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 HOV7-04HP Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV7-04HP Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. With CVap Holding Cabinets, you get unparalleled control over food temperature and texture.

This half-size model comes equipped with C-Touch Controls, CVap Wireless Programming, USB HACCP Data Download, and Switchable Convection. With a capacity of four half-sheet pans or four hotel pans, this model is perfect for operations with limited space, and no vent hood is required!

CVap HOV7-04UV Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV7-04UV Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. With CVap Holding Cabinets, you get unparalleled control over food temperature and texture.

This half-size model comes equipped with C-Touch Controls, CVap Wireless Programming, USB HACCP Data Download, and Switchable Convection. With a capacity of four half-sheet pans or four hotel pans, this model is perfect for operations with limited space, and no vent hood is required!

CVap HOV7-05SP Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV7-05SP Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. With CVap Holding Cabinets, you get unparalleled control over food temperature and texture.

This half-size model comes equipped with C-Touch Controls, CVap Wireless Programming, USB HACCP Data Download, and Switchable Convection. With a capacity of five sheet pans or ten half-sheet pans, this model is perfect for operations with limited space, and no vent hood is required!

CVap HOV7-05UV Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV7-05UV Holding Cabinet isn’t your ordinary humidified holding cabinet. With CVap Holding Cabinets, you get unparalleled control over food temperature and texture.

This half-size model comes equipped with C-Touch Controls, CVap Wireless Programming, USB HACCP Data Download, and Switchable Convection. With a capacity of five sheet pans, ten half-sheet pans, or ten hotel pans, this model is perfect for any operation, and no vent hood is required!

CVap HOV7-14SP Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV7-14SP Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. With CVap holding cabinets, you get unparalleled control over food temperature and texture.

This full-size model comes equipped with C-Touch Controls, CVap Wireless Programming, USB HACCP Data Download, and Switchable Convection. It has a capacity of 14 sheet pans or 28 half-sheet pans, and no vent hood is required!

CVap HOV7-14UV Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV7-14UV Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. With CVap cabinets, you get unparalleled control over food temperature and texture.

This full-size model comes equipped with C-Touch Controls, CVap Wireless Programming, USB HACCP Data Download, and Switchable Convection. With a capacity of 14 sheet pans, 28 half-sheet pans or 28 hotel pans, this model is perfect for high volume operators, and no vent hood is required!

CVap HOV5-04HP Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV5-04HP Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. With CVap Holding Cabinets, you get unparalleled control over food temperature and food texture.

This half size model comes equipped with C-Touch Control, USB HACCP Data Download, a convection fan and eight programmable channels. Has a capacity of four half sheet pans or four hotel pans, and does not require a vent hood!

CVap HOV5-14UV Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV5-14UV Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. With CVap cabinets, you get unparalleled control over food temperature and texture.

This full-size model comes equipped with C-Touch Controls, USB HACCP Data Download, Convection Fan, and eight programmable channels. It has a capacity of 14 full sheet pans, 28 half-sheet pans or 28 hotel pans, and requires no vent hood!

CVap HOV5-14SP Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV5-14SP Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. CVap Holding Cabinets offer unparalleled control over food temperature and texture.

This full-size model is equipped with C-Touch Controls, USB HACCP Data Download, Convection Fan, and eight programmable channels. It has a capacity of 14 full sheet pans or 28 half-sheet pans, and no vent hood is required! 

CVap HOV5-05UV Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV5-05UV Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. CVap technology gives you unparalleled control over food temperature and texture.

This half-size model comes equipped with C-Touch Controls, USB HACCP Data Download, Convection Fan, and eight programmable channels. It has a capacity of five full sheet pans, ten half-sheet pans, or ten hotel pans. And no vent hood is required!

CVap HOV5-05SP Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV5-05SP Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. With CVap technology, you get unparalleled control over food temperature and texture.

This half-size model is equipped with C-Touch Controls, USB HACCP Data Download, Convection Fan, and eight programmable channels. It has a capacity of five full sheet pans or ten half-sheet pans, perfect for operations with limited space!

CVap HOV5-04UV Holding Cabinet

The CVap® HOV5-04UV Holding Cabinet isn’t your standard humidified holding cabinet. CVap gives you precise control over food temperature and food texture.

This half-size model comes equipped with C-Touch Controls, USB HACCP Data Download, Convection Fan, and eight programmable channels. It has a capacity of four half-sheet pans or four hotel pans. Perfect for operations where space is limited!

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.
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  • 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.

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  • 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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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

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.

Fried Chicken and Steamed Rice Held in CVap Stay So Nice!

Uncle Jack Fried Chicken is a Malaysian restaurant chain that uses our Collectramatic pressure fryers to cook fried chicken. Ordinarily they placed the finished chicken in a display warmer for serving. To maximize holding time, they limited the warmer to 35°C (95°F), putting a limit on the amount of time they could hold cooked chicken before it was no longer fit to sell. We suggested they test our CVap holding cabinet, in the hopes of extending their holding time and improving food quality. The test results were exciting!

Holding Cabinet Preparation: The CVap Holding Cabinet was set at food temperature 54°C (129°F) and food texture at + 28°C (82°F). The evaporator was filled with hot water, and the cabinet was allowed to preheat for 45 minutes, to reach full temperature.

12:05pm: Chicken was cooked and removed from the fryer, and put into holding cabinet (15 pieces). Initial taste of chicken: crispy outside, moist inside and meat is very hot to touch and taste.

