Restaurant Trends For 2009

The restaurant industry is one of the industries affected the most by the bad economy. The reason is simple – restaurant face rising costs, while consumers looking to save money cut out discretionary spending. Fuel costs make all prices go up especially food, which must be transported to restaurants, and when trying to trim the budgets, many consumers start cooking at home to save money. Restaurants will need to get pretty creative to entice patrons to part with their cash. Here is a look at some restaurant trends you can expect to see next year.

Locally Grown Food

Expect to see more locally grown food next year. With recent scares from tainted food, especially the salmonella incident which mistakenly figered tomatoes as the culprit, restaurants will need to be extra careful with the food it serves its diners. After all, even though they do not know if they bought tainted food, if it makes a customer sick that customer will always remember them as the restaurant that keep them food poisoning. More restaurants will end up souring their food from local farms and Farmers Markets to ensure fresh ingredients.

More Pasta Please

Pasta is one of the most inexpensive menu items for a restaurant to make. For the most part, sauce ingredients are cheap, so restaurants can get away with charging $ 15 for an entree that probably only cost them $ 1. And they can get away with hardly putting any meat in the dish as patrons fill up quickly on pasta.This, coupled with the fact the pasta is a great comfort food, which is big now, will only add to the menu offerings of pasta dishes .

Super-size Me No More

This is one that both patrons and restaurants can agree on. Restaurants are looking to cut back by offering smaller portions. And Americans are only too happy to go along as they attempt to eat healthier. But this comes with a caveat. Although Americans are willing to pay the same amount of their hard earned money for smaller portions, they expect bold flavor in return. They will expect chefs to use in season vegetables and more of them to pack in loads of flavor to their entree.

Forgo the Foie Gras

Another way restaurants will attempt to cut costs is to get rid of the really expensive items like Foie Gras and expensive cuts of beef. Get ready to be introduced to a whole slew of new cuts you never thought you would eat. Like what? How about chicken livers, tongue, pigs cheeks, etc, etc.

Deals, Deals, Deals

Restaurants are really trying to get creative to get customers in their door. I have seen many more couples and BOGO deals than I have ever seen before. You will probably see more Fixed Price or Prix Fixe deals, which used to be relegated to dining week or those restaurants in the theater district. I think you will start to see more of these in the burbs and some …

The One Recipe You Should Never Make With Your KitchenAid Mixer

A few weeks ago I was researching the KitchenAid stand mixer and I came across a blog post by someone that I thought was not the best advice. The blog post was all about making pancakes with your mixer (or any stand mixer really). Now the recipe was probably pretty good but the process is what was flawed in my opinion.

For me pancakes are all about being soft and light and fluffy. They should not be dense or chewy or gummy in any way. If I wanted that, I could make a trip to one of those all night breakfast joints and get a stack of hockey puck flap jacks.

No, for me pancakes need to be handled with care and attention. The reason is gluten. Now for a bit of food science. Gluten is a protein, actually it is a composition of 2 proteins named gliadin and glutenin. When water is added to wheat flour and then mechanically mixed, gluten forms. And it is this wonderful gluten that gives bread dough and pasta their chewy and elastic characteristics. But since the gluten content is increased by mechanical mixing or kneading, it is not something we ever want to do if we desire to have light and fluffy pancakes.

So, the next time you want to enjoy some pan fried goodness for breakfast, leave your mixer tucked neatly away. Instead, follow this basic cooking process.

You can use any basic pancake recipe that you like. The key to a great result is in the mixing. What you want to do is mix all the dry ingredients first in a bowl that is large enough for your batter. Next, mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Now, before you add the wet to the dry, get prepared. An electric griddle is probably the best appliance for cooking pancakes at home but if you have to use a frying pan, that will also work. There are 2 differences. An electric griddle has a built-in thermostat which means the heat will remain more constant than with a pan on the stove. Second, the griddle means you can cook a lot more pancakes at the same time. I use a pan on the stove myself but I never cook more than one pancake at a time and I keep them warm in the oven till ready to serve. It’s not the best but I have no more room to store a griddle so I chose not to buy one. Using my stove, I heat the pan for 2 minutes at level 5. Then I turn down the heat to 4 when cooking. If I notice that things are taking too long, I increase the heat for about another minute and then lower to 4 again.

Now that you have a hot cooking appliance ready, it is time to mix the batter. You want to achieve the mixing as fast as possible without activating too much gluten. So, take the wet ingredients …

An Average Guy’s Unpaid, Unbiased Review of the NuWave Oven Versus the Flavor Wave Oven

Note, if you don’t have a lot of time, or you don’t want the full story, skip to my Bottom Line section at the end.

