There is no set definition of heirloom vegetables. Some say that the cultivar (plant) must be of a certain age. Most agree that the plants should be open-pollinated and not genetically modified. And some believe that to be an heirloom vegetable, the lineage of the plant must have been handed down and cultivated generation after generation. Despite the ambiguity about what they are, heirloom vegetables’ unique appearances and culinary characteristics make them ideal inspiration for restaurant menu ideas.
1. Heirloom Tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes come in a variety of colorful patterns and non-uniform shapes. Their flavor and color make them ideal for salads, tomato carpaccio, and open-faced sandwiches. To maximize the unique appearance of the heirloom tomatoes, they should be sliced width-wise to preserve their wavy circular(ish) shape. A study, by scientists at UC Davis found that uniformly red, round tomatoes most commonly found in the supermarkets actually contain a mutant gene that allows even ripening and color, while sacrificing taste. Heirloom tomatoes do not have this mutant gene, scientifically giving them more flavor potential. Nowadays, with an appreciation for heirloom tomatoes and other aesthetically diverse vegetables, restaurants offering heirloom tomatoes can set themselves apart.
2. Heirloom Eggplant
Heirloom eggplants come in many colors, from light purple to regular eggplant purple. The Arabic baladi eggplant is the best type of eggplant to use to avoid bitterness. Usually, eggplants must be hand-selected to ensure they are light, which is a sign that they have a minimal amount of seeds, and are less likely to be bitter. However, baladi eggplants are almost never bitter, yielding the best eggplant dishes possible. Restaurants that place orders with suppliers rather than have the cooks or chef hand-select the vegetables, should experiment with the variety of heirloom eggplants available, to find one that matches their desired look and taste.
3. Heirloom Zucchini
There are many different varieties of heirloom zucchini, differing drastically in shape and slightly in flavor. Costata Romanesco zucchini, for example, is considered mild and gourmet in taste and texture. Venues growing
Frying, searing and browning, in sauté pans, are cooking methods used on meats, fish, poultry, and vegetables. The cooking method makes the most of the maillard reaction, adding a dark, relatively crispy outer layer to the ingredients used. The aim is to quickly cook the ingredients, usually while adding flavor, without allowing them to get soggy from being crowded or cooking too slowly. As with pots, sheet pans, and almost any other piece of kitchen equipment, the type of material and weight of the sauté pan used affects the resulting dishes. By purchasing the right types of saucepans, cooks can prepare the best dishes possible with their ingredients by cooking on the stove.
The material that a sauce pan should be made of depends on the dish being prepared. For example, omelets are easiest to prepare in a nonstick pan, since they need to be cooked delicately and flipped halfway through cooking. Meats, fish, and poultry should be prepared on a grill pan or a relatively nonstick pan, since they need heat transfer to be even, and the ingredient needs to be flipped during the cooking on the stove. Stir fry is simplified
Coffee snobs will settle for nothing less than the freshest, richest, highest quality coffee drinks possible. Be it espresso or cappuccino, avid coffee fans will be able to tell right away whether they are being served great quality coffee. When it comes to making the ideal coffee drink, though the coffee beans and freshness of the grind are major determining factors for the outcome of the drink, how to make the best coffee also depends on the coffee machine being used. For businesses, a machine that applies high pressure and adequate heat, and quickly and efficiently produces cups of coffee, will be the best. The pressure and heat allow maximum flavor, aromas, and chemical components, to be extracted from the ground beans. There are many different ways to brew coffee with different tastes.
A percolator is a system that applies high heat to push hot water through grinds. It may also recirculate water through beans that have already been used. This can lead to over-extraction of flavor, leading to a full, rich aroma, but, according to some critics, a less flavorful cup of coffee. By carefully regulating the brewing process and temperatures, the negative aspects of using a percolator can be eliminated and prevented.
Many home coffee brewers swear by replacing typical coffee machines with a French press. The coffee and hot water are added in a pitcher and left to steep for a few minutes. A strainer is then lowered, pressing the grinds to the bottom of the pitcher, and allowing the liquid to be poured out. Using a French press allows the coffee beans to release maximum natural oil and flavors, by steeping them from the beginning of the brewing process, unlike drip coffee.
Drip coffee is the most common coffee brewing system in diner restaurants and most home coffee machines. Coffee grinds are packed down into a filter, and hot water drips through the grinds and filter and into a pot. A drip coffee machine is a quick, convenient way to brew multiple cups of coffee at once, but is rarely considered the best way to brew coffee. Nevertheless, it is one of the most affordable and easy ways for restaurants and food businesses to prepare and serve coffee.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee has been shown to prevent depression, help with weight loss, reduce risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and improve cognitive function. However, coffee contains cafestol, a chemical which stimulates LDL cholesterol levels. When using filtered or instant coffee, most of the cafestol gets caught in the filter. However, in French press, and boiled coffee, there are higher cafestol levels, so those watching their cholesterol may prefer to opt for the filtered and instant coffees. At the end of the day, the best type of coffee depends on personal preferences. For businesses, espresso machines provide the best quality coffee drinks and drip coffee brewing systems provide the highest quantities, quickly. Most customers will probably prefer to order a higher quality coffee, so restaurants selling coffee per cup should seriously consider purchasing an espresso machine. For diners that serve coffee with free refills, drip coffee is the most economical and time-friendly way to make coffee.
