Food Preparation

  1. How to Incorporate Barbecue Flavors into Your Summer Menu

    How to Incorporate Barbecue Flavors into Your Summer Menu
    With summer right around the corner and the last of winter’s chill finally fully abating, more and more people are looking forward outside dining options--and one of the favorites is barbecue. Of course, not everyone has access to an outdoor grill or a smoking rig, but with a little ingenuity and a few restaurant supplies, it is possible to incorporate the delicious flavors of the season into the menu with a minimum of investment. The first obstacle to look at tackling is the lack of a grill. Grilled food is hugely attractive in the summer months not just because outdoor cooking keeps heat out of homes but also because of the elemental appeal of char-marked food and the slightly smoky flavors--and complex browning--that comes from it. Fortunately, it is possible to get many of these effects without having to install or build an outdoor grill, through a few different means. Many commercially-available cooking ranges come with a grill insert that can either be added afterwards or included in the fundamental design--of course, there is a price point for this, but if you intend to grill foods on a regular basis, it’s something to consider. Another possibility for the home kitchen as well as smaller commercial kitchens is the grill pan. Usually made of cast iron or another hard, heavier metal, grill pans are easy to clean, and provide the ability to convert a regular burner into a grilling surface that, while not necessarily exactly the same as a dedicated grill, creates the deep browning and slight char that grilled food requires to feel authentic. These pans are great for quickly grilling corn or other small items either to be served that way or as an ingredient, and have the added benefit of being cost-effective compared to the other options. Of course, as any Southerner will tell you, true barbecue must be cooked via smoking; this presents somewhat more of a challenge. Where grill pans make a fairly reasonable replacement for an outdoor grill, and grill inserts on a cooking range work in almost exactly the same way--though admittedly with a different source of heat--smoking foods indoors requires a little more ingenuity. Ultimately, the goal of smoking is to maintain a controlled temperature that heats up wood sufficiently to coax it into releasing the good aromatic compounds in it--without heating it so much that it combusts or releases the more dangerous compounds. With some forethought and a few supplies, this can be accomplished in an oven or even on a stovetop; the secret is to use very well-soaked chips and the lowest useful level of heat (for ovens, generally around 250 degrees Fahrenheit). Kitchen smoking rigs can be made from metal pans inset with packets of soaked chips made from aluminum foil--with plenty of holes poked into the packets to release the smoke--or from covered containers on a stovetop rig made from service pans made to withstand that kind of heat. It is, of course, important to make sure you have proper ventilation before you start. Finally, make sure that you’re using the right cuts of meat, if that’s what you’re working with--fatty, tough cuts like shoulder, brisket, and ribs are traditional not just because they were cheaper but also because they are very well-suited to the slow cooking process of barbecue. If you’re working with vegetables, obviously this is not as much of a concern--feel free to experiment with different produce items to discover what works best. And make sure that you season your barbecued food liberally: nothing is worse than bland barbecue. The basic “dry rub” mix should include salt, sugar, some element of heat (black pepper and cayenne are popular, but feel free to taste and experiment according to what you’re making), and transition spices to tie everything together. Find more details and ideas in this Southern Living article. There you have it: with a little bit of creativity and some experimentation, you can incorporate some of summer’s most-beloved flavors into the menu to excite palates all around. With a smoking rig suited for the kitchen, a grill pan or grill insert for the range, and the right blend of spices--along with the right target food items--your barbecue efforts will pay off even if you don’t have the space outside to devote to the “proper” equipment. A few restaurant supplies and some work are all you need to get started, and from there, you can create something truly special and delicious.
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  2. How Do Your Fries Stack Up?

    How Do Your Fries Stack Up?

    The perfect french fry can elevate a meal from run of the mill to exquisite decadence: crispy
    on the outside, pillowy in the middle, savory and starchy, it is a staple side for good reason.
    Because of that, it’s definitely a good idea to make sure your fries are what they should be,
    and think of cost-effective ways to elevate your french fries to keep people coming back for
    more. As a starting point, here are a few basics of fry magic-- not just the ABCs of making
    them, but some pointers for how to improve on what you’ve got already.

