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Category Archives: Helpful Tips

Cater to Me

MikeCaterMike, one of our sales team members, had a call come in from a client the other day who also happens to be a chef. As he was accustomed to using full sheet catering pans in his restaurant, he was interested in a range that would accept full sheet pans to accommodate his creations at home. Wanting to confirm which models would work, we started going from product to product putting each to the test. We carry all of the leading brands and display them on our floor. That made it very easy to find out.

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So what did we find out?

BlueStarRange

We found that DCS, Dacor, Thermador Pro Grand, MONOGRAM, and BlueStar in 36″ and 48″ ranges are all able to accommodate a full sheet catering pan.

Dacor

It should be noted that not all clients need that feature in their range. I know personally I have gone my whole life and have not needed to use a full sheet catering pan. I’ve even been known to cook up a storm in a 20″ range that I dubbed my “Easy Bake Oven”. However, if you do have the need, it is great to know there are plenty of fantastic options (that we carry and you can test) right here to choose from in our showroom without having to own or visit a restaurant with a commercial range! See you soon!

 

Grateful Gobbling

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With Thanksgiving a week away….here are some tips, a simple recipe, and some words of comforting wisdom from our own Jim Balano.

1. Do NOT Self Clean Your Oven. That type of extreme heat could stress your oven before the big day. Please wait until after the holidays to do it.

2. Turning the Turkey Lets It Cook Evenly. Roasting a bird breast side down for at least half of the cooking time shields the delicate breast meat from heat currents in the oven and exposes the thigh meat to direct heat. The bird will need to be turned breast side up allowing the skin on the breast to brown and crisp. Roast the turkey breast side up for at least the last hour of roasting. If the breast skin isn’t browning, raise the oven temperature slightly and baste the skin with clarified butter or oil. As an alternative to flipping, cook the bird breast side up the whole time shielding the breast with foil until the last half of the roasting time.

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3. Brining the Bird. Brining makes a bird juicy. Brining is soaking a whole turkey in a salt solution. The salt in brining breaks down proteins in the meat and exposes more bonding sites for water molecules, thus allowing the meat to retain more water as it cooks. During brining, a turkey absorbs 10 to 15 percent additional weight in water. As it cooks, the bird naturally loses 20 to 30 percent of its initial water content. Brining cuts the net loss in half resulting in a juicier, more tender turkey. Another plus, the salt in the brine makes the bird taste more seasoned. Pan drippings from a brined bird can be very salty, so be sure to use little to no additional salt in gravy made from the drippings. I use my larger cooler to brine the bird with ice.

4. Pies. Home made pies are the best if they are warm out of the oven. Place baked pies in the warm oven when you are ready to serve the meal.

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5. Letting the Turkey Rest. Take the turkey out of the oven 30/45 minutes before carving.  Tent it with aluminum foil to keep it warm.  This allows juices to resettle in the turkey.

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6. Meat Thermometer. Does your oven have a temperature probe? Set it for 165F.  It will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven. This will reduce the chance of an overcooked dried turkey.

7. Saving Tummy Room. Thanksgiving dinner has all of your family’s favorites.  Reduce or eliminate your appetizers before the meal so that you will have space in your tummy to enjoy the second helping or your mother’s pie or dessert.

8. Be Thankful. After our prayers are given, we hold hands and declare what we are so thankful for from the current year. Enjoy the company of your family and friends.

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I grew up in Massachusetts with a cranberry bog in my backyard. This recipe is so simple, but so tasty…

Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

1 cup sugar 1 cup water 1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained

Directions

Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups.

Science Experiments, Vacuums, and Vinegar

FD-EL23BC90KS-OEH2.tif; FD-EW23BC85KS-OLH_131_L01.psd, cool zoneAfter Doug’s blog last week I was inspired to check out the daily holidays and found that “National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day” is just around the corner! November 15th, conveniently falls on a Sunday. This is the day to go to town tidying up fresh food preservers everywhere! Come on fellow humans! Join me in the clean party! (I sure know how to have a good time). RefDirtyWarning….each refrigerator comes with its own list of instructions on how to clean the interior and exterior. I would highly recommend reading it before you take any of my advice.

Start by removing all the science experiments, tossing anything unrecognizable, and ridding the fridge of anything that has a less than aromatic, enticing scent. Wiping down shelves and interior walls, washing drawers, and wiping down the exterior handles and surfaces, are all part of the clean transformation from “ick” to “Niiiiice!”. My personal favorite is to use a vinegar-water solution in a spray bottle and good old warm soap and water. Sure your refrigerator may smell like a soapy salad….but after a little while…the clean and freshness will come through!

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If your refrigerator has a coil it’s recommended it get vacuumed. Every 6 months to a year is a good start, but let’s face it, most people don’t do that. Why not start? It will help the efficiency of your appliance and increase its life expectancy while simultaneously reducing your yuck factor instantly!

Having a clean refrigerator really is a feel-good feeling. It’s an easy and quick way to achieve a quick sense of accomplishment. Another way is to toss it and come buy a new one here!

Happy Holiday!

Culinary Tetris

Ever have that dreaded problem of running out of space in your main refrigerator? Do you find yourself practicing Tetris skills maneuvering leftovers around or while adding in fresh groceries? With cabinet depth and integrated refrigeration soaring in popularity main refrigeration space is at a premium, however, there are a few solutions.

As the refrigerator and freezer stuffing holidays creep upon us, having additional places to store your perishable goodies may be something to consider. If holidays and gatherings are your thing, you’ll need more space, and possibly more ice, for entertaining all your hungry and thirsty party people. There are a variety of under-counter refrigeration and ice making solutions including “cool” pieces such as refrigerator and freezer drawers. If remodeling the entire kitchen isn’t on the horizon consider getting a freestanding piece. An extra appliance in the garage, a spare room, or a pantry off the kitchen can do wonders for lowering stress levels when trying to find additional space. Frigidaire offers a full product line of “Garage Ready” freezer/refrigerator combos that start at $499 MSRP for a 9.9 cubic foot model. Here’s a snazzy picture of it.  FrigRefREVWe carry such a wide selection of options that if you have a desire to add additional food preservation, wine storage, or ice making space into your home, we will be able to find the right appliance for you. So before the busy holiday season hits with its crazed cooking frenzy….get prepared with space to store your yummy ingredients and creations. Bring on the festivities!!!

Keeping it Clean

For over 20 years (despite my desire for “Avocado Green” and “Harvest Gold” to make a comeback) stainless steel dominates appliances. While other colors are peeking onto the appliance scene, stainless is still the go-to choice. It is sleek, neutral, and complements a variety of designs and interiors. And while fingerprints continue to strategically decorate the steel surfaces in our homes, try stealing these tips for your stainless and your sanity.

After reviewing use and care manuals on stainless refrigerators for a few major manufacturers it seems the following cleaning tips ring true for just about every brand.

On all stainless steel handles and exterior:

Use soap and water (wow! what a concept!)

Use a non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner

Clean and wipe the stainless steel in the direction of the grain

Use a soft, lint free cloth

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For removing rust, tarnish, or small blemishes:

Use cleaners with Oxalic acid

Things all manufacturers stress:

Do not use an abrasive cleaner

Do not use any cleaner that has chloride or bleach

Do not use appliance wax

SS-2Manufacturers did vary in their cleaning advice. Read the use & care manual for your appliance. I know, I know, who has time? Make time! They are online on manufacturers’ websites. If you need help finding elusive model numbers and/or want an email with a PDF attachment of the use & care manual…call us. With the kids getting back to school it will be great to display their true artwork or achievements, not their handprints, nor yours, nor Aunt Edna’s…