Confit, Gochujang, Chicken Wings, Oh My!

In this recipe we used the precision of CVap® cooking, the classic French confit technique, and a favorite Korean condiment to make some of our favorite chicken wings ever. Here’s how we did it!

Plated wings

Confit(konfi) is any type of food cooked slowly over a long time as a method of preservation. Its etymology is from the French word confire, literally “to preserve.”

Confit as a cooking term describes food cooked in oil or sugar water, at a lower temperature (as opposed to deep frying). Confit preparations are done at oil temperatures as low as 90°C (194°F) – sometimes even cooler. Popular dishes include confit de canard (duck confit) or confit de ‘Oie (confit of goose). Confit is excellent for food preservation. Classically, once the food product was in confit it could be stored in its cooking container and sealed by the fat in which it was cooked. This extended the food’s shelf life. Confit is usually used in contemporary cuisine to mean long, slow cooking in oil or fat at low temperatures. Today confit is most often used for flavor infusion and tenderizing. The classic element of preservation has long been forgotten.

Gochujang is a paste used in Korean cooking. It’s made from red chili peppers, fermented soybeans, rice, and salt.

Confit of Chicken Wings with Gochujang

Ingredients

  • 2 Quarts canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 6 Cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • One finger fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 Pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
  • 2 Sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Cup Gochujang paste
  • ¼ Cup honey
  • ½ Cup fresh coarsely chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Preheat CVap Cook & Hold Oven to 170°F food temperature and 200°F air temperature.
  2. Place canola oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and chicken wings in a half-size 4” deep hotel pan. The oil should just cover the wings.
  3. Place in preheated CVap oven and cook for a minimum of two hours. Chicken should be very tender, and fat should be rendered.
  4. Chicken may be refrigerated for up to a week in this condition. The fat prevents oxygen from getting to the chicken, and should extend the chicken’s shelf life by up to 100%.
  5. When ready to serve, heat your fryer to 375°
  6. Mix Gochujang with melted butter and honey in a saucepan. Heat until honey is melted and butter is well mixed with the chili paste.
  7. Transfer sauce to a medium sized stainless bowl.
  8. Remove wings from confit shortening and cook in the fryer for three minutes. The wings should be crisp and golden brown.
  9. Toss wings in chili sauce and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
Chef Barry cutting wings
Cut the wings into drumettes and flats.
Basic ingredients for confit wings.
Basic ingredients, mise en place.
Wings in confit
Wings marinating.
Confit wings out of the oven.
Confit wings, out of CVap oven.
Dropping wings into fryer.
Confit wings heading into the fryer.
Chef Barry tonging wings out of the fryer
Chef Barry tongs wings out of fryer, to drain pan.
Fried Confit wing
Fried confit wings, allowed to drain.
Chef Barry prepares the Gochujang sauce
Chef Barry prepares the Gochujang sauce.
Sauced wings.
Sauced Gochujang wings.
Gochujang Wings
Gochujang Wings, ready to eat!

 

Have questions? Click here!

Roasting Veggies Please Picky Palates

Boost Vegetables’ Flavor by Roasting in CVap®

There’s no denying it – most of Winston’s blogs focus on proteins. It’s true that CVap® technology brings out the best in meats, but it also serves up phenomenal vegetables. I’ve prepared some of my most favorite vegetable dishes in a CVap Retherm Oven. Today we tested three vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and baby carrots.

Traditionally, when vegetables are prepared in a conventional oven, you roast them at 425°F. However, since the max temp of a CVap Retherm Oven is 350°F, I had to adapt a bit to convert these items to CVap preparation.

I am amazed at the difference that roasting vegetables makes, particularly when getting kids to eat them. My daughter has always turned her nose up to broccoli no matter how many ways I have prepared it, but roasting it has always made her a happy camper.

Using the CVap oven, we attempted three different preparations, all very simple, and all done on Channel 5 in a CAT retherm oven. This particular setting has a 130°F water temperature and a 350°F air temperature. The high differential allows for the greatest browning potential, and the results were fantastic (as shown in the pictures below.

Roasted Carrots

Baby Carrots with Honey and Cajun Spice

Toss the carrots in a bowl with honey and cajun spice to taste. These take 20 minutes total cook time.

Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli Tossed with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

After 18 minutes in the oven, pull the trays out and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. I placed them back in the oven for two minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt

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. These take about 25 minutes total cook time.

Adjust these recipes to suit your own tastes. As you can tell from these photos, I like a generous amount of char on my roasted vegetables. You may like more, or less. Experiment to find the taste and texture that satisfies the picky palate you’re trying to please.

If you’re looking for opportunities to increase fresh vegetables on your menu, these veggies are a sure bet. Retherm ovens are often used exclusively to reheat prepared products, but these recipes are proof that equipment normally used to cook pizzas and breaded chicken products is fully capable of making scratch food that is very easy and healthy!

CVap Sous Vide Barbecue, Sort Of!

Part 1

Chef Barry Yates checks the bagless ribs

As the weather heats up, many folks begin daydreaming about barbecue. May is National BBQ Month – an entire month focusing on the delicious ways we’ve discovered to make proteins their savory, smoky best.

Barbecue has been a frequent topic in our blogs, for a couple of reasons. First (obviously) is that barbecue is freakin’ delicious. But another huge reason is how perfect CVap® Staging technology is at bringing the lip-smacking best out of barbecued meats and veggies. I’m amazed (but not surprised) at just how many calls we get at Winston asking about how to prepare barbecue in CVap. (For a quick, quirky video about CVap® Staging and sous vide, click here).

CVap technology positively impacts your BBQ recipes in many ways. Cook amazingly tender briskets in a CVap Cook & Hold. Add a Winston Smoker Box to your CVap Holding Cabinet to smoke bodacious Boston butts in a CVap holding cabinet. You can even Sous-Vide-Que your ribs using the method outlined on the Amazing ribs website.

In our most recent BBQ test, we prepared baby back ribs using two different methods of “sous vide” – bagged and bagless, simultaneously in the same unit, our new CVap RTV5-05 Retherm Oven.

