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!
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
- Preheat CVap Cook & Hold Oven to 150°F food temperature and 10 level browning.
- Place bones in 6” deep full-size hotel pan and roast in the preheated oven until browned, about 2 hours.
- Place onion on char broiler and grill until blackened and soft, about 15 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Mark your calendar! Your opportunity to apply for the 2018 Winston Equipment Award is December 1, 2017!
The award provides ten pieces of Winston Foodservice equipment to a school district in need of improving its school meal kitchen facilities through a competitive grant process.
The winning school district can choose any ten pieces from Winston’s product line of CVap Holding Cabinets, CVap Hold & Serve Drawers, and CVap Retherm Ovens.
Winston works closely with the grant winner to determine needs and assist in the final selection of equipment. Winston also arranges delivery of the equipment to the district. Depending on which models are ordered, it could mean over $50,000 in new equipment for your district!
To apply, you must:
- Be an active SNA director-level member, who has been a member of SNA for at least one year.
- Be the person responsible for directing the school nutrition program for the school district.
How can I apply?
The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) will open the 2018 Winston Equipment Award application process on December 1st, 2017. The deadline for the application is January 15th, or once the first 75 applications have been received (whichever comes first). The application spots usually fill up quickly, so don’t delay in applying!
Want to hit the ground running? Prepare your application ahead of time by downloading the Application Preparation Worksheet. Responses may be copied and pasted from the worksheet into the online application. Visit https://www.schoolnutrition.org/equipmentgrants to learn more.
Best of luck to all of you!
Life is busy. That fact is as true for us here at Winston as it is for anyone. Taking the time to have a good breakfast is a rarity, I suspect, for most of us.
What if you could easily provide your customers with just such a respite, without a big investment in time, ingredients, or manpower? Staging with your CVap Cook & Hold oven makes this possible.
One of my favorite breakfasts (both to prepare and to eat) is Eggs Benedict. It’s a simple recipe, and can easily be prepared and staged in a CVap oven. It requires a simple handful of ingredients, and only takes minutes to make. It’ll make your customers want to slow down – at least for a moment – to savor the fantastic flavors.
The recipe, as listed, is for a relatively small batch. But it can easily be scaled up to fit larger operations.
- 1 dozen biscuits (canned or frozen)
- 1 dozen eggs,
- shredded cheddar cheese
- melted butter
- salt and pepper
Set a CVap Cook & Hold Oven to Constant Cook ON, Food Temperature 150°F (Doneness) and Food Texture 10 (Browning), then allow to preheat. Place biscuits on parchment-lined half sheet pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove biscuits from oven, brush with melted butter, then use a pastry cutter to remove the centers (be careful to leave bottom crust intact!). Place a raw egg and a pinch of salt and pepper in the center of each biscuit.
Adjust preheated Cook & Hold Oven to Constant Cook ON, Food Temperature 156°F (Doneness), and Food Texture setting 1 (Browning). Place the egg-filled biscuits in the oven for 25 minutes.
Once the eggs are poached to your liking, remove the biscuits, sprinkle with cheese, and place the pan back into the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt. The beauty of CVap staging is that you can pause at virtually any point in the cooking process, and the food will remain unchanged until you’re ready to garnish and serve – whether that’s in 10 minutes or five hours.
We garnished ours with shaved Woodlands Pork Mountain ham, parmesan cream sauce, minced scallions, and paprika. You may want to use bacon, prosciutto, sausage patties – whatever savory protein appeals to you – to make it your own benedict.
I ran across a post on social media about New York style bagels. It got me thinking…can I do that in CVap oven? I already knew that I could proof in CVap, but I wanted to know if I could mimic the step where the bagels are boiled.
I found a generic recipe on King Arthur Flour’s website. This was an easy, straightforward recipe. As usual, there’s a point in the recipe that calls for the bagels to be boiled. I chose to go with tradition and boil some, and prepare the others in a CVap oven (as sort of a test and control). I also prepared the water with honey instead of lye, baking soda, malt powder, or other ingredients that people often use, simply because I was aiming for a sweeter bagel.