Background:

I do a lot of eating out, in fact, I was doing too much eating out and I knew that had to quit. I know it’s more economical and in most cases better for you to eat at home, but the challenge I have is that I don’t have a lot of time – and let’s face it, I don’t want to have to work that hard to get food. Like most guys, I am not that interested in cooking, I just like eating.

The trouble is, neither of the cooking appliances I had in the house were really good at cooking chicken, meat, sandwiches, pizza, etc: the microwave’s quick but the food comes out rubbery (and it doesn’t cook meat well). The oven on the other had takes way too long to get going, I can’t see the food when it’s in there and it’s just not that practical to turn it on for a couple of pieces of chicken. So therein is my problem: I know I need to eat better at home, but I don’t have the equipment to cook the food that I like.

A few months ago I started seeing ads on television for the NuWave and Flavor Wave Ovens. Probably much like you I was skeptical of the advertising, while the infomercials they’re running nowadays are comical, I’ve found many of them to be not as much dishonest but not forthright in telling the whole truth. For example, I’d purchased a Magic Bullet a year ago, in all honesty it works okay, but I still see the ads running on TV and I notice that they toned down or muted the sound of the gizmo when it was running – it almost sounds whisper quite. The Magic Bullet is anything but whisper quiet, that’s what I mean about not telling the whole truth. The bottom line, you have to be careful when ordering off of television infomercials.

NuWave Versus Flavor Wave Ovens:

Well, I waited for quite some time before pulling the trigger on one of these ovens. I’d invested an hour or two reading online reviews (where I could find them), and I found that both the NuWave and Flavor Wave Ovens had good reviews and bad reviews as well. The majority of the bad reviews centered on poor customer service, durability issues and the inability to get assistance if/when your oven broke. I’ve had my oven for a month or so now and to this point, it’s worked fine, so I am not sure if these negative reviews are true or not – I just don’t know. What I can tell you is that I looked at both NuWave and Flavor Wave Ovens and just decided to go with the NuWave because I could set it to individual minutes (the Flavor Wave I don’t believe can …

What is the Best Turkey Cooking Temperature?

If you've ever had turkey at a thanksgiving dinner, but found it dry or bland, then this article may help you understand why. Sometimes it is simply down to the flavoring they used, but often it is down to the way the turkey was cooked – either it was not properly ordered, or often enough, or it was cooked at the wrong temperature.

Some people mistakenly cook a turkey at too high a temperature, and keep it in for far too long – this can leave you with a turkey that is very dry and over cooked. While this has a less than ideal taste, it is better than the alternative – an undercooked turkey, and food poisoning.

The Right Way to Cook a Turkey

In general, turkeys should be cooked at 325 degrees. Preheat the oven, and then keep everyone away from it – especially inquisitive children who could be inclined to try to play with the knobs! Try not to open the oven door without it is time to baste the turkey, as this lets out the heat, and slows down the cooking process.

You can rely on the cooking directions to get an idea of ​​how long the turkey should take to cook, but if you have a meat thermometer this is even better. Insert it into the deepest part of the turkey to check the temperature. A turkey is fully cooked when the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. If it is anything less than this, put the turkey back in for a bit longer, as you could risk giving your guests food poisoning if you serve up an undercooked turkey, and food poisoning is most certainly not fun! …

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Each year, eighty percent of the pumpkins grown in the USA are harvested in October. Commercially canned puree is probably the most familiarible form of this popular autumn produce, however the mild, slightly sweet flesh of fresh pumpkin makes an excellent dish when baked, boiled, sauteed, steamed or microwaved. The pumpkin seeds, as well, may be toasted to create a surprisingly tasty and healthy snack.

This article will discuss the process of selecting the proper cooking pumpkin and the technique for preparing homemade pumpkin puree.

Selecting and Storing Fresh Pumpkins …

  • For cooking, select the small 'pie' types, often called sugar, cheese or milk pumpkins – the 'jack-'o-lantern' pumpkins are not as sweet and the flesh is tough and stringy. (If not, ask your grocer to help select the proper variety.)
  • Always select firm, sound pumpkins that feel heavy for their size. The rind should not have any blemishes or soft spots and a 2 to 3-inch stem should be intact.
  • Fresh pumpkins may be stored in a cool, dry dark place for up to 2 months. Ideal temperature range for storage is 55 to 59F (12.5 to 15C). Do not store below 50F (10C) and do not store fresh pumpkin in a refrigerator or wrap in plastic.

