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COMMERCIAL KITCHEN EQUIPMENT YOUR CAFE WILL NEED

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Not everyone who is thinking of putting up a food-oriented business is considering a restaurant or bakery. Some are considering a coffee shop or a café where, aside from coffee and tea, the menu can consist of a combination of both baked items and savory items. If you are one of those who are thinking of opening up a café or coffee shop, you will want to know what kinds of commercial kitchen equipment you will need.

When you plan for this kind of a business, you will need not only the coffee making machines and the cappuccino makers for your business, but a few other items as well, depending on what kind of food you are thinking of serving your clientele. Here is a list of some of the essential equipment a start-up café or coffee shop will need:

Refrigeration equipment – this will include not only the freezers and the refrigerators that hold your food stocks within, but also the glass-doored refrigerators for your bottled and canned beverages, your refrigerated display cabinets for chilled baked goodies, and the ice machines that will hold the ice you will use for your blended and iced drinks.

Prep tables – if you want to prepare your own pastry, create your own breads, and even for other food preparation needs, prep tables are a must. Stainless steel is the best for your kitchen needs since not only are these durable and rust proof, but these are also easier to clean, maintain, and can be used for a lot of different purposes.

Cooking equipment – the cooking equipment that you buy is often dependent on what kinds of foods you are thinking of serving. If you are planning on serving entrees, a small flat top, a two to four burner stove, and an oven may be required. If you are thinking of serving waffles, paninis, toasted bread sandwiches, and the like, you will need the equipment for these. Deep fryers, grill tops, and other cooking equipment can also be considered, depending on your menu.

Shelving – also part of your list of commercial kitchen equipment would be for your storage requirements, and this will include shelves of different sizes. The best option would be open shelving made out of stainless steel again, since this kind of metal shelves are durable, versatile, and comes in many different sizes and heights. You can choose to mix and match the shelves you buy, depending on your need. You can even use these shelves in your café’s dining area to showcase other things that you sell, like mugs, coffee beans, breads, and the like.

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EASY RECIPE FOR THE WEEK – BAKED CHICKEN CACCIATORE

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cups Italian-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1⁄3 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced potatoes
  • 1 cup sliced crusty bread
  • 1 large red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 3⁄4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

PROCEDURE:

  1. Wash your cut up chicken and pat dry before setting aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the next 6 ingredients for the marinade. Mix thoroughly and place in a resealable plastic bag. Put the chicken slices in the bag, shake to coat all the pieces and put in the refrigerator for 6 hours to marinade.
  3. Next, prepare your roasting pan. Add some more oil to the bottom of the roasting pan, heat in your oven for a few minutes, then remove. Place the onions, bread, potatoes, mushrooms, and bell pepper into the pan, stirring to coat with the oil.
  4. Add the chicken and the marinade to the pan, stirring to combine as well. Season with salt and pepper as you move along.
  5. Put the pan in the oven set at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the mushrooms and other ingredients from the pan, leaving only the chicken.
  6. Return the pan with the chicken to the oven for another 10 minutes to brown and further cook the chicken.
  7. Serve family style on a platter with the potato and mushroom mixture in a separate bowl. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top of both the chicken and the mushroom mixture before serving.
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HOW TO CHOOSE THE COMMERCIAL KITCHEN EQUIPMENT YOU NEED FOR YOUR BUSINESS

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When you decide to put up a commercial food business, you will need equipment for this kind of an operation. There is always the tendency however to buy more than what you need when it comes to the things you think you will need for your business, and this is why you need to be careful at the onset. In order for you to ensure that you buy only what you need at the beginning of your endeavor, there are a few things that you need to do:

Make a list of the things that your business truly needs – do not go equipment shopping without a list. This will open you up to the possibility of overspending since you will start envisioning things that your kitchen and business will need when you see the many different items that are on sale. You can end up buying a commercial cake display case because you “might” include baked goodies on your menu.

You might end up buying a 12-slot food warmer because you “might” consider doing buffet sometimes for your food business. The word “might” can be a tricky thing, and while you might think you needs something, and end up not using such a piece of equipment from the start. You will have something that cost a lot of money just eating up space because you are not yet ready to use it, or don’t really need it at all.

