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.

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.

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.

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!

Combi Ovens; Blessing or Boondoggle?

Ah, the much celebrated, occasionally maligned combi-oven. Many a chef has salivated over the thought of adding a combi to their kitchen. But are they all they’re cracked up to be?

Combi ovens allow the user to steam bake, roast, and do a combination of these processes (hence the name combi). Some ovens allow very intricate setting capabilities, perhaps even being controlled by touching a picture of food. They cook fast, and honestly do a good job overall. That being said, those who are familiar with combi units also know that most of these units are very complicated to develop settings for and are almost always underutilized by the customer.

In comparison, CVap ovens also allow you to steam, bake, roast, and do a combination of these processes. They do not have the same kilowatts as the combi, so they are not going to cook quite as fast. But they are a fraction of the cost, a heck of a lot more reliable, and don’t require a vent hood (depending on local codes). While the combi is often oversold, the CVap oven is a great value piece that has endless cooking opportunities.

Want to learn more about CVap equipment? Click here.

No Vent Hood, No Foolin’! CVap Doesn’t Need a Vent Hood!

Space. It’s a precious commodity in any commercial kitchen. Particularly space under the vent hood. Most food codes require certain equipment to be placed under the hood. Winston Foodservice recently had our CVap® RTV Retherm Oven tested by Intertek, an independent testing and certification company. Our goal was to definitively determine whether CVap commercial ovens require a vent hood. The results? The CVap oven passed FDA Method 202 testing with flying colors. Both the Winston CVap RTV Retherm Oven and CHV Cook & Hold product lines gained approval.

The benefits?

  • Save Space – Chances are, if there’s already a hood in the kitchen, there’s already equipment that requires it. Adding CVap ovens to the lineup won’t require a game of musical chairs with existing appliances. Save that valuable hood space for the stuff that needs it.
  • Save Money – Let’s face it; hood systems cost out the wazoo. They require thousands of dollars in hardware and infrastructure, to the tune of $1,000 a running foot. Eliminating the hood saves money, both on the hood system and on the power it requires.
  • Expand Your Menu – CVap ovens offer versatility that few other ovens can match. Bake, roast, steam, CVap® Stage, braise, retherm, “bagless” sous vide (with or without a bag) – all in one footprint – a footprint that DOESN’T REQUIRE A HOOD!

Of course, local codes may vary. Check with local officials before investing in CVap ovens, or any other commercial restaurant equipment. Need proof that CVap ovens don’t require a hood? Here’s the full report. Need to take a nap? Here’s what the EPA has to say about Method 202.

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.
  • Pat a second layer of stuffing on top of the turkey-chicken combo.
  • Place the duck in the middle of the stuffing layer.
  • Add the last layer of stuffing.
  • Begin to pull up sides of turkey to secure everything inside with twine or skewers.
  • 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

Staged & fried Turducken– 84% yield

That’s a lot to Gobble Up!

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

CVap Turkey and Dressing 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Announcing the 2018 Winston Equipment Grant Award Winner

Child nutrition is important to Winston Foodservice, so every year we partner with the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) to offer the annual Winston Equipment Grant Award. This grant is for schools in need of new equipment to serve their students hot and nutritious meals. The winning district may select up to 10 pieces of Winston’s CVap® equipment, based on the needs of their school kitchens.

This year’s winner is Grand Haven Area Public Schools, which is located in Western Michigan. The district serves more than 6,200 students across seven elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools.

Grand Haven’s Director of Dining, Sarah Stone, spoke about the district and its challenges. “At Grand Haven Area Public Schools, we struggle with a really tight budget. We don’t have much funding to cover our aging food service equipment. Most of the equipment at our buildings are over 30 years old. The aging equipment has definitely served its purpose. It’s time to start replacing and making improvements. Having thermalizers in our kitchens will allow our staff to cook onsite, which will improve quality 100%! There is so much to say about cooking onsite vs. satelliting food in. For one, students will smell the food cooking, which leads to hungry students that want to eat what they are smelling, which leads to increase in participation!”

The application process for the 2019 Winston Equipment Grant will open online in September. Visit https://schoolnutrition.org for more information.

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.

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!

Hope You Made It To The Georgia Equipment Academy!

The Georgia Equipment Academy

Every year, members of the Industry segment of the School Nutrition Association gear up for what we call “school show season.” We travel from state to state and participate in each association’s annual School Nutrition Conference. We set up our booths, catch up with our industry peers, mingle with our customers, and try to “sell our wares,” as my friend Joey says. But as a member of the Equipment delegation of Industry, often we find that state shows are more about food than our hardware. It’s understandable, considering that food makes up the largest expenditure for every school nutrition operation. Still, it can be frustrating because as sales people we are at the mercy of that goal we have to hit.

For years, I have heard about the Georgia Equipment Academy, a three-day conference occurring every other year that focuses solely on equipment and technology. In 2016 I was finally able to attend my first GEA to see what all the buzz was about. I have to tell you, I was blown away. We were lucky enough to be selected in the Hoodless Cooking class (each conference is broken up into categories voted on by need) and were able to conduct five 30-minute sessions over the three-day period. Each session is attended by about 20 decision makers. Not only are we allowed to educate about our equipment, we get to perform live demonstrations to show the “proof in the pudding,” so to speak. Local food vendors donate food for demos and dealers, reps, manufacturers, and the Georgia School Nutrition Association work hand in hand to make the conference a unique experience. Honestly, for what we do, it is the best show I’ve ever participated in, and for the directors, it allows them to truly learn about technology that can advance their programs without any distractions.

Winston Foodservice was proud to participate in the 2018 Georgia Equipment Academy. We are debuted our new CVap RTV Retherm Oven in the Hoodless Cooking category. Hope you had the opportunity to participate!

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!