Prepare in the PM for Perfect Porchetta

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

Vegan Doesn’t Just Mean Tofu & Salad!

I had just finished planning a three-course dinner for some visiting customers. My goal was to demonstrate CVap versatility with contemporary applications and menu trends. I had settled on a menu that included the following:

First Course – Southern fried chicken boa with Kim Chi
Second Course – Moroccan grilled lamb loin with Tzatziki and quinoa tabouleh
Dessert – molten chocolate cake with Chantilly cream

I was quite pleased with the ethnic diversity represented by the meal as well as the variety of CVap and Collectramatic applications. With menu in hand I began to create my ingredient list and production schedule. About 30 minutes into my planning and two days before the meal, I received a note that one of our guests was vegan. What?! How was I going to make the above menu vegan? I certainly wasn’t going to offer only salad and tofu! So I set my mental wheels in motion and this is what I came up with:

Southern fried cauliflower bao with Kim chi
Moroccan grilled beets with quinoa tabouleh and silken tofu Tzatziki
Vegan double chocolate pistachio cake with whipped spiced coconut cream

But first, there were several hurdles to overcome:

Making the Kim Chi without fish sauce, where do you get the Umami?
Get cauliflower to emulate the look and feel of a fried chicken thigh!
How to get tender beets without turning them to mush…
Whipped coconut cream?!

With a little help from Alex Talbot and J Kenji Lopez-Alt and a lot of help from CVap I think we did pretty well. Here are a few pictures from our luncheon and the recipe for the Southern Fried Cauliflower. If you’d like the rest of the recipes send me a note and I’d be glad to share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brine Recipe for Cauliflower:

  • 3 liters cold water
  • ¾ cup kosher salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup bourbon barrel soy
  • 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
  • ½ small sweet onion sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 liter of ice

Directions: Place all ingredients but ice in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add ice. Store in refrigerator until you are ready to use.

Cauliflower ingredients:

  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into 2-inch thick steaks and then quartered
  • 1/2 cup savory brine
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon barrel soy sauce

Directions: Place cauliflower pieces in sous vide bags, cover with prepared brine, add soy, and vacuum seal. Place in CVap set on Constant Cook at 185F food doneness and 0 level browning. Cook for one hour. Place immediately in water bath to cool and then place in refrigerator until you are ready to fry the cauliflower.

Breading and Frying:

  • 2 cups of your favorite breading
  • ½ cup brine

Dust cauliflower with breading, dip in brine, then bread lightly with breading mix. Drop into a Collectramatic fryer set on open fry 350F for 3 and half minutes. Voila! Vegan fried “chicken”!

It’s hard to spot the difference! Can you tell which is our vegan fried “chicken”?

 

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.

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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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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.

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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!

CA8522 Low Power Thermalizer Oven

The CVap Thermalizer Oven CA8522 has powerful heaters to quickly retherm foods to serving temperature, then hold them at optimal quality. Its 22 cu. ft.(.66 cu. M) capacity is well-suited for schools, hospitals, or any other high volume operation. The eight channel pre-programmed and programmable control stores your favorite recipes. Fourteen adjustable universal wire rack supports hold 14 sheet pans or 28 steam table pans. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills, and keeping up with the demands of your high volume kitchen. A built in fan circulates air to maintain consistent temperatures. Sits on rugged 3″ (76mm) casters for easy  mobility.

CA8509 Low Power Thermalizer Oven

The CVap Thermalizer Oven CA8509 is a workhorse, in half the space of a full size cabinet. The powerful heaters quickly retherm foods to serving temperature, while maintaining food quality. Perfect for schools and cafeterias, where speed and food quality are priorities. The CA8509 has an 8-channel pre-programmed and programmable control to store your favorite recipes. Five adjustable rack supports hold five sheet pans or ten steam table pans. A built in fan circulates air to maintain consistent temperatures. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your fast paced kitchen. Sits on rugged 3″ (76mm) casters for easy mobility.

CAT529 Thermalizer Oven

The CVap Thermalizer Oven CAT529 is a high production model, perfect for schools and any other operation where speed and food quality are priorities. Its powerful heaters quickly retherm foods to serving temperature, while maintaining food quality. Its 29 cu. ft. (.84 cu. M) capacity, with adjustable rack supports, can hold 14 wide meal baskets or 28 narrow meal baskets. The CAT529 has an 8-channel electronic control with pre-programmed factory settings and options for custom programming to store your favorite recipes. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your high volume kitchen. A built in fan circulates air to maintain consistent temperatures. Sits on rugged 5″ casters for easy mobility.

