Category Archives: Just for fun

Cooking with Cody – Amana RMS10TS Microwave

Our content specialist Cody has his own cooking show! Check it out below, featuring the Amana RMS10TS light duty microwave! Amana is a trusted manufacturer of commercial microwaves. They have a large variety of microwaves to fit your needs, from high speed models to light duty units. Visit CentralRestaurant.com for all your restaurant equipment needs.

Use Cres Cor Mobile Heating Equipment Anywhere – Even Zombie Weddings!

As a family owned company, Cres Cor has been making moves on the mobile food service industry since 1936! Cres Cor’s line of cook and hold, holding cabinets, and meal delivery carts will keep catering running smoothly and your guests happy…even if they’re the “death” of the party! Check out the video below for more!

Game-Day Snacking- Real French Onion Dip

It’s fall and football season is back in full swing.  And what kind of host would you be if you didn’t supply the best snacks for your guests?  Not a very popular one, that’s for sure! But fear not, we’ve got a delicious game-day dip idea that is sure to be a hit!  We’ve got what you need to know to make this gameday staple below.  Just add potato chips!

Real French Onion Dip -seriouseats.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 large yellow onions, finely diced (about 1 quart)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced chives

Directions:

  1. Heat sugar in a 12-inch stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat until completely melted and light brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately add onions and stir with wooden spoon to coat onions in sugar. Add butter, baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds black pepper. Toss to combine. Cook, shaking pan occasionally until onions release all their liquid and brown coating builds up on bottom of pan, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons water shake pan while scraping with wooden spoon to deglaze brown bits from bottom of pan. Continue cooking, shaking occasionally until coating begins to build up again, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat deglazing and cooking steps three more times until all water is used up and onions are deep brown. Transfer to medium mixing bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  3. Add sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Parmesan, and Worcestershire and whisk to combine. For smoother texture, run through blender or food processor. Chill in a sealed container for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days (flavor will improve with time). Spoon into a bowl, sprinkle with chives, and serve with chips.

Yield: ~2 cups

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

Now that you’ve got the dip covered, just head on out and get your favorite potato chips! If for some reason you wind up with leftover dip, you can always put in on a hamburger or a nice roast beef sandwich!  You might be surprised how good it is!

10 Ways to Liven Up Slow Nights at the Restaurant

Is there a certain night of the week where your restaurant is consistently slow? We have brainstormed & searched high and low to find the 10 best ways to increase business on those slow nights. Give them a try and let us know how much they increased business!

1. Charity Events

Between local little leagues, homeless shelters, youth groups, or other organizations, there is always an opportunity for a ‘charity event night’. Customers have to show a flyer to support the cause and a set percentage of all sales go towards the charity. Another great tip for these events – require a few representatives from the charity to help around the restaurant to pick up trash, greet guests, etc. This way, they can also share more about their cause and interact with customers!

2. Kids Eat Free

What parent doesn’t want a delicious meal and a night off from cooking? Offering free kids meals with the purchase of an adult entree draws in families who want a fun night out.

3. Trivia Night

Trivia Nights are always a hit! Have weekly/month themes and offer drink or appetizer specials. Have fun interacting with customers while allowing them to have a fun night out!

4. Neighborhood Events

How well do you know your neighbors? For great repeat business, take a slow night and make it a party! Set up tents, games, drink specials, and a limited delicious menu. Pass out flyers around the neighborhood and spread the word about your block party! They’ll remember your restaurant for the delicious food and the fun times.

5. Guest of Honor Night

Whether it’s Teacher Tuesdays, Veteran’s Wednesday, Nurses Thursday or so on, treat your special guests like royalty and offer a percentage discount or free drink. They deserve the honor and delicious food!

6. Coupons!

Why not advertise coupons in the local paper? You’d be surprised what people will do with a coupon. Everyone is looking for a good deal, and let’s be honest, it is hard to pass up good food. Be clear in your wording, and meet your money savvy neighbors!

