Foodservice Tips – How Long to Cook Fish

Source: How Long to Cook Fish | LEAFtv

By Andrea Cespedes

Unless you’re eating sushi, no one wants undercooked fish. The amount of time it takes to cook fish depends on the type of fish you’re cooking, the size of the fish and the method that you’re using.

Methods, such as baking, sauteing, broiling, poaching and steaming, follow a 10-minute rule. For baking, set the oven to about 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Determine how thick the fish fillet or whole fish is at its thickest point. For every inch, plan for 10 minutes of cook time. So, if your fillet is 1/2 inch thick, you’ll need about five minutes.

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Use the 10-minute rule for stuffed or rolled fish, too. Simply measure right before you put the fish in the oven, when the fish is completely prepped.

Turn the fish approximately halfway through the cooking time. But, if the fish is thin — less than 1/2 inch thick — turning is unnecessary.

The fish is safe to eat once it’s reached an internal temperature of 145 F when you insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest portion. Thin fillets — such as sole — can be visually inspected for doneness.

Tips

For fish that’s cooked en papillote, wrapped in foil or parchment paper, or in a sauce such as curried fish, add five minutes to the cook time. If you’re cooking fish straight from a frozen state — double the cook time. For example, a 1/2-inch steak needs 10 minutes.

A fish with pink or white flesh will appear opaque rather than translucent when fully cooked. The flesh should feel firm, but still look and feel moist. If you’re not sure, use a fork to break into the fillet. The meat should easily flake. Avoid overcooking fish as it dries out easily.

Fish steaks, including salmon and swordfish, respond well to grilling. They’re firm, so they stand up to the grates and this less precise method of cooking.

Preheat the grill. Ensure your grill is clean or you’ll risk having the fish stick and fall apart during the cooking process.

Place the fish steak directly on the grill in the hottest portion. Sear the outside for1 to 2 minutes per side.

Move the fish steak to a slightly cooler section of the grill to finish cooking. Use the 10-minute-per-inch rule.

Tips

If you’re grilling fish that still has skin attached, such as whitefish or coho salmon, place a greased layer of foil over the top of the grates and grill the fish, using the 10-minute rule.

To cook fillets on the grill, wrap them along with seasonings in foil and use the 10-minute rule. You should also wrap whole fish — and the 10-minute rule applies as well. Enhance the flavor of grilled fish with a flavorful marinade.

 

Holding pizza hot and fresh in a pizza warmer

The pizza market is a huge slice of the restaurant industry, reaching over $38 Billion in Pizza oven2015 according to PMG Pizza Magazine.  Pizzas are flying out of the ovens at an incredible rate as the restaurant industry is forecasted by the NRA (National Restaurant Association) to continue to grow.  Millennials are leading the way in pizza purchasing power and Mintel is projecting them to account for 30% of all U.S. retail sales by 2020.

Millennials are a generation of foodies who want pizza, and they want it now.  To keep wait times down and quality up, many pizza restaurants are using pizza warming cabinets.  These pizza hot boxes are designed to keep pizza hot while maintaining a high quality, service ready product.  The millennial foodie is aware of the quality products that are available; They know and seek out new, intense flavors, and textures of artisan dishes.

It’s paramount that pizzerias keep the high-quality product that they are turning out of their kitchens all the way through the sales processes.  The investment and efforts that are put into the staple menu item should not be neglected in the few precious minutes before the customer bites into the slice.  80% of what makes that product great, is what happens between the oven and the plate.

Specially designed foodservice equipment such as pizza warmers, or holding cabinets, are TS-1633-36made to maintain safe food temperatures while keeping the pizza as hot and fresh as it is right out of the oven.  To do this, companies such as FWE / Food Warming Equipment have figured out the ideal temperature and humidity settings specifically for pizza.  FWE has found that maintaining and holding pizza at 150°F – 160°F with a relative humidity* of 15% – 20% will keep the pizza at an optimal serving quality.

FWE’s hot holding pizza cabinets come with something very unique in the industry; They have a small removable water pan located by the heating elements and an air circulating fan, that allows for just the right amount of vapor to lift out of the water and humidify the cabinet.  This heated holding environment is made with your pizza in mind.  Being product specific when designed means they have engineered the correct wattage for food temperature, along with the correct air to moisture levels to maintain product consistency.

As the pizza industry is sure to continue to feed the generations following the millennials, the consumers are going to seek faster service and higher quality.  Foodservice solutions are available to help as labor becomes difficult to find, and as customers become more informed and picky.  Something as simple as a pizza warmer cabinet can help you get and keep that slice of pizza industry business.

