Celebrating National Hispanic History Month with CVap-style Tamales!

September 15 marks the beginning of National Hispanic History Month. This 30-day observation celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Enjoying the flavors and culinary influences of this diverse group is a great way to celebrate. This CVap-style tamale recipe, made with slow-cooked pork butt, is a fantastic example of Hispanic cuisine.

Recipe: Pork Tamales, CVap Style

Ingredients

  • Pork Butt, 7 to 14 lb Whole
  • Tex-Mex Dry Rub of your choice (we used Chef Barry Yates’ secret blend)
  • Tamale Sauce of your choice
  • Masa, cooked per label instructions
  • Corn Husks

Preparation

Prepare masa and set aside.

Soak corn husks in warm water, set aside.

Apply a layer of dry rub to pork butts as desired.
Preheat a CVap Cook & Hold Oven to 180 + 7 with Constant Cook OFF (high yield). Cook with fat cap up for 7:00 hours.

Hold for a minimum of 6 hours at 150 + 0. (We held for 14 hrs.)

Allow pork to cool and then shred it.

Mix enough tamale sauce into the pork to wet it. You may add additional seasoning (cumin, red pepper) as desired.

Lay out a corn husk, apply a generous spoonful of masa and a spoonful of pork.

Fold the corn husk to envelope the mixture.

Place in pan. You can stack the tamales.

Pour tamale sauce over the top and bake.

Serve immediately with additional tamale sauce and enjoy with a cool beverage!

How are you celebrating Hispanic History Month? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter! To learn more about CVap equipment, visit our website winstonfoodservice.com

 

CVap Aussie Bison Slider

Summer is winding down. The approach of Labor Day marks the time to pack away your summer whites, and is perhaps your last chance to grill out before the leaves turn and a chill returns to the air. Why not try a unique twist on that perennial grill staple, the burger. Aussie Bison Sliders are a much-loved specialty in Australia. They are absolutely bursting with flavor, and can credibly be called a party in your mouth!

The classic Australian burger is composed something like this:Aussie Burger Structure

Our version is similar, but we added a couple of twists and advance staged the burgers to make service and assembly a snap:

Eggs

Mix one quart of Egg Beaters® and pour onto a sprayed ½ sheet pan.

Cook in a CVap Cook/Hold Oven at 200 + 0 for 20 minutes. Finished product will resemble an egg crepe.

Eggs Cooked in Pan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CVap Roasted Beets

Roast whole beets in a CVap Cook/Hold at 200 + 10 for 2 hours with Constant Cook ON, then drop down to 200 + 0 for two hours. After cooking, the beets are to be cooled, peeled and sliced thin.

Bacon

Cook bacon strips in a CVap Thermalizer at 200 + 100 for 25 minutes, then crumble and set aside for the sauce.

Bacon Crumbles
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bison Sliders

Per pound of ground bison, mix the following ingredients:

One egg

1 ¼ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp granulated garlic

Divide bison mixture into 1 oz patties.

Advance stage in a CVap Cook/Hold at 135 + 0 for a minimum of 35 minutes or until you are ready to finish off on grill or flat top.

Sauce

Small chop a can of pineapple, blend with bacon crumbles, add chopped scallions, and mix with a small amount of sweet Thai chili sauce.

Pineapple sauce with Scallions
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Assembly

On a sweet Hawaiian bun place a small amount of sauce, slider patty, mild cheddar cheese, egg, beets and serve.

Assembling Bison Sliders
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ENJOY!

Aussie Burger Yummy

Plating Perfect Pork Chops with CVap

One of the best things about CVap is having the ability to use it to handle precision cooking of center of the plate (COP) items without monitoring – or even having to check on it. For this blog post I got some beautiful Berkshire pork chops from Fossil Farms. I brined them in a 5% salt solution with honey and fresh thyme for two hours. What I wanted to accomplish was to have the pork chops done and ready for plating later in the day. I set up my CVap Cook/Hold to Doneness 145°F and Browning of 0. Once the CVap came to temperature and the display read “LOAD” I seared the chops and placed them on a rack inside a hotel pan.

place pork chops into pan for searingpork chops seared in pan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The internal temperature of the chops at that point after searing was 85° F.
Temp of 85F after searing
Once all the chops were seared and in the pan, off to the CVap they went.

