Water – The Good, the Bad, and the Funky

 Cool facts about water:

  • Most of Earth’s surface (nearly three-quarters) is covered with water, but only a small percentage of our water (2.5%) is fresh. The other 97.5% is salt water.
  • Of that tiny percentage of fresh water, most (roughly two-thirds) is locked up in glaciers and ice caps.
  • The only other places in the solar system where we’re fairly certain that liquid water exists are on the Jovian moons Europa and Callisto.
  • Every living organism on Earth needs water to survive.
  • Each day, we exhale a little more than a cup of water (as vapor).
  • Food is mostly water.

Water is an amazing substance. Many of us take its existence for granted. It can also absorb a large amount of heat, which makes it a great medium to use in cooking – steaming, braising, sous vide, proofing. Water is what makes CVap® technology so powerful, and so precise.

Water dissolves and contains minerals and other sediments. Some of these dissolved substances can do funky things to both you and your cooking equipment. That’s what makes it so crucial to clean and maintain your CVap equipment daily.

CVap technology uses water heaters to directly affect food temperature. As water evaporates from the CVap’s reservoir, it leaves behind the minerals and sediments were previously suspended in the water. Over the course of a few hours, mineral concentrations will naturally rise. If not cleaned properly, mineral concentrations can eventually reach a level that poses a contamination hazard to your food, and could damage to the equipment’s stainless steel interior. Adding a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to the water can help neutralize minerals, but based on your location, you may need to take additional water treatment steps before using that water in your equipment, or serving it to your guests.

There are several types of water treatment options to consider.

  • Sediment filtration removes suspended solids, reducing cloudiness. Cloudiness is usually caused by particles suspended in the water. These filters use a natural media (like sand) to filtering out the funk.
  • Carbon filtration also removes sediment, as well as chlorine, organic, bad odors and flavors. As the name implies, carbon filtration uses activated charcoal to absorb the nastiness.
  • Water Softening removes calcium, magnesium and other metals in hard water by using ion exchange resins. Minerals are flushed out via a salt solution.
  • Phosphates perform three broad functions: inhibit corrosion, chemically separate metals, and improve water quality by removing scale deposits, discouraging microbial film formation, and stabilizing free chlorine residuals.
  • Reverse Osmosis is by far the most thorough treatment option. It purifies water using applied pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane, filtering out everything but water molecules. The pores in the filter membrane can be as small as the radius of some atoms. This means it can reliably filter out salts and metallic ions. There is a drawback – reverse osmosis creates a lot of waste water.

Curious about how hard your water is? The map below gives you an approximate idea of water hardness throughout the continental US (image courtesy of USGS). Check out this USGS website to get an idea of how mineral-laden the water in your region is.

Water hardness map

What’s all this got to do with CVap?

Every piece of CVap equipment is constructed out of stainless steel. Stainless steel is an incredible material, but it’s not indestructible. And water is one of the things that can flat take down stainless – or more specifically, the minerals found within water. That’s why daily cleaning is critical, not just for CVap equipment, but for any piece of stainless steel equipment.

Want to know more about stainless steel maintenance and vulnerabilities? Check out this blog post on that very subject!

 

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.

 

Beautiful Beef Brisket: Smoky, Juicy, and Tasty!

Every pitmaster worth his or her salt knows that producing a proper brisket is something to be proud of. Between the fatty and the lean parts, there are special challenges. Smoke or cook it too long and the lean portion will dry out; but not long enough and the fat will be undercooked and not rendered enough. Allow the temperature to get too high and the brisket will be bone dry. That’s why low and slow does the trick, and CVap makes a perfect partner for brisket. You want a robust bark, a consistent smoke ring, and tender, juicy meat. No problem, right?!

Beef Brisket Whole

CVap Beef Brisket

We marinated a 3.5 lb. beef brisket in a mixture of Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce and Worcestershire, and then liberally applied a seasoning rub.

The brisket was smoked at 200°F for about 2.5 hours, and then it went into a CVap Cook/Hold Oven set at Constant Cook ON /135°F / Browning Level 2 / for ten hours.

As you can see, the bark is set, the smoke ring is consistent, and the meat is definitely juicy! Our final yield was about 85%.

beef brisket smoked

As an alternative, you could omit the smoking step and cook the brisket in the CVap overnight at the same setting to come up with this result. Again, it is juicy, tender, and very evenly done.

beef brisket

Please note this setting produces a brisket ideally suited for slicing. If you want a shreddable brisket, set your CVap Cook/Hold Oven to 170 + 2 and cook it overnight. Your yield will be slightly less, but it will shred beautifully.

