Prepare in the PM for Perfect Porchetta

If you’re not using your CVap® oven overnight – why not? You can be productive 24 hours a day with CVap.

Inserra Shop Rite Supermarkets, one of my valued customers, uses CVap Cook/Hold ovens in three of their locations. Executive Chef Paulie Velletutti takes full advantage of their stacked pair of CVap Cook/Holds, producing a variety of dishes for their prepared foods section. He also roasts deli meats in the CVap, increasing yield and maximizing profits (who doesn’t want versatility and extra profit?).

A great example of Chef Velletutti’s creativity is an amazing Porchetta using two bellies and a pork loin. This produces a succulent, appealing Porchetta that flies off the shelves – and most of the work is done overnight! This recipe was prepared at their Wallington, New Jersey store.

Prepare your Porchetta as normal with your favorite herb/spice rub. Tie it up and put it in the CVap Cook & Hold Oven. Set the oven to a Doneness setting of 144, and a Browning level of 2. Set the timer for 15 hours. Walk away and let the CVap do its thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning the Porchetta will be perfectly cooked. It only needs a little finishing to perfect it. A nice texture and a beautiful browning are achieved by finishing in a convection oven at 475 F degrees for 12 minutes. Blast chill it, and slice it up.

 

 

 

 

These portions have been a hit with customers, and Inserra will now regularly include this Porchetta as a regular item in the rotation of the prepared foods case.

Winston Receives TWO Vendor of the Year awards from KFC Franchisees

Angie and Awards
Winston’s Angie Kirby proudly shows our awards.

 

During the AKFCF Annual Convention (USA) show in Austin, Texas, Winston Foodservice received two amazing awards. The Great Lakes KFC Franchisee Association and the Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association both awarded Vendor of the Year to Winston. Wow, what a treat! Two Vendor of the Year awards in a single year. I’m tooting our own company’s horn, that is pretty AWESOME! Thank you Great Lakes and Upper Midwest KFC for the partnership! The Winston team is thankful for the partnership and commitment to your business.

 

The Great Lakes KFC Franchisee Association consists of KFC franchise owners in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, portions of Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association was formed in 1974 and is comprised of owners in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and portions of Illinois.

A St. Patrick’s Day Treat – CVap Corned Beef!

We examined corned beef brisket with two different settings that yielded two very different results.

Typically, when you order a corned beef sandwich or a grilled Reuben, you’ll find that the beef is either shredded texture or sliced. We tested to determine the ideal settings for both.

The recipe is straightforward. We used pickling spice and water to brine to briskets for several hours; and then cooked them in the brine.

 

 

 

 

 

The brisket that was ideal for shredding was cooked in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 190 + 4 for 11 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

The brisket that sliced beautifully was cooked in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 135 + 1 overnight.

 

 

 

 

 

Both results had phenomenal flavor and tenderness, so it really came down to personal preference, whether you wanted it shredded or sliced.

Speaking of how to serve it…

Corned beef is a St. Patrick’s Day staple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it year-round! Take a departure from the traditional Reuben or corned beef sandwich by trying a couple of alternative combinations:

  • Corned beef, kimchi, and mayo mixed with Sriracha or your favorite chili paste, served on rye bread (based on a recipe by Chef Camille Parker, Le Cordon Bleu, CamillesDish.com).
  • Corned beef, horseradish slaw with Fuji apples, and smoked Gouda, served with Dijon mustard on marbled rye bread (based on a recipe by Chef Camille Parker, Le Cordon Bleu, CamillesDish.com).
  • Corned beef, havarti, Dijon mustard, and sautéed or grilled onions, piled on pumpernickel rye bread and finished on a Panini grill.

Keep in mind there are more ways to serve corned beef than between two slices of bread:

  • Corned beef hash with scrambled or poached eggs and toast points.
  • Corned beef and mashed potatoes with parsley or dill, and braised cabbage.
  • Corned beef (chopped), peas, Alfredo-type pasta sauce on fettuccine.
  • Corned beef (chopped), bitter greens, and Fuji apples, served with cider vinegar/grainy mustard dressing.
  • Of course, for us, a classic sandwich of tender CVap corned beef, Swiss cheese, cabbage or coleslaw, and spicy mustard on rye bread equals happy campers!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy corned beef? Please share with us on Facebook or Twitter, or leave your comments below!