Pork chops emerging from the oven.
With the CVap set to 145°F, all I had to do was wait for the moisture inside the chops to equalize with the moisture in the water pan. The Browning was set to 0 so the air temperature was 145° as well.  Basically, I was using a sous-vide method without putting the chops into a bag. A few hours later I made starch and a vegetable to go along with it.  When the pan was pulled out of the CVap all the chops were at precisely 145°F.

Pork chops cooked to perfection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were of varying thicknesses and weights, but all of the moisture inside the chops equalized to the temperature of the water inside the CVap. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to do this with a large banquet where the party was delayed for some reason or another? When you use CVap to make your proteins this is a no-brainer.

 

Burger Season is Upon Us. Prepare to Gobble!

Memorial Day is upon us. It’s a time to reflect on the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. It’s also the official start of the summer season. Think summer foods, and the first thing that comes to mind is burgers. Here’s a delicious twist on burgers – made better with CVap (of course).

Not only does Memorial Day begin summer, it also immediately precedes June – a.k.a. National Turkey Lovers’ Month. 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 two beaten eggs, ¼ cup of Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, ½ of an onion (minced), One minced garlic clove, and one 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.

turkey burger ingredients - mise en place
Eggs, minced garlic and onion, Panko, and soy sauce.

 

ground turkey raw
Ground turkey. Gently knead other ingredients into meat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

patties on tray
Ground turkey mixture formed into 3-oz. patties. Half were placed on parchment-lined tray.

 

smoke into bag
The other half of the patties were vacuum-sealed with a little added smoke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/Hold Oven with Constant Cook ON, a Food Temperature (Doneness) setting of 145°F 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 (though tossing them on a grill for quick finish would work equally well). 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.

Pouched patties, seared on a grill
Pouched turkey patty, finished by searing on grill.
Turkey burgers with fresh torn cilantro and chipotle salsa.
Patties CVapped in a pouch fit perfectly on ciabatta buns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

asian dressed turkey burger
Asian-influenced traditional patty with Sriracha mayo, onion, soy sauce, minced ginger and garlic, baby lettuce and torn cilantro.
Asian-styled turkey burger
Traditional patty dressed with Asian flavors. Note the even doneness – a hallmark of CVap cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 winstonfoodservice.com .

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day with Carnitas!

I love food! And I mean all types of food. My absolute favorite style of cuisine is Hispanic – more specifically, Mexican, with its wealth of tradition and depth of flavors. What’s not to like? This year Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby fall back-t0-back on May 5 and 6. Celebrate both with a delicious Mexican recipe.

I have a group of friends I meet every Sunday at our local South of the Border establishment for lunch and a margarita or three (If I’m being honest, the food is decent, but the margaritas are the real draw!). I decided to mix it up and order one of my favorite traditional Mexican dishes: carnitas. They were less than spectacular, and I asked my friend Sergio why he thought they weren’t very good. He replied that too many people really only want fajitas on the hot plate, and this restaurant’s preparation just wasn’t traditional. To be fair, one look around the room proved that he was right. It looked like a sauna with the steam rising from every table. I was a victim of demand.

I wasn’t about to settle for this disappointment, however. Carnitas are a staple of Mexican cuisine and I mean, c’mon, it’s pork! I decided to take matters into my own hands. There are many ways to prepare carnitas, but traditionally it is shoulder meat (or leftover parts of a butchered hog) slow braised for several hours in pork lard confit style. Once the pork has been broken down enough, it is taken out and either pulled apart or cut into cubes. It then goes back into the lard with the heat turned up, and is fried to add texture. There are many twists and variations of this dish, and the part of the country you are in usually defines what ingredients and flavors your carnitas might have. For this recipe, I’m combining the old with the new and adding a splash of CVap®.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ orange
  • ½ lime
  • ½ medium onion
  • ½ Mexican beer, preferably dark
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 2 lbs. lard or cooking oil

Instructions

In a large vacuum or re-sealable bag, combine all ingredients.

carnitas ingredients
Carnitas ingredients.

 

carnitas ingredients in bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place bag in CVap Cook/Hold oven at the settings below. Drink the other half of your Mexican beer!