Raw ribs, ready for prepping
Ingredients

Procedure

    1. Remove membrane from ribs and rinse.
    2. Rub mustard on all sides of the ribs.
    3. Liberally sprinkle Memphis Dust on all sides of ribs.
    4. Weigh each slab of ribs.

rubbed ribs

    1. Smoke ribs in preheated CVap Holding Cabinet to 170°F food temp and 170°F air with smoker box set for two hours. In this case, we used hickory chips.

ribs in smoker

    1. Vacuum seal three slabs of ribs in vacuum sealer, using high temp bags.
    2. Allow ribs to rest in refrigerator for a minimum of six hours.

Ribs ready for cooking

  1. Preheat CVap RTV5-05UV to 190°F water temperature and 240°F air temperature.
  2. Place prepared ribs into oven and cook until ribs reach 203°F.
  3. Remove ribs and weigh for yield.
  4. If preferred, place on grill and crisp, then finish with another dusting of Memphis Dust.

Bagless ribs, close up

Weight In Weight Out Yield Time to End Point End Point
Vacuum Sealed 3.607 kg 3.207 kg 88% 2 hours, 23 mins 203.1°F
Bagless 3.087 kg 2.657 kg 86% 3 hours, 10 mins 201.7°F

Observations

  1. Ribs that were vacuum sealed in the traditional sous vide style cooked more quickly and had a slightly higher yield.
  2. Both ribs were highly acceptable relative to taste, tenderness, and juiciness.
  3. Ribs cooked in bag were slightly more tender; ribs cooked bagless were slightly more toothsome.
  4. Ribs cooked in bag had a less-defined outer bark, and more of a wet finish.
  5. Ribs cooked bagless in CVap had better bark and more defined rub taste.

Bagged ribs on left, bagless on rightNext Steps

  1. Duplicate Amazing Ribs Sous vide Que.

CVap Staging Download ButtonCVap® Staging is a revolutionary process that brings food to a precise temperature and keeps it there, for a quick finish on a grill, griddle, or fryer. Traditionally slow foods can be served in a flash. Think sous vide, but don’t think you have to use the bags if you don’t want. It’s your call!

What the Turducken!

Holidays may be the time for tradition, but we decided it was time to shake things up! We cooked the infamous turducken. In case you aren’t familiar, that’s 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 to take on unless you are fully committed to the challenge. Patience is your friend while you prepare the turducken.

Process

De-bone the meat – turkey, chicken, and duck. We did this the day before to save time. Depending on your expertise, this can take from 45 to 90 minutes.

Make stuffing to place 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 flat so it’s ready for the stuffing.
  • Pat the first layer of stuffing on the turkey.
  • Place chicken thighs on top half of turkey, and chicken breasts on the lower half.
    img_0224
  • Pat a second layer of stuffing on top of the turkey-chicken combo.img_0226
  • Place the duck in the middle of the stuffing layer.
  • Add the last layer of stuffing.img_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.

Settings

We doubled up and made two turduckens, one was cooked using our CVap® Cook and Hold Oven, while the other was prepared by CVap® Staging in our oven and then frying in our Collectramatic®  Pressure Fryer.

The turducken prepared in the Cook & Hold was cooked on high yield at 170°F doneness and 4 level browning for six hours, then held overnight for eight hours at 150°F doneness and 1 level browning.

The staged and fried turducken was staged at 165°F and 0 browning over night for 14 hours and then finished in the Collectramatic Fryer for three minutes.

Roasted Turducken – 82% yield

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Staged & fried Turducken– 84% yield

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img_0289

  

 

That’s a lot to Gobble Up!

The leaves have fallen along with the temperature, and that means we’re into the season for feasting! Preparing a meal fit for a holiday AND a crowd can be challenging. Thankfully, we’ve got the perfect recipe! This turkey and dressing dish with gravy feeds 50 and can be prepared in a single piece of CVap® equipment. Try it this Thanksgiving and get your gobble on!

CVap Turkey and Dressing 

Recommended Equipment: CVap Retherm Oven
Channel: Select Channel #3 for Preheat
Cook Time: 50 minutes or until internal temperature
reaches 165°F

Prepare turkey, dressing, and gravy one day in advance and chill, preparations methods for each follow. Next, prepare two each (12″ x 20″ x 2.5″) steam table pans by spraying or coating lightly with non-stick spray. Divide dressing mixture between the two pans, pressing into the bottom. Add chopped cooked turkey to top of dressing. Cover with turkey gravy. Cover pans with foil and place in oven. At 30 minutes, remove covers and continue to cook an additional 20 minutes OR until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Serve immediately or hold in a CVap Holding Cabinet (Food Temp = 140°F Food Texture = 5°F).

FOR THE TURKEY
• Boneless No-Rolled Turkey (USDA commodity) | 1 each @8lb
• Poultry seasoning | 2 Tbsp
• Olive Oil | 1 Tbsp

PREPARATION METHOD
Recommended Equipment: CVap Retherm Oven
Channel: Select Channel #1 for Preheat
Cook Time: 90 minutes or until internal temperature
reaches 165°F.

Coat the turkey in olive oil and seasoning. Place on roasting plaque. When the oven display reads LOAD, place turkey in oven and cook approximately 90 minutes or until temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Chop meat into ½” cubes and keep refrigerated until ready to assemble and bake.

NOTE: Use recommended CVap equipment and settings for best possible results!

FOR THE DRESSING
• Whole grain, enriched bread cut into cubes | 3 lb 2 oz
• Ground white pepper | 2 tsp
• Dried blend of thyme, marjoram, sage | 2 Tbsp
• Fresh flat leaf parsley | 2 Tbsp
• Yellow onion, chopped fine | 8 oz
• Celery, chopped fine | 4 oz
• Carrots, chopped fine | 4 oz
• Margarine or butter, melted | 12 oz
• Chicken stock (non-MSG, low sodium) | 2 qt

PREPARATION METHOD
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to assemble and bake.

FOR THE GRAVY
• Margarine or butter, room temperature | 6 oz
• Enriched flour | 7 oz
• Chicken stock or turkey stock (non-MSG, low sodium) | 3 qt

PREPARATION METHOD
In a medium mixing bowl, blend the flour and butter together to make a paste and reserve. In a saucepan, heat the stock to 140°F. Ladle 4 oz of hot stock into the paste. Using a whisk, blend together. Continue adding stock to paste until the paste becomes loose and resembles a slurry. Pour the slurry into the hot stock and heat to 165°F, whisking intermittently. Remove gravy and chill until ready to assemble and bake recipe. Use hot stock only when recipe will be assembled and baked immediately.

