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 (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!

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

Plating Perfect Pork Chops with CVap

One of the best things about CVap is having the ability to use it to handle precision cooking of center of the plate (COP) items without monitoring – or even having to check on it. For this blog post I got some beautiful Berkshire pork chops from Fossil Farms. I brined them in a 5% salt solution with honey and fresh thyme for two hours. What I wanted to accomplish was to have the pork chops done and ready for plating later in the day. I set up my CVap Cook/Hold to Doneness 140°F and Browning of 0. Once the CVap came to temperature and the display read “LOAD” I seared the chops and placed them on a rack inside a hotel pan. place pork chops into pan for searingpork chops seared in pan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The internal temperature of the chops at that point after searing was 85° F.
Temp of 85F after searing
Once all the chops were seared and in the pan, off to the CVap they went.

Pork chops emerging from the oven.
With the CVap set to 145°F, all I had to do was wait for the moisture inside the chops to equalize with the moisture in the water pan. The Browning was set to 0 so the air temperature was 145° as well.  Basically, I was using a sous-vide method without putting the chops into a bag. A few hours later I made starch and a vegetable to go along with it.  When the pan was pulled out of the CVap all the chops were at precisely 145°F.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Pork chops cooked to perfection.
They were of varying thicknesses and weights, but all of the moisture inside the chops equalized to the temperature of the water inside the CVap. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to do this with a large banquet where the party was delayed for some reason or another? When you use CVap to make your proteins this is a no-brainer.

 

Burger Season is Upon Us. Prepare to Gobble!

Memorial Day is upon us. It’s a time to reflect on the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. It’s also the official start of the summer season. Think summer foods, and the first thing that comes to mind is burgers. Here’s a delicious twist on burgers – made better with CVap (of course).

Not only does Memorial Day begin summer, it also immediately precedes June – a.k.a. National Turkey Lovers’ Month. So what does that mean? That’s right – turkey burgers! But not just any turkey burgers – these burgers started with CVap Staging.

First a question: do any of you get frustrated when someone describes turkey burgers as being dry, flavorless, or dull? With the abundance of techniques we have at our disposal, and the enormous variety of flavor combinations to choose from, there’s just no excuse for it! And of course we love turkey as a starring protein because it is a lean, versatile option.

For this post, we experimented with two different approaches, though our base mixture was the same for both. We combined ½ lb. of ground turkey with two beaten eggs, ¼ cup of Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, ½ of an onion (minced), One minced garlic clove, and one cup of Panko bread crumbs. Once the mixture was gently combined, we formed 3-ounce patties and put some on a parchment-lined half-size sheet pan.

turkey burger ingredients - mise en place
Eggs, minced garlic and onion, Panko, and soy sauce.

 

ground turkey raw
Ground turkey. Gently knead other ingredients into meat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

patties on tray
Ground turkey mixture formed into 3-oz. patties. Half were placed on parchment-lined tray.

 

smoke into bag
The other half of the patties were vacuum-sealed with a little added smoke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Pouched patties, seared on a grill
Pouched turkey patty, finished by searing on grill.
Turkey burgers with fresh torn cilantro and chipotle salsa.
Patties CVapped in a pouch fit perfectly on ciabatta buns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After pan-searing the more traditional patties, we treated a ciabatta bun to Sriracha mayonnaise on one side and an explosively delicious mixture of pureed onion, Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, and minced ginger and garlic on the other side. We finished it off with a mixture of tender baby lettuce and torn, fresh cilantro.

asian dressed turkey burger
Asian-influenced traditional patty with Sriracha mayo, onion, soy sauce, minced ginger and garlic, baby lettuce and torn cilantro.
Asian-styled turkey burger
Traditional patty dressed with Asian flavors. Note the even doneness – a hallmark of CVap cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 .