CVap Cook/Hold settings

High Yield Mode:  OFF

Doneness:  178

Browning:  0

Time:  8 hours

When the timer goes off, pull the bag out of the CVap oven and separate the pork cubes from the other ingredients.

cooked cubed pork
Cooked cubed pork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat lard or oil in a fryer or large pot on the stove to 350°F (or medium-high heat). Carefully drop the cubes into the oil and let fry until golden brown, about one minute.

carnitas fryer
Ready for the fryer.
frying carnitas
Frying the cubed pork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now comes the tricky part: eat the carnitas! I usually enjoy them over a bed of rice and beans, with a little salsa on top. I also like them in a corn tortilla with diced onions, cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime. Then again, sometimes I just eat them right out of the pot because it’s fried pork and I’m impatient. There is no right or wrong here, just enjoy!

fried pork pieces

 

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!

CVap Ribs Smoked on a Green Egg

How do you like your ribs? Fall off the bone? Texture with a bite? Smoke or no smoke? Baby back or St. Louis Style? Dry rub? Saucey? Grilled, baked, boiled – don’t even go there! Oh My!  Between the questions and the debate almost everyone has an opinion on how they like their ribs. Here is my new favorite recipe that includes smoking and CVap cooking, blending a combination of techniques to get ribs that I am proud to share.

image1 (2)I have made numerous different dry rub recipes, tried store bought and then found a recipe that has become my go to! It is Meathead Memphis Rub and it will make your ribs OUT OF THIS WORLD! I Started using this dry rub a few years back and haven’t changed since.

Next, go with your favorite rib, I’m using St. Louis style. Trim excess fat and shiny membrane from the back of the rib. Using a paper towel to pull off the silver skin makes the job easier.

Generously cover ribs with Meathead Memphis Rub.

Time to start your smoker! I’m using a Green Egg. Light high quality lump charcoal and bring the smoker to 225-250 degrees. For this recipe, I like a mix of Hickory and Apple wood. Add whichever wood chunks you prefer and let’s get smokin!  Once smoke is billowing out, add the ribs. Cook for 2 1/5 hours on the smoker.  Add wood chunks as necessary.

I have found that smoking ribs for 4 hours can end up with a dry rib. After the smoke, I move the ribs to CVap for the perfect balance of smoke, bite and tenderness. Cook in CVap for 1.5 – 2 hours at 180 degrees Food Temperature and +40 Food Texture (Browning).

CVap has the ability to precisely finish cooking. Winston CVap Cook and Hold for 1½ to 2 hours at 180d Food Temperature and +40 Food Texture (Browning).

Oh, look at the bark! Tender moist ribs, still with a little bite.  YUM!image11 (2)image13

After CVap cooking, place the ribs on foil,
top with drizzle of local honey and a few tablespoons of butter.  Put back on 350 degree grill to heat through and to melt the butter and honey.  Serve now.  If you like sauced, sauce on grill, flip and sauce other side.

If you want to serve the next day, after CVap chill and reheat the next day following the above grill instructions.

image12

One sauced, one not.  We are here to please all rib lovers!

 

It’s All in the Proof! CVap® Focaccia

Focaccia bread (Italian pronunciation: [foˈkattʃa]) is one of the most versatile breads baked today. Not only can the bread be baked either thick or thin, the endless array of toppings to choose from compounds flavors in a complex yet delightful way. Most people think of Focaccia as the free basket of bread provided before the meal at your local Italian eatery, but the bread can be used many different ways including as a pizza base, sandwich bread or even as a cake.

One of the more surprising things I encounter as I visit regions all over the world is how few people realize the CVap Cook & Hold and CVap Thermalizer ovens can be used to bake breads. CVap ovens are perfect for baking applications since users can customize the environment inside the oven to create the ideal conditions for proofing.

I had a great time with this project. It is getting the wheels turning for what other bread items we can cook in the CVap Cook & Hold or Thermalizer ovens.