Sheet pans are a commercial kitchen necessity. They make cooking in any kitchen easier, more comfortable, and yield better results, than cooking in regular pans. Their low edges allow the heat to uniformly circulate around the ingredients. Their width allows numerous items to be cooked at once. Sheet pans are also useful trays to hold food items that will not be cooked. Tarts, chocolates, garnishes, bruschettas, and many other foods that are in high demand in event catering, can be easily stored, ready to serve, in a commercial kitchen, by filling the sheet pans and storing them on a sheet pan rack. The material a sheet pan is made of is less influential than in pizza pans, cutting boards, pots, and other restaurant equipment, especially since the sheet pan is usually covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper before food is place on it. Aluminum sheet pans are not the best choice however, as they can add a metallic flavor to food items. With sheet pans, the shape is more defining than the material.
Differences in Sheet Pans
Different types of sheet pans lend themselves to preparing different foods. A cookie sheet pan has edges that are almost flat, allowing finished batches of cookies to be easily slid off the baking sheet and a new batch to be added,
Selecting the Best Pots and Pans
Selecting the best stock pot based on considerations of heat transfer and the material’s interactions with foods, can improve the ease of cooking and the quality of the product. Similar to choosing a cutting board, stock pots can have a significant effect on efficiency of execution of tasks in the kitchen. Stock pots should be tall and rather narrow, allowing the contents to be reduced by evaporation, but very slowly. Having a small surface area available for evaporation in a narrow pot, compared to a wide one, will give the liquid time to take on all the flavors of the ingredients, while slowly becoming more concentrated during evaporation. Having pots and pans, in general, that can quickly and evenly distribute heat will cut down cooking time and help ensure that the ingredient is cooked perfectly. Unfortunately, the top materials for heat distribution can leave undesired tastes and chemically alter some ingredients, especially acidic ingredients. Investing in quality stock pots for soups, sauces, and stocks, will make cooking on the stove the best and easiest cooking method it can be.
The Aluminum Stock Pot
An aluminum stock pot is great for heat transfer and an inexpensive option for cooking on the stove. The lightweight material enables most workers to comfortably move around and maneuver the pot, even
The Factors to Consider
Cutting board material can effect chef and cook performance, kitchen bacteria levels, and knife efficiency. A hard cutting board will get less grooves, harboring less bacteria, but tend to wear down knife sharpness. Just like with pizza pans, materials used for different purposes in the kitchen can impact the outcomes. With cutting boards, cutting board bacteria is the most important factor to take into account when selecting a material. The gentleness on knives and comfort of use are also important considerations. Plastic, wooden, bamboo, and glass cutting boards each have advantages and disadvantages.
Wooden Cutting Boards
Wooden cutting boards are arguably the best option for cutting board material. They tend to be soft on knives and relatively sanitary. Though with time, cutting will cause significant wear and the board will have to be replaced, this is not such a downside, since for purposes of preventing kitchen bacteria, boards must be switched on a semi-regular basis anyways. The wood that the board is made of can vary as well. A bamboo cutting board (not technically wood), has a similar feel to wooden cutting boards, but tends to be harder on knives. Since bamboo is a harder material than most wooden cutting boards, it scars less easily, lasting longer and minimizing nests for bacteria, while taking a toll on knife sharpness. Both bamboo and wooden cutting boards are great options for cutting board material.
Plastic Cutting Board
Plastic cutting boards are extremely comfortable to use. They can be easily washed and dried within seconds, whereas wooden cutting boards tend to retain water and therefore must be aired out well on a cutting board rack in between uses. A plastic cutting board tends to be harder on knives than wooden cutting boards and the scars that
The Uses of a Pizza Peel
We all know the feeling of trying to quickly pull something out of the oven, while barely touching it, to avoid getting burnt or burning the food item. Such strategies usually end in one of three ways: the dish will fall, you will get burnt, or you will realize the strategy is fruitless and resort to plan B. Pizza peels are a great plan B where making pizza is concerned, and with proper placement and forethought when buying the pizza peel, it will become the first thing you reach for when trying to pull pizza or focaccia out of an oven. Pizza peels come in a few varieties and shapes. Picking one that suits your pizza oven will make the whole process of removing pizza from the oven, painless.
