In The Kitchen

September 25, 2012

Spinach

If you are of a certain age you will easily make the connection between spinach and Popeye, the comic book character. When he was in trouble and needed a jolt of extra power and strength, Popeye would open a can of spinach and toss it down in one fell swoop. Eating canned spinach? Hmmmm. It’s… Read More

September 25, 2012

Hot Cheeses

Recently I dropped in on a wine and cheese festival in Wisconsin. Several cheese producers were exhibiting their wares, so (naturally) I did some sampling, and chatted a bit with those manning the booths. I asked about a particular pizza cheese that is becoming quite popular in restaurants that are doing classic pizzas in the… Read More

September 25, 2012

Add Heat To Your Menu

We’ve all seen those menus in restaurants –– Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese — where the heat level of certain dishes is marked by a small chile symbol. Usually, one chile is mild, two chiles means hot and three chiles, well,642-532 have a pitcher of milk handy to douse the fire. What in the devil’s name is… Read More

September 25, 2012

Cooking Pizza Sauce

Question: Should I cook or not cook my pizza sauce? Answer: Okay, this doesn’t address dough, but it is a common question nevertheless. I can’t tell you not to cook your sauce, but I can give you some reasons why I personally wouldn’t want to cook my sauce. 1) Cooking the sauce does release flavors, but… Read More

September 25, 2012

Twist on a Basic Sauce

Let’s take a look at a few sauces that are unique yet useful. Sauces that will catch the eye of your customer and, just possibly, leave your competition in the dust. I am not suggesting that you go through a complete sauce makeover, because that would be foolish (customers will only accept subtle changes). What… Read More

September 25, 2012

Molten Lava Cake

Molten lava cake –– you gotta love the name. But to shower even more love on that name, put the word “chocolate” in front of it. This beauty of this cake has been kicking around for a while, but it hasn’t lost any of its appeal. How could it? The very idea of chocolate on… Read More

September 25, 2012

Cannoli

If there were an Italian dessert hall of fame, cannoli would surely be in it (along with tiramisu, gelato and ricotta cheesecake). The word “cannoli” is as recognizable and understood as the word “pizza.” It has to do with the broad appeal of the product. Everyone, from kids to senior citizens, loves cannoli. Cannoli’s (the… Read More

September 25, 2012

Chocolate Cake

More restaurants need to step up to the plate (so to speak) when it comes to desserts. Why? Because you lose income (lower check average) if you don’t. Why? Because you increase customer satisfaction. Absolutely, there are a gazillion desserts –– many of them quite good –– that you can purchase from suppliers that are ready… Read More

classic, sausage, pizza

September 25, 2012

Sausage — the second most popular pizza topping

Considering the fact that sausage is the second most popular pizza topping, it’s interesting that all too often we take this major money maker for granted. And because sausage is one of the most popular topping requests, we should be doubly sure that we are doing the right thing. The “right thing,” in this instance,… Read More

September 25, 2012

Hot Appetizers

Appetizers are sizzling. I have never seen appetizers getting so much attention. Some restaurants are referring to them as “small plates,” but what we are dealing with here are, in fact, appetizers using a pseudonym. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in Chicago when it comes to hot (as in popular) appetizers. For… Read More

Modern Pizza Trends Blend Old-World Style with New-Age Tips and Tricks

As it was first created in Italy, every pizza dough formula consists of flour, salt, yeast and water. Yet modern operators are finding ways to incorporate new flavors and styles into a very old technique. Thin-crust pizza still remains an American favorite, but the country’s many regions have brought to life their own styles. These are more than just pizza trends. Americans are fiercely loyal to their particular favorite pizza styles, from Deep Dish, Grandma and Old Forge to California, Detroit and New Haven. Everyone’s got a favorite –– and Pizza Today examines them all!

 

 

Today’s Restaurant Kitchens Feature More Than Traditional Toppings

Finding a point of differentiation is key when it comes to creating a menu. The pizza industry’s top ingredients include pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green pepper and onion, and every pizzeria offers some version of these toppings. Today, however, the pizza makeline is ever changing and diners are just as likely to find roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, truffle oil and shrimp alongside their classic favorites. And the flavor doesn’t stop on top. Modern pizzaioli have found ways to implement flavor in their pizza dough formula as well. Ingredients like beer, spelt, whole wheat and molasses can give an operator a leg up on their competition and create a one-of-a-kind flavor profile that diners won’t find anywhere else.