Recipe:

Bread Flour – 1.82 Kilograms
Water – 845 Grams
Fresh Yeast – 60 Grams
Olive Oil – 140 Grams
Salt – 60 Grams
Sugar – 58 Grams

Method of Prep:

Preheat Cook & Hold to 90 Food Temperature + 1 Food Texture, Time 1:15.
Mix the water and flour. Autolyse for 20 minutes.
Add sugar, olive oil, and yeast. Mix for five minutes.
Add salt and mix for two minutes.
Transfer the dough to a half sheet pan greased with olive oil.
Place dough in center of pan and stretch the dough into a flat, oval. Make sure both sides are greased with Olive Oil
Place dough in Cook & Hold to proof.
When the timer goes off, pull dough out of Cook & Hold.

Punch and stretch the dough to the shape of the pan and make indentations in the dough with your fingertips.

Place the dough back in the Cook & Hold and set timer for 20 minutes.

Remove the dough from the Cook & Hold and heat to 200 Food Temperature + 10 Food Texture, time :45 minutes.

Top the dough with desired toppings and place back into the Cook & Hold.

 

One focaccia was topped with charred ramps, roasted garlic and rosemary. The other was topped with dried figs and fennel seeds. Both were seasoned with Maldon sea salt.


Consistent and efficient proofing is crucial when preparing leavened breads. The CVap promotes a consistent and great environment to proof! This is what generates the fermented smell and flavors of great breads. With CVap we can adjust the environment of the cabinet to tailor the proof. By doing so we can create compounding flavors while the bread is fermenting (or proofing).

The crumb on the finished product was excellent. It created a very light and soft finished product without making the exterior of the product too hard.

If you notice in the pictures, one of the pans of focaccia was too close to the elements (right). This is due to my portioning of the dough between the two pans. User error!


This project was a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please let me know what you think of the product once you have tried it. I look forward to hearing from you.

For more information about the complete line of CVap products, please visit our website at http://www.winstonindustries.com

 

CAC522 Cook/Hold Oven

The CVap Cook/Hold Oven CAC522 cooks precisely, then switches automatically to hold mode until you’re ready to serve. Our only full-size cook/hold cabinet, it is the perfect solution for operations that need to prepare large amounts of food ahead of their busy periods and then hold those foods to perfection. This Silver edition model has a two-channel programmable control, one channel for cooking and holding, and one channel for constant cook (also available with a six-channel Gold edition control – see Options). The 14 adjustable universal rack supports hold 14 sheet pans or 28 steam table pans, plus a set of four chrome wire oven racks provide maximum flexibility to hold a variety of cooking pan types. Built-in fan provides for even distribution of vapor temperature. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your high volume kitchen.

CAC509 Cook & Hold Oven

The CVap Cook & Hold Oven CAC509 cooks precisely, then switches automatically to hold mode until you’re ready to serve. Delivers uniform doneness and higher yields. Ideal for QSRs, full-service restaurants, B&I facilities, or any operation that prepares ahead for busy periods. This Silver edition model has a two-channel programmable control, one channel for cooking and holding, and one channel for constant cook (also available with a six-channel Gold edition control – see Options). The five adjustable universal rack supports hold five sheet pans or ten steam table pans, plus a set of two chrome wire oven racks provide maximum flexibility to hold a variety of cooking pan types. Built-in fan provides even distribution of vapor heat. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your high volume kitchen. Also available in a stacked unit: CAC507 / CAC509.

CAC507 Cook & Hold Oven

The CVap Cook & Hold Oven CAC507 cooks to precise doneness, then switches automatically to hold mode until you’re ready to serve. Delivers uniform doneness and higher yields. Since it fits beneath standard counters, it is ideal for operations that need a full-service oven but are limited in space. This Silver edition model has a two-channel programmable control, one channel for cooking and holding, and one channel for constant cook (also available with a six-channel Gold edition control – see Options). The four adjustable universal rack supports hold four sheet pans or eight steam table pans, plus a set of two chrome wire oven racks provide maximum flexibility to hold a variety of cooking pan types. Built-in fan provides for even distribution of vapor temperature. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your high volume kitchen. Also available in stacked units: CAC507/CAC507, CAC507/CAC509, or CAC507/HA4507.

CAC503 Cook & Hold Oven

The CVap Cook & Hold Oven CAC503 puts a lot of cooking power in a small package. Cooks to perfection, then switches automatically to hold mode until you are ready to serve. Delivers uniform doneness and higher yields. This model fits under the counter, ideal for operations with space limitations. This Silver edition model has a two-channel programmable control, one channel for cooking and holding, and one channel for constant cook (also available with a six-channel Gold edition control – see Options). The five adjustable universal rack supports hold four half sheet pans or four steam table pans. Built in fan provides even distribution of vapor heat. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your high volume kitchen.