Per Serving: 271 Calories, 19.79 g Protein, 18.31 g Carbohydrate, 12.63 g Total Fat, 2.92 g Saturated Fat, 45 mg Cholesterol, 366 IU Vitamin A, 0.4 mg Vitamin C, 2.21 mg Iron, 55 mg Calcium, 441mg Sodium, 0.8 g Dietary Fiber

*Recipe has been adapted from USDA/NFSMI recipe for “Turkey and Dressing Supreme.”

National Taco Day? Bite Your Tongue!

October 4 is National Taco Day. If you’re like us, you don’t need an excuse to eat tacos and you’ll surely agree they’ve become an indelible delight devoured daily by millions worldwide.

Historically speaking, the origin of the taco predates the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico. There is anthropological evidence that the indigenous people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish. Writing at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Díaz del Castillo documented the first taco feast enjoyed by Europeans, a meal which Hernán Cortés arranged for his captains in Coyoacán.[5][6]  Source: Wikipedia    For more fun facts about tacos and what people love about them, click here: https://nationaltoday.com/national-taco-day/

There are so many varieties of tacos to count, it’s difficult to choose a favorite! So in honor of this special day of tribute to the taco, we thought we’d go uber-taqueria-traditional and share our CVap® preparation for Tacos de Lengua.

Beef tongue is exactly what it sounds like – the big ol’ tongue of a cow. Though not as commonly found on the average U.S. family’s dinner table, it’s widely used in Mexican cuisine, as well as several European, Asian, and South American cultures. It’s a great example of a fairly tough cut of meat that a CVap oven can cook beautifully. Using a low-and-slow method to prepare it in the CVap Cook & Hold breaks down the extensive connective tissue within the beef tongue, resulting in surprisingly tender, tasty meat.

Whole Beef Tongues

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 Beef tongues
  • 4 Cups beef broth
  • 2 Cans (7oz.) Chipotle in Adobo sauce
  • 2 Onions (sliced thin)
  • 8 Garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Mexican oregano

Cooking Procedure

  1. Rinse and wash tongues in cold water
  2. Place onions in the bottom of a 4” deep full-size hotel pan
  3. Place tongue on top of onions, top with beef stock and chipotles
  4. Add garlic and all of the seasonings
  5. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in a CVap Cook & Hold (preheated to 180°F water vapor, 250°F air temperature) and cook for 8 hours constant cook.
  6. Remove from oven and cool to room temp, then refrigerate for a minimum of four hours.
  7. After tongues have sufficiently cooled, remove the outer skin. Shred the remaining beef.
  8. Puree the chilies, onions and remaining broth to create a sauce. Toss a third of the sauce with the shredded beef. Refrigerate the beef and remaining sauce.

I recommend doing this a day in advance of preparing your tangy tongue tacos.

Tongue Taco Ingredients

Saucin' Tongues
Cutting the Tongue
Skinning the Tongue
Shredding the tongue
Shredded Tongue

Assembling Lengua Tacos

Ingredients

  • Shredded tongue
  • Oil of your choosing for saute
  • Chipotle sauce
  • 2 Cups Cojita cheese
  • 1 Cup minced onion
  • 3 Cups Fresh Cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • Limes
  • Warm corn tortillas held in CVap cabinet at 140°F water vapor, 142°F air temp

Finished tongue taco meat

Procedure

  1. Preheat remaining chipotle sauce
  2. Using a little bit of the vegetable oil, saute lengua (tongue) until it is a little crisp on the tips and is heated through. This may be done on a flat top or a saute pan.
  3. Assemble tacos
  4. Add lengua to warm tortillas
  5. Top with a little sauce, then cojita, then onions, then fresh cilantro.
  6. Squeeze fresh lime juice over taco and enjoy!

Taste-bud-tickling tongue taco

Lengua tacos are delicious, and lip smackin’ good!

Get Your Poultry Sales Poppin’ with CVap® Wings!

Get more covers in less time with CVap® Staging – Sous Vide Re-Engineered.

What goes better with warm weather gatherings than chicken wings? There are so many ways to flavor and cook this delicious treat, but when frying them, it feels like it takes forever.

We know that our our CVap Cook & Hold Oven is the workhorse in the kitchen, so we decided to put it to use so we could reduce fry time.

We took raw, fresh, jumbo bone-in chicken wings and advance staged them in the CVap Cook & Hold at 165 + 0 (or 165°F vapor/166°F air in New CVap) until they reached an internal temperature of 160°F. When we dropped them in the Collectramatic® fryer (open fry at 350°F), they were ready to serve in four minutes flat. The chicken was crispy on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside, and it exceeded a finishing temp of 165°F.

The CVap® Staging really came through on these chicken wings! These are easy to prepare for catering, appetizer specials, or any time you just want a batch. You’ll be able to serve them up in minutes, with each batch hot, fresh, and delicious.

CVap Staging Download Button

Learn more about CVap Cook & Holds and Collectramatic Fryers.

CVap® as a Critical Component of HACCP

CVap HACCP

Many of you have discovered the benefits of precision low-temperature cooking provided by CVap® equipment. We often receive reports of you preparing the perfectly prepared rare steak or a beautiful mid-rare burger. But you might not know that this same process provided by Controlled Vapor technology can also be a critical part of your HACCP plan.

There are people who avoid low-temperature processing because of the fear of food-borne illness created by bacteria such as e-coli, salmonella or clostridium perfringens. Improper food temperature is the most frequent – and preventable – cause of food-borne illness, which is why temperature control is so critical to any HACCP plan. FSIS Directive appendix A&B Compliance Guidelines for Meeting Lethality Performance Standards defines the time/temperature requirements for achieving  6.5-log10 or 7-log10 reduction of Salmonella.

We conducted a test with our CVap technology to see the results of bacteria reduction while maintaing the quality of a medium rare burger. In our test we were able to accomplish a +7 log reduction and still maintained the quality associated with a medium rare burger. Safe and tasty!