    What makes a perfect french fry?


    To begin with, there are three main categories to judge french fries on: appearance, taste,
    and texture. While fries might seem like such a basic food that it’s nearly impossible to

    mess them up, the characteristics of a perfect french fry are pretty much set in stone, and
    without knowing them, you can’t fairly judge what you’ve got.
    Appearance
    The perfect french fry is-- of course-- golden brown. It’s no wonder that that phrase appears
    on so many packages; it’s a sign that the outside of the potato is thoroughly cooked and
    crisp. Occasionally there might be a few spots where leftover potato peels darken a bit
    more than the rest of the potato, but uniform color is a hallmark of a great fry; if there are
    dark spots that aren’t from peels, those indicate overcooking and uneven cooking-- an
    indicator that fryers might not be working properly.

    Texture

    French fries should be lightly crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside-- they should
    never be obviously greasy or mushy. The best fries are made from fresh potatoes, and
    usually fried twice: once to par-cook the cut potatoes, eliminating some of the water from
    the inside of the pieces, and a second time to complete the cooking at set the crisp exterior.
    Of course, there is a place for par-cooked, frozen fries, in terms of saving time and
    prepwork, but fresh-cut fries will always be superior, particularly because the texture is
    easier to control; with frozen products, accidental thawing and other factors can affect the
    finished product.

    Taste


    While french fries have a reputation for being decadently fatty, they should never taste
    greasy, or-- perish the thought-- like anything else that has been in the fryer. They should be
    lightly salty, and have the slightly sweet and earthy taste of the potatoes themselves.
    Nobody likes a fry that tastes like salty grease and styrofoam.

    How to get the perfect fries


    Well-made french fries come down to three basic things: good potatoes, good equipment,
    and good technique. Fresh-cut fries are almost always the best, so while prepping pounds
    upon pounds of potatoes might sometimes seem like more trouble than it’s worth, it can

    make a huge difference in having a consistently satisfying end product. Restaurant
    equipment is another major-- but relatively simple-- factor: your fryers should be the right
    temperature, clean, and efficient. Technique comes down to knowing how to double-cook
    the fries, how to clean and peel and cut the potatoes, and how long to hold fries before
    making a new batch.
    Restaurant supply stores can provide not only the deep fryers you may need-- in whatever
    size you need-- but also tools of the trade to quickly peel and cut potatoes uniformly each
    time. Important factors to consider when buying equipment are how easy it will be to clean
    as often as you can, and how easy your equipment will be to service and/or replace. There
    are a range of options to fit any and all operations, so it’s easy to find exactly what you
    need.
    In addition to good potatoes, you need good-- and clean fry oil. Oil that’s too clean,
    obviously, is going to result in pale, undercooked fries; but oil should be carefully
    monitored to keep debris out of it, and changed regularly to make sure that it hasn’t gone
    rancid or taken on any odors over the course of use. Keeping the oil fresh is one of the key
    factors in making sure your fries are great.

    It’s a worthwhile idea to check on the consistency and the quality of your fries on a regular
    basis, and to make sure your equipment is up to snuff. Deep fryers and other restaurant
    equipment can make a huge difference between french fries that are just okay and ones
    that have customers ordering extra servings. With a wide range of options available for
    restaurants of all sizes, it’s possible to make room in almost any budget to update the key
    equipment as needed and take things to the next level.

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  3. 9 Must-Have Restaurant Technologies That Improve Business

    9 Must-Have Restaurant Technologies That Improve Business

    Looking for ways to make your restaurant more innovative? You’re not alone: according to the National Restaurant Association, 32% of operators think their business is lagging in restaurant technologies. So, we hand-picked 9 types of tech that deliver the most bottom line bang for your buck.

