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  1. 4 Delivery Services You Should Register Your Restaurant For

    4 Delivery Services You Should Register Your Restaurant For

    In the past, running a restaurant only required consistent customer service, a clean location, and delicious food. Although these components are still important to consumers, they expect more from the restaurants that they dine at. Notably, they want to have access to delivery services, so that they can eat in the comforts of their own home, at the office, or wherever else they spend their time. Even though many restaurants take delivery orders over the phone or on their website, there are other ways to earn additional delivery sales. In fact, there are numerous mobile apps designed to connect patrons with nearby restaurants. If you want to earn more sales by offering delivery services, read this post to learn how to register for four popular delivery apps.

    How to Register for Four Restaurant Delivery Applications:

    1. Uber Eats


    Chances are, you’ve heard of Uber and use it for your transportation needs. But did you know
    that Uber also has a restaurant delivery app? If you’d like to list your restaurant on Uber Eats,
    simply fill out the company’s Sign Up form. After you provide this information, Uber will contact
    you to let you know if your restaurant is a good fit for their platform. It’s important to note that
    Uber Eats is available in these cities, so you won’t be able to sign up if your restaurant is located
    elsewhere. If they decide to onboard your restaurant, it’s fairly simple to utilize the service. Your restaurant
    will be listed on the app so that nearby patrons can order food from your establishment. Once
    they place an order, you can accept the request, and an Uber delivery partner will pick up and
    deliver the order to the customer. Using the app, your customer can track the progress of their
    order, which will also save you time, as you won’t have to follow up with them on their delivery
    status. Want to learn more about becoming an Uber Eats partnered-restaurant? Click here.

    2. GrubHub


    GrubHub is a restaurant delivery giant. The company merged with Seamless in 2013, which is

    another restaurant app you can register to be listed on. Before you apply, make sure that
    GrubHub operates in your city. If it does, you’ll simply need to fill out their general inquiry form,
    which can be found on this pageOnce accepted, you’ll have access to GrubHub’s technology, which will allow you to track
    orders. Plus, they provide their own drivers, so you’ll save money that you’d otherwise have to
    spend on hiring your own drivers and providing them with a vehicle.


    3. DoorDash

    DoorDash prides themselves on their quick onboarding process; once you complete their
    registration form, they claim that you can start accepting delivery orders within the week! Like
    other delivery apps, DoorDash handles customer service and logistical issues throughout the
    ordering and delivery process, so your restaurant can focus on cooking delicious food. In
    addition, depending on your preference, you can receive order updates via fax, computer, or
    your tablet.


    4. Postmates


    To register for Postmates, you’ll need to ensure that they offer their services in your city. Once
    you determine that they do, you’ll need to complete this form. The company claims that their
    average restaurant partner sees a 4X increase in orders once listed on the Postmates app, so if
    you’re looking for growth, this could be a promising opportunity! With numerous restaurant delivery app options, it’s important to conduct research and determine which app is right for your establishment. Determining which apps are available in your geographic area, finding out which apps your competitors are listed on, and finding out about their fees and onboarding costs are all factors to consider. We encourage you to pursue all your options so that you can find the right home for your restaurant’s delivery services!

     

    Katie Alteri

    is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides
    small business loans to companies across the U.S.

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  2. Becoming a Grill Master

    Becoming a Grill Master

    Check out these simple but practical tips and techniques.You can go above and beyond with your grill. Take advantage of your Crown Verity with these tips and techniques for grilling.

    Before you begin, consider your final product. This will depend on the type of food you are making and how it will be grilled. One size does not fit all when it comes to grilling. Cooking fish is very different than cooking chicken. Know your food but have fun with it.

    Here are some simple techniques:

    · Make sure your grill is hot enough before you start cooking allowing even more efficient and effective cooking.

    · Oil your grill up! This allows for leaner meat (and vegetables too) not to stick. Fun Fact: Some people use some paper towels to rub oil over the grates with a pair of tongs.

    · Experiment. Everyone loves marinated foods, don’t be afraid to experiment with it!

    · CAN’T TOUCH THIS! If you’re grilling your meat, do not play with it. In most cases, it is only necessary to move one time. (Better yet, consider buying good digital.)

    · Remember that meat is still cooking when you remove it from the grill. To avoid your rare steak becoming a medium, allow a grace period between when it is cooking and when it is served.

    · Do not forget the kebab (sometimes labeled as a meal on a stick). This quick and easy option has endless potential. Don’t knock it till you try it!

