The Perfect 4th of July Burger

The Perfect 4th of July Burger

Back in 1776, the United States of America declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4th. Today, Independence Day is a nationwide holiday typically associated with fireworks, parades, family reunions, concerts, carnivals, beverages and food. Lots and lots of food.

According to Heavy, Americans put down an astonishing 150 million hotdogs and some 750 million pounds of chicken during the holiday season. While Oklahoma State University reports that we consume 25 billion pounds of burgers a year. Needless to say this is mind boggling amount of meat. Yet, veganism and vegetarianism are being increasingly adopted by a growing number of Americans.

So, we’ve decided to compile the three best Fourth of July burger recipes we’ve found for all of your various pallets.

For the Meat Lovers:


This Perfect Burger recipe is brought to you by Bobby Flay.

Here’s what you’ll need:

          1 ½ pounds ground chuck, a cut of beef that’s part of the sub-primal cut known as the chuck (80% lean) or ground turkey (90% lean)

          Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

          1 ½ tablespoons of canola oil

          4 slices of your preferred cheese

          And, of course, 4 hamburger buns, split. If you want to toast them, more power to you!

Here’s what you’ll do:

Take the meat and divide it into 4 equal portions, try to make them about 6 ounces each. Then, form loose patties, making a deep depression with your thumb in the middle. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Brush the burgers with oil and then grill to your preference, and add cheese.

For the Vegetarian Burger Warriors:

This Chick Pea Burger recipe is brought to you by Martha Stewart.

Here’s what you’ll need:

          1 can (15 ounces) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

          4 scallion, trimmed

          2 slices of white sandwich bread

          1/3 cup of unsalted peanuts or almonds

          ½ teaspoon of ground cumin

          1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, chopped

          Coarse salt and ground pepper

          1 large egg

          Olive Oil

          1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

          1/3 cup of mayonnaise

          Whole-wheat English muffins and lettuce, to serve with the burgers

Here’s what you’ll do:

Combine chickpeas, scallions, bread, peanuts or almonds, cumin, and ginger in a food processor, and season with salt and pepper. When you see that the contents are roughly chopped, remove half of the mixture to a bowl, and add an egg to the food processor. Process until you have a smooth mixture, and mix in with the contents you took out. Form four patties, brush each side with oil, and then grill to your preference. Serve the burgers on English muffins with lettuce, mustard, and mayo.

For the Vegan Burger Aficionados:

This incredible Beet Burger recipe is brought to you by Versa Stick.

Here’s what you’ll need:

          1 teaspoon of butter

          ½ finely diced yellow onion

          2 finely diced cloves of garlic

          2 peeled and finely diced roasted beets

          1 rinsed, drained and mashed can of black eyed peas

          1 egg

          1/4 cup chickpea flour

          2 tablespoons of chipotle BBQ sauce

          1 tablespoon of yellow mustard

          2 tablespoons of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

          1 Tablespoon of cider vinegar

          1 teaspoon of ground cumin

          1 tablespoon of dried basil

          Sea salt, aim for smoked if you can find it

          Pepper

Here’s what you’ll do:

Melt butter over medium-low heat and add onion, sautéing it until it’s translucent, then add garlic. Keep sautéing for a few more minutes, and then add diced beets and black eyed peas. Cook until the peas are soft and the beets are thoroughly heated. Add BBQ sauce, mustard, Bragg’s, vinegar, spices, salt and pepper, seasoning to taste. Allow the mixture to cool, then add the egg and chickpea flour. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Once that’s done, form the mixture into patties and grill to taste. 

How to Plan Your Restaurant Startup

How to Plan Your Restaurant Startup

 

If you love food – like, more than life itself – you may want to consider a restaurant startup.

First things first.

You have to figure out exactly what kind of establishment you want to have. While you can go in any direction you choose, generally, a fast-food or family operated restaurant startup is best for beginners. Regardless, you need to learn as much as possible about what it takes to run that type of business.


Determine a food concept.

Once you clearly formulate your idea, begin to draft the menu. This exercise will help you align your food concept with what you’ll actually be serving, although, your menu will undoubtedly change many times over until you finally solidify it. You may even play around with pricing, but it’s a little early in the game to implement the estimates.

Do your research.

You have to decide on the location of your restaurant startup, therefore, you must research zoning laws. You should also familiarize yourself with local customs and cuisine, what your competitors are serving, where you will obtain your ingredients, and how you will acquire services of special personnel if needed. Furthermore, you need to think about the kitchen equipment you’ll need for food preparation, storage, and cleaning (like Fog Tank). Clearly, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Keep researching. 

You have to be in the know about your industry. While there are tons of different trends that come and go, you must figure out what your future clients care about, as well as what’s important to you. One way to do this is to wear many hats. Try your hand at book keeping, serving, cooking, cleaning, or hosting. This will help you understand what types of responsibilities you and your staff will be taking on.