    ORDERING RESTAURANT TECHNOLOGIES

    Get orders out quickly and correctly. That’s good old-fashioned advice for the restaurant biz. The benefits are key: You’ll make guests happier, turn tables faster, and cut down on food waste and costs from inaccurate orders. Now, restaurant technologies are multiplying those benefits…

    1. ONLINE ORDERING

    Do you offer takeout? Or, are you a quick-serve or fast casual establishment looking to save guests from long lines?
    Good news. The demand for online ordering restaurant technologies is growing with consumers. Operators who offer online ordering restaurant technologies see benefits like:

    • Higher Revenue: With online ordering, customers can leisurely browse rather than hurriedly placing their order in person or over the phone. Since there’s no pressure, customers are more likely to order extra items, leading to higher sales.
    • More Accurate Orders: Ordering over the phone is old news. Not only is your phone line tied up, but a bad connection or a loud bar drowns out parts of the conversation. Orders are recorded incorrectly, which means a waste of food and revenue for your bar – and a bad experience for your customer. Ordering with online restaurant technologies eliminates those variables.
    • Data Tracking: If orders are placed through your website, you can track information. You can learn who your regular online customers are, how often they order, and which items they usually purchase.

    You can partner with a third party, like ChowNow or Netwaiter, to develop online ordering for your website. Most programs integrate with your other restaurant technologies for a trackable and streamlined service. Look to Dominos Pizza to see a great example of online ordering in action.

    2. DIGITAL POS SYSTEM

    POS (point of sale) restaurant technologies are widely used in the hospitality industry – 81% of restaurants use either a POS or Electronic Register System. However, POS systems are getting even more sophisticated. Some POS systems, like Digital Dining, integrate with tabletop tablets so customers can browse a digital menu, place orders, and pay themselves. That brings us to the next item on our list of restaurant technologies…

    3. CUSTOMER-FACING TABLETOP TABLETS

    Restaurants are leveling up their ordering game. How? By giving guests the power to order from a digital menu and securely pay on a touchscreen tablet.

    In fact, 37% of restaurant owners believe customer ordering is the single most important type of tech they should try.

    The self-service restaurant technologies trend started with QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants). QSRs like Taco Bell let customers place orders using a tablet, mobile app or kiosk. The benefits started rolling in. Taco Bell reported a 20% increase in digital order sales over ones made traditionally with a human cashier.

    Self-service restaurant technologies are now being adapted by the casual and even fine dining industries.

    Restaurants are using tabletop tablets that display their digital menu and allow customers to place and send their orders directly to the kitchen.

    Orders come out more quickly than if a table had to flag down a server during lunch or dinner rush. That means faster table turn – and happier guests.

    Plus, since customers can dig deeper into the menu to discover more add-ons and extras than any server could recite, check averages are increasing.

    As an added bonus, some tabletop tablets come loaded with games and entertainment to add even more value (see #6 on our list of restaurant technologies).

    What’s amazing about these restaurant technologies is that they aren’t replacing personal service – only enhancing it. Servers can spend more time engaging with guests instead of verifying their orders or running the bill back and forth.

    MARKETING RESTAURANT TECHNOLOGIES

    Today, automation is the big buzzword in marketing. These restaurant technologies can simplify and streamline your marketing.

    4. LOYALTY PROGRAMS

    Restaurant technologies are putting a new spin on loyalty programs. Now, it’s easier than ever to design a great loyalty program on a standalone app or integrate it with an online program.
    Unlike traditional punch cards, online loyalty programs like Level Up provide great marketing insight through the latest restaurant technologies. You can track customer behavior that may influence your marketing strategy, like how often your customers visit and why.

    Using restaurant technologies for your loyalty program enhances the customer experience as well. Rather than having to track their visits on a card (which can get lost easily), customers conveniently keep tabs on their app.

    Certain programs even track customer’s birthdays or anniversaries, so you can offer a special treat on their big day. Now let’s see a punch card to that!

    5. EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDERS

    One of the most affordable restaurant technologies to try today? An ESP (email service provider) like MailChimp. An ESP is a 3rd party software that you can use to manage and send email marketing campaigns.

    With easy to use templates, you can craft attractive emails to your customers that outline your upcoming events and specials. The ESP will track analytics, like who opened your email and what they clicked on, so you can improve your campaign as time goes on.