    · I’d like you to “meat” vegetables! Vegetables are a great option to be grilled.. You can also throw in some fruit!

    · Breathing room? Leave some grilling room that does not have direct heat. Keep the burner off in one corner of the grill. This gives you a place to keep foor warm without cooking it.

    Now with these tips and techniques you can now become a grill master!

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  3. Kitchen Checklist

    Kitchen Checklist

    Do you have a kitchen checklist? No? Well, we got just what you need!
    it's important to have a checklist so that you don't forget anything! Here are some important supplies.
    1. Chef's Knife - Easily one of the most versatile and useful knives there is. Having this knife in your kitchen will ease the load tremendously!
    2. Broiler Pan - Cook food with precision and provide crisp browning like you get on a grill by using high, direct heat. The rack and pan that comes with your broiler encourages even cooking and allows excess juices to drain from the food.
    3. Casserole Dish - Make your deep dishes in the oven and use as a serving vessel.
    4. Salad Spinner - Add a sufficient amount of water to rinse your greens thoroughly than drain it quick, easy, and efficiently.
    5. Commercial Fridge - Keep your food nice and cool ready to serve when needed. Store your food in a reliable fridge.
    6. Baking sheet Pan - Great for baking bread rolls, pastries and flat products such as cookies, sheet cakes, Swiss rolls and pizzas!
    7. Stock Pot - Ideal for cooking, boiling soups, and sauces, and even steaming vegetables, stock pots are the deep workhorses of the rangetop. Constructed from either stainless steel or aluminum for durable cookware.
    8. Spatula/ Scrapper - Made of metal, plastics, wood, rubber or silicone rubber. In practice, one type of scraper is often interchanged with another or with a spatula for some of the various uses.
    9. Stirring Spoon - A versatile spoon can be used for stirring sauces and soups or for mixing up batter for cakes, brownies or fudge.
    10. Tong - Avoid potential food contamination by employees or customers by using the appropriate kitchen tongs to pick up food items for plating or moving food into storage containers. From heavy duty plastics to durable wood and stylish stainless steel, kitchen tongs are available in so many styles for so many applications.
    11. Ladle - Ideal for portioning and serving a large variety of foods, including soup, sauces, dressings, and punch, Kitchen ladles come in a number of styles and materials. From metal to polycarbonate and silicone, serving and cooking ladles are available to accomplish many tasks in your foodservice operation.
    12. Oven Mitts - Oven mitts allow your cooks and wait staff to remove hot pots and pans from the range top and from oven compartments.
    13. Thermometer - Accurate thermometers are a must for monitoring temperature of foods and ingredients. Precision thermometers are manufactured to high standards and incorporate current technologies to help you keep your customers and employees safe by always telling you how hot or cold the food products are.
    14. Blender - From smoothies and soups to salsa and sauces, commercial blenders can make short work of these menu items.
    15. Dish Rack - Dish Racks are designed to hold as many dinner plates with ample space between them for cleaning and sanitizing chemicals to properly wash their dirty surfaces. Dish rack extenders allow the use of the same racks for different sized plates. Flatware racks can be full or half sized. Open, all-purpose racks can be used for a variety of applications.
    16. Trash Bin - Trash cans are needed in all types of business, from restaurants and bars to offices and schools. They keep trash in one location, make it easier for your staff to clean, organize recyclable trash, and keep your business trash free. We offer commercial trash bins and trash cans of all shapes and styles, so you can find one that meets your needs.
    Others include!
    Cutting Board, Mixer, Knife Sharpener, Slicers, Oven, Sinks, Rangers
    Now you are ready to get your “Kitchen” on!

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  4. How to Start a Restaurant

    There are many restaurants today. If you are the average American who has never owned a restaurant before, then it can be quite daunting to know where to begin. So we decided to do all the research and compile it into one easy-to-read article. Let’s begin!

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    Here are the things you need to know! What is the statistics? According to a recent study done by Alleywatch.com results show that 60% of businesses fail in their first year. Of course, none of us want to be part of that statistic. We do not want to discourage you from opening up that dream restaurant; however, this is to serve as an eye-opener to see the practicality of the advice we are giving you. The biggest thing that contributes to failure is lack of planning. In other words, when you lack solid planning you can plan to fail solidly. As you will see in this article, planning is the most important part, even before worrying about the money. Planning involves preparing for possible roadblocks, minute details and preparing yourself to take responsibility.