For the perfect BBQ feast, serve your classic smoked brisket, slice it, slather it with your favorite sauce, and serve it with cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, sweet onions, dill pickles, and sliced white bread. Oh – and plenty of napkins or paper towels!

Looking for some alternative serving ideas for brisket? Whether you smoke your brisket or not, any of these suggestions will showcase this inexpensive cut of beef very nicely:

Creative Brisket Serving Suggestions

  • Chop your brisket and use it as a topping on BBQ pizza
  • Make brisket tacos with cabbage, crema, and fresh avocado
  • Serve brisket hash as a breakfast or brunch item
  • Fill ravioli with a brisket mixture and serve with a sauce made with dark beer and caramelized onions
  • Create a smoky BBQ-style brisket cottage pie topped with mashed potatoes
  • Add chopped brisket to your chili for a delicious departure from ground beef
  • Give your vegetable beef soup a different dimension by using sliced or chopped brisket

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.

ingredients

 

ground turkey raw

 

patties on tray

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.

smoke into bag

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 (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.

open face san1

latin cut

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

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 .

 

Barry Yates

Celebrate National Barbecue Month with This Crowd-pleasing BBQ

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.

Pulled pork bbq
Pulled Pork Bbq

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

Barry Yates
Chef Barry Yates

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!

A Savory Treat for Mother’s Day

Winston Foodservice celebrates the Farm to Table movement. We wanted to share one of our recipes that takes full advantage of locally-available ingredients. The texture of these tartlets were so creamy and silky! What mother wouldn’t want to be treated to this delicious treat?

Savory Basil Goat Cheese Tartlet with Heirloom Tomato and Honey Salsa

Crust:

  • ¾ cup Toasted Panko
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Melted Butter

Mix all ingredients together, place small amount in bottom of mini muffin pan, and press firmly.

Filling:

  • 33 oz. Capriole Goat Cheese
  • 3 Whole Eggs
  • 1 Egg White
  • ¼ cup Whole Milk
  • 1 TBSP Basil Pesto

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, until smooth. Pour into each mini muffin pan until ¾ full.

Place in CVap set to 200 + 0 for 5-7 minutes. Remove and cool. Serve warm in CVap set to 130 + 0.

 

Heirloom Tomato Salsa:

  • 4 Heirloom Tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Red Sweet Thai Chili Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Stir ingredients together, bring to boil, and cool.

Place a spoonful of salsa onto goat cheese tartlet prior to service.

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

 

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!

GingerbreadWhen 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.

TURDUCKEN!

Thanksgiving may be the time for tradition, but for us we decided it was time to shake things up! This year, we not only roasted and fried turkeys, but we also cooked the infamous turducken. In case you aren’t familiar, that is a turkey, duck, and chicken all rolled into one. Sound too good to be true? Honestly, we thought so too!

Let us warn you, this isn’t a task you take on unless you are fully committed. Time and patience are your friends during the time you are preparing the most delicious turducken.

Process

1. Debone all meat – turkey, chicken, and duck. We did this the day before to save some time on the day of. Depending on your expertise, this should take about 45 minutes to an hour and a half.

2. Make stuffing to place in-between each layer of meat. This is the list of ingredients we used, but feel free to put your own spin on this favorite. We also made a double batch for each turkey to ensure we had enough for each layer.

  • Stuffing mix of your choice, we used corn bread
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Chicken Broth (or Vegetable broth)
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Fresh Sage
  • Minced Garlic
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Now for the turducken!

  • Season each piece of meat with salt and pepper
  • Lay turkey out ready for the stuffing
  • First layer of stuffing on turkey
  • Chicken thighs placed on top of turkey, and chicken breast on lower half of turkeyimg_0224
  • Second layer of stuffingimg_0226
  • Duck placed in middle of stuffing layer
  • Last layer of stuffingimg_0228
  • Begin to pull up sides of turkey to secure everything inside with twine or skewers

img_0230 img_0232 img_0233 img_0236

 

 

 

 

 

  • Season outside of turkey – we used paprika, salt, and pepper

CVap Settings

The other turkey was cooked on high yield at 170 doneness and 4 level browning for 6 hours then held overnight for 8 hours at 150 doneness and 1 level browning.

One turkey was staged at 165 and 0 browning over night for 14 hours and then finished in the Collectramatic fryer for 3 minutes.