    ENTERTAINMENT RESTAURANT TECHNOLOGIES

    According to a DirectTV survey, 70% of consumers say that visiting a restaurant is a form of entertainment in itself. Make your restaurant the go-to place by adding these entertainment-focused restaurant technologies…

    6. HANDHELD ENTERTAINMENT

    Restaurant tablets can do more than just help your guests place orders and pay. Companies like Buzztime offer restaurant tablets loaded with entertaining games and trivia. Guests can join nationally scheduled competitions 7 days a week, 15 hours a day. These restaurant tablets can even be used to run a live trivia event or poker tournament in your restaurant!

    With the right handheld entertainment, you can attract a wide range of customers: Big groups may come in specifically for a round of trivia or solo patrons can dive into a digital arcade that’s “open” 24/7. Either way, restaurant technologies that offer tabletop entertainment are a great way to increase repeat visits. In fact, one Arbitron study revealed that Buzztime players spent an average 21% more per table check than non-players.

    7. WI-FI

    Free wi-fi is one of the restaurant technologies that can significantly enhance your guest experience…if you do it right! Here’s an example. Many customers use smart phones to track fantasy football or other scores while catching the game at bars and restaurants. They may choose your venue if you offer free wi-fi.

    And wi-fi could lead to higher sales revenue. Larger groups may need a place to work, and will select a venue specifically for i’s wi-fi service – especially during slower hours when they know they can get a table.

    A word of caution about wi-fi restaurant technologies: Always use a credible wi-fi service provider. A bad connection leaves customers feeling irritated and reduces the chances of them returning for business. Stick with an industry leader, like Ruckus Wireless – used by 70% of the hospitality community.

    MANAGEMENT RESTAURANT TECHNOLOGIES

    Tired of juggling management tasks? Let these restaurant technologies can take some tasks off your plate.

    8. AUTOMATED INVENTORY TRACKING

    Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to spend hours per week manually logging your inventory? Now, systems like BevSpot can automatically track inventory for you.

    With traditional spreadsheets, you run the risk of clerical errors that lead to costly mistakes. Plus, if you want to run a comparison or check for inconsistencies in inventory – you have to manually configure data. Instead, inventory restaurant technologies can instantly run reports for you.

    Some programs even automate order suggestions so you don’t over or under spend for the week.

    9. SCHEDULING SOFTWARE

    Scheduling is like a tricky puzzle with moving parts. Many managers struggle to get it right. With last minute call outs and disappearing vacation notices, creating a staff schedule can be a nightmare.

    However, restaurant technologies like ZoomShift can free up your restaurant operator’s time by streamlining the scheduling process. Many scheduling software companies offer features like:

    • Automated Schedules: Once you know that a server or bartender can work every Monday night, you can log that information into the software. Every week, the program automatically schedules your employee for those hours.
    • Vacation Requests: Your employees can enter vacation requests online. A notification will pop up if you try to schedule them for hours they requested off.
    • Schedule Checks: Since most scheduling software is available online, employees can check their schedules through computers or mobile devices. No more disruptive calls from servers asking about their next shift!

    With the right restaurant technologies in place, you can enhance your customer experience and boost sales. Examine your restaurant needs and pick the programs that will work best for your business.

    This article is compliments of Buzztime.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  4. 10 Easy-to-Implement Restaurant Kitchen Safety Tips

    restaurant kitchen safety

    Workplace injury and illness cost restaurant owners millions of dollars annually in compensation and productivity; kitchen safety should be a top priority for all restaurants.

    For hospitality workers, where hourly wages and casual employment contracts are the industry standard, a single missed day of work can not only cause undue financial stress, but can also affect the productivity of your kitchen.

    This article is compliments of Toast.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  5. Recipe: Pumpkin Gnocchi

    Pumpkin Gnocchi

    Here in Minnesota, we’re in that season now where fall is fully upon us and we’re starting to get days that require our Fall Selves to show up. Full force. Wearing sweaters. Swapping iced coffees for hot ones. Raking leaves out of our yards (I have done this zero times).