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    Have the right motives. Now we all like money. Money is both a necessity and a luxury. In addition, we as humans love time. Do you often hear yourself saying “I wish I had more time?” We know we do! Some may reason that opening up their own business will offer them more money and time. Is this true? The answer, not necessarily! The truth is money and time doesn’t come automatically. In fact, owning your own restaurant would require even more work. So if money, time, or some other force is motivating you to start a restaurant maybe you should reconsider. Ask yourself, will I love what I will be doing? Am I willing to put forth the necessary effort and time to see my restaurant succeed? Will I be motivated to wake up in the morning and put in a hard day of work? If the answer to any of these is no then you should reconsider.

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    Your target market. Who are you looking to appeal to? There are different generations, different preferences and different views. Remember in the restaurant business one size does not fit all. You have to choose your target market before you even think about your restaurant name much less your restaurant itself. Is it a family style or is it more for adults, children, or teens? You may think about what a teenager would like, and how it is different from a child, or how a child would differ from an adult. Things you can consider is who would you see being at your restaurant? Who would they recommend to come?


    Begin your business plan. This is where the brainstorming begins. This is where all your ideas can come together in an array of excellence. What are somethings you should think about? What is the atmosphere you are planning to create? What is the theme? What are the hook’s that drive customers in? How does your restaurant differ from other similar restaurants? Why will customers like my restaurant? Where is the restaurant’s location, and how will that adds to the experience of the restaurant? Here are some of the fundamental parts of a business plan you’ll need to think about. These are followed by:
    • Executive Summary
    • Company Description
    • Products and Services
    • Market analysis
    • Strategy and Implementation
    • Organization and Management Team
    • Financial plan and projections
    You are well on your way to starting your new restaurant business and restaurant supply is here to help! We have the right supplies for anyone even you! Let us know what you need!

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  5. Making the Most of a Food Processor

    Making the Most of a Food Processor

    Food processors are essential restaurant equipment, so much so that any restaurant supply store worth its salt generally has multiple models in several sizes to accommodate the needs of a variety of food service operations. But while there are some obvious uses for this kitchen staple, many people don’t think beyond the essential functions (chopping, grating, shredding). But by looking a little more deeply into what your food processor can really do, you can make even more use out of it, whether in a commercial kitchen or at home.

    Some cooks--professional as well as home cooks--have noticed already that food processors, especially newer-generation models, do an excellent job of turning raw ingredients into sauces; not only does the food processor chop vegetables into tiny bits, but the action of so much movement can even pulverize them, emulsifying the raw ingredients into a satisfying puree as well as any blender has ever done--without a need to pre-cook the ingredients first. Some new generation food processors even generate enough heat to cook the ingredients as they chop them, meaning that you can make cold or (in some cases) hot soups easily.

    Another little-known function that food processors can accomplish is grinding; while the chopping action of the blades is not as fine as an actual mill, food processors can be used to grind peanuts down into peanut butter, or other nuts into small enough micro-chunks to use them in crusts and other applications. Your food processor can even help you save some money on flour and salt--high end models make it possible to get an artisanal flour from dried grains, and even the most basic models can, with a handful of pulses, transform coarse salts into the same fineness that pickling or popcorn require. Of course, a good food processor is going to function better--and provide more general value--than grain mills for most kitchens, since in addition to being able to process grains down to flour they can also accomplish regular chopping and shredding tasks. A well-made food processor can transform rolled oats into fine flour, and wheat into a product that rivals high-end branded products. You can even use a food processor to make existing flours finer, and it makes a good replacement for finicky sifters in pastry applications, not only aerating but combining flour with salt, baking soda or powder, and so on. Many pastry chefs already understand the usefulness of a food processor in quickly bringing together butter or shortening with flour to quickly create pastry dough while avoiding the risk of a tough final product.