Bringing the Heat with Nashville Hot Chicken

Chicken and Pickles

 

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
  1. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Whisk flour and remaining 4 teaspoons salt in another large bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Enjoy!

Celebrate the Season with Gingerbread!

ginger breadWhen you think of gingerbread, do you picture crisp cookies and holiday decorations? Or do you picture a moist, cakey treat that is best served warm with a dollop of fresh whipped cream? We’ve been leaning towards the latter!

In celebration of the holiday season, we’re sharing a couple of gingerbread recipes with you. The first yields a dark, moist cake, and the second (adapted from a USDA/NFSMI recipe) is geared toward high volume service. Both are delicious served either warm or chilled, and both recipes are written for the CVap Thermalizer Oven.

Moist Gingerbread (Small Batch)

Ingredients:

½ cup white sugar
½ cup butter
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into a prepared pan.
  3. Bake on Channel 4 for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.

Gingerbread (Large Batch @100 Servings)

Ingredients:

¾ gallon + ½ cup enriched all-purpose flour
¼ gallon whole wheat flour
¼ cup baking soda
3 ½ cups sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 ½ cups vegetable oil
20 large egg whites
1 quart 3 ½ cups water, hot
1 quart 3 cups molasses
2 cups chopped ginger

Preparation:

  1. Select Channel 3 to preheat CVap Thermalizer. Prepare two 18×26 size pans by covering with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ground ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed for 1 minute until ingredients are combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix vegetable oil, egg whites, hot water, and molasses with a large wire whip until blended.
  4. Slowly add the wet oil mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed for 1 minute.
  5. Pour @ 1 gallon of batter into each sheet pan and scatter chopped ginger over the top.
  6. Place in the preheated Thermalizer oven and bake 35 minutes.
  7. Cut each pan into 5×10 pattern or 50 pieces per sheet pan.

To Hold Warm Gingerbread

Hold baked gingerbread for up to two hours in CVap with the Food Temperature set at 140° F and the Food Texture set at 5° F.

Takeout Trend, Here to Stay

Z8XWHF6BW6The trend of ordering takeout among consumers won’t be going anywhere any time soon. What Americans want from their food is convenience – number one on the list even above price (Washington Post). With longer working hours, social events, children’s activities, the hustle and bustle of the everyday life make it hard to sit down in a restaurant or pick up dinner. So the delivery person is now on your speed-dial. The most recent data we have comes from 2013, where 60% of Americans admitted to ordering take out at least once a week (Statista).

From fast casual to top-end restaurants, customers want the option to dine on your food in the comfort of their own homes. They not only want to take your menu home, they expect to get it now.

What’s a restaurant to do?

3244194246_432a25887d_bBeyond the obvious – quality carry-out containers that hold the food’s temperature and separate areas for takeout diners to order food, pay, and wait – a restaurant needs to be able to fill these takeout and delivery orders quickly and efficiently.

DSC_0029That’s where CVap® Staging ability can mean the difference between quick turnaround time (happy, repeat customer) and slow service (frustrated, hungry customer). If your side dishes are ready to go, and your proteins just need a quick sear to get the main course ready for carry out, you can let your carry out and delivery customers order and then receive their food in rapid succession. This means getting them in and out faster, so they can dine in the manner they wish.

DSC_0059The CVap® Staging technique allows you prepare the protein in the same way you normally would (seasoning, marinade, etc.) and then place it in a CVap oven, which has been set to the appropriate levels of temperature and texture. Once the protein has reached the doneness levels desired, it can hold at that temperature until your customer orders. It can then go to the next stage in the cooking process: searing, grilling, etc. This gets the order finished much faster than the traditional means of cooking to order without compromising on quality or taste.

Take advantage of this latest dining trend by offering takeout meals. And let CVap® Staging help you make them the best meals your customer has ever had. And things won’t be slowing down anytime soon! The next big thing is online food ordering, which is already a big hit among the younger generation.