Prepare in the PM for Perfect Porchetta

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

A Special Louisville Endeavor

Last Tuesday we had the pleasure of participating in Endeavor – The Louisville Food & Beverage Tour. Endeavor Louisville led 18 Endeavor Entrepreneurs from 10 countries on an F&B tour of the city this week, featuring site visits, panels and discussions with Endeavor Louisville board members, as well as other business leaders, involved in the industry. The tour provided an opportunity for these industry icons to deliver firsthand knowledge to Endeavor Entrepreneurs about scaling up, going big, and winning in the industry.

Winston Industries own Chef Barry Yates partnered with Chef Space Louisville’s original kitchen incubator to demonstrate how community leaders can partner to accelerate others ideas.  Barry demonstrated   CVap Staged New York Strip in the newly equipped Jays 120 space at the west Louisville incubator.  CVap staging is a technique that allows QSR operators to drastically reduce service times while maintaining extraordinary food quality.  One of the aspects we loved about this event is that guests were able to get an up close and hands on feel for how CVap technology can optimize their kitchen operations.  Great food fast every time!

“Winston Industries, building on its entrepreneurial legacy, was a natural partner for the tour,” says Barry Yates, “innovation and ideas are in our DNA.” he continued.  Winston Industries has expanded into four different divisions specializing in foodservice, manufacturing, electronics and ventures- to perpetuate our entrepreneurial spirit and to provide the opportunity for others to do the same.

Thank you Endeavor and Chef Space for allowing us to participate in the tour.  We’ve already received great feedback from attendees and can’t wait to do more of these events in the future! If you would like to learn more about Winston Industries or have an hands on entrepreneurial experience of your own, schedule your CVap demo and cook with us! Visit our website for more info or call 502.495.5400

IMG_2071 IMG_2074 IMG_2079

Takeout Trend, Here to Stay

Z8XWHF6BW6The trend of ordering takeout among consumers won’t be going anywhere any time soon. What Americans want from their food is convenience – number one on the list even above price (Washington Post). With longer working hours, social events, childrens’ activities, the hustle and bustle of the everyday life make it hard to sit down in a restaurant or pick up dinner. So the delivery person is now on your speed-dial. The most recent data we have comes from 2013, where 60% of Americans admitted to ordering take out at least once a week (Statista).

From fast casual to top-end restaurants, customers want the option to dine on your food in the comfort of their own homes. They not only want to take your menu home, they expect to get it now.

What’s a restaurant to do?

3244194246_432a25887d_bBeyond the obvious – quality carry-out containers that hold the food’s temperature and separate areas for takeout diners to order food, pay, and wait – a restaurant needs to be able to fill these takeout and delivery orders quickly and efficiently.

DSC_0029That’s where CVap® Staging ability can mean the difference between quick turnaround time (happy, repeat customer) and slow service (frustrated, hungry customer). If your side dishes are ready to go, and your proteins just need a quick sear to get the main course ready for carry out, you can let your carryout and delivery customers order and then receive their food in rapid succession. This means getting them in and out faster, so they can dine in the manner they wish.

DSC_0059The CVap® Staging technique allows you prepare the protein in the same way you normally would (seasoning, marinade, etc.) and then place it in a CVap oven, which has been set to the appropriate levels of temperature and texture. Once the protein has reached the doneness levels desired, it can hold at that temperature until your customer orders. It can then go to the next stage in the cooking process: searing, grilling, etc. This gets the order finished much faster than the traditional means of cooking to order without compromising on quality or taste.

Take advantage of this latest dining trend by offering takeout meals. And let CVap® Staging help you make them the best meals your customer has ever had. And things won’t be slowing down anytime soon! The next big thing is online food ordering, which is already a big hit among the younger generation.

CVAP STAGING logo

Veggie Deliciousness with CVap!

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Broccoli tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper

Broccoli tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. After 18 minutes in the oven I pulled the trays out and sprinkled them with grated parmesan cheese. I placed them back in the oven for 2 minutes, and then drizzled lemon juice over the top after they came out.

