May is National Barbecue Month! Nothing signifies the arrival of Summer like the rich flavor of barbecue. Recently we did BBQ a big crowd, and we had a blast doing it!
We cooked 7- to 10-lb. Boston pork butts traditionally for about ten hours on a Good-One® smoker until they reached an internal temperature of 180°F. Then they were quick-chilled on the bone and refrigerated. (Check out The Good-Ones website for some awesome smokers.) You can also add versatility to your CVap oven with the Winston Smoker Box.
The morning of the event, we rethermalized the butts in a CVap® at 200 + 100 for one hour, then pulled the pork and placed it in hotel pans. We tossed in our favorite sauce and held the pork in a CVap for three hours during service at 150 + 5.
The neat thing is that we cooked baked beans and scalloped potatoes at the same time, in the same CVap we were using to reheat the butts. So on the day of the party, we had an entire BBQ feast ready to serve in an hour and were able to keep everything fresh and hot for three more hours without babysitting anything. Best part (besides how good it tasted)? The cooks got to enjoy the party instead of slaving over the food!
About the Author
A seasoned foodservice industry pro like Chef Barry Yates can teach us all a thing or two about what it takes to succeed in this business! He has worked with scores of trail blazers through his career and has owned/operated his fair share of restaurants. He joined Winston Industries more than two decades ago in a Culinary Research & Development capacity and has been with us ever since. Chef Barry is part culinary guru, part food scientist, part blogger, part pig farmer, part biker, and full-time fanatic about all things foodservice!
Winter may be waning, but the popularity of Nashville Hot Chicken sure isn’t. We decided to try our hand at preparing a big batch. It was as good (and hot!) as promised.
Nashville Hot Chicken’s powerful poultry story originated nearly seven decades ago, at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Apparently Thorton Prince was quite the lady’s man. Tiring of his late night escapades, his gal served him up a Sunday breakfast of fried chicken, generously doused in cayenne pepper and other fiery spices. Her revenge backfired – rather than crying out in pain, he loved it, and the inspiration for Nashville Hot Chicken was born. If you’re interested, read the whole story on Prince’s website. Numerous other restaurants and chains, inspired by Prince’s, have put their own twist on this Nashville classic.
We brined in the fridge overnight using a simple 6 % brine. If you want to learn everything you need to know about brining go to our friend’s site Genuine Ideas (browse under their food header). We lightly dusted the chicken with our seasoned flour, and thendipped it in a simple blend of eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce.
Then we tossed lightly again in our breading mix, giving us a light double breaded chicken. Double breading creates a nice robust crunch once the chicken is fried. Properly prepped, it was ready for the Collectramatic fryer.
The chicken was open-fried for 15 minutes at 325°F. It emerged from the fryer a mouth-watering golden brown. After draining excess oil, we painted with the spicy special sauce using a pastry brush. It was as good as we had hoped, delivering a delicious heat that delighted our taste buds while making our faces flush and our brows sweat.
This chicken can be held for two hours in a CVap holding cabinet. After frying, place it directly in a CVap set to 135 +50. Apply the sauce just before serving.
Here’s a pared-down version of the recipe (in case you’re not feeding an army).
Nashville Hot Chicken
- 2 – 3 1/2-4-pound chickens, each cut into ten pieces (breasts halved)
- 1 gallon of 6% brine
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
- 2 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Texas Pete)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. (You may use your own special flour mix if you’d like).
- Vegetable oil (for frying; about 10 cups) (unless, of course, you have a Collectramatic fryer handy).
- 6 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Whisk flour and remaining 4 teaspoons salt in another large bowl.
- If you’re not using a Collectramatic fryer, fit a Dutch oven with frying thermometer; pour in oil to about two inches depth. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 325°F. Pat chicken dry. Working with one piece at a time, dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess, and then dip in buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl. Dredge again in flour mixture and place on a baking sheet.