CVAP STAGING logo

CVap Saltimbocca, Southern Style!

plated shotSaltimbocca (also saltimbocca) (Italian: jumps in the mouth) is a dish (popular in southern Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Greece) made of veal lined or topped with prosciutto and sage; marinated in wine, oil or saltwater depending on the region or one’s own taste. This dish is also occasionally topped with capers depending on individual taste (Wikipedia).

Although veal and prosciutto are the proteins traditionally used when making this dish, our CVap Saltimbocca features chicken thighs in the starring role. And the Southern spin comes from wrapping the thighs with Woodlands Pork Mountain Ham, which is butchered and cured in the European style. >> Click here to learn more about its creator, Jay Denham. << We further amped up the southern charm by serving the Saltimbocca over Weisenberger grits mixed with Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese.

chicken on tray

We boned, skinned, and brined chicken thighs. We then wrapped them in the reserved skins and roasted them in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven at 165 + 30 for :30 minutes, then held them until we were ready for finishing. To do that, we removed the chicken skins, wrapped the thighs with fresh sage leaves, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheddar, and Woodlands Pork Mountain Ham, and pan-seared them to crisp the ham. These were then held until we were ready to plate. As you can see, the thighs remained incredibly juicy while the ham achieved exactly the crisp texture we wanted.

cut chicken close-up

Meanwhile, we sautéed sliced cremini mushrooms with chopped onion and garlic, then reduced them with stock and a generous amount of butter.

mushrooms

For the grits, we mixed Weisenberger Grits with chicken stock and Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheddar, covered the pan with foil, and cooked it in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven 200 + 100 for an hour. For plating, the grits were topped with a salad of heirloom tomatoes tossed in a honey-thyme vinaigrette. Gorgeous all by itself!

grits on plate

We topped that with one of the Saltimbocca chicken thighs and a generous ladle of the sautéed mushroom mixture and its reduced broth.

plated shot

And the finished plate was as delicious as it was beautiful!

CVap Pretzel Bun Pork Loin Sliders with Apple Cabbage Slaw

Each component of this sandwich is perfectly delicious on its own, but the sum of all parts is downright scrumptious. Let’s start with the pretzel bun which provides the perfect framework for the other flavors.

Mini CVap Pretzel Buns

What is it about pretzel dough that adds something special to a sandwich, elevating our enjoyment of it? Is it the distinctive chew unique to a pretzel dough? Is it the slightly crunchy exterior of the roll? Whatever the attraction is, you can’t deny that pretzel rolls add something very different to any sandwich they become part of. So much so that they are appearing on menus everywhere, from QSRs to the most eclectic gastro pubs.

We’ve been experimenting with sandwiches of all sorts, and in this case, we experimented with creating a slider-sized version of a pretzel roll using CVap!

Dough
1 Cup Milk
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Envelope Rapid Rise Yeast
2 Tsp Salt
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Boiling Solution
3 Quarts Water
3/4 Cup Baking Soda

Egg Wash
1 Egg
1 Tsp Water

Directions

Heat milk and butter until 105°F. The butter will not completely melt. Combine with yeast and brown sugar in a mixer bowl. Stir in salt and 2 cups flour and beat for 3 minutes. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Mix on low for approximately 5-8 minutes to develop elasticity. Place in oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rise for approximately one hour or until doubled in size.

dough1. If using a CVap Cook and Hold Oven, program it to a Food Temperature setting of 130°F (Doneness) and a Food Texture setting of 10 (Browning), with Constant Cook ON, and set the timer for 20 minutes. If using a CVap Thermalizer Oven, set it to Channel 7 and set the timer to 14 minutes.

2. Combine boiling solution and bring to a boil. Punch dough down, divide into two equal portions, and roll into a log approximately 2″ in diameter. Cut each dough log into approximately 6-12 individual balls, dependent upon the size buns you desire, and form into tight rolls. Boil all rolls for approximately 2 minutes, then remove rolls from boiling water with slotted spoon.