 

 

 

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

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

CVap Staging in Ukraine

On a recent business trip to Ukraine, we were able to see some beautiful architecture, absorb some of the amazing history and experience the humbling real-life revolution that is currently in full swing in the middle of Kiev (and the rest of the country).

Spencer Cole, a Winston Global Accounts Manager, had the opportunity to not only train several local chains and chefs on CVAP theory, he also provided  live cooking demonstrations and had the chance to catch up with our loyal customer, StarBurger. StarBurger is currently CVAP Staging their burgers with great success and according to YELP! and TripAdvisor, their customers are agreeing so much they now have two locations and are planning a few more in Kiev alone!

From TripAdvisor.com:

“The most delicious burgers in Kiev” 
Jan 15, 2015,  A TripAdvisor Member

I have been here often and always happy. The burgers really are delicious. In Kiev, it is better not met. Staff no complaints. Prices for this segment quite adequate.

http://www.spottedbylocals.com/kiev/star-burger/

All shoddy language translations aside, there two things that make this post and StarBurger different. First, StarBurger was introduced to the concept of CVAP burgers from the Winston YouTube Channel, specifically the video of John T. at The Commissary:

Star Burger 2Second, StarBurger uses real charcoal grills to finish their burgers so they can really capture that “fresh off the grill” backyard taste. Lastly, StarBurger uses a Holding Cabinet (HA4507) stacked with a Cook & Hold (CAC507) so that they can adjust with to the flow of business. They cook all the burgers in the CAC and then move them to the Holding Cabinet until they are ordered. This configuration allows them to start “CVAP Staging” new burgers when the business flows dictates which allows the maximum flexibility.

 

StarBurger has loved the CVap Staging platform so much, there is even talk of CVap Staging other menu items such as chicken and Salmon!

 

For more information about the complete line of CVap products, please visit our website at http://www.winstonindustries.com

 

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A Culinary Three-Peat

When I’m home, I do most of the cooking. I can’t say I’m a great cook but I am much better than my wife (Shhh, Don’t tell her I said that). My Maple Glazed Pork Chops and “Made from Scratch” Wild Blackberry Pies are our favorites, but that’s not really what this blog is about.

We recently held our annual Winston CVap® and Collectramatic® Cooking Competition. Every year we split our sales and marketing group into three teams who each prepare a four-course meal. All the groups receive two common ingredients for each of the four dishes they must prepare, along with a cooking style. This year my group chose Gastropub. (Yes, our Tom Ford has a PhD in Hops)

We know all of the ingredients beforehand, but there’s always a twist. This year we received a list of “mystery ingredients” at the very last minute to include in each dish. Our “delicious” mystery ingredients included Cactus, Dried Cherries, Dried Asian Fish and Salt & Vinegar Chips! (I am fully convinced “someone” at Winston loves to punish us)

Fortunately, I had five amazing people on my team to help pull this off. The task was going to require a lot of creativity and experience to get a win and we knew we had just the right amount of both to come home first place. Taste, Speed of Service, Creativity, Cleanliness, Food Safety, Budget, Teamwork and the Best Use of CVap and Collectramatic all scored points in the event (It’s not just about who made the best grilled cheese sandwich, but how they made it).

Step into the horror for a moment.

Amuse: Base ingredients were Sea Scallops and Pork Casings with the Cactus mystery ingredient.Bill-Wright-Team

Starter: Base ingredients were Pork Shoulder and Fennel with the Dried Cherries mystery ingredient.

Entrée: Base ingredients were Beef Short Ribs and Sweet Potatoes with the Dried Asian Fish mystery ingredient.

Dessert: Nutella and Pink Peppercorns with the Salt & Vinegar Chips mystery ingredient.

Our team leader, Chad Lunsford chose the team he thought would win, myself, Judette Baylon, Tom Ford, Tony Martino and Barry Yates. However, the day before the competition, Chad fell ill with the flu adding to the chaos exponentially. It was a huge blow to our team, but his invaluable leadership leading up to the event armed us with the “right stuff” to meet the challenge head-on.