- Working in four batches and returning oil to 325°F between batches, fry chicken, turning once after 15 minutes, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thigh pieces registers 185°F and 165F white meat. This usually takes ten more minutes after the turn for a total cook time of 25 minutes. Transfer to a clean wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Let oil cool slightly.
- Whisk cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a medium bowl; carefully whisk in 1 cup hot frying oil or melted lard. Brush fried chicken with spicy oil. Serve with bread and pickles.
I had just finished planning a three-course dinner for some visiting customers. My goal was to demonstrate CVap versatility with contemporary applications and menu trends. I had settled on a menu that included the following:
First Course – Southern fried chicken boa with Kim Chi
Second Course – Moroccan grilled lamb loin with Tzatziki and quinoa tabouleh
Dessert – molten chocolate cake with Chantilly cream
I was quite pleased with the ethnic diversity represented by the meal as well as the variety of CVap and Collectramatic applications. With menu in hand I began to create my ingredient list and production schedule. About 30 minutes into my planning and two days before the meal, I received a note that one of our guests was vegan. What?! How was I going to make the above menu vegan? I certainly wasn’t going to offer only salad and tofu! So I set my mental wheels in motion and this is what I came up with:
Southern fried cauliflower bao with Kim chi
Moroccan grilled beets with quinoa tabouleh and silken tofu Tzatziki
Vegan double chocolate pistachio cake with whipped spiced coconut cream
But first, there were several hurdles to overcome:
Making the Kim Chi without fish sauce, where do you get the Umami?
Get cauliflower to emulate the look and feel of a fried chicken thigh!
How to get tender beets without turning them to mush…
Whipped coconut cream?!
With a little help from Alex Talbot and J Kenji Lopez-Alt and a lot of help from CVap I think we did pretty well. Here are a few pictures from our luncheon and the recipe for the Southern Fried Cauliflower. If you’d like the rest of the recipes send me a note and I’d be glad to share.
Brine Recipe for Cauliflower:
- 3 liters cold water
- ¾ cup kosher salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup bourbon barrel soy
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- ½ small sweet onion sliced
- 6 cloves of garlic smashed
- 4 bay leaves
- 10 peppercorns
- 10 cloves
- 1 liter of ice
Directions: Place all ingredients but ice in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add ice. Store in refrigerator until you are ready to use.
- 2 heads cauliflower, cut into 2-inch thick steaks and then quartered
- 1/2 cup savory brine
- 1 teaspoon bourbon barrel soy sauce
Directions: Place cauliflower pieces in sous vide bags, cover with prepared brine, add soy, and vacuum seal. Place in CVap set on Constant Cook at 185F food doneness and 0 level browning. Cook for one hour. Place immediately in water bath to cool and then place in refrigerator until you are ready to fry the cauliflower.
Breading and Frying:
- 2 cups of your favorite breading
- ½ cup brine
Dust cauliflower with breading, dip in brine, then bread lightly with breading mix. Drop into a Collectramatic fryer set on open fry 350F for 3 and half minutes. Voila! Vegan fried “chicken”!
Last Tuesday we had the pleasure of participating in Endeavor – The Louisville Food & Beverage Tour. Endeavor Louisville led 18 Endeavor Entrepreneurs from 10 countries on an F&B tour of the city this week, featuring site visits, panels and discussions with Endeavor Louisville board members, as well as other business leaders, involved in the industry. The tour provided an opportunity for these industry icons to deliver firsthand knowledge to Endeavor Entrepreneurs about scaling up, going big, and winning in the industry.
Winston Industries own Chef Barry Yates partnered with Chef Space Louisville’s original kitchen incubator to demonstrate how community leaders can partner to accelerate others ideas. Barry demonstrated CVap Staged New York Strip in the newly equipped Jays 120 space at the west Louisville incubator. CVap staging is a technique that allows QSR operators to drastically reduce service times while maintaining extraordinary food quality. One of the aspects we loved about this event is that guests were able to get an up close and hands on feel for how CVap technology can optimize their kitchen operations. Great food fast every time!