    How to Prepare Homemade Pumpkin Puree …

    The following recipe will yield a minimum of 1-3 / 4 cups of puree – equal to 1 (15-oz.) Can of solid pack pumpkin puree. (Three pounds of fresh pumpkin will yield about 3 cups mashed cooked pumpkin.) Any leftover puree may be frozen – see freezing instructions below. Use this puree in recipes or substitute it in the same amount in any recipe calling for solid pack canned pumpkin.

    1. Choose a 3 to 4 pound sugar ('pie') pumpkin for preparing puree. (Under no circumstances cook or eat a carved Halloween pumpkin as the cut surfaces breed bacteria.)

    2. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).

    3. Just prior to baking, rinse the pumpkin under cold water to remove any dirt or debris from the outside of the pumpkin; Wipe dry with a cloth or paper towel.

    4. Split the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy fibers by scraping the insides with a metal spoon. Discard fibers and save seeds for toasting, if desired.

    5. Rub the cut surfaces of the pumpkin with canola oil and place the 2 halves (cut-side-down) in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water.

    6. Bake in preheated oven until pumpkin flesh is tender when pierced with a knife (approximately 90 minutes).

    7. Remove the pumpkin halves from the oven and place them on a cutting board or other flat surface to cool.

    8. When cool enough to handle, scoop the baked flesh out of each pumpkin half with a spoon.

    9. Puree pumpkin in a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade or mash by hand.

    10. Place the puree in a sieve lined with a paper-towel or coffee filter and set over a deep

  • 10 Benefits and Benefits of Biscuits for Health

    Biscuits are one of the first foods only created as a distraction. However, due to all age groups, these food manufacturers are then refining their products with a variety of nutritional content needed by the body. No wonder if this food is used as a practical and nutritious alternative food. Even through the creative process, delicious biscuits and healthy now you can meet anywhere because the public awareness of health has increased.

    Talking about this food can be made a special alternative food that allows being combined with other ingredients. Then, the nutritional value of these foods today vary. In addition, There are these foods that contain fiber derived from vegetables or wheat. These foods with fiber content derived from vegetables or wheat. For those of you who want to know what are the benefits and efficacy of this biscuit, here are the benefits.

    Biscuits are one of the first foods only created as a distraction. However, due to all age groups, these food manufacturers are then refining their products with a variety of nutritional content needed by the body. No wonder if this food is used as a practical and nutritious alternative food. Even through the creative process.

    Talking about this food can be made a special alternative food that allows being combined with other ingredients. Then, the nutritional value of these foods today vary. In addition, There are these foods that contain fiber derived from vegetables or wheat. These foods with fiber content derived from vegetables or wheat. For those of you who want to know what are the benefits and efficacy of this biscuit, here are the benefits.

    Biscuits, Benefits of Biscuits, Benefits of Biscuits

    1. Reduce chronic inflammation

    Helps you to reduce chronic inflammation. Inflammation is one of the major constituents in most types of arthritic pain. Therefore, consume these foods in healthy and active amounts will reduce inflammation.

    1. Preventing type 2 diabetes

    For those of you who want to prevent diabetes is very dangerous this does not need difficult-difficult to find drugs. Only by regular consumption of biscuits will avoid the disease. This happens because this food has a content that has been believed to prevent diabetes.

    1. Increase the body’s metabolism

    Biscuits are very effective in patients with metabolic disorders. Then the researchers suggested eating foods that contain fiber, including these foods. In addition, this diet is one of the fastest, most effective and fun ways to reduce the metabolic syndrome of the body.

    1. Prevent gallstones

    Researchers claiming biscuits have proven that these cereals are made from these foods to help women prevent gallstones. Then, these foods are very rich in soluble fiber, which decreases the secretion of bile acids. If excessive bile acids are one of the main causes of gallstone formation.

    1. Good for digestive health

    Biscuits rich in fiber are able to maintain your digestive health, as well as good to prevent various kinds of digestive disorders in the body. The process of digestion is one of the important processes in the cycle that …

    Make Creamy Chicken Pot Pie – Recipe and Cooking Tips

    Chicken Pies are feel-good food. This Chicken Pot Pie Recipe is just the thing for rich and flavorful dinner idea. The perfect home-cooked meal for your family. The wine adds an amazing flavor to the pie filling. Using ready-made puff pastry will help you save time.

    You can make the whole thing ahead of time and bake it just before serving. A really great idea and time saver, is to make a double portion of the pie filling and then freeze it for when you need a meal in a hurry. You can try tasty variations once you've mastered the basics. Not exactly low-fat diet friendly but perfectly served with buttery mash and baby peas.