Make a list of things that you already have and can be used in the meantime – no, you do not have to buy a 12-burner stove or a massive flat-top if you are just planning on starting small. You will require those things if you are going big or are expanding your business to serve more and do more. Buying these rather expensive items at the start will not only eat into your capital but will also limit your spending capabilities when it comes to buying the things that you do need, like the ingredients for the food you will cook and the utensils that you will need to cook with.

Plan for both big and small enterprises – do not limit yourself to being just a small business, if you believe that you have what it takes to make it big. Make a list of the things you will need to have in order to run a small business successfully, then make a list of possible upgrades you will need when the business does well. You can then buy the bigger and more expensive commercial kitchen equipment you require as the need or demand arises.

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COMMERCIAL KITCHEN EQUIPMENT: DO YOU NEED THEM?

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When you are thinking of putting up a business that revolves around food, the first thing that you will require will be the equipment needed to create the food you will serve. This is when you will want to consider getting commercial equipment for your business. You will have to think however if, at the start of your enterprise, you actually need to buy all of the commercial equipment that a food business requires or if you can get away with using stuff you have at home for the first few months of your endeavor.

The decision to get commercial equipment for your food business is, after all, no small deal. These things cost a lot of money and, whether you like to admit it or not, not all businesses succeed off the bat. This is why you need to think long and hard before investing in equipment that is used by commercial food establishments big and small alike.

Of course, there are some commercial kitchen items that you will definitely need at the onset of your food business. While at the beginning, you can probably get away with using your 4 or 5 burner stove at home for the cooking of the food that you will be serving, there are some items that you will definitely need to add to your arsenal at the very beginning. These include the pots and pans that can accommodate huge amounts of food, the tables that you will need for your dining area, and the prep tables that you will need for your kitchen.

There are some items that you cannot forgo buying, even when you are still starting your business. There are also some instances where the purchase of commercial equipment for your kitchen and your business is a necessity, particularly if you are putting your business in a rather commercial and high-traffic environment. This will definitely require the use of stuff that are just right for the business you have in mind.

It is also necessary to do so when you have already finished the test run of your business and are sure that it will be profitable in the long run. Quality food after all comes from a quality kitchen, and the one way you can ensure that you do serve quality food and that you have a quality kitchen is to put together one with the purchase of commercial kitchen equipment.

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HOPIA MUNGGO (MUNG BEAN MOONCAKE)

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INGREDIENTS:

DOUGH:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar syrup
  • 1/2 cup shortening or butter + 1 /2 cup shortening or butter

FILLING:

  • 4 cups cooked red mung bean, mashed, strained, and husks removed
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar

PROCEDURE:

  1. First, combine the filling ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Set aside. You can add more sugar according to your taste and a bit of vanilla extract for added flavor and aroma.
  2. Next, create the dough. In your mixer, combine the 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup butter or shortening, sugar syrup, and cold water. Mix on medium until these come together and form a ball.
  3. Remove your dough from your mixer and form into a ball. Place in a clean bowl or wrap with plastic wrap, then let rest in your refrigerator for half an hour.
  4. In the meantime, mix together your remaining shortening or butter with the remaining 1 cup of flour until you get a thick paste.
  5. Lightly flour a clean, smooth surface and place your dough on it. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about half an inch thick.
  6. Take your flour and shortening mixture and spread it evenly over 2/3 of the dough’s surface, and then fold the 1/3 part without the mixture onto half of the part with the mixture. Fold over the other half so you get three layers, with two having the shortening or butter mixture in them.
  7. Roll the dough out once again into half an inch thick rectangle and repeat the folding process, but without the butter/shortening mixture. Fold once again into thirds, then let rest in your fridge covered.
  8. After 10 minutes, roll out your dough one last time into half an inch thick rectangle, cut in half, then roll each half into logs. Cut these logs into 12 equal pieces each, then form each piece into a ball.
  9. Roll each ball out into thin discs, then fill with the mung bean filling. Close up and roll again into a ball. Once done, flatten carefully to get the hopia shape.
  10. Place on a lined baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash.
  11. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake your hopia for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden.

*NOTE: You can substitute the mung bean filling with ube filling or pineapple filling, or whatever filling you want your hopia to have.

