Sous-vide used to be intimidating because you're just never sure what time and temperature to cook something for it to be amazing. There just wasn't any super handy reference guide all in one place that you can have a quick check now and then. 

Until now.

Our founder, Grace studied, experimented and consolidated all her sous-vide learnings into 7 epic infographics, just for you! These are excerpts from Codlo's Sous-Vide Guide & Recipe Book, which is free to download here.

Happy cooking and sharing!

espagnole sauce
Great for hearty roasted or pan-fried meat dishes, Espagnole sauce (a.k.a brown sauce) is one of the more complex one amongst the French mother sauces. An important sauce to learn for every great cook, as it serves as a starting point for demi-glace and many other great secondary sauces such as Bordelaise, Chasseur and Robert.

This sauce is made from brown roux and brown stock (roasted bones), with addition of tomatoes towards the end. The process may be rather involved if you choose to make your own brown stock, but the resulting flavour makes it all worthwhile as its freezable in your ice cube trays. A little upfront effort on a weekend for weeks of easy, amazing meals seems like a no-brainer to me.   

Velouté ("vuh-loo-tay") - one of the five classical French "mother sauces" - is a stock-based sauce thickened with white roux. Methodically similar to Bechamel, it differs in that velouté uses white stock (stock made using unroasted bones) whereas Bechamel is milk-based. It's especially great with poultry and seafood dishes, although veal and ham velouté are not uncommon.

Seasoning is not needed as Velouté is commonly used as a foundation sauce for other secondary sauces, such as Sauce Allemande (veal-based), Sauce Vin Blanc (white wine sauce), Sauce Poulette (versatile), Sauce Normandy (fish-based), Sauce Bercy (fish-based), and Sauce Supreme (chicken-based).

Once you'd mastered Bechamel, this should be a breeze to add-on in your sauce repertoire. It's a versatile sauce applicable to most dishes. Using a good quality stock base is key.

Easter Sunday. The time of the year when eating chocolate, instead of just a pure personal indulgence, becomes a serious social affair.

We’re not just munching on chocolate eggs or exchanging chocolate baskets anymore, there are chocolate making workshops to attend with the kids, visits to the chocolate factories and even chocolate-themed educational trails in the park.

Over three millennia, chocolate has evolved from the sacred Mayan religious drink, an Aztec traded currency, and later a luxurious beverage of the European upper classes, to the billion-dollar candy industry it is today. But what hadn’t changed is how chocolate is still as prized and sought after as ever - £500m worth of chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs are estimated to be sold in the UK each year.

Today we want to encourage even more chocolaty hedonism by giving tips on how to pair it with wine. It will certainly add an exciting twist to your Easter brunch party this Sunday.

But first of all, why do we think it’s a great match?

Beautiful Béchamel in Minutes
Béchamel ("bay-sha-mel") - one of the 5 classical French "mother sauces" - is commonly known as the white sauce. It is a milk-based sauce consisting of 3 main ingredients: butter, flour, milk. Largely used in lasagne, moussaka, macaroni cheese, pie fillings and croque monsieur, its also great with fish, eggs, steamed vegetables, pastas and poultry dishes.

In a nutshell, equal quantities (by weight) of flour and butter are cooked together to form a white roux, of which then milk is added in gradually while whisking to obtain a smooth velvety texture. Then, it is seasoned with salt, white pepper and sometimes ground nutmeg to finish.

Amongst the "mother sauces", this is my recommended sauce to master first given its vast application and relative ease of execution. Here's a tried and tested recipe with a few tips for a successful first go at making your own Béchamel.

Credit: quincesandthepea.com
Migas is a delightfully dense Spanish dish that hits all the right spots on a cold rainy, wintery night. It is made by stirring stale bread crumbs in a pan of olive oil, sautéed garlic, chorizo, jamón and bacon rashers, and then served up with a fried egg and some grapes.  

The other day I had mine served with sections of oranges instead and I was pleasantly surprised by how well the oranges featured, cutting through the rich flavours with its citrusy sweetness.

This triggered me think about recipes using oranges, as they are in their peak season from late winter to spring, and  a whole bag load of them just costs a Euro. I’d love to do more with them besides having them as an out-of-hand snack or OJ.

Traditionally associated with marmalades, compotes and sorbets, orange and sugary treats go hand-in-hand. But what if you told yourself that Christmas is done and it’s about time to work on the beach body, to cut back on the sweet stuffs?  Here are a few suggestions on how to incorporate oranges in your meals.

Tomate ("toe-maht") is a tomato-based sauce usually served as part of a dish, rather than a condiment (i.e. it's not ketchup!). Part of the French mother sauces, it pairs well with grilled vegetables, fish, poultry, bread, beef and pasta. 

The classical French recipes tend to use roux as thickener, but nowadays chefs prepare this sauce just with tomato reductions or purées as it's sufficient to thicken the sauce.

Once you master this, secondary sauces such as Spanish, Creole, Provencal and Portuguese are all easy as pie. Here's a modern recipe of tomate sauce (without roux) using streaky bacon as flavouring.

Hollandaise ("ol-uhn-dehz") is a rich sauce formed by an emulsion of egg yolk, butter and lemon / vinegar. A perfect complement with eggs (especially the sous vide ones), vegetables, fish, chicken and even beef (through secondary sauce Bearnaise).  It's also one of the 5 French Mother Sauces you can master.

A great Hollandaise is rich and buttery, with a mild tang from the lemon juice. It is best prepared and served warm, but not hot.

Despite its reputation of being a notoriously difficult sauce to make,  we have tried-and-tested various methods and zeroed in on one so that you can master it quickly just with a little practice. 

We love Harold McGee's straightforward, no-nonsense and minimal clean up method of just using a saucepan and a whisk. Plus some useful troubleshooting tips to make that weekend brunch extra special.

As Julia Child eloquently summed up: “Sauces are the glory and splendour of French cooking”.

French cookbooks like Larousse and Escoffier literally lists hundreds of sauces. To grasp a whole tome full of quirky names can be a tad intimidating but thankfully, this extensive list was consolidated to just five, which forms the foundation for many other sauces in French cuisine and hence the term "mother" sauce, while its variations “daughter” sauces.

Just with these 5 sauces, you can easily concoct a myriad of others just by adding spices, herbs and other ingredients. 

Tips for an Impressive Dinner Date at Home
Image from cookingwithlisa
Cooking for that special someone is a very personal gesture that shows sincerity, care and generosity. It brings a whole new experience to a relationship and is more intimate than just another restaurant date.  

Whether you have just started dating each other, or if your anniversary is coming up, the same principles apply. Keep things simple and easygoing - the focus should be on the two of you.

On the bright side, cooking for two shouldn't be stressful and is easier than hosting a dinner party. Just one caution though: generally, at-home dinners are not really suitable for a first date. We know you're keen to impress, but getting to know each other better through a few more dates beforehand is a better bet.

Without further ado, here's our top tips on details you need to focus on to make this dinner date at home extra special.