3. Place rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets and brush with egg wash. Cut a cross each roll with very sharp knife. Place in oven and bake for recommended time based upon oven selected. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

sliced rollFollowing this procedure, the exterior color and texture were exactly what we were seeking, and the interior had just the right chew without being too “doughy.”

Oh What a Filling!

So how do we make a perfectly delicious pretzel roll even better? By turning it into a scrumptious sandwich!

 

Ingredients (per Slider)

2 oz. of CVap Staged Pork Loin
Apple-Cabbage Slaw
Coarse Dijon Mustard

CVap Staged Pork Loin Preparation

Program a CVap Cook and hold Oven to a Food Temperature setting of 135°F (Doneness) and a Food Texture setting of 0 (Browning). Allow about 30 minutes for pre-heating.

Arrange pork loin on a parchment-lined sheet tray and place into the preheated oven. The pork should reach a minimum endpoint of 135°F in about 1 hour, and can be held at exactly that temperature until you are ready to mark it on the grill before service. Preparing the pork in this manner (CVap Staging) will save a great deal of time during the finishing process!

Apple-Cabbage Slaw Preparation

Combine sliced Granny Smith Apples, 1/2 head green cabbage (sliced), 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup cider vinegar. If you want a creamier slaw, mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Adjust seasoning to taste and add salt and pepper if desired. For more acidity, add a squirt of fresh lemon juice.finished slider for end of post

To learn more about CVap Staging and the possibilities it can bring to your kitchen and speed of service, download the FREE eBook:CVap-Staging-ebook-download-button

2014 Kentucky-Tennessee StarChefs.com Rising Stars

On February 25 we attended the StarChefs.com Kentucky-Tennessee Rising Stars Awards Gala, where we saluted some of the region’s brightest up-and-coming chefs, culinary professionals, and artisans. Having this particular event in our own back yard afforded us the opportunity to see many old friends and make some exciting new connections!

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Our enthusiastic congratulations go to the following honorees:

Chef: Matt Gallaher, Knox Mason
Chefs: Michael Hudman and Andrew Ticer, Hog & Hominy
Chef: Philip Krajeck , Rolf and Daughters
Chef: Keri Moser, IvyWild
Chef: Annie Pettry, Decca
Chef: Levon Wallace, Proof on Main
Pastry Chef: Kayla Swartout, Capitol Grille at The Hermitage Hotel
Concept: David Mitchell, Mitchell Deli
Sustainability: Matt Lackey, Flyte World Dining
Artisan: Jay Denham, The Curehouse
Artisan: Scott Witherow, Olive and Sinclair
Roaster: James Tooill, Argo Sons Coffee
Brewers: Sam Cruz and Jerry Gnagy, Against the Grain Brewery
Sommelier: Julie DeFriend, Oakroom at the Seelbach Hilton
Mixologist: Susie Hoyt, The Silver Dollar
Mixologist: Doug Monroe, Patterson House
Restaurateurs: Benjamin Goldberg and Max Goldberg, Strategic Hospitality, LLC

Click here to learn more about each of these very talented folks and what makes them shine>>> http://www.starchefs.com/cook/events/rising-stars/2014/kentucky-tennessee/why-they-shine

All of the Rising Stars events are a great opportunity not only to meet a very talented group of people, but also to sample some of their signature work, and this Revue was no exception. The tasting menu certainly showcased their gifts! Take a look for yourself>>> http://www.starchefs.com/cook/2014/kentucky-tennessee-rising-stars/gala-tasting-menu The dish featured by Chef Levon Wallace of Louisville’s Proof on Main – Australian Wagyu Carpaccio, Horseradish, Oyster Mushrooms, Squash Pickles and Seeds, Nasturtiums, and Ranch Dressing – was voted the crowd favorite.

Pictured below is Decca Chef Annie Pettry’s Grilled Carrots, Carrot Purée, Pickled Carrots, Carrot Top Oil, Buttermilk Ricotta, Brown Butter Egg Yolk, and Kale Furikake, along with the CVap POD she used for the tasting event.

BhXdi8JCUAA_qjdWe look forward to future Rising Stars events and hope to see you there!

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