Making Food More Delicious

Increase Your Customer Base By Making Your Restaurant More Food-Allergy Friendly

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Increase Your Customer Base By Making Your Restaurant More Food-Allergy Friendly

If you own a restaurant or other type of dining establishment, you may want to consider being able to accommodate people who have food allergies. According to Food Allergy Research & Education, 4% of adults and 8% of children have food allergies, and food allergies have increased in children at a rate of 50% between 1997 and 2011. According to statistics, 200,000 emergency room visits each year are attributed to food allergy reactions. Some reactions can cause anaphylaxis, which can be a deadly allergic reaction. Due to the severity and the continuing increase in food allergies among the U.S. population, many restaurants and eateries are developing and implementing customer service plans for patrons who have life-threatening food allergies. Here are a few things you can do to decrease your customers’ risks and increase your customer base. Develop a new menu with allergen warnings Give your customers more options by developing food items that would be safe for those who have the most common food allergens: eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, and shellfish. Use the food product labels for all your ingredients to annotate which items have the common food allergens. Print menus that clearly define which foods contain allergens. Small pictures underneath each menu item description can help your customers make their choices. For example, a desert that contains peanuts can have a picture of a peanut with a red X crossed over it. Place a disclaimer in your menu that tells customers to notify their server if they have a food allergy. There’s no need to ask customers if they have a food allergy. Those who have life-threatening allergies have learned to ask because their lives depend on it. Train at least one person for each shift to personally handle allergen requests Train some or all of your staff to handle customers who state they have a food allergy. You should have at least one trained person on staff for each shift. Preferably, this individual should have some authority in your establishment, such as a manager or assistant manager. Training can take place in any local community college or online through educational services. You can learn more about classes in your area or online by contacting your local health department. These staff members will learn about the dangers of cross-contact and how to avoid it. They will also learn how to read labels and prepare food safely for customers who have food allergies. Assign these individuals the responsibility of preparing the dishes and serving the customers upon the customers’ requests and do not permit any untrained personnel to perform any of the tasks. The prepared dishes should be garnished by the trained personnel and delivered to the customer separately. That way, there is no risk of cross-contact in case one plate touches another plate as sometimes happens in a busy restaurant. Purchase new equipment and supplies, and designate a safe area for preparation The best way to avoid cross-contact is to have a separate area in which the only foods prepared are for those who have requested allergen safe foods. For example, in this area, there should be at least one fryer, grill, oven and any other type of equipment that your restaurant uses to prepare food. Equipment (such as pans, food processors, and utensils) should...

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How To Make Spanish Rice Like Your Favorite Mexican Restaurant

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Make Spanish Rice Like Your Favorite Mexican Restaurant

Whether you’re making it at home or visiting your favorite local Mexican restaurant, one side dish that’s synonymous with Mexican meals is rice. Spanish rice, traditionally made with tomatoes and peppers, is packed with flavor and makes a fantastic accompaniment to dishes known for their big flavors. If you have always enjoyed the flavor of Spanish rice but didn’t know how to reproduce it yourself, this is the article for you. Here’s a look at what you need to know to produce a Spanish rice dish that’s packed with Mexican spices and bold flavors. Gather Your Ingredients The first step to a great Spanish rice is to start with great ingredients. 4 tablespoons of salted butter 2 cups dry instant rice 1 small yellow onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced 1 garlic clove, minced 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes 1 cup of beef broth 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper Preparation Tips Open the can of tomatoes, but don’t drain them. You’ll want that canning liquid to help saturate the tomato flavor into the rice. When you seed and dice the jalapeno, consider wearing plastic disposable gloves to protect your skin and reduce the risk of spreading pepper into your eyes. Dice up all of the vegetables ahead of time so that you’re ready to put everything in the pan as you reach the proper stage for the addition. Making the Rice You’ll want to use a Dutch oven or other large pot for your rice, because the thick base of these types of pots holds heat more evenly. This may help reduce the risk of burning the rice if you get distracted and forget to stir. It also gives you lots of room for the broth to bubble and help cook the rice. Put the butter into the pot over medium heat. Let the butter melt, then add the rice and stir it around until it starts to toast. Then, add the onion, peppers and garlic. Stir the mixture constantly so that the garlic doesn’t burn. You’ll want to cook these things together for about five minutes. Then, add the can of tomatoes, liquid included. Stir it well to coat everything in the pan. Slowly add the beef broth, stirring thoroughly. Drop in the bay leaf, then add the chili powder, sugar and black pepper. If you used a low-sodium broth, add the salt. If not, taste the broth to see if it’s salty enough or if it needs a bit of salt. Add it if necessary. Bring the whole mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, cover the pot and lower the heat to medium-low. Let the rice simmer until it’s cooked through and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Modifications and Serving Suggestions Spanish rice is a versatile base for many things. Create an entire meal out of the dish by adding cooked chorizo or smoked sausage and a half-cup of frozen corn kernels about 5 minutes before the rice is done. You can also serve this without any mix-ins and just top it with a bit of Colby jack cheese. The creamy texture of the melted cheese adds...