    You can also use a good quality food processor to grind meat, especially delicate seafood: while the fine chop that processors accomplish is not exactly the same as what a meat grinder creates, it does provide for a more texturally interesting finished product, and in the case of fish or other seafood, there is less risk of damaging the delicate meat in the process of developing it into something you can form and shape--so salmon burgers, or cod burgers, are an option you can explore much more readily.
    Overall, a food processor is a vital piece of equipment for any kitchen environment, with a wide range of possible applications. When choosing a food processor, take a look at a few specific characteristics: volume of the work bowl is an important factor, as well as the quality of the blades and motor. Commercial models, designed for intense use in demanding kitchens, are a great investment--and newer versions can include heating elements in the housing as well as other features that make for a processor that can accomplish complete dishes on its own without any need for pots and pans. Some brands also come with additional work bowls of different sizes, since some applications--which, by nature, produce a small quantity of finished product--need to be brought together in a smaller space than standard.
    There is a reason that one of the key inventories of any reputable restaurant supply store includes a range of different food processor brands and types. While it is certainly possible to accomplish much in a kitchen without a food processor at your disposal, there are dozens of ways that you can use your food processor beyond relegating it to quickly chopping ingredients to go into a dish.

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  6. Have You Thought About Your Safety Mats?

    Have You Thought About Your Safety Mats?

    When shopping for these mats, there are a few considerations to keep in mind: while there are many different thicknesses for wellness mats, the thickest is not necessarily the best fit for your kitchen. Find mats that provide proper springback and support without increasing the risk of tripping on uneven surfaces. Another factor to think about is the ease with which you will be able to clean the mats. The best commercially available anti-fatigue mats are made of durable, water-resistant materials like rubber, PVC, or nitrile, which also means that cleaning them is as simple as hosing them down--and maybe, occasionally, scrubbing them with a floor brush--and letting them dry. A good restaurant supply store will have a variety of options to choose from, which will allow you to make sure that your employees can work not just in safety but in better comfort--and more comfortable employees are employees who can work harder and longer.Safety is a primary concern in the kitchen, whether it’s a restaurant kitchen, catering area, or home kitchen; and one of the most important--but least thought about--factors in maintaining safety in the cooking environment is floor mats. While restaurant supply stores carry a wide array of options, many buyers are somewhat guilty of looking at the issue as one of minimizing cost; they stick to the bare minimum of what they need--in their opinion--to prevent the most obvious injuries in the kitchen area. But there is a factor that many people don’t consider: while anti-slip mats do indeed help prevent people from injuring themselves from sliding on a hard surface, they don’t necessarily work as hard at preventing the full range of injuries that can happen from the floor.

    Most kitchen managers and other staff responsible for keeping things safe in the back of house recognize the need for anti-slip mats as a general rule: any environment where food and/or beverages are prepared is going to have spills happen. Water gets on the floor, even if nothing else does. But preventing slip-and-fall accidents is only the beginning of what mats should do in the restaurant or home kitchen environment. Especially in the commercial kitchen, where staff stand for hours on end, mats should not just prevent slips--they can and should be an important tool to combat the kinds of injuries and physical stress that come from impact against hard flooring, and fatigue.

    Enter wellness mats; while anti-slip mats function specifically and only to provide friction to avoid slipping on a wet surface, wellness mats provide an extra layer of cushion and shock absorption to prevent fatigue as well as repetitive stress injuries that can inevitably arise from walking, running, and otherwise moving on top of an unyielding surface. While most, if not all wellness mats also provide anti-slip properties, their focus is just as much on putting a buffer between the foot and the hard surface underneath. Generally, they are made of similar materials to anti-slip mats, but thicker, and with a slightly different design from top to bottom, in order to allow for a sort of “springing” action. The best wellness mats have a sloped edge to reduce tripping, and are easy to clean.

    Of course, when discussing this particular investment, many restaurant owners, kitchen managers, or even home cooks will ask what difference it makes. Hours of standing on tile or other hard floors create stress injuries through the feet, legs, and even up into the back--which can lead in business environments to increased absenteeism, and of course the problem of work-injuries that cost increasingly more money to treat. Lack of cushioning can lead to problems ranging from plantar fasciitis to lower back injury, to knee conditions--all of which can be very costly indeed to treat, and which are, of course, very painful to live with.

    A general guide for placement of wellness or anti-shock mats is to keep them in areas where the most traffic and standing occur. This seems obvious, but there are some areas of a kitchen that clearly are not going to present as much hazard as others; as a result, you should focus efforts on providing the cushioning benefits of the mats where people are more likely to be standing for the longest periods--so for example, in front of the range, or along preparation areas. By using anti-fatigue mats that also have anti-slip properties, you can take care of two issues in one.

