In The Kitchen

September 25, 2012

Giardiniera

Giardiniera (jahr-dee-N’YEHR-ah) is one of those situations where even if you stumble through the pronunciation, it still comes out sounding really good, as in appetizing. Here’s another way you can master all those consonants wrapped in vowels. Just say “jar-dee-nearer” and it will be close enough. The giardiniera family can be quite interesting. If it… 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

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

Stuffed Appetizers

September 25, 2012

Stuffed Appetizers

The best part about having stuffed food on your menu is that, in most instances, the dish can be prepared ahead. Take stuffed peppers, for example. There is no way you can do stuffed peppers to order and make it work. The same goes for stuffed shells and stuffed cabbage. On the other hand, stuffed… Read More

September 25, 2012

Ricotta Cheesecake

While we don’t usually think of cheesecake as being Italian, it has been an important part of the sweet endings to many Italian meals for centuries. And, as it goes with all things Italian, there are as many versions of torta di ricotta as there are regions in Italy. The variations from region to region… Read More

September 25, 2012

Potato Tart

Some clarification on Pecorino Romano and Romano is in order. A true pecorino Romano is made from Sheep’s milk (pecorino translates as “little sheep”) and comes from an area around Rome (though pecorino is made in many regions of Italy). Romano made in this country is made with cow’s milk. Pecorino Romano, which is indispensable… Read More

September 25, 2012

Incorporate Antipasta Across the Menu

Don’t limit the antipasto concept to platters. Consider the suggestions below to stretch antipasto across the menu: • Create an antipasto salad where assorted meats, cheese and vegetables sit over mixed greens. • Offer antipasto-style subs, paninis, wraps or sandwiches built around standard platter ingredients such as salami, pepperoni and cheese or roasted artichoke hearts,… Read More

September 25, 2012

Marketing a Coffee Bar

You can have the best coffee bar in the biz, but it doesn’t do you any good if no one knows about it. Here’s how to get the word out: Customer education. Coffee newbies may hesitate to order something because they can’t pronounce it, don’t know what it is or even if they’ll like it…. Read More

Garlic Knots

September 25, 2012

Garlic Knots

Garlic knots have been around for quite a while, but lately they have seen an upswing in popularity. There are a few reasons why that seems to be happening. Think of garlic knots as soft breadsticks with an attitude –– a bit twisted, perhaps, but kindly. Think of garlic knots as snack food, bar food,… Read More

September 25, 2012

Storing & Handling Jalapenos

Choose fresh jalapeños with a glossy shine and deep colors. Avoid wrinkled or soft ones. Store them in a paper bag for one or two weeks in the walk-in. Once sliced, use within three days. Wear gloves when handling to avoid irritating the eyes from the oils found in the jalapeño’s skin. 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.