7. Deal of the Day

$0.25 Wings Wednesdays, $1 Craft Beer Nights, etc. The possibilities are endless! We have to emphasize it: people love a great deal and people love great food! Add a midweek special to draw in the crowds.

8. Battle of the Bands

Let’s really liven it up with some live music! Host a Battle of the Bands competition and let local musicians compete to win a grand prize. This will draw in music fans, friends and family of the bands, and will make for a ton of fun!

9. Student Discounts

Live near a campus? Offer student discounts on food and drinks to draw in the younger crowd – we all know they need the discounts and the good food!

10. Mug Night

Allow customers to bring in a reasonably sized mug of their own and receive discounted drink prices all night! A fun way to interact with the customers and make new customers!

Campfire Recipes

Take a break, pitch a tent and explore the outdoors this season!

I know, the idea of “roughing it” for an extended weekend may not appeal to some, but if you do it right, a memorable experience can be shared by all. To help, we’ve compiled a few campfire recipes sure to excite. Click the links to view the full recipe.

Campfire Cinnamon Rolls

Forget the marshmallows. Using a skewer, bake these cinnamon roll-ups over an open flame.

Image courtesy of Jordyn at www.almostsupermom.com

Campfire Nachos

Put that cast iron skillet to good use and try this new spin on a classic!

Image courtesy of Angie at www.thecountrychiccottage.net

BBQ Chicken Foil Packs

Chicken, fruit, veggies and barbecue. What more do you need?

Image courtesy of Holly at life-in-the-lofthouse.com

Dutch Oven Lasagna

Break out the dutch oven and treat yourself to a hearty meal under the stars!

Image courtesy of www.freshoffthegrid.com

Idaho Sunrise

A surprisingly easy, and filling, recipe of eggs and bacon served in a potato. Perfect for breakfast, dinner, or a midnight snack!

Image courtesy of Ali at www.givemesomeoven.com

Camping Mac n’ Cheese

Another spin on a classic, prepared and served in an aluminum pie tin.

Image courtesy of Lauren at www.laurenslatest.com

Wine and Cheese Pairings

Wine and cheese: two of life’s greatest treasures. As with any food and wine pairing, experts suggest pairing strength of flavors. Hearty red meat, for example, traditionally pairs best with a bold red, like a cabernet sauvignon. White meat and fish, on the other hand, often lean on the lighter side and can be pleasantly accompanied by a buttery chardonnay or a refreshing Riesling. The same theory is at play with cheeses.

As with pairing meats, it’s best to think of the variety of combinations as either complementary or contrasting. A wine with high acidity will cut into the cheese’s sweetness, whereas a lush wine works rather nicely with a triple-cream cheese like brie.

What kind of cheese are you looking to pair? Is it bloomy (creamy, decadent, soft rind), hard (stiff, sharp), blue (pungent, salty, blue tinge), or fresh (soft, often spreadable, mild)? Many connoisseurs argue that white wines tend to pair better with cheeses, but we shouldn’t discount reds altogether. Half the fun is experimenting. Decide on a cheese you’d like to pair, try a taste and see how the flavors connect when you mix in wine. Too opposing? No worries. The combination possibilities are endless.

Here are some common wine and cheese pairings examples courtesy of Wine Enthusiast:

Bloomy Cheeses

Camembert – Champagne

Brie – Chardonnay

Robiola – Sparkling Wine

Taleggio – Pinot Blanc

Hard

Gouda – Merlot

Cheddar – Cabernet Sauvignon

Parmesan – Chianti

Double Gloucester – Zinfandel

Pecorino – Valpolicella

Gruyere – Sauvignon Blanc

Fontina – Bardolino

Blue

Gorgonzola – Port

Stilton – Sauternes

Blue – Riesling

Cambozola – Eiswein

Fresh

Ricotta – Pinot Grigio

Mozzarella – Sauvignon Blanc

Goat – Chenin Blanc

Feta – Beaujolais

Burrata – Tocai Friulano

 

Interested in learning more about wine? You may enjoy some of our other blogs:

You can also browse our large assortment of wine supplies here. Cheers!

