Monthly Archives: September 2011

Today is National Rum Punch Day!

Looking to quench your thirst at a late night party? Perhaps have a desire to reminisce about the fun you had over the summer? National Rum Punch Day is THE day to serve up this tasty Bermuda beverage at your restaurant or bar. According to Wikipedia, Bajan (Barbadian) Rum Punch is one of the oldest rum punches and has a simple recipe enshrined in a national rhyme: “‘One of Sour, Two of Sweet, Three of Strong, Four of Weak.’ That is: one part lime juice, two parts sweetener, three parts rum (preferably Barbados), and four parts water. It is served with a dash or two of Angostura bitters and nutmeg.” It’s the perfect drink to get the party started!

For all you Food Network fanatics, serve up this Bobby Flay recipe for Rum Punch tonight, but put your own spin on it! For example, instead of the Pineapple Juice try Peach or Cranberry Juice. Be creative- it’s hard to get a recipe for Rum Punch wrong!

Rum Punch

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups grenadine syrup
  • 2 cups Jamaican white rum
  • 1 cup light rum
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple juice
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg, optional
  • Orange slices, for garnish
  • Pineapple slices, for garnish
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher or punch bowl. Chill in your True Reach-In Refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with orange or pineapple slices.

Today is National Linguine Day

Mama Mia! Today is National Linguine Day! Popularly served with clams, linguine, with its flat and thin noodle shape is an excellent substitute for spaghetti. It’s thicker than spaghetti, but thinner than fettuccine noodles. According to Punchbowl, “Linguine, which means “little tongues” in Italian, originates from the Liguria region of Italy.”

Vary it up today on your menu and swap out spaghetti and fettuccine noodles for their linguine cousin!

I saw this recipe on the Early Show years ago and have enjoyed making it ever since! Use your culinary creativity to make this your restaurants unique dish!

Linguine with White Clam Sauce (serves 4)

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup bottled clam stock
  • 1½ pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound linguine, cooked to al dente
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1 loaf crusty bread, sliced

1. Heat oil in a medium stockpot over high heat. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
2. Add crushed red pepper and cook for a few seconds.
3. Add white wine and clam stock and cook until the mixture reduces by half, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the clams, cover the pot and cook until the clams open. Discard any that do not.
5. Remove the clams with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
6. Bring the liquid that the clams have cooked in to a boil over high heat and cook until reduced by half. Add the butter and cook until melted, season with salt and pepper.
7. Stir in the pasta, parsley and oregano until combined. Return the clams to the pasta. Plate in large shallow bowls and serve with lots of sliced bread.

Today is National Cheese Pizza Day

It’s kind of ironic that I’m sitting here eating pizza while writing this blog about cheese pizzas. Pizza is good! Good old fashioned cheese pizza is the best! Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy fresh vegetables and meats on my pizza, sometimes you’re just not in the mood for all the fuss. National Cheese Pizza has no historical origin, and it’s not technically a holiday, but I don’t think we really need to get down to the nitty gritty on a day like this. Forget the BBQ, the picnic sandwiches, and cooking dinner or lunch today- just call your favorite pizzeria and order a pipping hot cheese pizza! Tell us- who makes the best cheese pizza you’ve ever had? Share your opinion in the comment section!

Today is National Macadamia Nut Day!

Pistachios, peanuts,walnuts, cashews and pecans are the most commonly consumed nuts in the world. They are a great in salads, cookies, to coat fish or chicken dishes and just as snacks. They are so popular that people often forget about the most exotic nut of all- the Macadamia Nut! Rarely will you find a restaurant dish that contains, let alone features this tropical nut. So, I thought it would be only fitting to give you a recipe today that highlights this creamy, buttery, and crunchy nut! Go ahead and try out this recipe for Coconut Cheesecake with Macadamia Crust. The recipe comes from the now closed Stixx Asia Bistro. I remember going in there and tasting the dish for the first time. It was utterly delightful. When I found the recipe for it in a cookbook a couple of years ago I was elated. Your customers are going to love it just as much as I did- I promise!!!

Coconut Cheesecake with Macadamia Crust (Serves 12)

Macadamia Crust Ingredients

  • 1-2T Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1C Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/4C Macadamia Nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4C Unsalted Butter, melted

Filling Ingredients

  • 32oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2C Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/4C Sour Cream
  • 1/2C Unsweetened Cream of Coconut
  • 2T Heavy Cream
  • 1C Shredded Sweetened Coconut
  • Mango Sauce (Optional) (pureed mangoes and sugar)
  • Fresh Strawberries, halved  (Optional)
Directions
  1. Crust: Brush side of 9″ springform pan with 1-2T butter. Combine crumbs, nuts, and 1/4C butter in a bowl and mix well. Press mixture on bottom of pan. Wrap the bottom of pan with foil and chill in fridge for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat Blodgett Single Deck Electric Convection Oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Filling: Beat cream cheese with a hand mixer in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until smooth, scrapping the sides occasionally. Add eggs one at a time, mix well. Beat in sour cream, cream of coconut, heavy cream until blended. Spoon mixture into pan. Sprinkle with coconuts.
  4. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to come halfway up the side of the springform pan.
  5. Bake 1 1/4 hours or until set. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Chill for 8-10 hours before serving.
  6. Before serving, drizzle with mango sauce and garnish with strawberries.

September is National Rice Month

Rice is an incredible grain staple that you’ll find at just about every restaurant! Spanish, Asian, Lebanese, and Mexican cuisine rely on rice to compliment many classic dishes. In 1991, September was proclaimed National Rice Month by President George Bush. According to the USA Rice Federation, National Rice Month celebrates America’s rice harvest and honors the contribution go the U.S. rice industry to America’s economy. While rice itself may not be that exciting, it is the grain’s versatility that makes it a chef’s best friend! Spice up your restaurant’s rice plate with this incredible recipe! Make it a main dish by adding 2 cups of cooked shrimp or chicken 5 minutes before die is finished cooking.

Tomato and Cumin Rice ( Serves 6 to 8 )

Ingredients:

  • 2T Butter
  • 2T Finely Chopped Shallots
  • 1t Ground Coriander
  • 1t Cumin, toasted and ground in a spice grinder
  • 1C Basmati Rice
  • 2C Chicken Stock
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) Can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles (for a milder flavor, use unflavored tomatoes)
  • 1T Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft and translucent (3 minutes). Add coriander and cumin and cook for 1 minute more.
  2. Add rice and cook until rice takes on a nutty color and is well coated (5 minutes).
  3. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Add tomatoes and their liquid, cover, lower heat, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed (25 minutes).
  4. Add cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.

We would love to hear from you: How do you use rice at your restaurant?

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