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!

A Footprint Dilemma – Utilizing Versatility in Today’s Modern Kitchens

In this post I want to bring to light one of the current dilemmas many of us are facing in our kitchens today. Although the list of equipment offerings and technologies continues to grow, we see more and more specialized equipment designed for a specific job. Whether we are baking, steaming, braising, boiling, poaching, roasting, grilling, staging, frying or searing, there is a piece of equipment on the market specifically designed for that specific job.

Most of our kitchens are littered with several pieces of single-purpose equipment. They are all pieces of a puzzle that fit together and (hopefully) lend themselves well to each other. Whether we are talking about convection ovens, steamers, grills, flat top griddles, immersion circulators, holding cabinets, combi ovens, low temp roasting ovens, etc… they all have their place and purpose. On the other hand, most of the real estate in our kitchens is at a premium, preventing us from utilizing them all properly. We are left with two answers to this challenge, either build massive kitchens capable of holding all this equipment or find versatility in the equipment we use.

When discussing versatility, most equipment can be placed into one of two categories, versatile equipment or single-purpose equipment. Let’s dissect these two categories a bit further and analyze some of the equipment mentioned above.

Versatile Equipment:

Convection ovens are the go-to standard for versatility and have been widely used in kitchens around the world for years. These ovens have their place in most kitchens as they are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment on the market today. From prep to finish the convection oven can be used throughout the entire cooking process and is effective at both high and low temperatures, all within a small footprint. Other equipment that fit into this same category are grills, griddles, and combi ovens.

Single-Purpose:

Steamers are one of the main culprits in the single-purpose category. They are less versatile and capable of only one temp and one process – steaming. Not only is the equipment limited by its versatility, but often, finding a place in the kitchen for single-purpose equipment can be a hassle. While highly effective at performing the specific job the unit is designed for, single-purpose equipment can be a waste of space if it is not utilized around the clock. Other examples of single-use equipment include immersion circulators and low-temp roasting ovens.

What’s This Mean for You?
A lot goes into making any kind of equipment decision. Quality, reliability, capital cost, maintenance cost, operating cost, equipment life span, etc. Buyers have to weigh all these variables and find the best balance for their personal needs. However, one of the most impactful elements we are all looking for is versatility. We don’t all have the luxury of a large kitchen. Normally, the larger the kitchen footprint the smaller the customer seating footprint, which means less potential money to be made each day.
What if I told you there was a piece of equipment that addresses these pain points? One that is versatile to the point of being able to poach, steam, braise,roast, bake, stage, sous vide, confit, high yield roast, hold and perform many other processes all within a small footprint? One that is affordable, reliable, requires no hood and is easy to use at all skill levels? A unit that can reduce ticket times, food costs, labor costs and maintenance costs. A piece that can be used for morning prep, the lunch rush, and staging for a busy dinner service, then continue to make you money overnight while you sleep? If this is the type of equipment you are looking for, then the Winston CVap is a game changer for your business. CVap equipment is hands down some of the most versatile items you can place in your kitchen. It is equipment that can save and make money at the same time, all inside a small footprint. Chances are the restaurant down the street turning 100 tables on a Tuesday night has already discovered it.

Learn more here.

Blushing CVap Lobster and Shrimp Pasta

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!H1810132sm

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.

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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.

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On to the sauce! We started with a classic marinara, combining olive oil, garlic, onion, San Marzano tomatoes, S&P, and fresh basil.

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To that we added heavy cream to create a gorgeous blush sauce.

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We then removed the lobster tail meat and reserved the shells, along with the shrimp shells, to make stock later.

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Some of the meat was cubed and stirred into the blush sauce, while the rest was set aside to be added whole.

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We coated a portion of pasta we’d been holding with the seafood/sauce mixture…

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Plated a respectably appetizing (pile)…

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And gilded the lily by crowning it with the whole piece of shellfish, a bit more sauce, and a garnish of fresh basil.

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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.

CVap Butter-Poached Lobster with Thyme and Lemon

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!

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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:

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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.