Get to Know Types of Beer Glasses

With the craft beer craze showing no sign of slowing down, it is a good idea to know the different types of beer glasses.  Beer glassware is more than a way to convey beer to your mouth, some glassware is designed for a specific purpose.  So, if you plan to hop on (no pun intended) the craft beer bandwagon, it is wise to use glassware that enhances your beer experience.  As such, we have compiled the most common types of beer glasses and their distinguishing characteristics.

Types of Beer Glasses – Common Types and Characteristics

  1. Pint Glasses – Are the most common type of beer vessel in the United States and are commonly used in restaurants.  As its name implies, this glass holds a pint (16 oz.) of beer and is a suitable choice for Ales, IPAs, Lagers, and Stouts.
  2. Beer Mugs – Mugs are sturdy, come in many sizes, and the thicker glass acts as an insulator keeping your beer cold longer.  Also, the handle does more than give you something to hold onto, it keeps your hand from warming your beer.
  3. Steins – Steins and mugs have similar shapes and handles, but there are differences.  The biggest distinction is the hinged lid that protects your beer from bugs, dirt and etc.  But, a less common distinction is that steins can and are made out of different materials like silver, stone, and wood.
  4. Tulip Glasses –  Tulip glasses enhance the aroma, flavor, and head of your beer.  Generally used with hoppy or malty beers, these glasses have a small stem with a foot and an outward curving lip atop the bowl.  Much like a snifter, the bowl at the bottom lets you swirl your beer around in a classy manner.

Now that you know a bit more about some common types of beer glasses, it’s time to hit your local pub and show off that knowledge!  Want to enjoy your drinks at home?  Central has you covered with a wide range of glassware to choose from.  Visit our website, live chat, or call        1-800-215-9293 to speak with a product consultant today!  Cheers!

Grilled Nachos: A Summertime Favorite

It is warming up outside which means people will be spending more time outdoors, particularly cooking outdoors.  One of the best things about summer is grilled nachos.  Yes, you heard right. Grilled nachos.  With a little bit of prep work, this is a real crowd-pleaser.  The reason it works so well is that everyone gets the toppings they want!  People get to customize!  Read on to find out how you can have a nacho bar at your next gathering!

Grilled Nachos: The Necessities

  1. Baking pans, Pizza pans work great for this!
  2. Tortilla chips. You can use white or yellow corn chips, but if you want to change it up or add some color, you can opt for black bean and rice or red bean and rice chips.
  3. Ground beef cooked with taco seasoning
  4. Refried and/or black beans
  5. Jalapeno peppers, fresh, not pickled and cut into medallions.  I prefer to leave the seeds in for extra heat, but you can remove them if you want a milder nacho.
  6. Poblano peppers, chopped and seeds removed.
  7. White onion, chopped
  8. Shredded Mexican style cheese
  9. A Hot grill
  10. Salsa  or Pico de Gallo, guacamole, and/or sour cream:  These items go on after you have pulled your nachos off of the grill.

Grilled Nachos:  Assembly Line Strategy

Once you have all the above items prepped and in their own separate bowls, line them up on the counter or a table.  This will resemble an assembly line process.  People get their pan, fill it with chips and whichever toppings they desire.  Make sure to place the chips nicely on the pan, not just a pile.  This will help ensure that each chip gets its share of toppings.  Put the cheese on last, to help hold all those great toppings in place!

Fire Up the Grill!

Now you are ready for the grill.  You will want to make sure that the grill is preheated at medium high, and the grate is clean before you place your nacho pan onto the grill.  There is no real set time for them to cook since each pan is a custom job.  Just keep an eye on them, when your cheese is all melted and the edges are nice and crispy, they are ready to enjoy!

Get Geared Up!

We’ve got all the cutlery, dishes and pans that you will need to make this a success.  If you don’t want to cut up vegetables by hand, try a food and vegetable processor!  Have questions about which products are best for you?  Call 1-800-215-9293 to speak with one of our knowledgeable product consultants.