You can always trust CVap equipment to produce high quality results and the food safety needed for your HACCP plan.

Exploration of Eggs: Creamiest Cheesecake Ever

CVap Cheesecake

Baking a picture-perfect and delicious cheesecake in a commercial kitchen can be a lot more difficult than people realize. You could have the perfect crust, a satiny-smooth filling, the best pan on the market, an appropriate bains marie, a great oven, mad skills… and still you wind up with those cracks in your custard!

As promised, I’m sharing a cheesecake recipe that I love, not only because it’s a tasty classic but also because it’s as fool-proof as the crème brûlée recipe I’ve already shared. I am again offering two methods: one is prepared in a CVap® Cook and Hold and the other in a CVap Retherm Oven.

Cheesecake Baked in a CVap Cook and Hold

Recipe/Process:

Crust: Mix 1½ cups of graham cracker crumbs with 3 Tbsp of sugar and 1/3 cup melted butter. Press into to bottom of a springform pan.

Filling: In a mixer, cream together 4 packages of cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Then mix in 4 eggs, one at a time. Mix on low until very few clumps are visible and be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Once the filling is finished, pour it over the crust.

  1. Set the unit to 200 + 0 Constant Cook and allow approximately 30 minutes when preheating the unit.
  2. Set the timer to 1:30
  3. Once the unit reads load, place the cheesecake in the unit and press start.
  4. After 1:30, the unit will read sell and the cheesecake has finished baking.
  5. Remove from oven and refrigerate (with the springform still in place) for at least 3 hours.
  6. After refrigeration, remove springform and slice for serving.

Cheesecake Baked in a CVap Retherm Oven

Recipe/Process:

Crust: Mix 1½ cups of graham cracker crumbs with 3 Tbsp of sugar and 1/3 cup melted butter. Press into to bottom of a springform pan.

Filling: In a mixer, cream together 4 packages of cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Then mix in 4 eggs, one at a time. Mix on low until very few clumps are visible and be sure to scrap the sides of the bowl. Once the filling is finished, pour it over the crust.

  1. Set the unit to Channel 1 and allow approximately 30 minutes when preheating the unit.
  2. Set the timer to 1:15
  3. Once the unit reads load, place the cheesecake in the unit and press start.
  4. After 1:15, the unit will read sell and the cheesecake has finished baking.
  5. Remove from oven and refrigerate (with the springform still in place) for at least 3 hours.
  6. After refrigeration, remove springform and slice for serving.

There are 100 ways to cook an egg, and whether they are center of the plate or part of a cake or custard, there are so many ways to serve them. If you have a favorite cheesecake recipe or even want to share a past cheesecake calamity, please let us hear from you!

CVap Cheesecake

 

Download the FREE Eggs eBook!

Exploration of Eggs: CVap® Crème Brûlée

CVap Creme Brulee

Creamy, velvety, decadent, smooth…there are so many delicious words to describe custards! But anyone who works with eggs or custards knows they are delicate and require precision handling. Even with the right skill set, it can be hard to get the same results every time with the limitations of traditional equipment. Not anymore! I have a few recipes that will give you perfect results, time after time. The way CVap® treats a custard is just awesome.

Today I’m sharing my favorite Crème Brûlée recipe; one is prepared in a CVap Cook/Hold Oven and the other in a CVap Thermalizer Oven – ENJOY! I’ll post my favorite cheesecake recipe soon, so be sure to check back. If you have a favorite custard recipe that you’d like for us to try in a CVap, please share it.

Crème Brûlée Baked in a CVap Cook/Hold Oven

Recipe/Process:

  1. Preset Cook/Hold to 200 + 0 and allow approximately 30 minutes to preheat.
  2. Set timer to 45 minutes.
  3. Beat 6 egg yolks, 4 tablespoons sugar, and ½ tsp of vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.
  4. Pour 2 ½ cups of heavy cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to a boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately. Stir cream into the egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.
  5. Pour into a shallow, heat-proof ramekin.
  6. Place in Cook/Hold and press start. After time is up, remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, sprinkle sugar on top of the custard, and caramelize with a chef’s torch.

Crème Brûlée Baked in a CVap Thermalizer

Recipe/Process:

  1. Preset Thermalizer channel 1, place a full sheet pan on the top rack and allow approximately 30 minutes to preheat.
  2. Set timer to 30 minutes.
  3. Beat 6 egg yolks, 4 tablespoons sugar and ½ tsp of vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.
  4. Pour 2 ½ cups of heavy cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to a boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately. Stir cream into the egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.
  5. Pour into a shallow, heat-proof ramekin.
  6. Place in Thermalizer and press start. After time is up, remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, sprinkle sugar on top of the custard, and caramelize with a chef’s torch.

There are 100 ways to cook an egg, and whether they are center of the plate or part of a cake or custard, there are so many ways to serve them.

CVap® Staged Burgers Are Speedy, Juicy, and Delicious!

At some of our trade shows, we have showcased delicious, juicy burgers that have been CVap® Staged in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven. Quick speed of service and maintaining product consistency are just two advantages of using this method!

To prepare the burgers, we set the CVap to 135°F (food temp) + 0 (texture) and preheated for 30 minutes. After placing the burger patties on parchment-lined sheet pans, we put them in the cabinet and set the timer for one hour.

After an hour, the burgers had reached our desired minimum endpoint temperature.

Once we got them to temperature, we held the burgers at that temp until we were ready for our lunch service. We pan seared to finish them, but they can be finished however you prefer (marked on a grill, pan seared, etc.). The point is, using this method you can produce a perfectly cooked, juicy, delicious burger two minutes after it is ordered, and it’ll have that mouthwatering, fresh-off-the-grill taste that patrons love. Plus you are serving a safe product that hasn’t been overcooked.

To finish our CVap presentation, we split hamburger buns, placed a slice of American cheese on one half, and held them in a CVap Holding Cabinet for about an hour to gently melt the cheese and soften the buns before service. We also prepared crispy bacon using a CVap Thermalizer set on channel 7 for 20 minutes. Lettuce, onions, pickles, and a variety of condiments were made available and attendees were not disappointed!

