18 Jan2014

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During and after the Christmas holidays, my trusty little home vacuum sealer is at the ready on our kitchen counter. Mrs. MM gave me this appliance several Christmases ago and I love it. So much so, I aspire to a serious industrial vacuum sealer (for the restaurants) but it’s me that really wants to play with it! When I cook or make things in bulk, share dishes with relatives or friends, it’s sometimes best to send them out vacuum sealed so they have the option of throwing it into the fridge or deep-freeze for a longer life span. Last January, (I think I forgot to post these photos) we had a leftover jamon serrano that had been sitting out in our dining room for 2-3 weeks and I thought it was time to put it away…

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…so I carved lots of nice thin slices of jamon that were still perfect for pica-pica at some future date, and laid them out neatly on some of the shrink wrap bags.

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They went into the freezer and we enjoyed them several months later, still in pretty darned good condition. I only meant to keep them for a few weeks, but one thing led to another and their discovery in May(!) meant a tapas style dinner with a large paella as well.

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And DO NOT THROW OUT that fabulous bone. It is perfect for flavoring stocks, stews, beans, etc. One of the crew tried to hack at it with a cleaver with little success, so he took out a saw meant for metal (brand new) and used it to cut the jamon serrano bone into manageable, storable pieces.

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These also went into the deep freeze, and were later used for some fabada, a classic Spanish bean dish that Mrs. MM is fond of. Her family’s cook used to make a great version of fabada even though I suspect she never had access to jamon serrano bones at the time.

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I also vacuum packed half terrines of pate de campagne.

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And the vacuum sealer is great for storing gravlax or smoked salmon in the freezer for use later in the holiday season. Our vacuum sealer was an S&R purchase, and probably cost roughly PHP3000 or so at the time, but it’s been very useful over the years.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Nadia says:

    On a much less sophisticated note, a vacuum sealer would be perfect for packing danggit, pusit and good kinds of bulad especially if you plan to bring them abroad :-) viva pit senor everyone!

    Jan 18, 2014 | 10:21 am

     
  2. Eva says:

    Hi, where can you buy that kind of knife you use to slice jamon ? What’s it called ?

    Jan 18, 2014 | 10:50 pm

     
  3. jeston says:

    Pretty neat kit you have MM! I’ve been trying to look for a vacuum sealer… but i guess i’ve been overlooking the simplest ones. All i’ve been thinking about are those giant cryovac machines which are not in anyway a sensible thing to purchase for an ordinary household! haha I guess that’s the kitchen geek in me talking wanting all the pro gadgets and all! haha! Anyway would you happen to know where i could get butcher’s twine ,for tying up/trussing meats, without burning a hole in my pocket like if i buy them let’s say from cooks exchange. Preferrably around makati or taguig area. :) Oh btw where do you get the storage/vacuum bags that you use for the vacuum sealer?

    Jan 19, 2014 | 1:37 am

     
  4. Dragon says:

    We got ours from Costco, Sunbeam brand. Have had it for more than 4 years now. The bags are in rolls so you cut your required size. Sunbeam bags are not cheap but found alternatives: Aldi brand (half price) or I go and buy pre-cut ones from ethnic grocers (particularly the Eastern European grocers).

    I use mine for re-packing the bulk meats we buy from Costco (as there are only 3 of us in the house).

    Jan 19, 2014 | 6:05 am

     
  5. kikas_head says:

    Do you know a place to buy the bags locally? Currently we have just been buying from Costco in the US either when we are there or we have friends/family coming to visit from there.

    Jan 19, 2014 | 12:13 pm

     
  6. Marketman says:

    kikas head, I just bought two rolls of the bags at the Coleman store in Greenbelt. Was so happy to find them, and that purchase triggered this post actually. Dragon, yes, they can be pricey, but useful… jeston, I think I have mostly brought in the butcher’s twine, but honestly, mostly use abaca twine now that we get in Cebu for the lechons, but they work well with other meats… Oh, and the cheap vacuum sealer models work fine for home use, but don’t expect to do several dozen packages in one go… Eva, I think it is a jam on knife, though we also use it for slicing smoked salmon very thin. It was a present from Mrs. MM several years ago, and we can’t recall where it was purchased from. Nadia, you are right, great for dating. :)

    Jan 20, 2014 | 3:05 am

     
  7. natie says:

    MM, Daing, you mean..not dating.. but vacuum-sealing the date would keep the relationship fresh, maybe.. hehe

    Jan 20, 2014 | 7:05 am

     
  8. kikas_head says:

    Sweet! Will check there; thank you!

    Jan 20, 2014 | 7:54 pm

     
  9. Mart says:

    There was a kickstarter project I backed a couple of months ago called “Thrifty Vac”
    (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1066541019/thriftyvac)

    Basically a “poor man’s” vacuum sealing apparatus that tries to vacuum as much air as possible air out of normal ziploc bags. It is good enough for re-packaging meats into ziploc bags for medium to long-term freezer storage, or even for sous-vide cooking.
    (Incidentally, there have also been some successful sous-vide cooking kickstarter projects though they were also still a bit pricey for me to jump on at the time.)

    Jan 21, 2014 | 4:08 am

     
  10. gangga says:

    Where can I get a simple vacumm sealer locally? Would want to try doing this at home =)

    Jan 21, 2014 | 11:56 am

     
  11. Marketman says:

    natie, hahaha, I have a new Mac, and unlike the old one, WordPress (or is it WordPress) now has spellcheck and it doesn’t like pinot pinot pinoy words… see what I mean?! gangga, they have them at S&R sometimes, or at the Coleman stores.

    Jan 21, 2014 | 1:37 pm

     
  12. Dragon says:

    MM, how much is a roll/pack from Coleman? Costco (Sunbeam) costs under $29 per pack of two rolls; Aldi’s (when available) costs $15 per pack of 2 rolls.

    Jan 21, 2014 | 6:47 pm

     
  13. kurzhaar says:

    We are very much a reduce/reuse/recycle household–as everyone should be. Don’t forget that vacuum seal packaging can be safely reused. Cut the pieces larger than you think you will need, and seal. When ready to use the food, cut off the sealed end and remove the vacuum-packed food, wash the plastic thoroughly and air dry, and it is perfectly good for another use. This is true as well for other food-grade plastics, like ziploc bags, which are usually good for at least 2 or 3 uses

    Jan 25, 2014 | 8:51 am

     
  14. Monique says:

    So nice to know its available here! I am on my second food saver as the first one conked out on me. The new version of the food saver is good for items you want to store with liquid. It just makes everything i vacuum seal fresh. Sometimes i also vacuum items that might spill when i travel. It’s really an amazing machine!

    Jan 27, 2014 | 8:26 pm

     
  15. Rob says:

    Marketman, your ham photos just stirred a craving that I have to satisfy at this time of night in Baguio City! and you know how cold it is right now here, it is all over the news. I cannot use my car because my children will hear me. So my only choice is to use my motorcycle by taking it out of my garage and starting it a block away from my house. I just hope my gloves and jacket hold up to the chill. Curse you!

    Jan 31, 2014 | 1:15 am

     

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