I prepared my bagels, let the dough proof, shape and rise again. The next step was to boil.
I brushed the proofed bagels with the honey water, and placed them in the CVap Cook & Hold. The unit was set at 200 Doneness and 1 Browning, Constant Cook ON. I elevated the bagels on a baking rack to ensure that the vapor would reach all sides of the bagel for five minutes.
The CVap results were better than expected. The bagels were very similar to the ones that I boiled, but they didn’t rise as much as the boiled bagels.
The next step involved baking. I reserved a few bagels to bake in a conventional oven, and baked the rest in the CVap (90 Doneness, 10 Browning, Constant Cook ON). The recipe recommends baking the bagels, then removing them from the oven to add toppings. This was a bit difficult – the bagels were hot and had to be sprayed with water to make the topping stick. I chose to make a variety of flavors; everything bagel, asiago bagel, asiago jalapeno bagel, and a few plain bagels. The bagels destined for the CVap were much easier, as I was able to top the bagels right after boiling them.
Not only were the CVap bagels easier to prepare, they also browned more evenly.
When they had cooled just enough to not burn my mouth, I dug in. The boiled/oven-baked bagels were much chewier on the exterior, and the toppings fell off. The CVap bagels were a little denser and crisper on the exterior. Both were delicious! A bit more tweaking of recipe and technique would probably result in a seamless process in the CVap. No boiling, no adding toppings mid-bake – painless and delicious!
Summer is winding down. The approach of Labor Day marks the time to pack away your summer whites, and is perhaps your last chance to grill out before the leaves turn and a chill returns to the air. Why not try a unique twist on that perennial grill staple, the burger. Aussie Bison Sliders are a much-loved specialty in Australia. They are absolutely bursting with flavor, and can credibly be called a party in your mouth!
The classic Australian burger is composed something like this:
Our version is similar, but we added a couple of twists and advance staged the burgers to make service and assembly a snap:
Mix one quart of Egg Beaters® and pour onto a sprayed ½ sheet pan.
Cook in a CVap Cook/Hold Oven at 200 + 0 for 20 minutes. Finished product will resemble an egg crepe.
CVap Roasted Beets
Roast whole beets in a CVap Cook/Hold at 200 + 10 for 2 hours with Constant Cook ON, then drop down to 200 + 0 for two hours. After cooking, the beets are to be cooled, peeled and sliced thin.
Cook bacon strips in a CVap Thermalizer at 200 + 100 for 25 minutes, then crumble and set aside for the sauce.
Per pound of ground bison, mix the following ingredients:
1 ¼ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp granulated garlic
Divide bison mixture into 1 oz patties.
Advance stage in a CVap Cook/Hold at 135 + 0 for a minimum of 35 minutes or until you are ready to finish off on grill or flat top.
Small chop a can of pineapple, blend with bacon crumbles, add chopped scallions, and mix with a small amount of sweet Thai chili sauce.
On a sweet Hawaiian bun place a small amount of sauce, slider patty, mild cheddar cheese, egg, beets and serve.
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.
The internal temperature of the chops at that point after searing was 85° F.
Once all the chops were seared and in the pan, off to the CVap they went.
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.
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.
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.
We took the other half, placed them in pouches for vacuum-sealing, and then added a little smoke for an extra dimension of flavor. It was just enough to give the burgers a subtle smokiness without it being overwhelming.
All of the patties then went into a CVap Cook/Hold Oven with Constant Cook ON, a Food Temperature (Doneness) setting of 145°F and a Food Texture (Browning) setting of 0, for 30 minutes.
To finish the patties, we pan seared them for texture and brought them to a finished temperature of 150° to 155°F (though tossing them on a grill for quick finish would work equally well). CVap Staging and then finishing in this manner yielded extremely well-textured, moist, and flavorful burgers.