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  7. Material Matters When it Comes to Cookware

    Material Matters When it Comes to Cookware

    When it comes to cooking, any chef can tell you that pairing the right tools with the right methods is a vital component to getting the results you want. That need to use the right tool extends even down into the materials that the tools are made of--especially when it comes to cookware. Although anodized aluminum and stainless steel have been trendy for several years, and more and more silicone baking supplies seem to be developed every year, it can be difficult to know which material to invest in. Ultimately it comes down to what tasks you’re doing, and what kind of budget you have at your disposal. Of course, any good restaurant supply store carries cookware in all kinds of shapes and sizes, as well as a variety of materials, but having a starting point in making your choices can make a big difference.

    Cast iron is a tried and true favorite in both commercial and home kitchens, and for good reason: it’s durable, versatile, and relatively inexpensive compared to some other materials. For searing well as stovetop-to-oven applications, its difficult to beat, as the material retains heat extremely well, and distributes it throughout the cooking surface. While it can take time to heat up fully, cast iron can take a huge amount of heat, again and again, without warping or wearing out. The downside to this is that acidic foods and sauces are not always best-suited for the surface, and of course there is the requirement to regularly “re-season” the cast iron to maintain it’s almost-non stick properties. It also isn’t the best for delicate foods like eggs.


    Stainless steel is also a popular option in home and commercial kitchens alike, largely because it tends to be more lightweight than cast iron, as well as rust-resistant and easy to clean. However, stainless steel doesn’t typically conduct heat as well as cast iron does, so most heavier pieces will include a layer of copper or aluminum in the bottom for better performance. Dishwasher safe, and resistant to scratches and dents, it’s an excellent material for a wide range of cooktop uses from soups and stocks to sauces. It tends not to be a great surface for cooking eggs on, lacking non stick properties, and it can be in the pricier range, but general purpose cookware in stainless steel is highly reliable.
    Aluminum, being the least expensive metal in use for kitchen materials, tends to also be one of the most popular, especially for those on a budget. From sheet pans to sauce pans, cake molds to pie tins, it’s a versatile material that does clean easily, and has the benefit of being widely available. Its downsides are worth considering when it comes time to purchase, however: while aluminum heats quickly, it also loses that heat quickly. In addition, untreated aluminum is not great for acidic dishes--the acid can leech the aluminum into the liquid, creating metallic taste and, in large doses, toxic reactions. But this can be overcome by using coated aluminum.
    Finally, silicone, which seems to be appearing more and more in baking materials as well as cooking tools--though not, thankfully, as a material for pots and pans themselves. Silicone makes an excellent material for baked goods like cakes and muffins, being non-stick and flexible. It also makes it possible to created molded cakes easily, and is durable enough to stand up to aggressive washing and high heats. Since silicone doesn’t conduct heat itself, there’s no browning that occurs where objects are in contact with the surface--but this can be an excellent thing, and the insulating properties mean that it cooks gently and evenly.
    When it comes to cookware, the best approach is to include a mixture of materials; each popular surface has its own particular strengths and differences. Depending on what you do most in the kitchen--whether it’s searing and long-cooking stews, soups and sauces, sauteing or pasta, or baking--the materials you buy will inform how well the end result comes out. Restaurant supply stores carry all kinds of cookwares in all kinds of materials, so use this guide as a starting point to finding the right tool for the right applications, and take your cooking efforts to the next level.
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  8. Find the Perfect Craft Cocktails For Summer

    Find the Perfect Craft Cocktails For Summer

    As the warm weather deepens and the threat of late-season icy blasts goes away, more and more people are enjoying the outdoors, and hand-in-hand with enjoying the sunny weather comes the craving for interesting cold drinks to enjoy it with. Restaurant supply stores carry all the hardware needed to craft beautiful, intriguing cocktails, but just as important as the tools to make drinks are the ingredients you make them with. With that in mind, there are some great sources of inspiration not only in curated lists but also in just the fruits and vegetables available in the season. By taking a new look at a few different alcohols and the way they can combine with the best flavors of the season, you can create cocktails that will encourage people to keep sipping.

    The first thing to look at when considering summer cocktails is the base liquors best suited to the season. Consider focusing on those liquors that were developed in warmer climates, like Southern Italian limoncello or India-inspired gin. Bright, crisp flavors pair well with summery fruits like citrus--take for example this recipe for a modified Tom Collins, which pairs limoncello with lemon and gin to create a sweet, sharp drink that will cool even the most heated heads.