Figure out the atmosphere.

When considering the type of vibe you want in your restaurant startup, ask yourself the following questions: Do you want to create a specific ambiance? Does it align with your food concept? What kind of clientele do you want to attract? Will you feature in-house entertainment? Do you have ideas about interior design, furniture, utensils, dishware, and server uniforms?

Expand your mind.

While you can always hire a consultant or a business strategist, you should take business and accounting classes to make sure you’re on top of your game. Every successful restaurant and restaurant startup has a business savvy owner behind it; one who knows how to make smart business decisions. It is crucial that you are fully aware of what your business venture is going to cost you – rent, insurance, permit fees, as well as payroll for your employees.

Get creative.

Marketing is one of the most interesting but deceptively difficult aspects of running a successful restaurant startup. You have to know what you will do to attract and retain consumers, and grow your business. If you’re going to create a marketing plan, you should read books and attend seminars about the best ways of doing so. If not, research PR and marketing firms that can take your restaurant startup to a new level.

Make a plan.

A business plan will either make you or break you, therefore, make it as accurate as humanly possible. You will need: a comprehensive description of your concept and target consumers, an outline of your menu and potential pricing, different types of financial information – including loans, long-term income, and expenditure – a marketing plan, an employee hiring and training summary, and, of course, disaster management and exit strategies.

Register Your Restaurant Startup.

Once you have your location and venue, register your restaurant startup, and take care of licenses and permits.

Now you’re open for business! 

 


©Big Stock Photo

6 Best Food Cities and Their Restaurant Weeks

6 Best Food Cities and Their Restaurant Weeks

Ever wonder when America’s best food cities hold their restaurant weeks?

Wonder no more, we have that info for you right here! If you love to eat as much as we do, we suggest you check this out. Because different cities host a number of restaurant weeks throughout the year, we’re going to focus on the ones happening during the summer and in the fall, and yes, we’ll update the list as the time goes on.

Seattle, WA: This incredible city is known for its tasty coffee and fresher than fresh marine products. From wild caught salmon to succulent oysters, this is one of the best places to indulge in seafood. However, culinary influences from south of the border, north of the border, and across the ocean, have made Seattle one of the most eclectic food cities in the nation.


Restaurant Week,  October: There are officially two restaurant weeks in Seattle, one in April and the other in October. While the dates aren’t set in stone just yet, you can get in touch with the organizers for a preview of what’s to come.

Las Vegas, NV: – While Sin City is best known for its abundance of happening hotels and casinos, it is also rather famous for its decadent shows and delectable cuisine. That’s because this over the top metropolis has some of the best chefs in the county, like Gordon Ramsey and Nobu Matsuhisa, attracting foodies from near and far.

Restaurant WeekAugust 22-28: Happening fairly soon, Las Vegas restaurant week is going to be a seriously epic event. Considering just how many incredible chefs will be serving up something special during the anticipated food mecca, it’s hard not to get excited.

New Orleans, LA: We give you fare warning, this is a seriously food-obsessed city! Once you visit and try the deliciousness New Orleans is famous for – think gumbo, rice, dumplings, and so on – you may never be able to eat anywhere ever again. Taking inspiration from the states that surround it, Louisiana gave life to a rather unique breed of cuisine.

Restaurant Week, September 8-14: Perhaps this is one of the few restaurant weeks NOT happening in August, which is great news since there is only so much eating one person can actually do in a month. Never the less, if you can make it here you’ll thank us later, because the food really is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Charleston, SC: We simply can’t talk about food cities without mentioning Charleston. It’s not only famous for its impeccable cuisine – the fried chicken and mashed potatoes are to die for – but also for its innovative approach to decorating. Setting the vibe is a big deal here, hence the extra mile makes dining that much more enjoyable.

Restaurant Week, September 3-14: Clearly one week is not enough to satisfy the food-enthusiastic locals, so they made it a week + long. Serving up all types of goodness at reasonable prices, there are few places more inviting than this super amazing event.

Boston, MA: – Bean town is known for its food and we’re not just talking about legumes here. With old-school favorites getting contemporary makeovers, and new dishes – like fried oysters and spicy curries – bringing in foodies from across the nation, Boston is where it’s at!    

Restaurant Weeks, August 17-22 & 24-29: Now known as Dine Out Boston, the bean city’s restaurant weeks are something to get excited about. Going on for two weeks in August, because apparently this is the month for discount dining, visitors can eat their hearts out.

New York City, NY: It’s not hard to see why New York is one of the absolute best food cities in America, hence the restaurant week lasts about a month. Thinking about the abundance of cultures that come together in this melting pot, this is where people go to try something new and exciting. From Thai to Malaysian, Russian to French, American to Italian, New York has everything for every palate.