    Some Chicken Pie Baking Tips

    • You can make the chicken pie ahead of time and bake it just before serving.
    • Make a double portion of the pie filling and then freeze it for when you need a meal in a hurry.
    • Always have a ready-made roll of puff pastry in the freezer for when you feel like pie.
    • Be sure to make a few small slits in the top of the pastry so that the steam can escape during the baking time.
    • Use left-over chicken or ready-cooked chicken if you want to save time.
    • Use vegetables in season as these will be cheaper and readily available.
    • Adjust the seasoning in the filling to suit your own taste.
    • Wine adds amazing depth to the flavor of the filling so if possible do not leave it out.

    Chicken Pot Pie Recipe Ingredients

    • Olive oil and butter, for frying
    • Salt and milled pepper
    • 500g deboned chicken thighs, diced
    • 2 leeks, sliced
    • 2 celery sticks, sliced
    • 1 pack (250g) white or brown mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 Tbsp (30ml) thyme leaves
    • 1/2 cup (125ml) white wine
    • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
    • 1 tub (250ml) cream
    • 1 small packet (80g) baby spinach, blanched and chopped or frozen vegetable mix
    • 1 cup (250ml) fresh or frozen peas
    • 1 roll puff pastry, defrosted, divided into 4
    • 1 extra-large egg yolk, beaten

    Cooking Instructions For Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pies

    1. Preheat oven to 220 C.
    2. Heat the oil and butter in pan and lightly saute the season chicken until browned. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and set aside.
    3. Fry the leeks, celery and mushrooms until soft but be careful not to brown too much. Add the chopped garlic and fry for another minute.
    4. Toss in the thyme leaves, wine, chicken stock, cream and browned chicken. Let this simmer for 25 minutes – the liquid should reduced by about half. Stir through wilted spinach and peas.
    5. Spoon filling into 4 ramekins / small pie dishes and cover each with pastry. Crimp edges with a fork and make a few slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape from the chicken pies while they are baking.
    6. Brush the tops of the pies with egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry has gone that delicious golden color.

    How Long To Bake – Chicken

    Today, chickens are cooked and prepared in so many ways. Fast food chickens have been one of our favorites but it's not that healthy. Usually, we buy them for the taste and for convenience when we lack time to cook but fast food chickens are mostly fried containing a lot of cholesterol. Let us remember that we should still be conscious of our health and it's better to prepare the food ourselves.

    One healthy option is baking a chicken; You can just use little olive oil to cook it. It does not require a huge amount of oil to cook you can less the cholesterol going into your body. Another advantage of preparing the chicken yourself is that you are sure of sanitation when it comes to food preparation. It will not just be quite enjoyable to make but a family bonding as well. So here is how to bake a chicken:

    Required Ingredients:
    • About 2 to 3 lb. Chicken cut up
    • Freshly ground salt and pepper
    • Dried or fresh herbs such as rosemary, tarragon, thyme, or oregano
    • Marinade (optional)
    • Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray

    Equipment Needed:
    • Baking dish
    • Meat thermometer
    • Kitchen oven
    • Sharp kitchen knife
    • Roasting pan

    Baking A Chicken 101:

    Step 1- Preparation

    The first and very important thing before before baking a chicken is to wash the chicken thoroughly and pat the chicken dry gently. If you want to use marinade, marinate your chicken overnight for the flavors and juices to be fully absorbed. This will not just soften your chicken but will add aroma and flavor when it's baked. There are already prepared marinades like the Italian dressing. It's convenient because it's already prepared for you. You only need to put the marinade into a zip lock and place the chicken inside, mix it well through the chicken's body by turning. Close it tightly and place it overnight inside the refrigerator.

    Step 2- Getting Ready

    Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Get your roasting pan and coat lightly with olive oil or spray with a little amount of non-stick cooking spray. If you have marinated it, take the chicken out from the marinade and place the chicken skin side up in the roasting pan. If you have not used marinade, sprinkle a little salt and pepper and other herbs as you desire. If you have used marinade, you do not have to season it that much because the flavor is already there.

    Step 3- Cooking The Chicken

    Place the chicken inside the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Do not cover it and check whether it is done using a meat thermometer to ascertain the temperature. Always make sure to place the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken to get accurate readings and avoiding uncooked or overcooked chicken.

    Step 4- Making Sure The Chicken is Ready To Eat

    When the chicken is still pink, it is not yet fully cooked and not …

    Slow Cooker Method Ideal for Freezer Burned Flank Steak

    When meat goes on sale I stock up for the weeks ahead. We have a chest freezer and food items at the bottom can be forgotten. The other day I found a flank steak, (a pricey cut of meat) and saw, to my dismay, that it had freezer burn.