Here’s what we prepared:

Amuse Bouche: CVap Staged Cook & Hold Seared Scallops and Collectramatic Panko Crusted Cactus Chips with Yuzu Sauce, topped with Collectramatic Pork Casing Dust.

Starter: Collectramatic Pork Fries (held in a CVap Holding Cabinet) with Dried Cherry Mustardo and Fennel Slaw.

Entrée: CVap Staged Cook & Hold Pre-Seared Beef Short Rib/Pork Shoulder/Bacon Hamburger with Havarti Cheese on a CVap Thermalizer Baked Pretzel Bun, a Dried Asian Fish Aoli and Collectramatic Shredded Sweet Potatoes.

Dessert: Chai Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream rolled in a Salt & Vinegar Chip Yummy Crumb, topped with a CVap Thermalizer Nutella and Chocolate Chip Crisp.

Bill-Wright-BeerYou’re probably thinking, I thought this was a Gastropub? No worries, with each course, PhD Tom (a.k.a. Mr. Hops) paired a fine 3 oz. beverage.

Since this is a blog and not a novel I’ll get to the point.

We executed our plan with only a few “minor hiccups” and after what seemed like days in the kitchen, we prepared to be judged.

I am, at my core, the air guitar player who loves music but lacks the talent to play. Having a great team of Winston culinarians around me (and CVap & Collectramatic equipment to use) gave me the opportunity to be on the winning team again.

Again? Yes indeed! A real three-peat! That’s a culinary competition win in 2013, 2014 and 2015 for yours truly!

Each year every team has created amazing dishes, but I have been immensely fortunate to have an entire team of talented sales and marketing culinarians (and the right equipment) to help me. Over the past 3 years, this competition has not only been fun and educational, but has equipped me with the knowledge and ability to now impress my friends with confidence.

A Huge Thank You to: Chad, Judette, Tom, Tony, Barry, Shaun, Nick, Christine, Corey, Spencer, Gary, Pam, J.J., Priscillia, Donald, Angie and Melissa.

Click here for a complete list of CVap products

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How CVap Provides Greater Flexibility in Your Kitchen Design Layout

CVap® is a warm welcome addition to any commercially sized foodservice kitchen. Many say CVap will typically become one of the favored pieces of equipment in the kitchen while others swear they would not open a kitchen without CVap. That is quite a compliment to Winston Industries, a family-owned manufacturing company made up of hard working and dedicated people in Louisville, Kentucky. Winston is a global manufacturer exporting products all over the world.

HBB5D1-configurations
The CVap HBB5D1 holding drawer is easily adaptable in any given space. Shown above in various modular configurations.

CVap may be found in various areas of the kitchen. This month let’s focus on the HBB5D1 CVap® Holding Drawer and a unique area of placement. Kitchens of today are getting more compact, every square foot needs to be utilized to create an efficient work space for fantastic results. Consider CVap drawers in your cook line, so many choices in equipment options; free standing, counter top, standard oven base, convection oven base, cabinet base, refrigerated base, and CVap drawers placed within a customized equipment stand! Let your culinary mind wander to the possibilities of what items could be holding warm in a perfect CVap environment to assist with extended holding times without diminishing food quality. See drawing below to modular sized equipment stands in 1, 2, and 3 CVap drawer configurations. Each drawer requires 120 volt 13.1 full load amp operation.

I worked with an owner/end user recently with an extremely small kitchen who was frustrated with long ticket times of 40 – 45 minutes during peak service times. He had experienced CVap with his prior partnership and was not part of procedures with this new concept; he called us in for suggestions. Upon arrival I noticed his cook line was using counter top equipment with refrigerated drawer base. We reviewed everything he was staging cold would be perfect for staging warm instead which would greatly reduce heat up time from 40° F to 165° F on a griddle or broiler surface, assemble the dish and out for service it would go. He loved the idea and implemented a two drawer equipment stand and an additional CVap holding cabinet in an adjacent room for additional hot holding back-up when his patio opened in the summer and doubled his seating capacity.  He is one ticket time reduced CVap customer!