Roasted turkey – 82% yield

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Staged & fried turkey – 84% yield

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Rockin’ Alamo City

School Nutrition’s Annual National Conference and Exhibit

San Antonio, Texas, is the seventh most populated city in the United States and the dry 100 degree days in July are HOT! It was definitely cooler inside the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, but the action and learning was just as hot as the south central Texas days outside.

photo-1
Here’s Jeremy West, Director of Nutrition for Weld County Schools in Colorado taking a quick break after seeing the sights on the exhibit floor!

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) Annual National Conference pulls members and vendors from all across the U.S. and is likely one of the most fun events you can attend each year as a K-12 professional. We always have a great time and a great theme in the Winston booth. This year we were dedicated to Mission: Possible!

And like always, we dressed, played and had fun with the part!

photo-4photo-3photo-2This may have been one of our most active times at this yearly conference so far. Fans of CVap stopped to learn and have fun in droves.

Everyone enjoyed the Winston “Selfie Station,” nights on the Riverwalk, The Annual Membership, Star Club Breakfast, and so much more.

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Honestly I have about a hundred photos and trying to choose which ones to post was not easy! My favorite though, was this shot at the airport as we were all leaving to go home. One of many examples I saw while everyone waited to board their respective flights. Another awesome time at SNA’s ANC with your CVap friends at Winston!

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Can You Do Roast Beef in a CVap?

img_0579This question was posed to me by a restaurant owner that wanted to improve the quality and yield of his roast beef for sandwiches.  And the answer is, of course we can, CVap is not just for Prime Rib!

This test was conducted at the test kitchen of my Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland representatives – High Sabatino Associates in Jessup, Md.  I can’t tell you the wet spice rub that is on the top round in the pictures because he brought it already seasoned.  He wanted to have the end result be medium (I’m a much bigger fan of medium rare). This test was conducted in the CAC507 cook and hold oven with the settings doneness 140 and browning 6.  We set the roast time for 6 hours.  When the oven read LOAD we placed the beef in the CVap and pressed start.

img_0580The top round is a tougher cut of meat than a prime rib so there is a benefit derived from extending the hold time for the product beyond the standard settings of the unit.  At an internal temperature above 130 degrees F, you are breaking down the connective tissue inside the protein.  This isn’t complicated, you just leave the roast in the oven.  The beauty of CVap is that the roast will stay at a steady doneness temperature as long as you need it to.

In this example, we roasted for 6 hours and held the product overnight.  The yield for the top round was 88% after a 6 hour roast and a twelve hour hold.  A minimum of a 6 hour hold is necessary to get the right tenderness of the finished product.  Too often roast beef is sliced paper thin to mask the lack of tenderization.  I like a thicker slice and this method will allow you to slice the beef in slices that you can sink your teeth into.

As you can see in the pictures, there was great moisture retention and consistent doneness throughout the product.  Top to bottom and end to end.  I’m certain that CVap is the only cook and hold oven that can produce those results.  The picture of the end of the unit was taken after a very thin slice was taken off the end, no more than 1/16” thick.  Normally, there is a ½” to ¾” thick layer of meat that is done to a greater degree than the center.  Improved yield, consistent and precise roasting.  Plus, the roast was absolutely delicious!

Stainless Steel Care and Cleaning, Keep Your CVap Clean!

In the crazy fast paced world of food service, which in a lot of cases is 24/7, we need to find the time to break out the elbow grease and do some good old fashioned hard work. We need to keep our work areas and equipment clean and sanitized. Sorry, there is no easy button for elbow grease. Now, let’s discuss stainless steel or consider it stain-“LESS”.

Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel is susceptible to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel(s) are passive metals because they contain other metals; chromium, nickel, and manganese that stabilize the atoms. Four hundred series stainless are called ferritic, contain chromium, and are magnetic. Three hundred series stainless are called austenitic, contain chromium and nickel, are non-magnetic, and generally provide a greater resistance to corrosion than ferritic types.

With 12-30% percent chromium, an invisible passive film covers the steel’s surface acting as a “shield” against corrosion. As long as the film is intact and not broken or contaminated, the metal is passive and STAIN-LESS. If the passive film of stainless steel has been broken, equipment starts to corrode and at its end, it rusts.

Enemies of Stainless Steelcvap

Mechanical abrasion – Items that will scratch a steel surface. Steel pads, wire brushes, and scrapers are prime examples that cause abrasions on the steel.