* the amount of water vapor present in air expressed as a percentage of the amount needed for saturation at the same temperature.

Pizza

Bring this to your boss: 10 reasons to attend – NAFEM

Source: Bring this to your boss: 10 reasons to attend – NAFEM

We get it: Taking even a day off from your fast-paced work routine is a lot to ask. But some events are worth breaking away. The NAFEM Show, Feb. 9-11 in Orlando, Fla., is the one place where you can truly focus on bringing your business to the next level – with innovative equipment and supplies and invaluable networking opportunities. Here’s why The NAFEM Show is worth your while:

  1. It brings together the best in the business, for your business. The racket of broader industry events can be distracting. At The NAFEM Show, you’ll focus exclusively on the foundation of operational success: innovations in equipment and supplies. With 500+ exhibitors offering the latest in prep, cooking, storage and service, you won’t find a more diverse, yet focused, show.
  2. Everything you’re looking for is in one place. Shopping for new equipment and supplies is time-consuming. Save time by browsing the latest products across every category in person at The NAFEM Show.
  3. The equipment and supplies are game-changing. Exhibitors bring their A-game to The NAFEM Show – and you reap the benefits. More than ever, the equipment and supply innovations you’ll see here have the power to drive down utility, labor and food costs, and improve customer satisfaction and food safety.
  4. The latest and greatest products are earmarked. The WHAT’S HOT! WHAT’S COOL!® New Product Gallery at The NAFEM Show displays unique new innovations in terms of equipment and supplies – in one convenient hub.
  5. Attendees are impressed. Nearly two-thirds of attendees of The NAFEM Show 2015 said the event was “much better than they expected” compared to other industry shows. What’s more, attendees spent an average of about 13 hours on the show floor over 2 days – that’s 3 hours more than the average trade show attendee.*
  6. You’ll be in good company. The NAFEM Show draws decision-makers from all segments of the foodservice industry. The best in the business attend, and you should too.
  7. The networking and entertainment rocks. Start the show off in high spirits with good food and drink, great company and a killer cover band; then, wrap things up at the After-Show Party. Big-name performers like Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett have graced our After-Show Party stage. This year could be our biggest act yet. Sign up to be the first to hear about it.
  8. You’ll get valuable education and training opportunities. Several show exhibitors offer training and certification sessions in their booth – many with well-known and respected industry experts. Attendees also can certify as a Food Protection Manager during the show through the ServSafe Food Protection Manager’s Exam.
  9. Badges are a steal. The value of the show far outweighs your entry fee of just $30 (get the Early Bird rate!). What’s more, all attendees qualify for The NAFEM Show Scholarship Program: $500 to offset travel expenses.
  10. Orlando in February – need we say more? Sunny Orlando is a happy backdrop for our show. Take a break and invest in an experience that can take your business to the next level. 

Registration is now open – and there’s no show like it on earth.

* Average from Exhibit Surveys, Inc.’s all-show norm

Tips and Tricks – BBQ Brisket

Brisket is a great example of the perfect cut of meat that bodes well with barbecue.  As we know, barbecue is a method of indirect low and slow cooking.  Generally, meats that are tough need the low and slow technique to break down connective fibers to become  more tender and delicious.

You might now ask yourself “why is the brisket such a tough muscle?”.  Well, as cattle don’t have collar bones, and their heavy upper body that makes up over half its weight is supported by these chest muscles, this piece of meat holds up a lot of bovine weight.  That makes for a well-used Schwarzenegger approved daily work out.

In this post, I will be going over some of the basics about cooking a brisket that you may or may not already know.

Selecting Meat

Depending on where you shop, you will see a (NAMP 120) beef brisket, this comes with the Flat(120A) and the Point(120B) together, or you can purchase the individual cuts separately.  I personally use the Flat(120A) because it gives the best competition looking slices and cooks more evenly than the whole brisket.  For a better value the whole (120) can be used, the flat for brisket slices, and the point for burnt ends inside dishes such as your BBQ beans.