CAT522 Thermalizer Oven

The CVap Thermalizer Oven CAT522 is a high-production model, perfect for schools, cafeterias, or any other operation where speed and food quality are priorities. Its powerful heaters quickly retherm foods to serving temperature, while maintaining food quality. The CAT522 has an 8-channel electronic control with pre-programmed factory settings and options for custom programming to store your favorite recipes. Its 22 cu. ft. (.66 cu. M) capacity, with 14 adjustable rack supports, holds 14 sheet pans or 28 steam table pans. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your high volume kitchen. A built in fan circulates air to maintain consistent temperatures. Sits on rugged 5″ casters for ease of mobility.

CAT509 Thermalizer Oven

The CVap Thermalizer Oven CAT509 is a workhorse in a smaller package. Its powerful heaters quickly retherm foods to serving temperature, while maintaining food quality. It is perfect for schools and cafeterias where speed and food quality are priorities. A half-size cabinet, the CAT509 has 9 cu. ft. (.27 cu. M) of holding space and five adjustable rack supports which can accommodate five sheet pans or ten steam table pans. An 8-channel electronic pre-programmed and programmable control stores your favorite recipes. Built-in fan circulates air to maintain consistent temperatures. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your fast paced kitchen. Sits on rugged 3″ (76mm) casters for easy mobility. Also available in stacked pair combinations: CAT507/CAT509 or CAT509/HA4507.

CAT507 Thermalizer Oven

The CVap Thermalizer Oven CAT507 features powerful heaters that quickly re-therm foods to serving temperature, while maintaining food quality. At 7 cu. ft. (.21 cu. M) of holding space, it is perfect for schools and cafeterias where speed and food quality are priorities, but space is limited. The CAT507 has an 8-channel electronic pre-programmed and programmable control to store your favorite recipes. The four adjustable rack supports accommodate four sheet pans or eight steam table pans. Built-in fan circulates air to maintain consistent temperatures. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your fast paced kitchen. Sits on rugged 3″ (76mm) casters for easy mobility. Also available in stacked pair combinations: CAT507/CAT507, CAT507/CAT509, or CAT507/HA4507.

Serving Up Delicious Street Tacos for School Lunch!

When you were a kid in school you probably didn’t give much thought to learning about your future career from lunch ladies-which by the way now includes lunch men and even chefs! And I’d be willing to bet that your school district didn’t have a culinary program either. Times have changed.

This is Culinary Specialist Chef Ron Jones with Esteban Gonzales of the student-driven taco recipe team at Greenville County School District, GCSD.

I recently returned from another stop on the School Nutrition Guru world tour and I’ve got to tell you they just rocked the cafeteria at Mauldin Middle in Upstate South Carolina at Greenville County Schools.

The day started with a visit to GCSD Nutrition offices, where I saw a familiar sight when I walked into Director Joe Urban’s office. He’s a true media wiz and grabs pics and video whenever he can that show the pride he has in this awesome district.

 

 

Then we drove to Mauldin Middle to meet the student team that had the winning recipe in the district. I felt fortunate I was able to spend some time with them. From left to right: Hunter Criswell, Esteban Gonzalez, SND Joe Urban, and Michael Harmon.

The first thing the team checked were the conversions to school level preparation of the taco ingredients. As an example, the student design team’s original taco featured red onions pickled in red wine vinegar. The school version switched to white vinegar.

Then the first taste test by the team. They agreed the tacos needed a replacement tortilla and a change was made and tested once more. Then on to the lunch rush!

 

 

This is the amazing, energetic Vicki Thompson, Cafeteria Manager at Mauldin Middle. Just ahead of lunch each day she holds a pep rally with her team right before the bell. It’s incredible to watch. She has a constant smile and she and the staff LOVE their students!

This next part was really cool! Chef Ron grabbed the recipe team members and had them help build a balanced complete tray as it might look when the tacos will be added to the GCSD menu cycle.

Word gets around fast when just one kid says “free tacos!” The open hands below didn’t hear about it until they got to their tables with their trays which they promptly left to come back for a sample.

 

Why not become a friend and fan of Greenville County Schools Food and Nutrition Services Facebook page? You’ll see trends being set and breakthroughs happening. Just recently GCSD made the top ten list on the Food Research and Action Center’s 2016 Scorecard!! It’s not just about School Lunch, read about #schoolbreakfast too!

You can also watch a short video about Greenville County SC’s newest addition to their lunch menu.