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HOW TO ADAPT AN INTERNATIONAL RECIPE TO LOCAL TASTES

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If you are into baking, then there is a huge likelihood that you are also into cooking and cooking shows. Most of the cooking shows that you will find on TV nowadays, and even online, are made outside of the country and show you recipes that are geared towards the palates of the people in those countries. How can you adapt such recipes to suit the tastes of local markets and what changes can you make in order to do this?

Adapting international recipes to local tastes is not that easy yet it is not that difficult either. All you need to do is to trust your own palate and of those around you. You might also want to get feedback from people that you know will tell you honestly whether or not your translation of an international recipe is indeed a good tweak or if it does not do the meal justice.

Some of the things you will probably need to consider are the propensity for people in this country for salty, sweet, sour, and savory flavors. When it comes to desserts, creamy, cold, sticky, and luscious are what people like locally. If these are not flavors that come naturally with the items you are planning on emulating, you will need to find a way to incorporate such flavors into what you are cooking, but in such a way that it does not totally change the end product drastically.

For example, if you are cooking American style burgers, the chances that these will be less savory and salty than what locals will like is very high. You might want to add a bit more salt and some spices to your patties in order for these to be suited to the local palate. Another example would be beef stews and casseroles. These will also be less salty than what locals are used to, so you might want to add more seasoning to your recipes to suit the people around you, or you can add a number of spices that will increase the flavor of the food without adding too much sodium to it.

Another thing you will also need to consider would be the availability of the ingredients for these recipes. Most of the time, particularly these days, you will find these in gourmet stores and upscale supermarkets. If you cannot find these however, you can easily substitute these with local versions of such ingredients or acceptable alternatives.

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DELICACIES COPIED FROM OTHER COUNTRIES

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More-often-than-not, countries that have been occupied by other nations show certain influences in the populace. The Philippines is one such country that has been occupied and lived-in by a variety of nations, and this hodge-podge of influences is easily seen in how the country serves its food, and you will find that a lot of delicacies all across the country show these very same influences.

You will notice that many towns and cities in the Philippines have variations of the same kind of food that came from these conquering countries, and a lot of those are in the dessert and baked category. Here is a list of some of those:

Spanish Influenced Delicacies

Brazo de Mercedes – the name alone shows you that this dessert is Spanish in heritage and the dessert name actually means mercies arm when translated to English. This meringue dessert comes in a roll form and comes with a sweet custard center, light meringue roll, and sugar coated exterior.

Empanadas – these little pastry parcels can be sweet or savory and can carry anything in them from ground beef to minced chicken to fruit jams. These can also be fried or baked, depending on what your preference is, and are very handy snacks to have since all the filling is encased in a tasty pastry shell that is shaped like a crescent moon.

Pan de Sal – this ubiquitous breakfast bread that you can buy at any corner bakery and can come in many different sizes was actually originally named pan de almusal, which was then shortened to pan de sal.

Chinese Influenced Delicacies

Hopia – who does not know that hopia is a Chinese influenced treat? This flaky bite-sized pastry can come in a variety of shapes and variations, with cube shaped, disc shaped, and crescent moon shaped options. The fillings also come in many variations, and these include mung bean, purple yam, and even pork. This is a local version of the Chinese mooncake.

Siopao – while generally steamed, there are versions of this that are baked, which some people call a meat bun. The siopao, or originally called baozi, which means steamed buns. These can come with many different fillings as well, and the more famous ones include pork, and chicken. These usually come with a salted duck egg within. There are some variations that come with sweet fillings, and some people considered these dessert siopao.

American Influenced Delicacies

There are many American influenced foods all over the country, and we have adopted these as our own, while adding the Filipino flair to such items. Examples are the local pies that are clear takeaways from their American counterparts. Instead of apple pie, we have pineapple pie or buko pie. Instead of blueberry tarts, we have durian tarts or mango tarts. These are pastries that are influenced by the American culture but use ingredients that are local.