The patties that were vacuum-sealed wound up being the perfect size and shape for the toasted ciabatta rolls we were using. We dressed those simply, with fresh torn cilantro and a chipotle salsa (fresh pico mixed with pureed chipotle peppers) that complimented the slight hint of smoke in the patty.
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.
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 .
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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
One sauced, one not. We are here to please all rib lovers!
The CVap Cook & Hold Oven CAC509 cooks precisely, then switches automatically to hold mode until you’re ready to serve. Delivers uniform doneness and higher yields. Ideal for QSRs, full-service restaurants, B&I facilities, or any operation that prepares ahead for busy periods. This Silver edition model has a two-channel programmable control, one channel for cooking and holding, and one channel for constant cook (also available with a six-channel Gold edition control – see Options). The five adjustable universal rack supports hold five sheet pans or ten steam table pans, plus a set of two chrome wire oven racks provide maximum flexibility to hold a variety of cooking pan types. Built-in fan provides even distribution of vapor heat. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your high volume kitchen. Also available in a stacked unit: CAC507 / CAC509.
The CVap Cook & Hold Oven CAC503 puts a lot of cooking power in a small package. Cooks to perfection, then switches automatically to hold mode until you are ready to serve. Delivers uniform doneness and higher yields. This model fits under the counter, ideal for operations with space limitations. This Silver edition model has a two-channel programmable control, one channel for cooking and holding, and one channel for constant cook (also available with a six-channel Gold edition control – see Options). The five adjustable universal rack supports hold four half sheet pans or four steam table pans. Built in fan provides even distribution of vapor heat. Auto water fill comes standard, eliminating the need for frequent water refills and keeping up with the demands of your high volume kitchen.
For chocolate lovers, Valentine’s Day conjures images of heart-shaped boxes filled with delicious confections. I love chocolate as much as the next guy, and it got me thinking: can we temper chocolate in CVap? What a fun experiment to play with!
I was thinking of a concept combining chocolate and maybe some fruit to create a tasty treat. I spoke briefly with my friend Rachel Sundet of http://statepark.is/ in Cambridge and got a few tips about chocolate.
As you may know there are many ways to temper chocolate, some more involved than others. No matter which method you choose, precision temperature is of the utmost importance. Whether you use the classic stovetop or microwave method or even the unique method of using a sous-vide cooker, if the temperature is not right, the chocolate won’t be right, either. I found additional information about tempering chocolate here: https://www.ecolechocolat.com/en/chocolate-tempering.html
I thought CVap would provide the control required, and it turns out I was right!
Utilizing the info at www.ecolecholat.com , I decided to set our CVap Cook and Hold Oven with Constant Cook ON, Food Temp at 125, and 1 level Browning. I did not know how long it would take so I set the timer for 1 hour. The chocolate that we used for this experiment was http://www.ghirardelli.com/shop-1/flavors/dark-chocolate.html
I placed 3 lbs in a stainless bowl wrapped with plastic wrap to keep the water away from the chocolate, and I place 1.5 lbs of chocolate in sous vide bag that I then vacuum sealed. The chocolate was placed in the CVap oven until it reached its critical temperature of 120F. The chocolate actually reached its temp in 30 minutes, but I allowed an extra ten minutes just to be safe. Once the chocolate was removed I set the cabinet at 90 +0.
While the cabinet was cooling down I stirred the tempered chocolate in the bowl just until smooth and returned it to the cooled 90F cabinet.
With the vacuum-sealed chocolate, all I did was press lightly until the chocolate was evenly distributed and returned it to the cabinet.
Wait – I almost forgot the fruit! While the chocolate was in the first stage of tempering, I hot-marinated freshly sliced pineapple in the same cabinet, slow-poaching it in orange juice, sorghum molasses, and a dash of chipotle pepper.
Now the moment of truth! Fresh strawberries were washed and dried and then dipped into the freshly tempered chocolate. Beautiful. I grilled the warm poached pineapple, topped it with the warm marinade, and chocolate-dipped strawberries, and then drizzled a bit more tempered chocolate to finish. What a sweet Valentine’s experiment indeed!