To give you another perspective, watch this short video You’ll see that in the time it takes to cook one frozen burger patty on a grill, you can finish three burgers that have been Advance Staged – and we would argue they are a little juicier than the traditional from-frozen product. Watch to the end and see for yourself!

CVap Staging Download Button

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo High on the Hog!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’re celebrating with a couple of festive CVap® recipes – our own twists on pork butt enchiladas and tamales!

Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a big celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances, and street festivals. Source: history.com .

BBQ Pork Enchiladas

CVap Cook & Hold Oven – Constant cook OFF (high yield).
Doneness 180, Browning 7.
Cook time 7:00 hrs; hold for at least 5 hours at Doneness 150, Browning 0.

Ingredients

  • Pork Butt 7 – 14 lb whole
  • Tex-Mex dry rub of your choice (I used my own secret blend)
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Manchego Cheese, Shredded
  • Green Chiles, Chopped

Directions

  1. Apply a layer of dry rub to pork butts as desired.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 + 7 with Constant Cook OFF (high yield).
  3. Cook with fat cap up for 7 hours.
  4. Hold for a minimum of 6 hours at 150 + 0 (We held for 14 hours).
  5. Allow to cool and shred. Mix enough of your favorite BBQ sauce with the pork to moisten.
  6. Steam the tortillas briefly in CVap to soften them.
  7. Mix the shredded cheese and chilies together. Spoon some of the pork and the cheese/chili mixture onto each tortilla.
  8. Roll the tortillas, place in pan, and top with additional BBQ sauce and more of the cheese/chili mixture.
  9. Bake in oven at 200 + 5 for 90 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy with your favorite Mexican beverage!

Tamales, CVap Style

Ingredients

  • Pork Butt, 7 to 14 lb Whole
  • Tex-Mex Dry Rub of Your Choice (again, my secret blend)
  • Red Pepper Sauce (or sauce of your choice)
  • Masa (cooked per label instructions)
  • Corn Husks

Directions

    1. Apply a layer of dry rub to pork butts as desired.
    2. Preheat oven to 180 + 7 with Constant Cook OFF (high yield).
    3. Cook with fat cap up for 7 hours.
    4. Minimum hold time 6 hours (we held for 14 hours).
    5. Allow to cool and shred.

CVap Cook & Hold Oven – Doneness 200, Browning 5.
Cook time: 90 minutes – can hold at 150/0 for at least an hour.

  1. Prepare masa and set aside.
  2. Soak corn husks in warm water, set aside.
  3. Mix enough tamale sauce into the pork to moisten. Add additional seasoning (cumin, red pepper, etc.) as desired.
  4. Lay out a corn husk, apply a generous spoonful of masa and a spoonful of pork. Fold the corn husk to envelope the mixture.
  5. Place in pan. Tamales may be stacked.
  6. Pour tamale sauce over the top and bake.

Serve with additional tamale sauce.

Add some chips, salsa, guacamole, and margaritas with fresh lime, and you’ve got the makings of a real Cinco de Mayo Celebration!

Cooked Pork Butts
Cooked Pork Butts

Shredding The Pork Butt
Shredding The Pork Butt

Saucing the Shredded Pork Butt
Saucing the Shredded Pork Butt

Saucing the Enchiladas
Saucing the Enchiladas

Enchiladas Ready for the Oven
Enchiladas Ready for the Oven

Enchiladas

Adding Ingredients to Corn Husk
Adding Ingredients to Corn Husk

Stacking Wrapped Tamales in Pan
Stacking Wrapped Tamales in Pan

Plated Tamales
Plated Tamales

Tamales Fresh from the Oven
Tamales Fresh from the Oven

Tamales Plated
Tamales Plated

CVap Sous Vide Shrimp with Butter Herb Sauce

Today I’m sharing one of our favorite CVap sous vide recipes: Shrimp with Butter Herb Sauce.

Shrimp Buttered Prawns

If you are looking for tender, perfectly cooked shrimp bathed in a light, buttery sauce with a bright, citrus-shallot flavor (with just a hint of thyme), you will really love this one. This might spark some menu ideas, since operators may be looking for lighter fair in the upcoming warm weather season.

There is virtually no limit to what you can cook in CVap using a sous vide preparation. Because of CVap equipment’s unique ability to create and maintain precise temperature environments, even the most delicate products – like shrimp or fish – will turn out beautifully every time.

Try this amazing recipe yourself and download our free ebook: The Sous Vide Primer!

The Sous Vide Primer download button

Recipe: CVap Sous Vide Shrimp with Butter Herb Sauce

Summary: CVap Sous Vide Process

Ingredients

  • 12 shrimp or prawns, peeled (16-20 count)
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter
  • 1 medium shallot minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Place shrimp and all ingredients in preferred bag for vacuum sealing.
  2. Vacuum seal shrimp (prawns) in a single even layer.
  3. Set CVap Cook & Hold Oven to temperature of 125°F + 0°F differential. Allow to preheat for 30 minutes.
  4. Place vacuum sealed shrimp in CVap oven for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  5. Maintain in CVap until ready to serve. When ready to serve, cut open and place in serving dish or toss with delicate pasta, such as capellini.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

shrimp under seal
We’d love to try your favorite recipes too, so please share them!

Kentucky Lamb Hams – Not B-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-d!

Two big, salty hams.
One big salty ham poses next to another big, salty ham. The ham on the left is pork. The ham on the right is Chef Barry.

Ham. The very word brings to mind the many variations of the savory pork product. In the vast majority of cases, when folks say “ham,” they mean pork. Recently however I was talking with my friend Valerie Samutin about her lambs on Freedom Run Farm and she told me about the history of lamb ham in Kentucky. Apparently in colonial times, lamb was the protein of choice for the settlers in Kentucky. In order to preserve their lamb for winter consumption, they would cure hind quarters just like we do with pork.

