "rubble" in a couple of bags as well. To each bag, add a small amount of the Elixir of Purira and then seal after drawing the air out with a straw to create a light vacuum. It is also possible to use household vacuum sealer bags.
NOTE: When a vacuum is created in the bag, any liquid contents are going to spread quickly, and head for the straw. It does not take a lot of liquid to get a good coating, and it might not be pleasant to get a mouthful of liquid when trying to create a vacuum. A little goes a long way.
Step 3: Time for Sous Vide
In a 185 degree Fahrenheit sous vide bath (mine is a re-purposed old crock pot with an external controller), place the bagged potatoes and let cook for an hour. Remember to monitor the water level closely since at this temperature, a significant amount of water will be lost to evaporation. Towards the last 10-15 minutes, heat up a grill or griddle to prepare for the next step.
Step 4: Finishing and Plating.
In this example, I used a stove-top griddle heated to medium-high heat and angled the potatoes diagonally after removing them from the sous vide bath and plastic bags. After 2 minutes I turned them so as to line up the grill line marks as best as possible. repeat every two minutes until there are grill marks on all four sides. Don't forget to grill the "rubble" as well.
Stack the potato "blocks" in any interesting, ancient temple-like fashion, optionally drizzle with remoulade, and serve.