    What is freezer burn anyway? It happens after food has been frozen for a long time. Meat develops white spots and the texture and flavor are changed. In fact, red meat may look gray or pale brown. These discolored areas are dry and one of the best ways to cook the meat is with a method that adds moisture — braising or using a slow cooker.

    Seeing dry, discolored meat may make you worry about food safety. Don’t worry. According to the USDA, freezer-urned meat is still safe to eat. One edge of the flank steak was burned, but it was such a small area that I left it alone. But the USDA recommends cutting away badly burned sections. “Heavily freezer-burned foods may have to be discarded for quality reasons,” notes the USDA.

    Though I had stored the steak i a heavy plastic bag with a zipper closing, over time, it had still developed freezer burn. To add moisture, I decided to cook the steak in seasoned broth. I defrosted the steak in the microwave and cut it in half to fit in my slow cooker. (I have the smallest size.) As it cooks the steak shrinks a bit, so you need to keep this in mind when you plan your meal.

    A few hours later, my husband and I were feasting on some of the tastiest steaks we have ever eaten. The slow cooker method will work with balltips, round steak, and other tougher cuts of meat. Usually flank steak is sliced across the grain. With the slow cooking method, however, you cut with the grain or shred the meat. Everyone in the family will enjoy this flavorful recipe.

    Ingredients

    1 flank steak (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)

    2 cups no-salt beef stock

    1 tablespoon ketchup

    1 tomato, chopped

    3-4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped

    4 ounces mushrooms, sliced

    1/4 cup gravy flour (approximate – you may need more)

    Water

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Prepared mashed potatoes

    Method

    Place cooking bag in slow cooker. Stir ketchup into beef stock. Lay flank steak in cooker. Pour stock mixture over meat and scatter vegetables on top. Cover and cook on high setting for 3 1/2 hours on low or 5 hours on high setting. Remove meat and set on cutting board. Whisk water into flour to make a slurry, making sure there are no lumps. With cooker in high, stir slurry into liquid, and cook until sauce thickens. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Put lid back on slow cooker to keep sauce hot. Shred meat and lay on top of mashed potatoes. Top each serving with a generous amount of sauce. Serve with a green …

    How to Cook Chestnuts

    Wondering how to cook chestnuts? It’s not so mysterious or difficult as you may think and even if you don’t decide to cook them yourself, there are several wonderful chestnut products that make it even easier to enjoy this fabulous nugget of nutrition.

    Selecting and Preparing Chestnuts

    • If you wish to cook chestnuts yourself, be sure that you buy only very fresh chestnuts. They should feel heavy in your hand and not rattle about in their shell. Chestnuts tend to go bad – rapidly growing moldy and wormy.
    • Chestnuts have a hard outer shell and a thin inner skin, both of which you need to remove in order to eat them. It is easier to remove these when the chestnuts are hot.
    • You always need to pierce the shell before cooking, otherwise pressure will build up in the nut and they will explode.

    Three Methods for How to Cook Chestnuts

    1. Roasting chestnuts – Just like in the Christmas song, learn how to cook chestnuts over an open fire for a fun family activity. You will need a special long handled chestnut roasting pan or popcorn popper to do this. Using a sharp knife, cut an X through the shell of each chestnut. Place in the pan and roast for about 20 minutes, tossing and turning the pan occasionally.
    2. Baking chestnuts – This gives similar results to roasting but requires no special equipment. Simply slit the shells with an X and place on baking tray. Bake at 375° F for about 20 minutes. If you wrap the chestnuts in a dishtowel while they are still hot, this can make shelling them easier.
    3. Boiling chestnuts – Boiling chestnuts is a good option if you are planning on using them in a recipe. You can cut the chestnuts in two and make sure they are good before boiling. Place the chestnuts in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes or until the chestnuts are done as you wish (this depends somewhat on the size and what recipe you are using them in). Shell and peel the chestnuts under cold running water while they are still hot (you may want to wear gloves).

    Chestnut Products

    Chestnuts are very nutritious, low fat, and can be employed in a variety of ways. Even if you don’t learn how to cook chestnuts, do try using some of the great chestnut products available on the market to add this interesting food to your life.

    • Roasted chestnuts – You can buy jars of roasted chestnuts ready to use. Add these to soups, stews, steamed vegetables, or just enjoy them straight from the jar.
    • Chestnut puree – This comes in both sweetened and unsweetened preparations depending on how you would like to use it.
    • Chestnut flour – This is an excellent product for people on gluten free diets. Adds an interesting dimension to cakes, breads, crepes, and other baked goods.