    When my Fall Self shows up to the party, it does not show up empty-handed. It says: I see you, Sweaters. I see you, Hot Coffees. I see you, People Who Rake. And it says: I am going to feed you something yummy.

    Hints:

    • Pumpkin
    • Butter
    • Sage
    • Garlic
    • Parmesan

    Pumpkin Gnocchi:

    Sage Butter Sauce:

    • 2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Salted Butter in Half Sticks
    • a few sage leaves and a smashed clove of garlic
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
    • 1/2 cup starchy water (leftover from boiling the gnocchi)
    1. Potato Prep: Bake the potato – see notes – and pull off the skin. Let the potato rest for a while to cool down. Once it’s cool enough to handle, grate it until you have about 1 1/2 cups of very fine potato shreds.
    2. Gnocchi Dough: Mix potato shreds with pumpkin puree. Measure flour onto a clean surface and put the potato/pumpkin mixture in the center. Make a well and crack your egg into it. Sprinkle salt on top. Grab a fork and whisk up the egg real quick. Using your hands, mix all ingredients into a dough. Don’t overmix. When it starts to come together, form the dough into a mostly-smooth, rounded little loaf.
    3. Gnocchi Prep: Cut off slices of the mound and roll each one into a long rope. Cut the rope into bite-sized pieces. Place the gnocchi pieces on a plate (make sure they’ve got a little flour coating so they don’t stick).
    4. Cooking the Gnocchi: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the gnocchi, carefully, one at a time, to the water. You may need to work in batches. When the gnocchi rise to the top of the pot of boiling water, immediately remove them with a slotted spoon. Set aside. Melt your butter in a large nonstick skillet. Pan fry the gnocchi, undisturbed, to get one side lightly crispy and leave the other side soft. Remove from pan and set aside to wait for sauce.
    5. Butter Sauce: In the same pan, add butter, sage leaves, and garlic clove. Let the garlic and sage cook for a few minutes over low heat. When the sage leaves are starting to get crispy, remove from heat. Remove garlic as well. When it’s melted, add the flour and whisk. Add the heavy cream and whisk. Add the starchy water slowly, whisking to make a sauce that is the consistency you want. Toss with gnocchi, top with sage leaves and Parmesan, and BE HAPPY AND PROUD BECAUSE LOOK WHAT YOU MADE! Now pour yourself a glass of wine and feast.
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  6. Recipe: Golden Soup

    Golden Soup is hee-yahhh.

    What exactly is golden soup, you ask? Friends, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a like-to-eat-healthy-food, but-like-to-eat-cozy-food-more, and-have-eaten-out-a-lot-lately-so-need-intervention-quickly kind of lifestyle. You know the kind. You know if Golden Soup is right for you. If it fits, you just know.

    This soup has:

    • turmeric (hence the big, beautiful golden-ness)
    • cauliflower
    • cashews
    • garlic / onions
    • olive oil
    • salt
    • squeeze of lemon juice – just trust
    • crispy chickpeas and parsley and more olive oil on top

    and therefore it also has the power to:

    • reduce inflammation
    • boost antioxidants
    • make skin happy
    • make tummy happy
    • generally be very healing.

    Bonus for the lifestyle part: it takes about 25 minutes to make, and it tastes like the most wonderful creamy goodness of winter.

    If it feels like I’m selling you something, it’s because I am. I AM SELLING YOU GOLDEN SOUP.

    This recipe is courtesy of Pinch & Yum.

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  7. Can The Can: Making Pumpkin Purée from Scratch

    Making pumpkin pureé from scratch is easier than you think. 

    You're not only going to taste the difference, both you're body and mother nature are going to thank you. Studies have shown there are high levels of BPA in canned goods. The chemical BPA (Bisphenol A) is extremely harmful, being linked to reproductive abnormalities, a heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, and heart disease.


    Ditch the can aisle of the grocery store. Roll up your sleeves, and enjoy the process of using fresh ingredients.Farm-to-table is a win for everyone. Picking up a pumpkin at the localfarmstand is better for the enviornment.

    The average 18-wheeled semitruck travels

    about 5 miles per gallon of gas.