For more information about the complete line of CVap products, please visit our website at http://www.winstonindustries.com
Lately there’s been a lot of talk about what’s being served in school cafeterias around the country. Take it from me, the best way to find out what’s being plated in K-12 is to actually go to the schools and have lunch yourself. I work with schools around the U.S., and let me tell you there is some wonderful food around the country with creative ways of serving happening every day!
I suppose you could give an example based on new regulations that are taking place. But really those healthier options, even before the new regulations, have been putting school foodservice at the forefront of tasty recipes from one of the most demanding groups of customers there is – your kids.
The K-12 market segment food manufacturers have done a marvelous job with reformulating and reinventing a lot of the tasty treats your kid’s love to eat. Add in scratch cooking that’s being done in many of the nation’s schools and well, you’ve got some great recipes for healthy well fed students that get kids ready to learn.
So here’s my challenge to you. Would you try a dynamic and delicious made from scratch school food recipe at your next outdoor cookout?
Believe me when the side dish is Tantalizing and Tasty Ranchero Beans from a district like Brantley County Schools in Georgia, you can’t go wrong.
Here’s what I did and I’ll show you how. I took the original bulk recipe from School Nutrition Director Laura Lynn’s Brantley County School District and honed it down for a home gathering with family. I’m sharing the original with you along with my version.
Number of Portions: 43
Size of Portions: ½ cup
CAT509 – CVap Thermalizer
HA4522 – CVap Holding Cabinet
1 cup, 8 fl oz water
2 tsp low sodium ham base
1 #10 can/18.5 ct/.5 cup beans, canned, drained, rinsed
1 can #10 tomatoes, diced, canned
1 cup frozen diced onions
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp cumin, ground
1 tbsp salt, table
1 tsp pepper, black
¼ cup mild banana pepper rings
Pre-heat your CVap Thermalizer by pressing Channel 6.
Place can of tomatoes, drained beans and onions in a 2” deep hotel pan. Add 1 cup of warm water mixed with the ham base. Add Italian seasoning, cumin, salt and black pepper. Mix well and place pepper rings on top. Once it’s pre-heated, place in the CAT509 and cook for 30 minutes. Then place in HA4522 Holding Cabinet with a food temperature of 155 degrees and a food texture of +10 degrees until ready to serve. Serve students with #8 scoop or ½ spoodle.
Home Style Version
½ cup of water
¼ tsp of low sodium ham base (I used Better Than Bouillon brand)
2 cans 15.5 oz unseasoned pinto beans drained, rinsed
2 cans 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
¼ cup frozen diced onions (I used Kroger brand)
¼ tsp Italian seasoning (I used McCormick brand)
¼ tsp of cumin
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
6 or 8 mild banana pepper rings
Mix all of the ingredients together in a half size aluminum hotel pan and then use a CVap CAC503 Cook and Hold set to 90+9 for 30 minutes on high yield so it will drop into an automatic hold of 150 following the heat cycle to warm.
If you don’t have one at home…
Combine the ingredients in a gallon or so pot, reserve the mild banana rings for topping. Heat on medium on top of the stove, covered until warm, then put the banana pepper rings on top for serving.
The adults loved it and Penelope asked for more. Then the big reveal… I told them it was school food!
This made Penelope ready for kindergarten immediately!
Check out this wonderful dish and try it at home. Take heart in knowing that schools all over America are serving great dishes like this to your children which have been cooked fresh in Winston Thermalizers and held at just cooked quality in Winston Holding Cabinets with the one and only CVap technology.
Not long ago I had a talented chef come to the Winston factory in Louisville to do some testing. He was preparing to open a new “traditional” style steakhouse in Chicago. Knowing how the competition was for that segment in Chicago he needed an ace up his sleeve. He had heard quite a bit about our CVap technology but wanted to see it for himself. So he came to town with a very specific goal: to test a CVap Cook and Hold Oven side-by-side against an immersion circulator. He also had some very specific food items he wanted to test, so he came bearing gifts in the form of beef, pork, and chicken. I knew I had two days of caveman-style protein consumption to look forward to!