“Winston Industries, building on its entrepreneurial legacy, was a natural partner for the tour,” says Barry Yates, “innovation and ideas are in our DNA.” he continued. Winston Industries has expanded into four different divisions specializing in foodservice, manufacturing, electronics and ventures- to perpetuate our entrepreneurial spirit and to provide the opportunity for others to do the same.
Thank you Endeavor and Chef Space for allowing us to participate in the tour. We’ve already received great feedback from attendees and can’t wait to do more of these events in the future! If you would like to learn more about Winston Industries or have an hands on entrepreneurial experience of your own, schedule your CVap demo and cook with us! Visit our website for more info or call 502.495.5400
For chocolate lovers, Valentine’s Day conjures images of heart-shaped boxes filled with delicious confections. I love chocolate as much as the next guy, and it got me thinking: can we temper chocolate in CVap? What a fun experiment to play with!
I was thinking of a concept combining chocolate and maybe some fruit to create a tasty treat. I spoke briefly with my friend Rachel Sundet of http://statepark.is/ in Cambridge and got a few tips about chocolate.
As you may know there are many ways to temper chocolate, some more involved than others. No matter which method you choose, precision temperature is of the utmost importance. Whether you use the classic stovetop or microwave method or even the unique method of using a sous-vide cooker, if the temperature is not right, the chocolate won’t be right, either. I found additional information about tempering chocolate here: https://www.ecolechocolat.com/en/chocolate-tempering.html
I thought CVap would provide the control required, and it turns out I was right!
Utilizing the info at www.ecolecholat.com , I decided to set our CVap Cook and Hold Oven with Constant Cook ON, Food Temp at 125, and 1 level Browning. I did not know how long it would take so I set the timer for 1 hour. The chocolate that we used for this experiment was http://www.ghirardelli.com/shop-1/flavors/dark-chocolate.html
I placed 3 lbs in a stainless bowl wrapped with plastic wrap to keep the water away from the chocolate, and I place 1.5 lbs of chocolate in sous vide bag that I then vacuum sealed. The chocolate was placed in the CVap oven until it reached its critical temperature of 120F. The chocolate actually reached its temp in 30 minutes, but I allowed an extra ten minutes just to be safe. Once the chocolate was removed I set the cabinet at 90 +0.
While the cabinet was cooling down I stirred the tempered chocolate in the bowl just until smooth and returned it to the cooled 90F cabinet.
With the vacuum-sealed chocolate, all I did was press lightly until the chocolate was evenly distributed and returned it to the cabinet.
Wait – I almost forgot the fruit! While the chocolate was in the first stage of tempering, I hot-marinated freshly sliced pineapple in the same cabinet, slow-poaching it in orange juice, sorghum molasses, and a dash of chipotle pepper.
Now the moment of truth! Fresh strawberries were washed and dried and then dipped into the freshly tempered chocolate. Beautiful. I grilled the warm poached pineapple, topped it with the warm marinade, and chocolate-dipped strawberries, and then drizzled a bit more tempered chocolate to finish. What a sweet Valentine’s experiment indeed!
For more information about the complete line of CVap products, please visit our website at http://www.winstonindustries.com
What better way to celebrate National Seafood Month and the transition from Summer to Fall than to create a delicate yet hearty Lobster and Fresh Corn Chowder with CVap Staged Scallops?! The layers of flavor in this dish are subtle yet so satisfying, you’ll want to make it again and again.
We began by butter poaching lobster tails with thyme and lemon in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven at 200 + 0 for 12 minutes. The meat was removed from the shells and placed back in the CVap to hold until plating.
The shells were used first to make stock. To that we added the corn milk and cobs remaining from stripping the kernals (which were reserved) from fresh ears of corn, along with onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme. This was placed in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven at 180 + 0 and simmered all day.