    That means about 500 gallons of diesel fuel is needed to deliver produce an average distance of 1,500 miles. Yikes.

    To top it off, you're helping the local economy and supporting your community. 

    How to Make Pumpin Pureé

    Did you know the best pumpkins for pies are "sugar" or "pie"pumpkins?

    Not the "Jack-O-Lantern" pumpkins, which are mostly hallow.


    1. Buy a small sugar or pie pumpkin from the local market.
    2. Cut pumpkin in half, then remove seeds and fibers.
    3. Place cut sides down, on a foil covered cookie sheet.
    4. Bake at 425°F for 40-50, or until fork-tender.
    5. Remove from oven and let cool.
    6. Scoop out softened pumpkin and pureé in food processor.

    Follow your favorite pumpkin recipe, and enjoy every moment from prepping, to cooking, to taking that first warm bite of pumpkin pie. One of our favorite pumpkin pie recipes we recommend trying is Nany Fuller's, from Food Network's Farmhouse Rules



    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  8. The Secret to Cooking Perfect Steamed Dumplings

    If you want to start cooking perfect dumplings, you’re going to need to learn how to steam in a bamboo steamer.

    Steaming is a classic method of preparing dumplings, and a bamboo steamer is the traditional vessel for doing it. Once you’ve learned how to steam in a bamboo steamer, though, dumplings aren’t the only dish you can prepare: you can also use it to healthfully steam vegetables, meat and seafood.

    In this post, we’ll talk about the basic method of steaming in a bamboo steamer, including equipment and basic techniques that can be applied to a number of foods, from those delicious homemade dumplings to meat, seafood and vegetables, too.

    Bamboo Steamer - How to Cook in a Bamboo Steamer

    A NOTE ON THE EQUIPMENT

    First, you’ll need a bamboo steamer. They’re readily available in Asian markets, cooking supply stores, and even many gourmet grocery stores. You can find a good steamer for under $20. Many will have various “tiers,” so you can cook different dishes simultaneously.

    You will also need a vessel to hold the water with which you will steam. You’ll need a pot that will fit the steamer snugly and keep it hovering above the water. A wok is the ideal tool for steaming — its curved shape that narrows toward the bottom can hold water, but can also suspend the steamer above it without touching the water. A pan or skillet can be used too, but basically you don’t want a precarious placement where the steamer will top over. Ideally, your steamer hovers above the water. But if there is liquid touching the steamer, make sure that the portion where the food is sits above the liquid line.

    HOW TO STEAM IN A BAMBOO STEAMER

    STEP 1:

    Line the bottom of the basket(s). You want to do this to create a divider between food and basket, so it won’t stick. Cabbage or lettuce leaves are common liners.

    Although cheap and easy to obtain, cabbage and lettuce do not impart much flavor. Consider adding banana leaves, corn husks or grape leaves to impart a flavor to what you’re cooking.

    Now, lay your food on top of the leaves, in a single layer. Foods like dumplings shouldn’t be jammed together. Lightly touching is fine, but make sure they have space so they won’t stick together once cooked.

    Leaves in a Bamboo Steamer

    Although cheap and easy to obtain, cabbage and lettuce do not impart much flavor. Consider adding banana leaves, corn husks or grape leaves to impart a flavor to what you’re cooking.

    Now, lay your food on top of the leaves, in a single layer. Foods like dumplings shouldn’t be jammed together. Lightly touching is fine, but make sure they have space so they won’t stick together once cooked.

    STEP 2:

    Find a pot that your steamer will fit in snugly, or where it can hover over the pot. A wok is ideal, but you can also use a large pot. Fill the pot with about 2 inches of water, or you can also fill with a broth to scent whatever you’re cooking.

    STEP 3:

    Fill the wok or pan with 2 inches of water. On medium heat, without the steamer on top or any sort of cover, bring the water or liquid to a simmer. Do not let it come to a boil.

    STEP 4:

    Once the water has reached the simmering point, place the steamer over or in the pot. Make sure the lid is on. Let the simmering water warm the contents of the basket, checking the progress occasionally. The leaves of your “liner” will start to wilt — that is just fine. It will start to get steamy after a few minutes.

