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.
This month, The Cheese Whiz is addressing two important cheeses –– ricotta and ricotta salata. Though similar in name, these two cheeses are like night and day. Let me explain. In this country, ricotta is made from whole or partially skimmed cow’s milk. Italian ricotta is made from sheep’s-milk whey. Similarly, ricotta salata (ree-COH-tah sah-LAH-tah) … More »
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 … More »
The Organic Trade Association provides background and information about organic food on its web site, www.ota.com. The OTA defines organic as food that is produced in soil that is free of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers. The food itself must be raised without the use of antibiotics, synthetic hormones, genetic engineering, sewer sludge or … More »
Scamorza is the Rodney Dangerfield of cheeses –– it gets no respect. But it should –– this is a cheese that restaurant owners should take a hard look at. Just the idea of offering, say, a specialty pizza using scamorza will get the attention of any customer simply because the name is not one that … More »
Worried about potential allergic reactions? Want a nut-free pesto? Start with coarsely ground cheese as opposed to finely ground cheese to help better approximate the texture of a traditional pesto. Next, add fennel or finely diced carrots, zucchini or celery. This will provide a different flavor, one that will distinguish your pesto from the competition.
Here we are, October and National Pizza Month. It’s time to celebrate! For some operators the summer has been slow, but now that kids are back in school, pizza is back on the menu again for social and school functions, and home meals for families on the go. This is the month to begin promoting … More »
I prefer using fresh vegetables on my pizza, but they have more water content and create a soggy pizza. Is there a solution to this problem? A: Yes, there is. I like fresh veggies too, and I solved that problem by using a Japanese breadcrumb. I find it best to sauce the dough first, then … More »
My son just over a small bar/restaurant and really wants to offer hand-tossed pizzas. Can they be cooked in the convection oven? A: You can bake a decent pizza in a convection oven, but you can’t bake it in a pizza pan. See, in a traditional pizza oven, you have about 85 to 90 percent … More »
What are the advantages of portion control, or is it best to freehand? The biggest advantage of portion control is definitely food cost control. This is an area that many foodservice workers miss out on. Over-portioning can account for a large part of high food costs second to food waste. You obviously want to start with portion … More »