A brunoise of new potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots was sautéed in butter with the reserved fresh corn kernals, bay leaves, salt and pepper. This mixture was then placed in a CVap holding cabinet. We also cooked some gorgeous sea scallops in a CVap at 126 + 0 and held them until we were ready to bring everything together. The scallops were pan seared to finish them.
First onto the plate was the sautéed vegetable mixture,
topped by the poached lobster tail meat and two pan-seared scallops,
finished with a generous ladle of the broth that cooked all day.
Ending with a sublime plate.
Can’t wait to make – and eat – this one again!
We love experimenting with trends, often blending techniques and flavors to come up with new creations. The one we are sharing here combines two enormously popular ingredients – eggs and wraps – and we gave the dish a Latino twist. And although these ingredients probably bring breakfast immediately to mind, the dish is hearty enough to serve during any daypart.
We prepared our eggs in the style of an Italian frittata. According to Wikipedia, the Italian word frittata derives from fritta and roughly translates to egg-cake. This was originally a general term for cooking eggs in a skillet, anywhere on the spectrum from fried egg, through conventional omelette, to an Italian version of the Spanish tortilla de patatas, made with fried potato. Outside Italy, frittata was seen as equivalent to “omelette” until at least the mid-1950s.
Our preparation of the eggs is also a form of CVap Staging. In this case, an operator could prepare the frittata component in hotel pans well ahead of service and then hold the eggs beautifully until assembly, saving time during the rush. The cooked eggs will maintain their texture and exactly the right amount of moisture, as if they were cooked to order.
1 dozen small tortillas
2 dozen of your favorite fresh eggs
2 cups of half & half
Chopped green bell peppers, red bell peppers, and onions
Place tortillas in preheated CVap Holding Cabinet (with a Food Temperature setting of 140° and a + 0 Food Texture setting). Prepare 1 full size 2 ¼ inch hotel pan with melted butter. Mix and add eggs and the half & half to the pan, and sprinkle chopped veggies over the entire pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook in a preheated CVap Cook and Hold Oven set with Constant Cook ON, a Food Temperature setting of 200°F (Doneness), and a Food Texture setting of 0 (Browning), for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and place with the tortillas in the CVap Holding Cabinet (set at 140° + 0).
To assemble, we cut the cooked eggs into 2 x 3 inch strips and placed one piece in a warm tortilla. We then topped with black beans, shredded colby-jack cheese, fresh pico de gallo, and cilantro, giving the dish a Latino flavor.
You could put a dozen different spins on this preparation by changing up the vegetables or stir-ins that you add to the egg mixture prior to cooking, varying the type of tortilla or bread product you might serve it on, and finishing with different toppings and garnishes. Couple that with the CVap Staging process, and there’s no limit to the variety of dishes you can quickly crank out!
Did you know that June – not November – is National Turkey Lovers’ Month? And not only is it National Turkey Lovers’ Month, it’s the time of year when thoughts turn to burgers of all sorts. So what does that mean? That’s right – turkey burgers! But not just any turkey burgers – these burgers started with CVap Staging.
First a question: do any of you get frustrated when someone describes turkey burgers as being dry, flavorless, or dull? With the abundance of techniques we have at our disposal, and the enormous variety of flavor combinations to choose from, there’s just no excuse for it! And of course we love turkey as a starring protein because it is a lean, versatile option.
For this post, we experimented with two different approaches, though our base mixture was the same for both. We combined ½ lb. of ground turkey with 2 beaten eggs, ¼ cup of Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, ½ of an onion (minced), 1 minced garlic clove, and 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs. Once the mixture was gently combined, we formed 3 ounce patties and put some on a parchment-lined half-size sheet pan.
We took the other half, placed them in pouches for vacuum-sealing, and then added a little smoke for an extra dimension of flavor. It was just enough to give the burgers a subtle smokiness without it being overwhelming.