Let the games begin. I already had some experience with side-by-side testing with the circulator so I thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong. This chef was very detail-oriented and wanted to capture all the results with precise notes and pictures. So that’s how we approached the project, and I was very surprised by what we found. I already knew about the procedural efficiency and cost savings made possible by choosing CVap over the circulator, but I was not prepared to discover just how much better it performed with regard to texture, flavor, and consistency. Time after time we were both surprised after tasting the finished food items.
We tried three different methods for each item. We bagged and vacuum-sealed short ribs, mock tenders, beef filet, ribeye steaks, NY Strip steaks, skirt steaks, and half chickens. We also had one of each item for our bag-less CVap sous vide-style process. We then cooked and finished each product. We did one each bagged in the circulator, one each bagged in the CVap, and one each bag-less in the CVap. The results for each product weighed fairly heavily in favor of the bag-less CVap sous vide process in terms of flavor, texture, consistency, and moisture retention. Each protein was just more tender and easier to handle than the more complex traditional sous vide process.
Then there’s also the question of capacity. We realized that he would need at least four circulators to do what we were doing in one half-sized CVap CAC509 Cook and Hold Oven, which negated the cost difference of the two options. So much so that the CVap worked out to be the less expensive option. Not to mention the continuous cost savings each year of not having to use the plastic products and the labor savings during prep time without the need for bagging the food items.
But don’t take my word for it – I think the photos speak for themselves.
Take a look at some of our other blog posts that feature foods cooked using the sous vide method in CVap – the possibilities really are endless!
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?! 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 one Sunday 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 is 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 it is fried to add texture. Now, there are many twists and variations of this dish, and the part of the country you are from 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.
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 medium onion
½ Mexican beer, preferably dark
2 Lbs. Lard or Cooking Oil
In a large vacuum or re-sealable bag, combine all ingredients.
Place bag in CVap Cook and Hold oven at the settings below. Drink the other ½ of your Mexican beer!
CVap Cook and Hold Settings:
High Yield Mode: OFF
Time: 8 hours
Once the timer goes off, pull the bag out of the CVap and separate the pork cubes from the other ingredients.
Place lard or oil in a fryer or large pot on the stove and set to 350 degrees or medium-high heat. Drop the cubes into the oil and let fry until golden brown, about 1 minute.
Now comes the easy 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!
From my childhood, I remember making the most decadent, delicious, and RICH flourless chocolate cake recipe. I can still picture in my mind helping my grandmother put ganache on the top of the cake and sneaking a little off the top with my finger when she wasn’t looking. We always called that kind of sampling “quality control tasting.”
Now that I am an adult, I still find this type of confection universally appealing – I mean, who doesn’t like a rich chocolate cake? For me, a great go-to dessert for guests is a flourless cake – similar to my grandmother’s – topped with a side of homemade whipped cream and fresh raspberries. And there’s the added bonus of it being a super quick and easy recipe, plus it is gluten free.
Instead of just baking the cake in a traditional oven like grandma used to, I wanted to see what kind of results I would get baking it in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven. So I devised a challenge for myself in order to compare the two.
I made a double batch of flourless chocolate cake and placed equal amounts of the batter in individual, fluted removable-bottom tart pans. I set the CVap at 160 +10 browning and the conventional oven at 350 degrees.
The results were very interesting! The cake in the CVap baked in 16 minutes while the cake in the conventional oven took almost 20 minutes. More importantly, when I had three adults conduct a blind taste test, they all preferred the cake baked in CVap! Some of the comments about CVap Flourless cake were that it “had a chocolatier taste,” “the texture was lighter and smoother,” and “the top exterior top was more eye appealing.”