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PEACH MANGO TART RECIPE

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INGREDIENTS:

FILLING:

  • 2 cups ripe mangoes, peeled and sliced into cubes
  • 2 cups peaches, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

TART CRUST:

  • 1 cup butter, cubed and ice cold
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 8 tablespoons ice cold water

PROCEDURE:

  1. Make the filling first. In a saucepan, combine all filling ingredients. Let it come to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.
  2. Cook the fruits in the sugar until you get a jam-like consistency.
  3. Set aside and let cool.
  4. Next, put together your tart crust. You can make this in a food processor or by hand.
  5. First, mix together the dry ingredients. Then add in the cold butter. Mix these until you get a coarse mealy consistency.
  6. Once you get the right consistency, slowly add in the cold water a tablespoon at a time while mixing the dough. When you get a dough that sticks together but is not sticky or soggy, stop adding the water.
  7. Gather your dough into a ball and roll out into a floured clean surface. Knead a couple of times to create a cohesive dough then place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
  8. Remove from your refrigerator and then roll this out into a thin sheet that is 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into a rectangle and fold the sides over to create a barrier to hold the peach mango jam in.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Poke holes in the crust with a fork and blind bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  11. Add the jam, brush egg wash on the edges, and bake again for another 15 minutes.  
  12. Serve warm. You can also add mango and peach slices on top of the jam on the tart for a more fruity tart.
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EASY PASTRIES YOU CAN MAKE AT HOME

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If you are trying to get into baking but do not have the myriad baking equipment and baking accessories that most intermediate bakers already have, you might want to start slowly and bake a few items that can be made using what you already have.

If you have muffin pans or cookie sheets, you can actually make pastries easily without needing to have the usual pie pans or dishes, tart pans, boat tart pans, and other similar specialized equipment some pastries need in order to be made. Here are a few examples of what you can create using what you have. You don’t even need a rolling pin to make these!

Peach mango tarts – these can be made using your muffin pans and a simple pie crust recipe. Simply fill the muffin cups with the right amount of dough and create the crust by pressing the dough into the sides of these cups to form the basin for the filling. You can add the filling after forming these cups and bake them together or you can blind bake these and then add the filling after.

Rectangular fruit tart – this you can make with the same kind of pie crust dough and a cookie sheet. All you need to do is to flatten out evenly the crust onto the cookie sheet, then you will need to fold the edges in to create a barrier that will hold in the filling. You can use fruit jams for this or you can use fresh fruit arranged artfully onto the crust and you can glaze this with sugar syrup for a sweet and shiny finish. Just like the tarts, you can blind bake the crust before adding the fruit or you can add the fruit and bake both at the same time.

Pretzel twists – this is a variation to the usual pretzel and can be made using any sweet bread dough recipe that you have. The dough is rolled into long strips, like what you would do with pretzels, but instead of forming the usual shape of the pretzel, you twist it into a rope. To get the sheen that pretzels have, you can dunk each strip into boiling water for a couple of minutes before baking. Once baked, you can then brush each one with butter then dip into cinnamon sugar.

These are just a few examples of the pastries and treats you can easily make at home and even without the special equipment some people think they need to create these.

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BUTUAN DELICACIES

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More-often-than-not, when you talk about delicacies in the Philippines, the usual types of food that people think of are the savory ones like bulalo or seafood or dried fish. Others think about the strange and unusual fare that they can get from these places when delicacies are being discussed. Still a few more think pasalubong and stuff that can be easily carried and handed out when this word is used.

When you talk about delicacies from Butuan, the usual list you will get usually consists of savory items. There are a few that are sweet and can be considered baked goodies or pasalubong fare. Here are some of them:

Palagsging – this is a suman-like delicacy that is made using coconut, brown sugar, and sago, or Unaw as it is locally called. This is cooked wrapped in banana leaf and shaped into a long, thin strips that are then tied and boiled (sorry, not baked) until cooked. This is only available in Butuan and is a specialty of the town called Banza.

Nilambiran – this is the local version of suman, which is a sticky rice treat that is cooked with coconut milk and sugar. This local version is a striped one that is made using two kinds of sticky rice, the white polished type and the reddish purple aromatic type. These two are first cooked separately and then intertwined (hence the name nilambiran) into a long thin strip that is then wrapped in banana leaves. You can eat this as is, or you can dip this in sugar with each bite for a sweeter treat.

Nilusak – this local treat is made using cassava (while in most places in the country, this is made using bananas) and is made by mashing this to a pulp, mixing this with sugar and margarine, shaping these into balls (or patties) and coated with grated coconut. This is usually available in the public market.