    Frozen drinks are also a traditional summer favorite, but there is something to be said for incorporating unusual ingredients into them. While cucumbers have long been a favorite for drinks like the Pimm’s Cup, they also can make for a satisfying texture and not-too-sweet flavor for daiquiris, as in this recipe for a cucumber daiquiri. Another option to consider is an avocado margarita; the avocado adds a creaminess to the sour lime, sharp tequila, and salt of the mainstay beverage, and of course there are few things that play better with avocado than lime. You can also go in the direction of using unusual liquor combinations to craft frozen drinks--gin and tonic comes together beautifully in a blender to create a beverage that’s even more cooling than the original, and the classic negroni becomes something even more interesting when it’s frozen as opposed to on the rocks.

    Of course, another mainstay of summer drinking is wine--particularly white or blush wine. But it doesn’t have to be boring. In addition to sangria, made with summer fruits like peaches or strawberries, you can look into wine cocktails like this white wine paloma, which uses sauvignon blanc in place of tequila to make a refreshing drink that isn’t quite as potent as the original--but which is every bit as flavorful. For something a little harder, think about combining the best of the margarita with the best of sangria, as in this recipe for the “sangrita”.

    Another trick for sprucing up summer cocktails is to incorporate different flavors through flavored syrups or other accessory ingredients; thyme-infused simple syrup can elevate a classic Collins to the next level, while pepper-infused simple syrup can add a sharp, spicy counterpoint to a rocks margarita. The flavor combinations are almost endless--especially if you make your own syrups for flavoring your drinks.


    Of course, not everyone will want something alcoholic to drink; non-alcoholic beverages can also be exciting in the summer. Mexican agua fresca offers a wealth of possibilities to play with simply by changing up the fruit you use to make the simplified punch: while watermelon is a traditional flavor, cantaloupe is delightful too, and strawberry is a long-time favorite. You can also use your flavored syrups to add interest to lemonade--lavender syrup makes for a particularly delicious and relaxing drink. Non-alcoholic punches don’t have to be boring and overly sweet; you can switch out traditional ginger ale for sharper, less-sweet ginger beer to change up the syrupy taste, or use fresh cherries instead of jarred ones to make a beverage that won’t give you a toothache. Consider also incorporating aromatic bitters--just a dash--into your punches; while they do contain alcohol in most cases, the amount you add is minimal, on par with what you’d add of vanilla extract to cooked items.
    Whatever your tastes, there are ways to bring the summer into any cocktail hour that you want--and with a few good recipes, along with some solid restaurant supplies, you can make delicious and intriguing drinks all summer long.

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  9. Switch Ingredients Around For Great Pizza

    Switch Ingredients Around For Great Pizza
    Summer is just around the corner, and one of the most popular menu options for the season is pizza: it’s a great, easy-to-eat meal, friendly to people on the go, and satisfying without being too weighty on the stomach. But if you’re going to be making pizza this summer to delight your guests--be they home guests or restaurant patrons--you are going to need a few good restaurant supplies, and you should also consider changing things up a bit when it comes to the ingredients you include. Of course, there’s nothing quite like the classic pizza margherita--mozzarella, tomato, and basil--but because it’s so iconic, it’s a go-to for many restaurants. But if you want to create an iconic experience, the first place to look at making a change is in the cheese. Mozzarella has always been a pizza standby for good reason: it melts beautifully, and creates wonderful strings that people love to pull on as they devour their pizza. But there are many other cheeses with similar profiles and reactions--and by changing the cheese you can look at a range of toppings that complement the cheese you’re using. For example, barbecue pork or chicken go amazingly well with cheddar. Fontina cheese with its nutty sweetness can be the springboard for a gourmet option with fresh, seasonal veggies. Blue cheese may not have the satisfying pull that some others do, but it’s a great pairing for buffalo chicken and many other toppings. You can also rely on changing around the sauce that you use as a base for your pizza. Of course, tomato-based sauce is the classic, but more and more people are turning to different sauces to accompany more adventurous toppings; “white” pizza usually has a cream-based sauce or a base of ricotta and garlic, for example. Other popular sauce options include barbecue sauce and pesto. But don’t let existing ideas hem you in; as long as the sauce is fairly thick, and will mostly stay put on the pizza without causing toppings and cheese to slide around too much, it’s definitely worth trying! You can even explore sweet sauces for the sake of making a dessert pizza. Of course, the easiest switch-up to make is on toppings themselves. If there’s anything that pizza parlors have discovered over the years, it’s the fact that there are few things that don’t work on pizza. If you’re looking to truly create a unique pizza experience, look away from traditional toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, or green peppers and consider some more unusual ideas. In France, pizzas topped with honey and goat cheese are extremely popular, as are pizzas topped with smoked salmon; pre-cooked ingredients like blanched asparagus or caramelized onions can also make for a unique and delicious pizza experience. There are tons of options available to you--you can even create pizzas that you add raw ingredients to after the pizza is done cooking, like the now-famous Caesar salad pizza. When you’re looking at elements to switch up for the pizzas you want to make, it’s a good idea to consider the process of making a pizza, and what you want the end result of your experiment to be. Of course, you should definitely let your imagination run away with you--but keep in mind that there are some things that are simply unlikely to work on your finished pizza: some raw vegetables are just too wet when exposed to the heat of a pizza oven to be tenable, for example, and some meats won’t cook properly (burning on the outside while remaining under cooked on the inside) in the relatively short period that the pizza stays in the oven. The best plan is to make up a few different sauces you think will work well, have a few different cheeses to play with, and a variety of toppings, and have a tasting party; you can weed out the recipes that don’t work out, and develop and refine the ones that do. Once you’ve got a few different combinations under your belt, you can go from there, creating new and better recipes with the help of a few good restaurant supplies. Summer is a great season for pizza, and this summer can be a wonderful opportunity to change things up while still relying on an old standby. Don’t let tradition control your attempts; instead, look at unusual combinations and a variety of approaches, and make something delightful for your guests.
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  10. A Quick Guide to a Perfect Pie