 

Wright House Rock Star CVap® Staged Backyard Burgers

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.raw

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.

stagedA 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.
grilled burger

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.

burger for blog post

To learn more about CVap® Staging and the possibilities it can bring to your kitchen and speed of service, download the FREE eBook:

Lobster and Fresh Corn Chowder with CVap Staged Scallops

brothWhat 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.

brunoise cooking

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.

searing scallops

First onto the plate was the sautéed vegetable mixture,

brunoise in plate

topped by the poached lobster tail meat and two pan-seared scallops,

lobster and scallop stack

finished with a generous ladle of the broth that cooked all day.

ladle shot

Ending with a sublime plate.

finished plate

 

Can’t wait to make – and eat – this one again!

 

To learn more about CVap Staging and the possibilities it can bring to your kitchen and speed of service, download the FREE eBook:CVap-Staging-ebook-download-button

CVap Pretzel Bun Pork Loin Sliders with Apple Cabbage Slaw

Each component of this sandwich is perfectly delicious on its own, but the sum of all parts is downright scrumptious. Let’s start with the pretzel bun which provides the perfect framework for the other flavors.

Mini CVap Pretzel Buns

What is it about pretzel dough that adds something special to a sandwich, elevating our enjoyment of it? Is it the distinctive chew unique to a pretzel dough? Is it the slightly crunchy exterior of the roll? Whatever the attraction is, you can’t deny that pretzel rolls add something very different to any sandwich they become part of. So much so that they are appearing on menus everywhere, from QSRs to the most eclectic gastro pubs.

We’ve been experimenting with sandwiches of all sorts, and in this case, we experimented with creating a slider-sized version of a pretzel roll using CVap!

Dough
1 Cup Milk
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Envelope Rapid Rise Yeast
2 Tsp Salt
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Boiling Solution
3 Quarts Water
3/4 Cup Baking Soda

Egg Wash
1 Egg
1 Tsp Water

Directions

Heat milk and butter until 105°F. The butter will not completely melt. Combine with yeast and brown sugar in a mixer bowl. Stir in salt and 2 cups flour and beat for 3 minutes. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Mix on low for approximately 5-8 minutes to develop elasticity. Place in oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rise for approximately one hour or until doubled in size.

dough1. If using a CVap Cook and Hold Oven, program it to a Food Temperature setting of 130°F (Doneness) and a Food Texture setting of 10 (Browning), with Constant Cook ON, and set the timer for 20 minutes. If using a CVap Thermalizer Oven, set it to Channel 7 and set the timer to 14 minutes.

2. Combine boiling solution and bring to a boil. Punch dough down, divide into two equal portions, and roll into a log approximately 2″ in diameter. Cut each dough log into approximately 6-12 individual balls, dependent upon the size buns you desire, and form into tight rolls. Boil all rolls for approximately 2 minutes, then remove rolls from boiling water with slotted spoon.

3. Place rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets and brush with egg wash. Cut a cross each roll with very sharp knife. Place in oven and bake for recommended time based upon oven selected. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

sliced rollFollowing this procedure, the exterior color and texture were exactly what we were seeking, and the interior had just the right chew without being too “doughy.”

Oh What a Filling!

So how do we make a perfectly delicious pretzel roll even better? By turning it into a scrumptious sandwich!

 

Ingredients (per Slider)

2 oz. of CVap Staged Pork Loin
Apple-Cabbage Slaw
Coarse Dijon Mustard

CVap Staged Pork Loin Preparation

Program a CVap Cook and hold Oven to a Food Temperature setting of 135°F (Doneness) and a Food Texture setting of 0 (Browning). Allow about 30 minutes for pre-heating.