I found that the conventional cake rose and then dropped once out of the oven, and this is a normal occurrence with flourless chocolate cakes. What I liked with the CVap version was that the top had a better texture and the cake did not drop, giving it better eye appeal. It certainly makes a good case for baking in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven.
And when you add the ganache… calling it icing on the cake doesn’t do it justice!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like the recipe.
Boston butt or pork butt is the American name for a cut of pork that comes from the upper part of the shoulder from the front leg and may contain the blade bone. Boston butt is the most common cut used for pulled pork. Source: Wikipedia.org
Okay… I will admit I never used to be much of a pork fan, but before you gasp in horror, let me explain! When I was growing up, we were served pork chops that were thrown on a dry frying pan for probably twenty-five minutes per side, and I honestly think shoe leather would have been easier to eat. It’s one food memory I simply cannot forget.
That was then. Now I have Controlled Vapor Technology and CVap on my side, and I’ll never have to eat a dried-out, chewy piece of pork again.
So let’s get down to CVap business! I wanted to create a tender, moist, sweet piece of pork that I could shred for quesadillas.
In this case, I made a small roast to feed a few people. If you are feeding the masses, simply increase portion sizes and start with a larger roast. I used pre-packaged ingredients for convenience, but you can experiment with your own flavor combinations. I have two hungry boys at home (one of whom eats so fast I wonder if he can taste his food!) and they both loved this recipe.
- Pork Butt Roast (approximately 3 – 3.5 lbs.)
- 1 Old El Paso Sauce Packet (Roasted Garlic)
- 1 Cup A&W Root Beer
- 6 oz. Tomato Paste
- ½ Cup Chicken Broth
- 2 Cups Light Brown Sugar
Place pork in steam table pan.
Mix all the ingredients together in a separate bowl and pour over pork.
Put into the CVap oven, push start, and walk away.
CVap CAC series Cook and Hold Oven settings:
Constant Cook: ON
At this setting the oven will hold at 150° when the cook cycle is complete.
Following the cook cycle, I usually shred the pork and put it back into the oven for approximately 1.5 hours before serving.
It always turns out great! Sweet flavor all the way through and perfect texture.
Accompany the pork with some black beans and cilantro lime rice, and the family is well on the way to having full and happy bellies. If you’re not a fan of pork butt, this recipe will make you a believer!
Try it and let us know what you think. Until next time, keep smiling!
My son-in-law frequently goes on tour with famous musicians to cook for the band, roadies, and entourage. Last summer he was preparing for another tour, and though I can’t remember which band since he had been on several tours already, it could have been Justin Bieber since we had been teasing him about that for a while. Anyway, he was being told that several VIPs would be stopping by the kitchen and that he would need to quickly serve high-quality steaks in a display cooking format. Needless to say, this had the potential to present production issues.
When he told me about the dilemma, we happened to be hosting a backyard get-together for family and friends. I brought home a Winston CVap Cook & Hold unit and told Rich I had an idea for him. I’ll get to that shortly.
If you have ever been “that guy” who stands at a grill in the blazing hot sun cooking 25 hamburgers for your friends while they have all the fun, you certainly understand the problem I’m about to lay out for you.
First problem: your grill is too small to cook 25 hamburgers simultaneously. Second problem: grilling them all to the proper temperature is a challenge for even the most experienced grill meister. Third problem: timing, timing, timing.
Back to the backyard get-together: before everyone came over I set the Cook & Hold to 135 and 0. (135°F Food Temperature and 135°F Food Texture) After the unit pre-heated I put the burgers on sheet pans, threw them in, and hit Start.
A few hours later when I started hearing “when are we going to eat,” I started up the grill and told everyone that lunch would be served in 15 minutes. Rich looked at me like I was nuts and asked how in the world I thought I was going to grill 25 half-pound burgers on a small grill in 15 minutes. So I walked him over to the Cook & Hold and showed him the CVap® Staged burgers. They were a beautiful 135°F and very juicy though they had no texture on them. Another priceless look on Rich’s face. I’m sure he was thinking, “Are you really going to serve those?”