    A Quick Guide to a Perfect Pie
    There are few things more heartbreaking than working hard on a dessert, anticipating beauty and deliciousness--only to discover that something went wrong. Pies are considered the most traditional American dessert, having been developed and changed from tarts and other similar sweet pastries from Europe, adapted to tastes and circumstances. Of course, the Pennsylvania Dutch are the best known for making amazing pies--but each region of the US seems to have its own traditional pie. Making a glorious pie from scratch can be a daunting prospect; however, with a few tips, and the use of some restaurant supplies, your pies will come out right every time. Tip one: chill out! The first hurdle to making a delicious and beautiful pie is the crust, and the most common problem that arises in making crust from scratch is the tendency for the butter or shortening to become too soft from the heat of the kitchen or even the baker’s hands. This leads not only to crust that doesn’t cooperate when you’re trying to get it into the pie tin or plate, but also greasy or improperly cooked crusts out of the oven, which of course is not what anyone wants. To avoid this, you should consider cutting up the fat in question into small cubes and then briefly freezing it before you go to make your crust. Another good option is to use a food processor to mix the ingredients, pulsing to cut the butter or shortening into the dry ingredients. Another tip is to make sure to chill the pie crust dough thoroughly before rolling it out, and to put the rolled out dough--on the pie tin or not--into the fridge for a few minutes before filling or baking. Tip two: use fresh ingredients There’s a reason that apple pie and pumpkin pie taste best in the autumn--and it isn’t just the chilly air. Using fresh, high quality fruits and other ingredients for fillings makes a huge difference, even if it does require a little more legwork than pre-made fillings. For fruit pies, it can be a good idea to partially pre-cook particularly juicy or wet fruits like cherries, peaches, or strawberries or apples. Blueberries rarely need pre-cooking, but be careful in the measurement of cornstarch or other thickening agents that you use. By using ingredients at the peak of their ripeness and flavor, you can guarantee that the resulting pie is going to be as delicious as possible. Tip three: let it cool As unbearable as it may be to wait, it’s important to let your pie cool properly before giving into the temptation to cut the first slice. When the pie comes out of the oven, the starches that make up the key components--the crust and the thickened sauce of the filling--haven’t had time to set. They’re still molten; therefore, cutting too soon means not only a messed up crust, but also that the filling will run out everywhere, which is not what anyone wants. By letting the pie cool to at least close to room temperature, you’ll give the starch in the crust time to harden, and the starch in the filling an opportunity to come to its full potential of thickening, resulting in a pie that holds together from the pan to the plate in a beautiful slice. If you follow these three tips, you can be sure that the pies you make will come out--if not perfectly--than perfectly edible each time. Of course, there are slight differences to take into account when you’re dealing with cream pies and other types that require “blind baking” the crust first, but for the most part, following these key tips will ensure that you have an excellent and mostly stress-free baking experience. By making sure you have the right restaurant supplies at your fingertips, you can also ensure that you have all the things you need for a pie that isn’t just delicious, but is also beautiful.
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