2009 March: Simple Ideas

2009 March: Simple IdeasWhat’s Up, Doc?

Bugs Bunny loves carrots, and you should, too. Why? Because they’re the perfect way to sweeten a pizza sauce. That’s right, carrots have a built-in natural sugar, so they are excellent for that use. Wash and skin a large carrot and cook it with sauce. Discard the carrot after the sauce is cooked. It’s that simple.

Kid Friendly

We all know families are the backbone of your business. Here are some tips to make your place a welcome spot for the little ones:
? Speak directly to the child, not the parents. Ask them their name, then use it when you reference them.
? Bend down to their level and look them in the eye so as to be less threatening.
? Offer to have the children’s meal prepared as soon as possible, before the adults get their food.
? Have moist wipes on hand.
? Offer the kids coloring sheets and crayons to occupy them while they’re waiting.

To the Woods

So what if you don’t want to sweeten your sauce, but would instead prefer to give it more of an earthy profile? Try dried porcini mushrooms. Reconstitute them in warm water and strain the water through a fine mesh cheesecloth. Save the water, which has a lot of flavor, and add it to the sauce along with the softened mushrooms. A white sauce for pasta using heavy cream, rehydrated mushrooms and grated Parmesan cheese is a real winner!

All Knotted Up?

Here are some tips to keep in mind next time you make garlic knots for your appetizer menu:
?For denser, chewier garlic knots, make them to order. Use your regular aged dough, cut and form the knots, then bake immediately without further proofing.
? To prevent garlic bits from burning at high temperatures in a pizza oven, strain the mixture before applying to the dough. Or, apply only after baking.
? To come up with your own distinctive flavor blend, substitute extra-virgin olive oil for some or all of the butter.
? For variety, sprinkle on freshly grated Romano cheese, chopped oregano, chopped fresh basil and/or crushed red pepper after tossing the knots with the garlic mixture.
? For a more mellow flavor, use roasted garlic instead of fresh garlic cloves.