    Continue cooking until the food has cooked through; this will vary depending on what you are cooking. These pork and vegetable dumplings, for instance, took about 15 minutes on medium simmering heat.

    Note: Keep an eye on the water levels, as you don’t want the water to run dry. If you feel like it might be running low, gently lift the steamer to check. Even though the sides of the steamer may not be hot, use gloves because the steam that rises can be very hot as you lift it. You can add more water if needed, and then place the steamer back on the wok.

    To remove, use tongs or a spoon, as the food in the steamer will be hot, and the steam rising will be, too.

    OTHER TYPES OF FOOD THAT CAN BE PREPARED IN YOUR STEAMER.

    While this information will offer a broad overview, always refer to specific recipe directions to ensure cooking success.

    DUMPLINGS

    Prepare the dumplings as specified in your recipe; you can steam them after assembling, or make them in advance and refrigerate them. Follow the steps above to prepare your bamboo steamer.

    Steam for 15 to 20 minutes. When dumplings are cooked, remove from the steamer and serve with whatever dipping sauces you’d like.

    If you prefer your dumplings crispy, you can transfer the finished dumplings to a frying pan and fry with a couple of tablespoons of oil on high heat until lightly browned and crispy on the sides and bottom. Since they are already cooked, you only need to heat very briefly — so keep a close eye on them.

    Dumplings can be steamed a day ahead; store, covered, in the refrigerator, and then re-steam for 5 minutes before serving. They can also be made ahead and frozen, but let them thaw to room temperature before re-steaming.

    MEATS

    Steaming can be a fantastic way to maintain moisture in meat cuts. However, unlike braising, steaming will do little to change the texture of meat. So it is not suggested for tougher cuts of meat, but is more favored for tender cuts of meat. Often, an inner container will be used as a little steam chamber to allow it to cook most efficiently.

    SEAFOOD

    It’s easy to steam seafood in your bamboo steamer. For fish, steam until it is tender enough to flake apart with a fork; shrimp will indicate doneness by turning pinkish in color.

    POULTRY

    Poultry is well-suited to steaming. To add flavor, marinate the poultry before steaming, or add a flavorful broth instead of water to the pan as your steaming liquid. Small incisions in the top and bottom of thicker cuts will ensure even cooking.

    VEGETABLES

    Steaming helps vegetables maintain nutrients and adds a wonderful softened-but-still-crunchy texture. Steaming times will vary depending on the size and density of the vegetables. For instance, carrots would require more time than finely sliced broccoli. When you can easily slice a vegetable at its thickest part, they are steamed to perfection.


    The article is compliements of Craftsy.

    As always, check out Restaurantsupply.com for all your restaurant needs.

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  9. All Things Apples



    Apple picking is on everyone’s mind this time of year. There’s nothing sweeter than biting into a crisp crunchy apple that you just picked off the tree. McMcoun, Honey Crisp, Cortland, they’re all delicious. And there are not just apples to feast on during fall, there’s apple treats galore…cider donuts, apple fritters, apple crisp, apple everything your heart desires.

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    Don’t let all those fresh apples go to waste, get creative and get cooking. You will taste the difference when you use farm to kitchen produce. With the following recipes, you can use apples three different ways,…Autumn Rum, Apple Gouda Stuffed Chicken & Apple Cinnamon Rolls. Are you drooling yet?


    AUTUMN RUM

    Ingredients:

    Spiced Apple Cider

    • 4 cups apple cider

    • 3 cinnamon sticks

    • 3 star anise

    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

    • 1 1/2 oz spiced rum

    • 1/2 cup

    Cocktail

    • 1 1/2 oz spiced rum

    • 1/2 cup spiced apple cider

    • 1/2 hard cider

    • 2-3 dashes lemon bitters

    Directions

    1. For spiced apple cider, combine apple cider, cinnamon sticks, anise and nutmeg in a sealable container (mason jar recommended). Seal container and store in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Shake well before using.