When you are looking at the meat you should take note of the marbling and the fat cap.  The fat cap should be pretty much trimmed at the time of purchase but a good rule of thumb is, if you press down on top of the fat, you should feel a little bit of a bounce, or give, to the pressure you put on it.  If the fat is so thick that it has no resistance when pressed down on, trim it to around 1/8th of an inch thick.

beef-primals

Injection

This is where you can get a little more creative in terms of flavor for your meat.  This step is not absolutely necessary, but if you wish, it’s very similar to making a marinade.  Use an apple cider, or cider vinegar, mixed with some stock and seasonings.  Be careful that your seasoning is ground fine enough to pass through your injector without clogging it up.  You can use tenderizing salt in the injection as a cheat for a more tender brisket and deeper smoke ring, but like I said, that’s a cheat and not condoned by the likes of me.  I have always been told you can never over inject meat, so apply as much or little as you wish.

Mop

This mop is not the same as a mop that is used to continue to baste with during the cooking process.  For this “precook” mop I use a mixture of hot sauce and mustard.  The hot sauce will add a bit of zing whereas the mustard will help in color and give your rub something to stick to.  Spread this mixture out over the meat coating the brisket all around.   Basting is not as necessary in an FWE Cook and Hold smoker because the design keeps the moisture in the meat better than typical barbecues.  However, I’m not going to tell you to stop adding flavor, if you wish too, baste away.  It’s just not necessary to the moisture level of the meat.

Rub

A tip to remember when selecting a rub is to be mindful of the sugar content in the blend.  I use a good amount of brown sugar in my rubs, so when I cook, I keep my temperature below 225 (sugar starts to burn or degrade above 225).

As for making your own or buying a premade mix?  I have heard it from many of the best in BBQ, they buy pre-manufactured rubs.  Making your own award winning rub takes a lot of time and effort, but in my humble opinion, I like to put my own spin on what I touch.  So when, or if I do, buy a premade rub, I always add a little something to it to make it my own.

Nate 4th Brisket Prep 3071

Cook by probe

Cook the brisket up to an internal temperature of 180F, at this temperature the product starts to break down and become very tender.  Depending on how tender you wish the product to be is determined by how long the product remains at this temperature.  To get your feet wet, cooking by a probe is the best way to get a great and consistent product.

Cook by Time Brisket slicesjpg

Once you have your system down, you might want to adjust your cooking process.  Some people cook at low temps like 225F for over 12 hours.  Cooking by time gives you more control of how long your product is at that internal temp of 180F getting it even more tender.  It does come at the risk of making a mistake that can overcook or dry out the product.

Smoke

With meat that has a robust strong flavor like a brisket, you want to smoke it with a hardwood that really smacks with flavor.  Use a hickory or mesquite to really get a solid flavor, save your fruit woods like apple and cherry for pork or chicken.  I have soaked my chips with liquids such as port wine and beer to add a little more dimension to the smoke profile.  You can get real creative in the wood chip department, people smoke with things like corn cob, grape vine, and even tea leaves.

Foodservice Equipment – Maintenance “Top 10” List

Maintenance is being treated as more than an afterthought in today’s restaurants, especially the big chains, and that’s a good thing.  The well-maintained restaurant is seen by all as a cleaner, safer place to eat and work.

Here is a Top 10 List to get you on your way to having a properly maintained kitchen:

  1. Read the warranty information supplied with each piece of new equipment to learn what the manufacturer recommends.
  2. Put all literature supplied in a three-ring binder.
  3. Assign the binder to managers and require new managers to review it.
  4. Prepare a one-page maintenance sheet and post it where it will be seen.
  5. List appropriate clean dates and a box to initial and date when cleaning is completed.
  6. Insist that managers pay attention to maintenance schedules.
  7. Post a list of local service agencies, their phone numbers, and which brands they cover.
  8. Upon start-up of a new facility, place a list in the front of the binder containing make, model, serial number and date, along with the service and warranty period for each piece of equipment.
  9. Set up service, cleaning, and inspection programs for all operational equipment with servicing agents.
  10. Set up a regular exhaust hood and duct cleaning program to prevent fires.

It is critical to get staff members involved in your company’s efforts to care for the equipment.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Reduce the damage caused by carelessness, abusive behavior, and vandalism by holding the staff accountable for the condition of the equipment when they complete a work shift.
  • Eliminate dents and gashes caused by carts and mobile equipment by providing adequate clearance around equipment. It’s not smart design to have people transporting items through what seems like a maze.
  • Protect equipment with rails, guards, and bumpers, which are offered as accessories, for both fixed and mobile appliances.
  • Catch little problems before they turn into big ones, with a weekly or monthly check of all kitchen workstations. Look for missing screws, damaged or worn wires and cords, bent panels or hinges. Get them corrected promptly.
  • Make your staff aware of what maintenance costs the restaurant. Make maintenance the topic of some staff meetings, in addition to training sessions. Solicit opinions from the staff about improvements that could be made.
  • Make an effort to get “clean” utilities—that is, do everything you can to protect equipment from power spikes with surge suppressors; treat or filter incoming water and air.