Water – Water comes out of the faucet in varying degrees of hardness. Depending on where you live, you may have hard or soft water. Hard water may leave spots and rust stainless steel. Other deposits from food preparation and service must be properly removed. Treated water may be your first defense.

Chlorides –  Found nearly everywhere like water, food, and table salt, for example. One of the biggest perpetrators can come from household and industrial cleaners.

On every CVap cabinet there is a cleaning label on the door to remind you to break out the elbow grease on a consistent basis and be sure to drain, clean and refill your evaporator with fresh clean water every day. Your CVap will return the favor by providing many years of dependable service in what Winston is known for, controlling food temperature and texture for extended periods.

A DAILY CLEANING DISCIPLINE AS FOLLOWS IS NECESSARY TO INSURE A LONG LIFE OF THE CVap INTERIOR STAINLESS COMPONENTS.

  1. Remove inside components to the sink for cleaning and rinsing.
  2. Remove inside cabinet deposits non-abrasively; wash or sanitize with non-chloride cleaner; then rinse – allowing rinse water to drain to evaporator.
  3. Drain the evaporator; wash with a non-chloride cleaner; remove all deposits using non abrasives. If there is a white scale on heat transfer surfaces, use Scale Kleen, Lime-A-Way or similar to remove. Rinse thoroughly and refill with fresh potable (non-chloramine) water.

A Special Louisville Endeavor

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

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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

Wonderful School Gardens

A brief history of a continuing school tradition in America

In 1909 in Ventura, Calif., teacher Zilda M. Rogers wrote to the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of California, Berkeley, then, a primary proponent and provider of garden education resources for schoolteachers. “With the love of the school garden has grown the desire for a home garden and some of their plots at home are very good…Since commencing the garden work the children have become better companions and friends…and to feel that there is a right way of doing everything…it is our garden…We try to carry that spirit into our schoolroom.”
School gardens have been common in Europe for quite some time, with the earliest records dated to 1811. It wasn’t until recently that their nationwide resurgence in the U.S. has become much more prevalent. My good friend and kitchen manager of Baker Place Elementary in Columbia County Georgia took it upon herself to get her students involved. She is loved by everyone at that school. I stopped by to see her shortly after she created this colorful start to her garden.
There is so much kids can learn from school gardens. From proper clothing to harvesting and finally being able to taste what they grew on their own school lunch lines!

One of my favorite blogs, “Ideas in Food,” created by Alex Talbot and Aki Kamozowa is, about allowing your imagination to look at new and creative ways of using food. But they never fail to look at what is obvious. Their daughter Amaya has been growing food with her friends at school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at these lovely lettuces she was able to bring home and show to Mom and Dad.

Various Tasty Veggies with CVap!

I’ve noticed the CVap blog is pretty bereft of vegetable preparation and is exclusively about the CVap Cook & Hold oven. I decided that my next blog post would feature the CAT Thermalizer Oven instead! I also wanted to see how some of my favorite vegetable dishes would work using CVap.

I decided to test three vegetable dishes: Roasted Broccoli Florets, Roasted Cauliflower, and Roasted Baby Carrots. All of these veggies I have prepared in a convection oven at 425°F. Since the CVap oven only goes to 350°F I had a couple of things to consider when converting these items to CVap preparation.

I am amazed at the difference that roasting vegetables makes to kids. My daughter has always turned her nose up to broccoli no matter how many ways I have prepared it.  Roasting it made all the difference.

I did three different preparations, all of them very simple and all done on Channel 5 on the CAT Thermalizer oven. This setting has a 130°F degree water temperature and a 350°F air temperature. This high differential allows for the greatest browning potential.  I did the following items:

Baby carrots with honey and Cajun spice. First, toss the carrots in a bowl with honey and Cajun spice to taste. These take 20 minutes total cook time.


 

 

 

 

Broccoli tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. After 18 minutes in the oven I pulled the trays out and sprinkled them with grated Parmesan cheese. I placed them back in the oven for two minutes, and then drizzled lemon juice over the top after they came out.


Cauliflower with plain yogurt and red curry paste. 
Toss the cauliflower florets in the yogurt with the red curry paste then add salt and pepper. This takes about 25 minutes total cook time.

Since schools are looking to increase the amount of fresh vegetables that are included in their lunches this is a perfect way to make use of equipment that is normally used to cook pizzas and breaded chicken products to make something from scratch that is very easy and healthy!

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.

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