Monthly archives of “February 2015

Sonic Steamer
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The Sonic Steamer is a Microwave on Steroids

Panasonic’s Sonic Steamer was invented so that professional chefs could steam trays of vegetables and meats quickly and keep them moist during the cooking process.  This is a microwave oven that uses proprietary technology to steam the food inside.

The Sonic Steamer microwave has plenty of power, enough to cook two full size 4” tall table pans with covers.  This makes it perfect for those who have a lot of vegetables to reheat.  Only a minute or two, and the vegetables reach their perfect tenderness.

The true testament of a microwave steamer is whether it is able to reheat rice.  If no special measures are taken in a traditional microwave, rice ends up being a hard, aggravating mess that should only be served to the trash can. However, the Panasonic Sonic Steamer breaks the norm by reheating rice like a dream.

In other words, this is a microwave on steamer steroids.  It will cook with either 2,100 or 3,200 watts, and you can program the timers to make your meals absolutely perfect.  With 8 programmable memory pads and a 16 memory capability, you can put in all of your favorites.

This one’s got all of the bells and whistles that any modern commercial kitchen needs to get it done right.  If you’re finding that your old microwave can’t cut it, maybe it’s time to upgrade to a sonic steamer.

Salad Bar Prep
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Empura Salad Bar Prep Table Keeps Salads Cool

Your salad bar needs to comply with safety standards in the front, but what about the safety standards in the kitchen?  After cleanliness, the biggest issue that health inspectors have with kitchens is temperature.  Keeping all of the salad bar items chilled is extremely important.

What about those restaurants that are always making salads?  It’s highly inconvenient to be running to the refrigerator every time a salad needs to be made. Constantly fetching more lettuce makes it hard to cool. That’s one of the reasons that Empura developed their salad prep table.

Accommodating up to 16 items, this sandwich and salad prep table gives room to create and devise wonderful dishes while keeping the items chilled.  The entire unit is created from stainless steel and keeps temperatures between 33 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, you’re able to chop your goodies, mix them together, and blend to your heart’s content without worrying about the health inspector saying that you’re not keeping your stuff in the right temperature zone.

If you’re itching to offer some of Saveur’s simple no-cook salads on the menu, the salad prep table can make the experience truly easy, as you’ve got all of the ingredients practically at your fingertips.  You can also put your dressings and other condiments below, spicing it up.

If you need up to 19 cubic feet of food empowerment on wheels, the Empura salad prep table can save the day for both you and the health inspectors.

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Do You Have a Heavy Duty Stock Pot Gas Range?

Much to the chagrin of the folks down south, winter has finally arrived.  They’re seeing their first bouts of snow and rushing the stores for their milk and bread while folks up north have a good laugh. A better idea is to make a knock-down, drag-out, called from the heavens soup to last through the snowpocalypse. And it better be in a big pot.

But a big pot requires a big burner. The Heavy Duty Stock Pot Gas Range can accommodate the largest pots that you’ve got in your kitchen.  It has an 18”x24” cooking surface, and grates that can fit the biggest stock pots. It also has adjustable burner rings so you don’t have to worry about uneven cooking (even when you’re firing up your clam chowder or mushroom bisque).

What makes this prospect even better?  Since it’s a gas range, there’s a good chance that it will stay on if the power goes out in the inclement weather, unlike your electric range. And with snow on the ground and people who can’t drive, there’s sure to be one yahoo who decides to merge his front bumper with a power pole.

Spend some time merging delicious flavors with your gas range. Make some more soup and cook it on a stove that was specially made for the giant stock pot.  Let it sit for a day or two and see how your family, or your customers, love it.

Tortilla Chips
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History of the Tortilla Chip

No trip to your favorite Mexican restaurant would be complete without having a bowl of tortilla chips being placed on the table.  For us, we judge the restaurant on the basis of its salsa – if they ‘phone in’ the salsa and the tortilla chips taste like they’ve been through the oil one too many times, we know what to expect from the rest of the meal.  On the other hand, if we get fantastic chips and salsa, we’re willing to overlook any less than perfect service that we receive.

The tortilla chip was created by accident, as a result of the misshapen tortillas that Rebecca Webb Carranza and her husband created at their Mexican deli in southwest Los Angeles.  These got cut into triangles, deep fried, and sold as snacks.  Their popularity took off from there, and now it’s served at nearly every Mexican restaurant across the US.

As a customer of many Mexican restaurants, I can tell you that there’s a big difference between freshly made tortilla chips and the ones which restaurants purchase by the bagful from a supplier.  Some restaurants even try to hide the fact that they don’t make their own by warming up the chips before putting them on the table. This is a shame; for a restaurant with a commercial deep fryer tortilla chips are easy to create.

Most of the recipes for tortilla chips call for pre-made tortillas, though if you choose you can create both the chips and the tortillas.  That way, you have ultimate control over the ingredients which are used in your nacho masterpiece.  To make them is simplicity. Chop the torillas like a pie and deep fry them until they’re brown and crispy.

For those who are determined to make their own tortillas, it’s a simple mixture of flour and water.  Take your balls and push them through a Matfer Imperia Manual Pasta Machine – it will take your dough balls and smash them out flat for you.  Then, once you’re done, drop them into the deep fryer and you’re all set.

Once you have the tortillas, the chips can be made in any size that you prefer to fit your restaurant’s tastes.  Want to see something akin to Chinese restaurants and have strips?  That can be done.  How about tiny circles?  That too.  Tortilla chips, regardless of the shape, taste wonderful.

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Best Restaurant
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How to Make the Best Restaurant In the World

When an entrepreneur starts a new restaurant, they envision sackloads of cash piling up on their doorstep. After all, there’s hundreds of thousands of restaurants across the nation. It’s gotta work, right? What they don’t realize is that 60 percent of independent restaurants fail within that first year of opening.

The biggest thing that people neglect is the planning stage.  There are no miraculous ‘step 2’s when talking about the restaurant industry. You know:

1. Open new restaurant

2. ???


It’s necessary to build your restaurant on a solid foundation. “There are two ways to start a restaurant: find a great location and base your concept on that, or find a great concept and find the location to suit it,” said Bill Guilfoyle, associate professor of business management at the Culinary Institute of America.

From the concept comes the marketing, and the restaurant to surround it.  If you don’t have a solid concept, you’re building the rest of the restaurant on shaky ground.  It wouldn’t matter if you had the best restaurant supplies and best employees, it would still be hard to recover without good planning.

It takes a lot of work, a lot of planning and effort to make the restaurant of your dreams.

For some more tips, tricks, and ideas, check out the article in the Poughkeepsie Journal titled “How to Survive in the Restaurant Business.”

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