How to Choose Your Pizza Peel
The first factor to take into consideration, when selecting a pizza peel, is the type of pizza oven you will be using. A pizza peel with rounded edges is optimal for maneuvering pizzas in wood fired pizza ovens. A square pizza peel will make it easy to remove and move around pizzas in a rectangular restaurant pizza oven or home pizza oven. Another factor to consider is the material the pizza peel is made of. A wooden pizza peel is great because it will not stick to raw dough, or wear out knives and pizza wheels when the pizza is cut, unlike metal pizza peels. Their downside is that wooden pizza peels may get burn spots over time due to the high heat of the pizza oven. Metal pizza peels are thinner than wooden pizza peels, though, making it easier to remove the pizza from a stone pizza oven using the metal pizza peels.
Is it Worth Investing in a Pizza Peel?
Pizza peels are a great option for keeping a pizza intact and
Is Flatware Silverware or is Silverware Flatware?
Flatware, often incorrectly referred to as silverware, is used by every person every day. Silverware is a sub-category of flatware, referring to utensils made of mostly silver. Though those running food businesses may have a hard time choosing which restaurant flatware to purchase, they can rest assured that there are plenty of diners out there dumbfounded when it comes to knowing which piece of flatware to use for which part of the meal, at venues with multiple courses. This subject is often a main topic category at etiquette school. At the other extreme, some ethnic restaurants do not give diners utensils at all. In Ethiopian cuisine, for example, injera, bread, is used to scoop up foods, rather than flatware. This approach will not work for most food businesses, but being educated about the different types of flatware available can help simplify the decision of which type of flatware to buy.
Differences in Restaurant Flatware
Real silverware is hard to come by, especially in food businesses, where budget, durability, and convenience are critical factors. Though some top restaurants choose to use silverware, its expense and high maintenance requirements make it a less-than-ideal choice for most food businesses. Silver utensils must be polished on a regular
Thin Crust Pizza, Thick Crust Pizza, Deep Dish Pizza, Doughy Pizza, Crispy Pizza…..
Many types of pizza have been adopted as “the best kind of pizza.” It just depends who you ask. New York pizza is famously thin crust pizza, with a slight, but undefined crunch. Chicago-style pizza is usually deep dish pizza. Regardless of geographic-based preferences, all localities must thank Naples, Italy, for the origination of pizza as we know it. Before the dish became popular in Naples, other variation existed earlier, that closely resemble focaccia. However, the Italians receive the credit for the brilliant innovation of adding tomato sauce and cheese to thin bread, creating one of the most popular. There is an unsolvable, ongoing debate as to which type of pizza is the best, though many polls show that New York Pizza takes the win. Unfortunately I cannot offer an answer, as I happen to be a fan of both types, but I can offer advice of the best pizza pan to use to prepare each type of pizza.
Pizza Stones and Cast Iron Pizza Pans
Pizza pans made from different materials will give the crust different textures. Pizza stones can be a risky, but worthwhile, investment. Some of the lower-end stones will make it difficult to achieve a distinct crunch in both thin crust pizza and thick crust pizza. Pizza stones, as well as aluminum pizza pans are great for producing doughy pizzas. This category is where the cast iron pizza pans fall short. This is also their advantage, though. With cast iron pizza pans, you are guaranteed a crispy crust. A similar effect can be achieved with some pizza stones, sometimes by simply cooking the pizza longer.
A dredge looks like a large shaker, though it does not have a standard design or material composition. It will usually be a cylinder, and always have holes in the top, allowing cooks or pastry chefs to easily sprinkle and evenly distribute powders or small ingredients on the desired item. Many cooks use dredges to coat meat with flour before frying, which helps keep it moist and add texture to its outer layer. This can also help thicken the stock, if the meat will be cooked in liquid that will be served as a sauce. Other cooks forgo the dredges and simply coat meat in a bowl of flour. Especially in restaurants and event catering that deals with individual servings, this technique can be problematic safety-wise. The excess flour is left to sit out until the next dish is ordered, allowing bacteria to develop. At the end of the food serving, the extra flour must be thrown out. Using a dredge eliminates the possibility of contamination of the flour (as long as the dredge does not touch the meat), and does not require leftover flour to be disposed of. A pastry chef can use a dredge to evenly coat a dessert, such as tiramisu or cake. By holding the dredge close, the dessert will be covered with a thin layer, but by carefully shaking the powder at a distance from the dessert, it can be covered with an elegant layer, making it perfect to display (and sell, of course). Restaurants serving Italian food often decide to put dredges filled with parmesan or pepper flakes on the dining tables, so that guests can comfortably adjust the sharpness and spice in their dishes. Dredges can be used to increase comfort in food serving and preparation for a huge number of dishes and food items. Dredge cooking is an often underappreciated