Chicken fresh from fryer

12:10pm: Cooked rice (wrapped in oil paper) is put into the same holding cabinets with fried chicken. Initial taste of rice: moist, sticky, and fragrant.

Uncle Jack Rice after one hour in CVap holding cabinet

13:05pm: (holding 60 minutes)

Chicken was still crispy outside (though very slightly less crisp than when first removed from fryer), moist inside, still hot, and color had not changed. The chicken breading remained crisp.

13:35pm (holding for 90 minutes)

Chicken was still crispy and moist. Color was good. Food retained flavor, with minimal loss of freshness.

Fried chicken after 90 mins in CVap

13:55pm (holding for 2 hours)
The skin remained crispy, though not as crisp as when it was initially fried. Flavor and moisture were still good. Color had not darkened.
Fried chicken after two hours in CVap

14:00pm (rice held for 2 hours)

Rice was hot and tasted fresh; not dried out at all.
Rice held two hours in CVap holding cabinet

15:35pm (3.5 hour holding time)
Chicken tasted good, skin remained crispy, meat was moist. Although the chicken was not “just cooked” fresh after 3.5 hours, it was still at safe temperature, and appetizing enough to serve.

15:40pm (after holding for 3.5 hours)
Rice was hot, and texture was good.

These photos, taken at different times over the course of testing, give you an idea of the appearance of the food.

Fried Chicken

Uncle Jack's Fried ChickenFried chicken after 3.5 hours in CVap

Rice
Rice held two hours in a CVap holding cabinet

Electricity Consumption: 800 watts

Holding Capacity per Cabinet: 13 full size sheet pans, each rack equals one basket (4 heads) chicken, or 338 pieces

CVap Holding Cabinet Test Conclusions

Goals for Future Testing

  1. Extending the holding time for the chicken without compromising the texture, taste, and food safety.
  2. Testing other products, (wrapped rice was incorporated).
  3. Improving staff work flow.
  4. Staff can pre-prepare chicken during lean hours in preparation for peak hours, thus shortening the waiting time while producing the best tasting fried chicken.
  5. During lean hours, customers can still savor the taste of freshly fried chicken from the holding cabinet.
  6. Minimize food shrinkage.
  7. Minimlize food waste.
  8. Extension of holding times for other foods is possible, since CVap cabinets are versatile enough to hold both crispy and moist foods.

One Final Note – CVap Technology is great, but it’s not magic.

The very nature of fried foods (crisp outside with moist interior) promotes evaporation. CVap technology is the best available to maximize holding time, but even CVap, using the necessary high differential setting (the difference of food texture setting over the food temperature setting) will eventually lose the battle to maintain food temp and freshness. It’ll hold fresh longer than the competitors, but if the food is crunchy (fried chicken, French fries, etc), it can only be held for so long.

On the other hand, moist foods, such as rice or noodles, are perfect for CVap, and can be held for many hours with no loss of temperature or quality.

The consensus of the Uncle Jack test was that it was possible to lengthen the holding time for chicken. More testing would be needed to perfect the texture, taste and crispiness, to come up with the Uncle Jack Standard Operating Procedure.

The 2018 Winston Equipment Award Grant Applications Begin December 1, 2017!

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!

Winston Announces Award of Equipment to White Bear Lake Area Schools

Winston Foodservice has awarded its annual Winston Equipment Grant Award to the White Bear Lake Area Schools in Minnesota. This annual grant program was established in partnership with the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) to help deserving schools serve hot, nutritious meals to their students.

Grant winners may choose any ten pieces of Winston’s CVap® equipment, WBL Area Schools selected ten CVap holding cabinets (models HMA018 and HA4522).

Bridget Lehn, SNS
Bridget Lehn, SNS

The schools’ Student Nutrition Services Director, Bridget Lehn, is frank about the challenges her district faces, and making do with aging equipment, but optimistic about the effect new cabinets will have. “New equipment will increase meal participation due to the improved quality of food. Our current warmers are either scorching food or not keeping it warm enough. Some of the warmers are adding excess moisture or drying out product, all due to inconsistent heating or lack of insulation. Word of mouth moves quickly; the kids are very intuitive and will notice the improved food. When they tell their friends, participation goes up.”

About White Bear Lake Area Schools
The White Bear Lake Area School District serves all or parts of Birchwood, Gem Lake, Hugo, Lino Lakes, Little Canada, Maplewood, North Oaks, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake and White Bear Township, with four Early Childhood program locations (birth-K), nine elementary schools (K-5), two middle schools (6-8), a two-campus high school (9-12), an Area Learning Center and a Transition Education Center. The school district, with a total population of approximately 63,000 residents, serves nearly 9,000 students PreK-12.

Winston Receives TWO Vendor of the Year Awards from KFC Franchisees

Angie Kirby shows off KFC awardsDuring the AKFCF Annual Convention (USA) show in Austin, Texas, Winston Foodservice received two amazing awards. The Great Lakes KFC Franchisee Association and the Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association both awarded Vendor of the Year to Winston. Wow, what a treat! Two Vendor of the Year awards in a single year. I’m tooting our own company’s horn, that is pretty AWESOME! Thank you Great Lakes and Upper Midwest KFC for the partnership! The Winston team is thankful for the partnership and commitment to your business.

The Great Lakes KFC Franchisee Association consists of KFC franchise owners in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, portions of Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

The Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association was formed in 1974 and is comprised of owners in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and portions of Illinois.