I told everyone to start getting their plates ready and began grilling. Depending on the doneness that people were requesting, the burgers only took between two to three minutes each because all I had to do was raise the temperature from 135°F to the requested doneness and add that nice backyard burger browning.
After lunch Rich and I talked about how CVap® Staging would reduce his labor and significantly reduce the amount of time the guests would have to wait for their steaks. Needless to say, Rich impressed a few VIPs with CVap on that tour, and it is a regular crowd pleaser at the Wright House.
I am a third-generation European transplant in America with a rich family history of amazing Eastern European food.
My grandfather, Toby Kritzer, was from a small border town between Poland and Austria called Nowy Sancz. He had a large family of seven brothers, and they were all raised learning the art of Austrian pastries and breads. They came to America in the early 1900s and each operated a successful bakery in Cleveland, Ohio, while my grandfather drove the delivery truck for the entire operation. When the bakeries were sold off in the early 1950s, my grandfather helped start a small kosher chicken store front in the Hough area near downtown Cleveland. Needless to say, chicken was plentiful for my family!
In fact, my grandmother always had boiled chicken in her refrigerator. Always. And whenever I went to visit, the first thing she offered me – before I could even sit down – was a piece of that boiled chicken. Not the most appealing treat to offer a seven-year-old boy.
But when it came to her Hungarian roast chicken – now that was a different story altogether! Although my grandmother was from Bucharest, Romania, she made fantastic Hungarian food, and that roast chicken was the best I ever had growing up. I learned to make it myself, but it was just never as good as hers. The aroma and the flavor are still among my fondest childhood kitchen memories.
When I came to work with the great people at Winston, however, I had a chance to stretch my training experience a bit and convert my grandmother’s Hungarian roast chicken recipe for the CVap Cook and Hold Oven. Between you and me, after just two attempts, I feel like I came up with a moister match than my grandmother’s rotisserie style of browning. Today I am sharing it with you and I do hope you try it yourself. Please let me know what you think!
My Romanian Grandmother’s Hungarian Roast Chicken
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1-2 teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 ½-pound roasting chicken brined overnight
- Turn on CVap Cook and Hold Oven and set doneness at 200 and browning on 9.
- Mix together the paprika, garlic salt and pepper and spread evenly over the entire surface of the chicken. You can mix in a good olive oil for a moist rub.
- Place the chicken on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. The rack is essential so the entire chicken gets some texture.
- Roast the chicken with the Constant Cook button on for 2 ½ hours or until the internal temperature has reached 165 and the juices run clear.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.
If you’re looking for the perfect accompaniment to this delicious chicken, I recommend something my grandmother frequently served: Jewish kasha varnishkes. Click here for a recipe you can try.
What better way to celebrate National Seafood Month and the transition from Summer to Fall than to create a delicate yet hearty Lobster and Fresh Corn Chowder with CVap Staged Scallops?! The layers of flavor in this dish are subtle yet so satisfying, you’ll want to make it again and again.
We began by butter poaching lobster tails with thyme and lemon in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven at 200 + 0 for 12 minutes. The meat was removed from the shells and placed back in the CVap to hold until plating.
The shells were used first to make stock. To that we added the corn milk and cobs remaining from stripping the kernals (which were reserved) from fresh ears of corn, along with onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme. This was placed in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven at 180 + 0 and simmered all day.
A brunoise of new potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots was sautéed in butter with the reserved fresh corn kernals, bay leaves, salt and pepper. This mixture was then placed in a CVap holding cabinet. We also cooked some gorgeous sea scallops in a CVap at 126 + 0 and held them until we were ready to bring everything together. The scallops were pan seared to finish them.
First onto the plate was the sautéed vegetable mixture,
topped by the poached lobster tail meat and two pan-seared scallops,
finished with a generous ladle of the broth that cooked all day.
Ending with a sublime plate.
Can’t wait to make – and eat – this one again!