I love to fuse historical traditions with new technologies. Our commonwealth was well-known as a core market for sheep and lamb production. Remnants of that heritage can still be found in central Kentucky, where dishes such as the mutton-based Burgoo remain very popular. I decided to use Freedom Run Farm’s wonderful lamb to test the hot smoking abilities of our new smoker box in a CVap holding cabinet. CVap Hot Smoked Lamb Ham!

lamb ham collage

Ingredients

  • 50g Prague powder (cure) No. 2
  • 80g KY Spice Berries (substitute fresh ground peppercorns if spice berries aren’t available)
  • 500g light brown sugar or turbinado sugar
  • 700g pure sea salt (iodine free)
  • 4-6kg fresh lamb leg, bone in and hoof on
  • Sugna:1kg olive oil mixed with flour to make a thick paste ***optional
  • (You need 80g cure for each 1kg of lamb leg) Approximately 300- 500 grams of cure per leg

Procedure

  1. Very important! Weigh lamb leg and record weight! Record day and time of curing start as well and keep for your records!
  2. Make curing mixture with the first four ingredients above. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Rinse lamb leg thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel. Then rub the lamb with the cure. Don’t worry about using too much. Rub firmly, pushing the leg bone with your thumbs. There is a main artery there that may not have been thoroughly bled. This process will help work out any remain blood. Once this is complete make sure you rub more cure around the aitch (hip) bone. This is the exposed bone/joint where the leg was severed from the lamb’s torso (VERY important step.)
  4. raw legs and hams
    raw hams
    washed ham

  5. Place leg of lamb on a bed of salt in a nonreactive container, preferably plastic, or old school on a wooden rack. In this case I used nonreactive plastic seeding trays. Place lamb in a refrigerated environment for a minimum of ten days. Turn daily and make sure that cure is redistributed daily. If necessary add more cure. General rule of thumb for curing is one day per kilogram, but no less than ten days.
  6. Salted hams
    Fit to be tied
    first salt
    closeup salty
    salty in cvap

  7. After the curing period is complete, rinse lamb and place in refrigerator for 24 hours. This allows for good pellicle formation. Pellicle is a skin or coating of proteins on the surface of meats that allows for smoke to adhere during the smoking process.
  8. After the 24 hour refrigeration, place lamb hams in a CVap holding cabinet at 165°F food temp and +5 on food texture. Place hickory chunks in Winston smoker box and set timer for three hours. Once cabinet is preheated, place lamb into CVap and hot smoke until internal temperature reaches 155°F. This takes approximately three hours. [Note: Although CVap equipment doesn’t usually require vent hoods, the addition of a smoker box will usually require utilization of a vent hood. Always check local codes.)
  9. After lamb reaches 155°F, remove from CVap cabinet, weigh, and record weight. At this time, some folks like to add a Sugna (a mixture of fat and flour) on the cut surface of the ham. This is classically done with prosciutto, iberico, or Appalachian mountain hams to keep the cut surface from excessively drying. In this case, I don’t believe that it is necessary, as lamb takes less time to cure and reach maturity than a traditional leg of pork. Keep in a refrigerated environment until the lamb leg has lost 25-30 % of its original weight. Once this weight loss has been achieved, your lamb ham should be ready.

strung up smoked hams
Lamb preserved this way should be shelf stable for up to six months. There is no need to age longer, because hot smoking kills the enzymes that would generate any further flavor complexities. Once the ham has been cut, wrap cut surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Another option is to bone the ham and vacuum seal individual piece that can be cut later.

smoked ham lambs
ham in hand
Bob Perry carving lamb ham.

In this case we sampled to a lot of chef friends, and also shared with Bob Perry at his 3rd annual Kentucky Neurogastronomy Symposium held at the University of Kentucky.

Celebrate National School Breakfast Week with CVap Southwestern Frittata Wrap!

We love experimenting with trends, often blending techniques and flavors to come up with new creations. The one we share here combines two enormously popular ingredients – eggs and wraps – and gives the dish a Latino twist. And although these ingredients probably bring breakfast to mind, the dish is hearty enough to serve during any daypart.

Frittata Closeup

We prepared our eggs in the style of an Italian frittata. According to Wikipedia, the Italian word frittata derives from fritta and roughly translates to egg-cake. This was originally a general term for cooking eggs in a skillet, anywhere on the spectrum from fried egg through conventional omelette, to an Italian version of the Spanish tortilla de patatas, made with fried potato. Outside Italy, frittata was seen as equivalent to omelette until at least the mid-1950s.

Our preparation of the eggs is also a form of CVap Staging. In this case, an operator could prepare the frittata component in hotel pans well ahead of service and then hold the eggs beautifully until assembly, saving time during the rush. The cooked eggs will maintain their texture and exactly the right amount of moisture, as if they were cooked to order.

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen small tortillas
  • melted butter
  • 2 dozen fresh eggs
  • 2 cups of half & half
  • Chopped green bell peppers, red bell peppers, and onions

Preparation:
Place tortillas in preheated CVap Holding Cabinet (with a Food Temperature setting of 140° and a + 0 Food Texture setting). Prepare one full size 2 ¼ inch hotel pan with melted butter. Mix and add eggs and the half & half to the pan, and sprinkle chopped veggies over the entire pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook in a preheated CVap Cook & Hold Oven set with Constant Cook ON, a Food Temperature setting of 200°F (Doneness), and a Food Texture setting of 0 (Browning), for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and place with the tortillas in the CVap Holding Cabinet (set at 140° + 0).

Wrap Assembly:
To assemble, we cut the cooked eggs into 2 x 3 inch strips and placed one piece in a warm tortilla. We then topped with black beans, shredded colby-jack cheese, fresh pico de gallo, and cilantro, giving the dish a Latino flavor.

You could put a dozen different spins on this preparation by changing up the vegetables or stir-ins that you add to the egg mixture prior to cooking, varying the type of tortilla or bread product you might serve it on, and finishing with different toppings and garnishes. Couple that with the CVap Staging process, and there’s no limit to the variety of dishes you can quickly crank out!
Frittata closeup

Download the FREE Eggs eBook!

CVap Pineapple Chinese Five-Spice Pork Riblets

Pineapple Chinese 5-Spice Riblets

Happy New Year! 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè)

The Year of the Dog is nearly upon us. Though commonly thought of as Chinese New Year here in the US, it’s a holiday celebrated by much of the Asian world, and nearly a fifth of the planet’s population.

Like any good holiday, an important part of the it is sharing good food with family and friends. In that spirit, we’d like to pass along this recipe to you. It’s an amazing rib recipe shared with us by Chef Chas Tatigian of Twin Eagles Golf and Country Club. Chef Tatigian created this recipe specifically to showcase one of his CVap techniques, and this one – involving a slow braise under vacuum seal – is a real winner!

