Exploration of Eggs: Creamiest Cheesecake Ever

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

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

Cheesecake Baked in a CVap Cook and Hold

Recipe/Process:

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

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

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

Cheesecake Baked in a CVap Retherm Oven

Recipe/Process:

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

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

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

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

Exploration of Eggs: CVap® Crème Brûlée

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

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

Crème Brûlée Baked in a CVap Cook/Hold Oven

Recipe/Process:

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

Crème Brûlée Baked in a CVap Thermalizer

Recipe/Process:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo High on the Hog!

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

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

BBQ Pork Enchiladas

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Serve immediately and enjoy with your favorite Mexican beverage!

Tamales, CVap Style

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

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

Serve with additional tamale sauce.

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

Cooked Pork Butts

Shredding The Pork Butt

Saucing the Shredded Pork Butt

Saucing the Enchiladas

Enchiladas Ready for the Oven

Adding Ingredients to Corn Husk

Stacking Wrapped Tamales in Pan

Plated Tamales

Tamales Fresh from the Oven

Tamales Plated

CVap Sous Vide Shrimp with Butter Herb Sauce

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

Shrimp Buttered Prawns

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

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

The Sous Vide Primer download button

Recipe: CVap Sous Vide Shrimp with Butter Herb Sauce

Summary: CVap Sous Vide Process

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

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

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

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!

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.

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. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.)

7. 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.

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.

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.

The Flavor of the Emerald Isle is Easy as Pie!

Once again, we find ourselves celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Here in the Ohio Valley, most of us have at least a smidgen of Irish blood flowing through our veins. But on March 17, we all tend to be sons (or daughters) of Erin.

One of the classic recipes in Irish cuisine is Shepherd’s Pie. The origins of this simple comfort food are unclear, though by most accounts it originated on Great Britain, as a simple dish to utilize leftover meats (the term Shepherd’s Pie seems to have come from Northern England and Scotland, where there are large numbers of sheep). What’s the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie? The type of meat. Shepherd’s pie is typically made with lamb. Cottage pie is typically made with beef.

Although recipes similar to Shepherd’s pie have existed for centuries, it wasn’t until potatoes became a common staple in the 1700s that the dish took on its current form. Prior to that, most recipes utilized a pastry crust, rather than potatoes.

Although this recipe is a simple, basic dish to prepare, having CVap® equipment at my disposal made it so much easier. And the results were delicious!

Shepherd’s Pie

Mashed Potatoes

  • 6 large potatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • ½ cup Parmesan
  • 1 egg yolk

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup green peas
  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 8 oz beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1.5 lbs ground lamb

Bake potatoes in a CVap RTV Retherm Oven At 200 air / 250 vapor (legacy setting 200 +50) for 35 minutes.

Prepare cream and butter mixture for mashed potatoes.

Sauté onions until translucent, then add garlic and carrots. Simmer until carrots begin to soften, then add ground lamb. Stir occasionally, until lamb is completely browned. Add peas and corn. Season with salt & pepper.

Mashed potatoes – add cream butter mixture to cooked potatoes and mash, add salt & pepper, once completely mashed, stir in egg yolk.

Move cooked veggie-lamb mixture to dish, and dollop mashed potatoes throughout, then spread potatoes over the top of lamb and vegetables.

Bake for 30-35 min in CVap Retherm Oven at 180 Vapor, 330 Air(189 + 150 for legacy CVap Retherm Ovens).

The results were satisfying and delicious; simple, savory flavors that were just the thing to warm a chilly March afternoon.

There are countless variations of this basic recipe. Shepherdess Pie is vegetarian (or {blech} vegan). Cumberland pie adds a breadcrumb or pastry crust. Some recipe call for turkey or ham as the protein. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

To make it a proper St. Patrick’s Day celebration, I suggest a Bordeaux, a complex wine that goes great with a dish like shepherd’s pie. Its earthy and savory flavors will match well. Pinot noir is another great pairing. It’s bright and easy to drink, and will match up well with the sweet vegetables in this dish.

If you are like me, and are more a beer person, a nice dry Irish stout should pair really well!

CVap Pineapple Chinese Five-Spice Pork Riblets

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

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

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

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

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

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

BASE COOKING MARINADE

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

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

Chinese short ribs

Let the Good Times Roll with CVap Gumbo Ya Ya!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe: Gumbo Ya Ya

Ingredients

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

Preparation

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

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

Properly blended roux ingredients form a thick liquid.

A good roux should be a rich dark caramel color.

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

Laissez les bons temps rouler

Serve gumbo over rice for a Cajun treat!

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

Preparing for Pickling Perfection in a CVap

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

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

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

  • In the Cook & Hold Oven, I set the unit to 200 Food Temperature and 4 Food Texture. This gave me an overall temperature of 230°F. By doing so, I am able to ensure that all the bacteria are eliminated and the jars sanitized, and eliminating the processing step.
  • I brought my CVap up to temp and loaded all the jars, open, facing up into the unit. In that same pan, I placed all the lids and bands.
  • While the sanitation process was working, I prepared my pickling liquid and vegetables separately.
  • When I was finished with the vegetables and liquid I was able to remove the jars from the CVap and fill each.
  • When dealing with potentially hazardous foods, it is essential to keep the jars sanitized until they are ready to fill. By leaving them in the CVap, I was able to ensure the jars remained safely sanitized.
  • After they were filled, I placed the lids and bands on each jar (finger tight) and loaded them back into the CVap for the processing step. This last step is crucial to the canning process, enabling a tight seal.
  • When they came out, I left them to cool at room temperature for 24 hours. The lids did not bubble and a week later I got to pop open a jar and enjoy the vegetables I pickled.