Arrange pork loin on a parchment-lined sheet tray and place into the preheated oven. The pork should reach a minimum endpoint of 135°F in about 1 hour, and can be held at exactly that temperature until you are ready to mark it on the grill before service. Preparing the pork in this manner (CVap Staging) will save a great deal of time during the finishing process!

Apple-Cabbage Slaw Preparation

Combine sliced Granny Smith Apples, 1/2 head green cabbage (sliced), 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup cider vinegar. If you want a creamier slaw, mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Adjust seasoning to taste and add salt and pepper if desired. For more acidity, add a squirt of fresh lemon juice.finished slider for end of post

To learn more about CVap Staging and the possibilities it can bring to your kitchen and speed of service, download the FREE eBook:CVap-Staging-ebook-download-button

CVap Staged Turkey Burgers You’ll Want to Gobble Up!

Did you know that June – not November – is National Turkey Lovers’ Month? And not only is it National Turkey Lovers’ Month, it’s the time of year when thoughts turn to burgers of all sorts. 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 2 beaten eggs, ¼ cup of Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, ½ of an onion (minced), 1 minced garlic clove, and 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs. Once the mixture was gently combined, we formed 3 ounce patties and put some on a parchment-lined half-size sheet pan.

ingredients

ground turkey raw

patties on tray

 

 

 

 

We took the other half, placed them in pouches for vacuum-sealing, and then added a little smoke for an extra dimension of flavor. It was just enough to give the burgers a subtle smokiness without it being overwhelming.

Asmoke into bagll of the patties then went into a CVap Cook and Hold Oven with Constant Cook ON, a Food Temperature (Doneness) setting of 145° and a Food Texture (Browning) setting of 0, for 30 minutes.

To finish the patties, we pan seared them for texture and brought them to a finished temperature of 150° to 155°F. 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.

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latin cut

 

 

 

 

 

 

After pan-searing the more traditional patties, we treated a ciabatta bun to Sriracha mayonnaise on one side and an explosively delicious mixture of pureed onion, Bourbon Barrel Soy Sauce, and minced ginger and garlic on the other side. We finished it off with a mixture of tender baby lettuce and torn, fresh cilantro.

asian dressed

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the first, Latin-inspired burger was extremely tasty, the Asian-influenced burger was off-the-charts delicious. We can’t wait to make it again!

So what exactly is CVap Staging? Using this process, food is brought to the exact internal temperature desired and then held there – without overcooking or drying out – until it is time to finish and serve the dish. This means that the final flavor-enhancing and texturing touches can be made just moments before the food is served. Imagine how much faster you could push plates out of a kitchen!

To learn more about CVap Staging and the possibilities it can bring to your kitchen and speed of service, download the FREE eBook:CVap-Staging-ebook-download-button

For more information about the complete line of CVap products, please visit our website at http://www.winstonindustries.com

Blushing CVap Lobster and Shrimp Pasta

Struck by the mood to make something comforting yet elegant, we turned to al dente linguine tossed in a velvety blush sauce. Then we were inspired by our recent obsession with lobster, so we cooked lobster tails and shrimp in CVap, and the flavor and texture of the shellfish added a level of decadence to the dish that made it truly special. Let’s deconstruct it!H1810132sm

First, the shellfish. The lobster tails were steamed in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven at 200 + 0 for about 7 minutes, bringing them to the perfect temperature and texture for this dish. We then staged the shrimp at 135 + 2 for about 10 minutes, until it was nearly – but not quite – opaque, and held it there.

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While the shellfish was working, we cooked traditional linguine to al dente, tossed it with a bit of olive oil, and held it in a CVap at 140 + 0 until we were ready to plate.

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

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

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

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

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

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Plated a respectably appetizing (pile)…

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

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The natural sweet flavor of the shellfish really came through and was complimented nicely by the simple blush sauce, while the fresh basil added just the right amount of bright yet peppery foil to the richness of the overall dish.