Puto cheese – while this is now readily available almost anywhere in the country, these small rice cakes are also considered a local treat by many. Made using rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and cheese, these delicacies are sometimes baked bain marie style or simply steamed in a bamboo steamer. These are great with other foods, like dinuguan (blood stew), or with hot cocoa.

Bibingka – another local favorite that is also available elsewhere in the Philippines is the ubiquitous bibingka. This rice cake is made with similar ingredients as that of puto, but is cooked with banana-leaves as the wrapper instead of cupcake liners or bare. These are also cooked with heat coming from the top and bottom, which means you can cook this in an oven (or oven toaster), where the heat comes from all sides. You can get the toasty top by broiling the bibingka before serving.

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MARBLE BREAD RECIPE

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INGREDIENTS:

Light Rye Dough

  • 11/4 cups warm water
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/3 cups medium rye flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

Dark Rye Dough

1 1/4 cups warm water

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/3 cups medium rye flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

PROCEDURE:

  1. For the light dough, combine the yeast, salt, sugar and 1 cup bread of the flour plus the caraway seeds, and mix well.
  2. Combine the warm water and oil and then slowly add to the flour mixture. You can use a mixer or food processor for this, blending at low speed for a few minutes. Increase speed to medium and mix for about 3 minutes
  3. Slowly add in the remaining 1 cup of flour and the rye flour until you get a firm dough.
  4. Remove this dough from your mixer and knead for 5 to 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Once the dough is elastic and smooth, form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour or two until double in size.
  5. Repeat the same procedure for the dark part of the bread, only this time, when combining the dry ingredients, add in the cocoa.
  6. After rising, on a lightly floured surface, cut the light and the dark dough each in half. Shape each dough half into a rectangle measuring approximately 14 x 7 inches.
  7. If you want your bread to have a dark crust, put the light rye piece on top of a dark rye. For a light crust, use the opposite.
  8. Beginning with the pile’s shorter side, roll the stack up tightly, carefully yet firmly pressing a rectangle of dough into the roll with each turn.
  9. Pinch the edges and ends to seal.
  10. Gently roll the loaf back and forth, working from the center of the loaf and down to the ends. This is to form a baguette shape that measures approximately 14 inches long.
  11. Place this roll on a greased baking pan. Repeat the same process for your second loaf. Cover these marbled loaves with a slightly damp towel and leave to let rise until dimples form when lightly touched.
  12. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit 30 minutes before baking.
  13. Bake your loaves in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
  14. Remove your baked marble loaves from the oven when done and let cool on a wire rack.
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DIFFERENT KINDS OF BREAD YOU CAN EASILY MAKE AT HOME

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If you are a neophyte baker and are looking to expand your baking skills, the next thing you should aim for is bread. Baking bread can be very daunting particularly because not that many people know how to properly knead, shape, and handle dough that has yeast as a leavening agent. Just thinking about using yeast can easily discourage a lot of people, especially if they do not know what can reduce the effectivity of yeast.

There are a few fool-proof breads that you can make at home though, and these are those breads that do not need what is called a starter, which is a yeast and sugar combination that is fermented over a few days to a week. A starter is usually needed when you want very light and airy breads that have the signature sour taste of great breads. For simple breads, you can use instant dry yeast. Here are some of your easy bread options:

5-minute bread – some people call this artisan bread simply because it is skillfully made that it is so easy. 5 minute bread uses only a few ingredients, and the 5-minute name is derived from the fact that you handle the dough 5 minutes at a time, from mixing to shaping. This dough does not even need kneading. The raising of the dough will take two hours, and baking usually takes around 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the shape of the bread that you want to make.

Peasant bread – this is another type of bread that does not require any kneading. It uses instant yeast to give it the desired airy texture of good bread. The recipe for this uses butter instead of oil, and more sugar than most breads. This bread can be baked in any container type, as long as it is non-stick, like oven proof glass bowls and pans.

Dinner rolls – these soft rolls are also easy to make and not much of a challenge for newbie bakers. These rolls however have more ingredients than your usual easy, no-knead breads, and these include eggs, milk, oil, and butter. You will also have to knead this dough for 10 minutes, although your mixer can do this for you with the dough hook.

Flat breads – while some people do not consider this thing real bread due to the lack of a leavening agent, it is still a bread and is very easy to make. You can use this to create wraps, which is a very healthy kind of snack or meal.

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