All of the patties then went into a CVap Cook and Hold Oven with Constant Cook ON, a Food Temperature (Doneness) setting of 145° and a Food Texture (Browning) setting of 0, for 30 minutes.
To finish the patties, we pan seared them for texture and brought them to a finished temperature of 150° to 155°F. CVap Staging and then finishing in this manner yielded extremely well-textured, moist, and flavorful burgers.
The patties that were vacuum-sealed wound up being the perfect size and shape for the toasted ciabatta rolls we were using. We dressed those simply, with fresh torn cilantro and a chipotle salsa (fresh pico mixed with pureed chipotle peppers) that complimented the slight hint of smoke in the patty.
After pan-searing the more traditional patties, we treated a ciabatta bun to Sriracha mayonnaise on one side and an explosively delicious mixture of pureed onion, Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, and minced ginger and garlic on the other side. We finished it off with a mixture of tender baby lettuce and torn, fresh cilantro.
While the first, Latin-inspired burger was extremely tasty, the Asian-influenced burger was off-the-charts delicious. We can’t wait to make it again!
So what exactly is CVap Staging? Using this process, food is brought to the exact internal temperature desired and then held there – without overcooking or drying out – until it is time to finish and serve the dish. This means that the final flavor-enhancing and texturing touches can be made just moments before the food is served. Imagine how much faster you could push plates out of a kitchen!
For more information about the complete line of CVap products, please visit our website at http://www.winstonindustries.com
Struck by the mood to make something comforting yet elegant, we turned to al dente linguine tossed in a velvety blush sauce. Then we were inspired by our recent obsession with lobster, so we cooked lobster tails and shrimp in CVap, and the flavor and texture of the shellfish added a level of decadence to the dish that made it truly special. Let’s deconstruct it!
First, the shellfish. The lobster tails were steamed in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 200 + 0 for about 7 minutes, bringing them to the perfect temperature and texture for this dish. We then staged the shrimp at 135 + 2 for about 10 minutes, until it was nearly – but not quite – opaque, and held it there.
While the shellfish was working, we cooked traditional linguine to al dente, tossed it with a bit of olive oil, and held it in a CVap at 140 + 0 until we were ready to plate.
On to the sauce! We started with a classic marinara, combining olive oil, garlic, onion, San Marzano tomatoes, S&P, and fresh basil.
To that we added heavy cream to create a gorgeous blush sauce.
We then removed the lobster tail meat and reserved the shells, along with the shrimp shells, to make stock later.
Some of the meat was cubed and stirred into the blush sauce, while the rest was set aside to be added whole.
We coated a portion of pasta we’d been holding with the seafood/sauce mixture…
Plated a respectably appetizing (pile)…
And gilded the lily by crowning it with the whole piece of shellfish, a bit more sauce, and a garnish of fresh basil.
The natural sweet flavor of the shellfish really came through and was complimented nicely by the simple blush sauce, while the fresh basil added just the right amount of bright yet peppery foil to the richness of the overall dish.
We are indulging a lobster fetish right now and the timing couldn’t be better, considering the current market value on what has been considered a luxury food for quite some time!
But this wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that lobster became popular in North America, and it wasn’t until the 1950s that it came to be regarded as a “fancy” food. In fact, there was a time when lobster was considered a trash food fit only for the poor and the crustacean was considered the “cockroach of the ocean.” Read on for more about ‘How Lobster Got Fancy!’ http://bit.ly/1eKAg5m
In addition to its inherent deliciousness, another plus for lobster is that it is a heart healthy food, being lower in calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat than lean beef, white meat chicken, pork, and even shrimp. Grilled, steamed, boiled, poached… no matter how you cook and serve it, nothing can top properly prepared lobster!
For the dish featured in this post, we went with a very straightforward preparation in order to let the lobster’s sweetness really shine. We butter poached lobster tails with thyme and lemon in a CVap at 200 + 0 for 12 minutes. The cooked tails were seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon butter, and served with a spring vegetable medley of fresh asparagus and sweet baby carrots steamed in CVap. Tasted like a plate full of seaside sunshine!