    2. For a cocktail, fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Pour spiced rum and apple cider over ice. Stir well. Top with hard cider and lemon bitters.


    Want to make apple cider from scratch? Easy DIY Slow Cooker Apple Cider


    APPLE GOUDA STUFFED CHICKEN

    </p>

    Ingredients:

    • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

    • 1 1/2 oz gouda cheese, thinly sliced

    • 1/2 apple, thinly sliced (Honeycrisp or any firm apple works best)

    • 1 teaspoon olive oil

    • 1teaspoon fresh thyme

    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 425℉.

    2. Spray a large sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Slice chicken breast horizontally across, (like opening a book). 

    3. On one side of chicken layout 7-8 apple slices, followed by 4-5 gouda slices. Sprinkle cheese with 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Fold over chicken breast, then drizzle with olive oil. Finish with a sprinkle salt and pepper.

    4. Place chicken on a sheet pan and top with an extra sprig of thyme.

    5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the meat thermometer reads 165℉.


    APPLE CINNAMON ROLLS

    Ingredients:

    • 1 sheet of crescent dough or 8oz tube of refrigerated crescent rolls

    • 1 large apple, diced small

    • 3 tbs unsalted butter, melted & divided

    • 1/3 cup brown sugar

    • 1 tsp cinnamon

    For the Glaze:

    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

    • 1 tsp maple syrup

    • 1 tbs milk

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.

    1. On a sheet of parchment paper unroll crescent dough sheet. Brush the dough with about 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

    2. Stir together cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over melted butter. Scatter diced apples on top.

    3. Beginning on the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough into a log.

    4. Slice the log into 8 1 ½ inch pieces. Arrange pieces in paper liners. Brush the top with melted butter and

    5. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown (if rolls start browning too quickly, tent the top with aluminum foil.)

    6. Stir together glaze ingredients and spoon over slightly cooled cinnamon rolls.

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  10. DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS BRUSSELS SPROUTS

    DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS BRUSSELS SPROUTS

    Brussels sprouts, once the most dreaded vegetable of children and adults alike, are officially trendy. We are truly fans, and proudly not a bandwagon one — there has never been a time that we did not adore these sweet and nutty baby cabbages. During the fall and winter, when they’re at their prime, most chefs cook them constantly and consumers order them as soon as they are placed back on the menu.

    Brussels sprouts are one of the most nutritious items on Earth, with four times as much vitamin C as oranges and high levels of folic acid and fiber. Many consumers have lived their lives despising this powerhouse vegetable because of early exposure to overcooked sprouts. With talented chefs opening consumers’ eyes to the true potential of these little gems, we’re seeing new Brussels sprouts lovers emerge every day.

    We know it may seem odd that a vegetable that for so long was used as cruel punishment is now the trendiest of trendy foods but, it is just that. Consumers are absolutely in love with the dish and we do not see the momentum of the vegetable dying down anytime soon.

    Here are some of the newest Brussels sprouts dishes causing a stir across the nation.

    Roasted whole or halved, chopped and sautéed hash-style, or deep-fried. At the market, look for small, compact sprouts — they’re the most tender.

    Bacon is a relatively new friend of the humble Brussels sprout; the two are paired together on many a restaurant menu these days. Look to roast your sprouts with chopped pancetta; or add a Spanish twist with chorizo.


    Brussels sprouts are excellent with a little pork (what isn’t?), but they certainly don’t need meat to shine. Nor do they have to be a lowly side dish. They’re the star of this completely vegetarian (vegan, if you leave out the ricotta salata that I grated on top) winter salad, in which they mingle beautifully with their cousin red cabbage.

    Though most of our consumers can’t wait for this winter’s end and rejoiced optimistically when the groundhog saw his shadow last week, Brussels sprouts are one (okay, possibly the only) perk of the season. When spring approaches, they won’t be as tasty and tender, so fill up while temps are still chilly.

    Remember when possible try to source locally. These vegetables are a labor of love to grow and to cook. They have become a staple dish for so many of us and it is important to appreciate the farmers who keep this delicious treat around!

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