March 21, 2012
The season for morels, the highly prized mushrooms that chefs pine for all year long, is right around the corner. While these tasty trinkets are simple to prepare and full of flavor, the fact of the matter is that they aren’t well suited for use on pizza. And they carry a prohibitive food cost. Thankfully, a variety of other mushrooms are perfect for pizza, pasta, sandwiches and more.
Whether you intend to use a wild mushroom, such as shiitake or enoke, or a cultivated mushroom, the key is to utilize the texture and the flavor of the ingredient to its fullest. This means taking the time to properly prep mushrooms instead of simply haphazardly tossing a handful of them into a cooked pasta.
One trick is to first sauté mushrooms in butter, as this process unearths their flavor. Next, cook them in with your sauce, if you intend to use the mushrooms in a pasta dish, for example. This really maximizes the hit to the customer’s palate.
Beyond butter, olive oil or perhaps a little white wine, mushrooms really need no enhancement. Their earthy tones and texture are enough to carry a properly executed dish.
If you’re looking to branch out beyond cultivated white mushrooms and want to take a look at how to utilize wild mushrooms in your shop, click here.
Death & Taxes
The coming of April means one thing for most Americans: tax filing. As a business owner you are accustomed to handling this issue quarterly rather than annually, yet the process never gets any less cumbersome.
Now is the time to tap into your accountant’s expertise. What can you do to lower your tax burden? Should you buy that new mixer now or wait a little while longer? Can you afford to give yourself a pay raise?
You accountant can be a proactive business partner. Click here for information on what you should be asking your numbers cruncher right now.
Making the Grade?
Need an honest, objective opinion of your pizza shop’s food, service and operations? A secret shopper program might well be the best way to find out whether you really make the grade. But it’s not as simple as paying a friend of a friend $50 to come in for 10 minutes and then fill out a quick performance survey form.
A good secret shopper will note everything from signage visibility to parking lot cleanliness to speed of service. He or she will point out problems that the average customer will notice, but not report.
If you plan to enlist a secret shopper, click here for a list of six questions you’ll want answered by them every time.
Looking to open a new pizzeria? Congratulations. But going from one location to two is a drastic leap that requires more than confidence. Think about it … you are one person, and you are doubling the size of your company overnight. Think you’re well prepared? You’d better be.
With one opening under your belt, you have a point of reference. But if it has been a while, building codes have changed, lending practices have changed and consumer preferences have changed. If you are like everyone else and need to borrow money to get started, your research is just beginning.
Click here to read about some common avenues for accessing growth capital.
Featured Recipe — Shrimp Tequila Lime Pizza
Unconventional? Yes. Tasty? Yes. Buzzworthy: heck yes!
This pizza plays on a red-hot foodservice flavor — lime. Partnering it with seafood gives the finished product exquisite balance and flavor. And the tequila? Well, it’s amazing how one tablespoon of this stuff can create a media buzz.
A pizza very similar to this one drew rave reviews at the International Pizza Challenge during last week’s International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. In fact, it was such a hit that Buzzfeed and Yahoo! covered it.
Shrimp Tequila Lime Pizza
28-ounce sourdough ball
4 ounces garlic ranch sauce
5 jalepeno pepper slices, finely chopped
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon tequila
1 ounce Parmesan cheese
½ cup chopped onions
For the rest of this delicious recipe, click here.