If you like what you see, let us know and tell us how you CVap!

RUB FOR THE RIBS (enough for approximately 4-5 Danish racks)

  • 1/2 Part Ground Coriander
  • 1 Part Allspice
  • 1 Part Chinese 5 Spice
  • 4 Parts Brown Sugar
  • Cayenne to taste

BASE COOKING MARINADE

  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 ½ Cups Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Bacon Fat
  • 3/4 Cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1 ¼ Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 Roughly Chopped Scallion
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic

DIRECTIONS:

  • Liberally rub ribs and let stand at room temperature for 30-40 minutes.
  • Char ribs on hot grill and refrigerate.
  • When cooled, slice ribs into pieces leaving a little meat on both sides of the rib bone and bring to room temperature.
  • Combine ingredients for cooking marinade (this is enough for 4-5 Danish racks).
  • Heat the cooking marinade to approximately 100° to melt sugar and fat.
  • Place room temp ribs in a vacuum bag and put enough warm marinade in to cover ribs.
  • Seal bag at 90% to 95% vacuum.
  • Cook ribs in CVap Cook & Hold oven at 135/0 for 32 hours.
  • Cool bags in ice bath to use at later date OR, to use immediately, remove liquid and flash-roast bare ribs at 400°F until a little crisp, garnish with diced grilled pineapple and green onions, cut on a long bias.

Chef Tatigian is a long-time member of the CVap Nation. But don’t just take our word for it. Take his.

Chinese short ribs

Let the Good Times Roll with CVap Gumbo Ya Ya!

Gumbo Ya Ya

“Gumbo is a veritable art form in Louisiana. There are as many gumbo recipes as there are cooks.” Stir the Pot: The History of Cajun Cuisine, p. 135

Of all the dishes in the realm of Louisiana cooking, gumbo is the most famous and likely the most popular. Although ingredients vary from one cook to the next, and from one part of the state to another, a steaming, fragrant bowl of gumbo is one of life’s cherished pleasures – as emblematic of Louisiana as chili is of Texas (Adapted from A Short History of Gumbo by Stanley Dry).

There are many different recipes for gumbo, but it can essentially be described as a thick, well-seasoned stew with different combinations of meat or seafood. Roux (a thickening agent for soups and sauces) is a must, and most varieties of gumbo include onions, bell pepper, celery, and parsley.

This recipe is a classic Gumbo Ya Ya with chicken and sausage. And although it isn’t a traditional ingredient in Gumbo Ya Ya, I like to add crawfish (a.k.a. crawdads)for an extra flavor boost. What makes this recipe unique is that nearly every step is executed using CVap equipment.

First we knocked out the rice (3 pounds long grain par-boiled + 3 ¾ quarts of water) by cooking it in a CVap Thermalizer on channel 6 (200 + 150) for one hour. The cooked rice was then held in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 150 + 0 until we were ready to serve.

We cooked a dozen bone-in chicken thighs in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 170 + 0 for 45 minutes to an hour. The bones were removed for the overnight stock, then we shredded the chicken meat and set it aside.

Gumbo Stock
For the overnight stock, we combined the chicken thigh bones, celery, carrots, onion, fresh thyme, bay leaves, and whole black peppercorns in a stock pot and added water until everything was just covered. The stock was cooked overnight in a CVap Cook/Hold Oven at 180 + 0, strained in the morning, and then refrigerated. Then all we had to do was skim before adding it to the gumbo.

Gumbo stock - cooked

Recipe: Gumbo Ya Ya

Ingredients

  • 4 onions, diced
  • 4 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, small dice
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 pounds andouille sausage, sliced
  • 2 pounds chicken, shredded
  • 2 pounds crawfish tails (optional)
  • 5-10 bay leaves
  • 4-5 thyme sprigs
  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • 5 cups flour
  • ¾ cup green onion, chopped

Preparation

  1. Sauté the onion, celery, and bell pepper, add garlic, and then remove from heat.
  2. Roux is one of the basic ingredients to a great soup or sauce. At the risk of boring the more seasoned cooks among you, I’ve included instructions for preparing a roux.
    • Roux is made from equal parts fat and flour. In this case, vegetable oil and flour. Warm oil over medium-low heat, then add the flour.
    • Stir constantly in a figure-eight pattern to evenly distribute. Watch the roux closely to prevent burning.
    • Cook the roux over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it becomes a dark caramel color (see picture). Remember that roux must be watched carefully – you don’t want to have to start over!
  3. Mix all ingredients together (using only half of the roux) and add 3 quarts of stock, sausage, crawfish (optional), and chicken. Stir and place in a CVap Cook & Hold oven at 200 + 3. Stir every 45 minutes or so. Check the thickness – if it needs to thicken more, add more roux. If it is too thick, add more chicken stock. After 2-3 hours, stir in the chopped green onion. Serve over hot rice.

Flour and oil combine to form a roux.
Mixing flour and oil in equal parts to form a roux.

Properly blended roux ingredients form a thick liquid.
Properly blended roux ingredients form a thick liquid.

A good roux should be a rich dark caramel color.
A good roux should be a rich dark caramel color.

Andouille sausage, sliced in quarter inch sections, is perfect for gumbo.
Andouille sausage, sliced in quarter inch sections, is perfect for gumbo.

Laissez les bons temps rouler
Laissez les bons temps rouler

Serve gumbo over rice for a Cajun treat!
Serve gumbo over rice for a Cajun treat!

Try this heartwarming dish for yourself and Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Preparing for Pickling Perfection in a CVap

empty pickle jars
In my heyday of contemporary cooking (call it what you will, Farm to Table, Conscious Cuisine, Haute Cuisine, whatever), preservation was (and had always been) a major trend. Preservation – in the forms of pickling, fermenting, smoking, curing etc. – are all ways to preserve the season you are working with. This allows chefs to provide the best products and extend the seasons.