Source:
Katsigris, Costas, and Chris Thomas. Design and Equipment for Restaurants and Foodservice: A Management View. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009. Print.
George Zawacki, senior associate, Cini-Little International, Inc. First appeared in Equipment Solutions, a publication of Talcott Communications Corp., Chicago, Illinois (March 2004).

 

BUILT.: Tuning Up Nashville’s Music City Center — Foodable Web TV Network

Source: BUILT.: Tuning Up Nashville’s Music City Center — Foodable Web TV Network

Can you picture a massive building with organic lines and curves that flow like the shapes of Nashville’s rolling hills or the Music City’s melodic sounds? With ceilings that mimic the patterns and structure of grand piano keys? Or rooms with walls that bend, filled with acoustics that make you feel as if you’re standing inside of a mandolin or guitar?

The movement and fluidity of music itself was the design inspiration for the Music City Center. This center takes on the idea of a city’s brand identity to a whole new level. And at 300,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, 60,000 square feet of ballroom space, and 1.2 million square feet of space in total, this convention center is music to any event director’s ears. The center was needed to bring new life and business into Nashville, and needed to expand in the city’s downtown urban setting, according to Charles Starks, the complex’s president and CEO. He wanted the center to look like nowhere else in the world.

How did this design come to life? Through intense and creative collaboration. In this episode of “BUILT.,” in partnership with FCSI The Americas, watch to see how FCSI consultant Michael Pantano of Culinary Advisors, tvsdesign, and the visionaries behind the Music City Center worked in harmony to turn this building into the pinnacle of flexibility, sustainability, and foodservice excellence.

 The Challenge and Design

As the firm that led design for four out of five of the nation’s largest convention centers and for about 80 projects around the world, it’s no doubt tvsdesign knows their stuff. So, what are the most important aspects of a successful space? Functionality and foodservice, according to Rob Svedberg, principal of tvsdesign.

“One of the most important things that the customers respond to is the quality of foodservice, the range of the food offerings, and how well it’s presented and prepared,” Svedberg said.

This is where FCSI consultant Michael Pantano stepped in.

“I think it’s critically important that every kitchen [has] a professional designer involved. In most cases, I’d like to say that’s an FCSI consultant, because to achieve professional status, we had to demonstrate our competence and our body of knowledge, and our understanding of the entire process,” Pantano said.

One element that the designers of the Music City Center emphasized was the need for bright lighting. Pantano also took that to the kitchen, because as he said, chefs and cooks are people, too, and deserve to be proud of their workspace and equipment.

“Most kitchens are down in the bowels of a building some place because wherever daylight exists is premium space, so we worked very hard to keep things low to allow all of the daylight to come in. Extraordinarily uncommon, but very beneficial,” he said. “Foodservice really is throughout the building, woven into the very fabric of the building.”

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In terms of functionality, Pantano always thinks like a chef. Aware that only 25 percent of a kitchen needs to be in fixed positions, whether due to the cooking line or exhaust hoods, he was able to make everything else mobile. Just as the entire convention center was flexible and fluid — without fixed concession stands or fixed dining areas so that the space could be reshaped — the kitchen could move with the needs of clients, too, able to fluctuate from serving six to six thousand.

“Our food sales have over doubled what we had projected initially and we’ve become known in Nashville as a place to go to for food. Not the convention center, but a place to go to for food,” Starks said.

The Future Through Sustainability

The beautiful architecture and foodservice aren’t the only things that set this design paragon apart from the rest. This space is also sustainable.

Above it lies a 4-acre green roof, the largest one in the Southeast, growing 14 types of vegetation. The center also has a solar farm and honey bees on site for the kitchens. The staff also keeps close relations with local farmers to serve food with a farm-to-table feel. The Music City Center also has a 360,000-gallon rainwater storage system that captures rainfall and utilizes it, not only to irrigate its plants and landscaping, but also to flush their sewage system. That has led to 54 percent saving in the building’s water usage in three years.

Watch the full episode now, and as Pantano states, discover how the Music City Center speaks for itself.

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory? : The Salt : NPR

The stripped-down look of exposed brick, poured cement floors and Edison light bulbs is popular in restaurants across America. One reporter dares to ask, “Seriously, why?”

Source: Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory? : The Salt : NPR