Restaurant Weeks, July 21 – August 15: Top chefs from around the world come to New York in order to showcase their skills, open their restaurants, and find fame and fortune. Bringing together all types of people from all walks of life, this is one of the best times to come to the bustling metropolis for some serious deliciousness.

Now that you know the best food cities and their restaurant weeks, HaPpy FeAstiNg YoU gUyS! 


©Big Stock Photo

Equipping Your Restaurant Kitchen Like a Pro!

How to Equip Your Restaurant Kitchen

Considering the fact that a well-stocked restaurant kitchen is essentially the lifeline of a food establishment, making sure you have the necessary equipment is absolutely crucial.

And although you’ve probably got this, we’ve put together a quick check list of what you’ll need – you know, just in case.

Work Tables: All culinary magic starts at a user-friendly work station. When determining the kind you’d like to get, decide between an old fashion wooden top station and a stainless steel work table. While there are advantages to each, stainless steel tends to be easier to take care of. Please note that work tables are different from prep tables; the latter is used to prepare raw foods and should be kept away from cooking equipment.

Check Out: Stainless Steel Work Table, Wood Top


Shelving: Once you figure out where your work table(s) is going to be standing, place everything you’ll need for the actual work nearby. This is where you have to implement a well thought out shelving strategy. To increase productivity and streamline workflow in your restaurant kitchen, everything you need should be within arm’s reach.

Check Out: Table Mounted, Wall Mounted, Wire Shelving

Countertop Equipment: Now that you have your work station and shelving figured out, it’s time tackle the countertops. 

Check Out: Crape Machines, Hot Dog Roller Grills, Hot Plates, Induction Cookers, Microwave Ovens, Rice Cookers, Rotisserie Ovens, Sandwich/Panini Grills, Toasters, Waffle Bakers

Professional Cooking Equipment: This is where you really have to be selective – one can easily get carried away and end up with too many or not enough pasta cookers, sauce pots, or hot plates, but this is something you’ll likely hone in on once the restaurant kitchen starts running.

Check Out: Fryers and Fry-Sauté Pans, Broilers, Combi and Convention Ovens, Griddle/Cheese Melters, Kettles, Pasta Cookers, Pizza Ovens, Ranges, Salamanders, Steamers, Stock Pot Stoves, Braziers, Cast Irons, Chinese Woks, Sauce Pots, Covers, Double Broilers, Steamer Baskets, Stock Pots, Prep Tables

Beverages: Restaurants typically offer a fairly large selection of beverages that range from fizzy sodas to fancy caffeinated drinks. Health oriented businesses, for example, will benefit from high-quality juice machines, while dining establishments will put drink mixers and expresso equipment to use. 

Check Out: Juice Extractors, Orange Juice Machines, Cold Beverage Dispensers (Granita and others), Espresso Equipment, Hot Cappuccino Dispensers, Hot Chocolate Dispensers, and Drink Mixers.

Dishwashers: Now, there are the traditional types of washers, and then there are the super versatile contemporary washers – like Fog Tank – that we think make a better investment. The use of green technology in your restaurant kitchen is always a good idea, so try to stick to appliances that are eco-friendly whenever possible.

Check Out: Fog Tank, Door Type and Under Counter

Food Prep: Consider how many terrible germs can spread in your restaurant kitchen. That said, never prepare meat or fish on the same surface as fruit, vegetables, or anything else that can get contaminated and lead to food poisoning. This is where the prep table comes into play. 

Check Out: Bread and Other Slicers, Blenders, Food Processors, Graters/Shredders, Hand Held and Other Mixers, Meat Grinders, Vegetable/Salad Dryers, Strainers.

Ice Makers: If you serve ice cream, caviar, oysters, or the like, you can greatly benefit from an ice making unit that is independent from your refrigerator.

Check Out: (Under Counter and Average) Cube Style and Flake Style Dispensers, Ice Storage Bins,

Refrigeration: Much like you would with other appliances, you should try to opt for green technology whenever possible. Since refrigerators are becoming more advanced and versatile, you need to figure out what type works best for you.

Check Out: Bar Refrigeration, Chef Base/Griddle Stand, Display cases, drop-in cold pan, Freezers, Merchandisers, Milk Coolers, Pizza Prep, Reach-ins, Sandwich/Salad, Under counters, Walk-In-Box, Worktops.

Warming & Holding: Whether you want to keep utensils dry, dishes warm, or food hot, warming and holding appliances are a good thing to have in our restaurant kitchen. Again, stick to green technology whenever possible.

Check Out: Heated Cabinets, Heated Display and Countertop Cases, Heater/Proffers, Overhead Food Warmers, Steam tables

Sinks: Cooking is a dirty business – you need a place to wash your hands, do the dishes, rinse various produce, clean floor mops, etc. A good sink is an essential component to your restaurant kitchen, so make sure you invest in one you like.

Check Out: Bar, Drop-in, Faucets, Hand-washing

Now, go and enjoy your newly equipped restaurant kitchen!