CVap Staging in Ukraine

On a recent business trip to Ukraine, we were able to see some beautiful architecture, absorb some of the amazing history, and experience the humbling real-life revolution that is currently in full swing in the middle of Kiev (and the rest of the country).

Spencer Cole, a Winston Global Accounts Manager, had the opportunity to not only train several local chains and chefs on CVap theory, he also provided  live cooking demonstrations and had the chance to catch up with our loyal customer, StarBurger. StarBurger is currently CVap Staging their burgers with great success and according to YELP! and TripAdvisor, their customers are agreeing so much they now have two locations and are planning a few more in Kiev alone!

From TripAdvisor.com:

“The most delicious burgers in Kiev” 
Jan 15, 2015,  A TripAdvisor Member

I have been here often and always happy. The burgers really are delicious. In Kiev, it is better not met. Staff no complaints. Prices for this segment quite adequate.

http://www.spottedbylocals.com/kiev/star-burger/

All shoddy language translations aside, there two things that make this post and StarBurger different. First, StarBurger was introduced to the concept of CVap burgers from the Winston YouTube Channel, specifically the video of John T. at The Commissary:


Second, StarBurger uses real charcoal grills to finish their burgers so they can really capture that “fresh off the grill” backyard taste. Lastly, StarBurger uses a Holding Cabinet (HA4507) stacked with a Cook & Hold (CAC507) so that they can adjust with to the flow of business. They cook all the burgers in the CAC and then move them to the Holding Cabinet until they are ordered. This configuration allows them to start “CVap Staging” new burgers when the business flows dictates which allows the maximum flexibility.

 

StarBurger has loved the CVap Staging platform so much, there is even talk of CVap Staging other menu items such as chicken and Salmon!

 

For more information about the complete line of CVap products, please visit our website at http://www.winstonindustries.com

 

 

Seafood Feast for the Holidays!

Seafood-spreadGrowing up, we always had a Christmas Eve tradition with seafood being the highlight of it. As a child, I lived in South Florida near the water with easy access to fresh seafood. It didn’t matter if we caught or trapped it ourselves, or if we had to buy it at a seafood market, it was readily at our fingertips. Each year would be different, as we might have a traditional clam bake one year and fresh-caught yellowtails the next. I remember all of it like it was yesterday.

Now that I have a family of my own, I have carried on the tradition. Every year, I prepare a large amount of seafood to be happily consumed by our guests.  I currently live in Michigan and fresh seafood is not so readily available. However, my friends at the Erie Fish Market (www.eriefishmarket.com) outside of Toledo, Ohio have made the process of finding and getting this seafood much easier. Thanks to the guys at Erie!

One of the perks of my job is having a CVap CAC503 Cook and Hold Oven in my kitchen. Over the years, I’ve cooked different seafood items in CVap but never the whole shooting match. For this blog post, I decided I was going to give it a try and see just how much food I could cram into my little CAC503. My menu consisted of butter poached warm water lobster tail, jumbo snow crab legs, jumbo sea scallops, little neck clams, bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp, steamed oysters, corn on the cob, red skinned potatoes and a couple of strip steaks (for my weird wife who doesn’t like seafood).

Seafood_Duos_2_433x277

I set my CAC503 to a low temp steam cycle with 100% humidity (doneness at 145 & browning at 0). I prepped and loaded ALL the seafood in while my guests were arriving. Our party was going great and the eggnog was flowing which caused the seafood to be in my CVap for longer than I originally planned by 2 hours. However, when I removed the food, it was perfect!

Seafood_Duos_1_433x277

I asked some of my guests to sear the scallops, bacon wrapped shrimp, and steaks to finish them off. This was a fun way to get my foodie guests involved with the meal preparation.  As they were searing these items, I placed some unsalted butter into the CVap to melt.  I also cut and seasoned the potatoes and put them back in to stay hot with the crab legs, lobster tails, clams and oysters.