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Three Simple Desserts That Accentuate The Flavors Of High Quality Dark Chocolate

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Simple Desserts That Accentuate The Flavors Of High Quality Dark Chocolate

When you have high quality, gourmet chocolate, you want to enjoy it in a way that allows its flavors to shine, rather than camouflaging it with too many other ingredients. That’s not to say you always have to enjoy your gourmet chocolate plain. Here are three simple dessert recipes that accentuate the flavors of good chocolate. Chocolate Drizzled Berry Bowls This simple dessert is a light choice that’s perfect after a hearty meal. With plenty of fresh berries and dark chocolate, it’s also pretty healthy. The recipe makes enough for four, but it’s easily doubled if you’re having company. Ingredients: 4 chocolate dessert cups 1/2 cup fresh blueberries 1/2 cup fresh raspberries 4 medium strawberries 1/2 cup high-quality dark chocolate, cut into small chunks Start by dividing the blueberries and raspberries between the dessert cups. If you desire, you can fan each of the strawberries by making several vertical cuts, starting at the tip of the strawberry, and going almost all of the way to the stem end. Slide the partial slices apart to reveal a fan shape. Set the strawberries and the filled bowls aside. To melt the chocolate, fill the bottom portion of a double boiler with water, and bring it to a boil. Place the chocolate in the top part of the double boiler, and stir constantly until it melts. Make sure you keep the heat on low so that the chocolate does not melt too quickly and become scorched. When the chocolate is fully melted, drizzle it over the berries in the dessert cups. Place a strawberry on top of each cup, and serve immediately before the chocolate has a chance to harden. Simple Ganache Over Vanilla Ice Cream When you want something cool and refreshing in the summer, serve yourself a bowl of this elegant, yet easy-to-make dessert. Ganache preserves the true flavor of good chocolate, since the only ingredients in it are heavy cream, chocolate, and a dash of salt. The vanilla ice cream lets the ganache really shine as the key element of the dish. Ingredients: 1 cup heavy cream 1 1/2 cups high-quality dark chocolate, chopped coarsely 1 pinch of salt 1/2 gallon high-quality vanilla ice cream Pour the cream and salt into a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat the cream just until bubbles start to form around its edges — do not let it boil. Remove the cream from the heat, and stir in the chocolate until a smooth sauce forms. Serve this sauce, while warm, over bowls of the vanilla ice cream. Salted Caramel Fondue Fondue is a lot of fun to enjoy at parties. Serving this chocolate-based fondue will keep the party going after dinner by encouraging guests to interact and giggle over the dipping pot. With a base of dark chocolate, this fondue also contains a hint of caramel and sea salt. It’s magnificent on everything from apples to marshmallows. This recipe requires an electric fondue pot. Ingredients: 2 cups high-quality dark chocolate, chopped 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 cup caramel sauce Turn your fondue pot on low, and allow it to come up to temperature. Add the ingredients to the pot, and stir gently until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Allow guests to dip their own...

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