How does this relate to CVap? If you have ever done any at-home vegetable canning, you know how difficult it can be. It is equally difficult to manage all those jars and lids in a restaurant kitchen. So I removed the conventional boiling of jars from the equation and used CVap technology instead. Removing boiling water from the process makes canning much safer and easier.

pickling jars in CVap
Many factors are involved when canning items; acidity, altitude, head space, etc., to name a few. Because these variable factors can cause a canning process to go wrong, I will avoid providing a recipe. However, I will list the steps that I used to pickle vegetables and preserve clementines in CVap.

  • In the Cook & Hold Oven, I set the unit to 200 Food Temperature and 4 Food Texture. This gave me an overall temperature of 230°F. By doing so, I am able to ensure that all the bacteria are eliminated and the jars sanitized, and eliminating the processing step.
  • I brought my CVap up to temp and loaded all the jars, open, facing up into the unit. In that same pan, I placed all the lids and bands.
  • While the sanitation process was working, I prepared my pickling liquid and vegetables separately.
  • prepped veggies for pickling

  • When I was finished with the vegetables and liquid I was able to remove the jars from the CVap and fill each.
  • When dealing with potentially hazardous foods, it is essential to keep the jars sanitized until they are ready to fill. By leaving them in the CVap, I was able to ensure the jars remained safely sanitized.
  • Sealed pickle jars

  • After they were filled, I placed the lids and bands on each jar (finger tight) and loaded them back into the CVap for the processing step. This last step is crucial to the canning process, enabling a tight seal.
  • When they came out, I left them to cool at room temperature for 24 hours. The lids did not bubble and a week later I got to pop open a jar and enjoy the vegetables I pickled.

Broth Pho Sho’

Whenever the weather starts turning cool, my thoughts turn to soups, stews, and broths. There is nothing better to take the chill off your bones than a piping hot bowl of soup. I am often asked if CVap can be used to make a good stock or broth, and the answer is a resounding yes! Over the years I’ve made great beef, pork, and poultry stocks. I’ve made Tonkotsu ramen broth out of mountain ham bones. One of my favorite broth-based dishes to make and eat is Pho. Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle dish with fragrant and aromatic broth. No matter which broth is your favorite, the basic method detailed in this recipe creates a beautiful result. No worries about scorching with CVap – just enjoy this wonderfully fragrant, aromatic broth!

Ingredients

Recipe yields 10 servings

  • 4 kilograms assorted beef, pork neck and poultry back bones
    (charred bones in CVap cook & hold 150°F food temp 10, level browning for 2 hours)
  • 4 onions
  • 6 carrots (rough cut into large pieces)
  • 7 stalks of celery (rough cut into large pieces)
  • 6 pods star anise
  • 85 grams of sliced fresh ginger
  • 45 grams garlic cloves (smashed)
  • 21 grams kosher salt
  • 32 grams fish sauce (I prefer Red Boat fish sauce 40N )
  • 10 liters of cold water
  • 3 (8oz.) packages dried noodles
  • 1.5 kg top sirloin (thinly sliced)
  • 2 bunches of cilantro (stemmed and roughly chopped)
  • 2 bunches of scallions (roughly chopped)
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 bunches Thai basil
  • Limes, cut into 4 wedges
  • Bourbon Barrel Soy to taste
  • Chef Edward Lees Sambal Hot Sauce to taste

Raw ingredients for Pho.

Directions

  1. Preheat CVap cook & hold oven to 150°F food temperature and 10 level browning.
  2. Place bones in 6” deep full-size hotel pan and roast in the preheated oven until browned, about 2 hours.
  3. Place onion on char broiler and grill until blackened and soft, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add charred onion, carrots, celery, ginger, garlic, salt, star anise, and fish sauce in the pan with roasted bones and cover with 8 liters of cold water. Place pan in CVap oven set to 190°F food temperature and browning level 3. Simmer for minimum of 12 hours. Strain the broth into a clean hotel pan and place back into CVap unit until you are ready to serve.
  5. Bone broth

  6. Place rice noodles in large bowl filled with room temperature water and allow to soak for 1 hour. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and after the noodles have soaked, place them in the boiling water for one minute.
  7. Pho noodles

  8. Divide noodles among 10 serving bowls; top with sirloin, cilantro, and scallions. Pour hot broth over the top. Stir and let sit until the beef is partially cooked and no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime wedges, BBF soy sauce, and Ed Lee Chile-Garlic sauce on the side.

Finished broth
Raw sirloin ready for broth.
Raw ingredients ready for broth.
Adding broth to bowls.
Phenomenal pho!

The Story of a Perfect Turkey Starts with CVap

There are so many sensory delights to appreciate in a properly roasted turkey. The skin should have a consistent golden brown hue and a crisp texture that is audible when met with a knife (or a pair of fingers trying to filch a tidbit before it goes to the table). The breast meat should be tender and juicy while the dark meat should be succulent and toothsome. The aroma should be rich and intoxicating, filling the kitchen with a scent that is tangible and evokes memories of Thanksgiving or holiday feasts.

Brining is an option many cooks exercise though we don’t do it every time we roast a turkey. When we do, a couple of our favorite concoctions include salt + sugar + paprika + granulated garlic + granulated onion + peppercorns + water or salt + sugar + aromatics (onion, carrot, celery) + thyme + rosemary + Italian parsley + bay leaves + water. The benefit of brining a turkey is to impart additional flavor to the bird and to add moisture. Of course, if the turkey is cooked correctly, brining is unnecessary! In the tests we did for this post, the birds were not brined. Nor were they stuffed. While stuffing a turkey may be a tried and true part of cooking a Thanksgiving feast for many, we discourage the practice. In order to get the stuffing inside the bird to a safe endpoint temperature, you risk sacrificing the moistness of the white meat by overcooking it.

In one test, we roasted a 10 lb. turkey in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven (CAC) with the Food Temperature set at 190°F, Browning Level at 8, and we cooked it for three hours with Constant Cook ON.

turkey

In another test we cooked a bird in a CAC at 180°F with a Browning level of 6 for five hours with Constant Cook ON. As you can see, this test yielded skin that was not as brown or quite as crisp as the other test.

turkey

An alternative suggestion might be to cook a turkey at 175 + 0 to end point doneness and then either flash fry or flash roast it to brown and crisp up the skin. Using this method will yield extremely tender and juicy meat.

No matter which of these methods you use, the moral to this story is that a perfectly cooked turkey is something to be very thankful for!