Seafood_Searing

Once everything was on the table the only sounds were crab legs cracking and forks scraping the plates. The food was perfectly cooked. Lobster was a perfect texture, crab legs were easy to crack and melted in your mouth. The steamed clams and oysters were very plump and juicy. The texture of the scallops blew everyone away. The potatoes and corn even got high marks (I didn’t even try them as there was seafood to eat).  My experiment was a complete success! I will be doing this again next year but of course with a different menu. Any suggestions?

Seafood_Duos_3_433x277

On a side note, I went overboard preparing for this dinner and we had a lot of leftovers. I decided to make a mixture of lobster, crab, clams, scallops, shrimp, a couple dashes of lemon juice, fresh dill and parsley. I picked up some flounder at Erie Fish Market and I prepped the fish and topped with the seafood mixture. I then topped it with Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. I broiled my seafood stuffed flounder until the top was brown and crispy. This was absolutely amazing!! It was great to eat two amazing seafood dinners back to back.  Try it, I bet you’ll like it.

Seafood_plate

50 Shades of CVap

Have you ever had one of those experiences where your chance encounter far exceeded your expectation?

Recently I was asked by the Corporate Chef of a chain restaurant for a CVap solution to increase their yield on Prime Rib. Their current yield ranged from 75% to 82% and the recent increase in beef prices had them pretty concerned about profit loss. Not to mention the impact on their customers if they had to raise prices.

The Chef wanted to cook and hold the Prime Rib overnight because that created their lowest yield. While the chef seasoned the Prime Rib I set our CVap CAC507 Cook & Hold Oven to 135 F Doneness, 7 on the Browning, High Yield ON and set the cook time to 5 ½ hours. Once the oven preheated we place the Prime Rib in, hit start and left for the evening.  The next morning we pulled the Prime Rib and did the weigh in.  After a 5 ½ hour cook and 11 hours of hold the pre-purged yield was 93.32%!

He invited The Boss to the cutting and after some delicate inspection it was time to give it a try. The first comment: “Wow, it’s almost too tender…wait I don’t think I meant to say that”. Needless to say we had a good laugh.

During our rather long meat eating season they began talking about how they needed to find a way around water bathing, doming and rotating their cheesecake half way through the cook cycle in their convection oven. It was really an operational headache. Having had my fill of tender beef I was ready for dessert so I said, “Let’s make some cheesecake”.

We spent a little time making two of their cheesecakes. One, as usual, was placed in their convection oven (water bathed, domed and rotated) and the other was placed in the CVap CAC507 Cook & Hold Oven at a setting of 200 F Doneness, 0 Browning, Constant Cook ON and set the cook time for 3 hours.

The result:

The CVap cheesecake used no water bath, no doming and did not need to be rotated half way through the cook cycle like the convection oven cheesecake. By their words, the CVap cheesecake was: “Very Creamy”, “Silky”, “1/4”Taller”, “Crust is Better”, “Cuts Cleaner.”

I expected them to be happy with the labor/operational savings but I was not looking to create a better cheesecake for them. The convection oven cheesecake was great but was “Drier on the tongue” and “a pain to make”.

Next thing I knew over the next few days we just got lost in the CAC507 Cook and Hold Oven. The Chef prepared the items and I got the CVap ready.  The days just seemed to fly by while we were comparing CVap to their current items and Eating and Eating and Eating.

Cvap-Staged-Steaks---Bill-Wright-Post-2CVap Staged Steaks

(Setting: 135 F Doneness, 0 Browning, Constant Cook ON for 1 hour)

Time of their charbroiler:              2 minutes 45 seconds

Cooked from RawRaw-Steaks---Bill-Wright-Post-2

(39 F from refrigerator)

Time on their charbroiler:             8 minutes (5 minutes and 15 seconds longer)

Carrot CakeCarrott-Cake---Bill-Wright-Post-2

(Setting: 170 F Doneness and 0 Browning, Constant Cook ON for 1 hour)

“you can taste the individual ingredients”

Chocolate CakeChocolate-Cake---Bill-Wright-Post-2

(Setting: 170 F Doneness and 0 Browning, Constant Cook ON for 1 hour)

“It’s just more like cake”

Tri-Tip

(Setting: 135 F Doneness and 5 Browning, High Yield ON for 5 ½ hours)

“…Can cut it with a fork”

 

How many shades of uses can you create with one oven – CVap?

 

 

 

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