We also tested butter poached lobster at two different settings in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven – see results below:
Looking for a different way to showcase lobster? Consider some of these serving ideas:
- Spread pesto on a pizza crust and top with chunks of lobster tail meat, grilled or roasted corn and asparagus, dot with small bits of brie and bake – how decadent!
- Drizzle sesame, ginger, and lime over Vietnamese-style lobster and vegetable spring rolls in rice paper wrappers.
- Serve citrusy lobster ceviche with avocado and yucca chips.
- To heat things up, sauté lobster in a spicy tomato sauce and serve over pasta for Lobster Fra Diavolo.
- Substitute lobster for Canadian bacon for the most indulgent Lobster Eggs Benedict imaginable.
- Ditch the chicken and go all out with Lobster pot pie!
- Take your lobster bisque in an Asian direction with a hint of curry and curried croutons for topping.
Whether it’s good for the body, soothing for the soul, or transports you to a nostalgic happy place from your childhood, there’s something deeply satisfying about chicken noodle soup that resonates with most people.
It can also be an eloquent expression of different techniques. In this case, we utilized both CVap and Collectramatic equipment to create a chicken soup with a robust flavor profile and a broad range of textures.
For the broth, we combined chicken carcasses, aromatics including carrots, onions, celery, thyme, sage, parsley, and rosemary, and slowly reduced it in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven set at 180 + 30 for 8 hours with Constant Cook ON.
Chicken thighs were vacuum-sealed with olive oil and salt and CVap-poached at 165 + 2 for 2 hours with Constant Cook ON. The result was a confit with an almost buttery texture.
The skin was removed from the CVap-poached chicken and open fried in a Collectramatic fryer at 350°F for four minutes.
Celery, carrots, and onions were steamed in a CVap at 200 + 0 for one hour and added to the stock and held until it was time to assemble the plates.
We purchased fresh noodles from whole foods and steamed them at the same settings as the vegetables.
For plating, we started with the steamed noodles and topped them with the vegetables, followed by pulled confit of chicken.
We then poured hot stock over the bowls and garnished with fresh herbs and the fried chicken skin crisps.
It just doesn’t get more satiating than that!
According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian (Chinese: 年; pinyin:Nián). Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One day people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured byHongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu’s mount.Source: Wikipedia
So to honor the legends and mark the start of this Year of the Horse, we are cooking CVap Char Siu Pork and Bao.
The name Char Siu means “fork roast” and that is based on the traditional cooking method of skewering meat on long forks and placing them in an oven or over fire. The seasonings used in the preparation of char siu turn the exterior layer of the meat dark red, similar in appearance to the smoke ring seen on properly smoked American barbecue.
Char Sui Pork Marinade:
1 Cup Red Miso
½ Cup Honey
¼ Cup Soy
3 Tbsp Five Spice Powder
Dash of red food coloring
- Mix ingredients should form paste.
- Trim center cut pork loin and cut into 2 long strips to make smaller loins.
- Rub loins with paste heavily coated.
- Do not cover, place in refrigerator and allow to dry marinate for 2 days.
- Place in CVap set at 150°F food temp and 7 level browning.
- Roast for 50 minutes.
- Remove and slice, portion and chill.
Char Siu is typically eaten with a starch such as noodles, rice, or in this case, bao (a steamed bun). To prepare our Bao, we double-proofed the dough balls (proof at 90°F + 0 for one hour, knock down dough and reform rolls, then proof one additional hour at the same settings) and then cooked them in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven in a foil-covered, perforated 2¼” half steam table pan covered with a Food Temp of 200°F and Browning level of 1 for 16 minutes. This is the recipe we used for the doughhttp://allrecipes.com/recipe/chinese-steamed-buns/