Britain’s recent culinary renaissance has been accompanied by a demand for the best-quality ingredients and an insistence on the most sophisticated cooking techniques to produce great-tasting food. Restaurants, cafés and other catering outlets are increasingly using solid fuel appliances like wood-fired pizza ovens, charcoal grills and tandoors to deliver the sorts of flavour experiences expected by their customers. As tastes change, so do the types of appliances that are needed to keep up with the trend.
Advantages of solid fuel appliances
The key advantage to the commercial kitchen of using solid fuel appliances is, as highlighted above, the authenticity they can lend to traditional and more avant-garde cuisine. Think, for example, of the cooking of the Indian subcontinent with its magnificent tandoori preparations. Versions of these delicacies prepared in standard ovens cannot really compare with those produced in genuine tandoors with their centuries-long history. Think of a superb pizza, which as this Guardian article illustrates, will typically involve a wood-fired oven.
Disadvantages of solid fuel appliances
First, there is a specific set of health and safety risks involved in this type of commercial oven. A charcoal grill, for example, can reach astonishing temperatures, so real care needs to be taken to guard against kitchen fires and burns to staff. Likewise, carbon monoxide (CO) is a by-product of burning solid fuels so there needs to be adequate ventilation and functioning CO alarms, and you are obliged to arrange frequent safety checks to ensure that the premises are safe. Staff are also required to be thoroughly trained in recognising the signs of CO exposure in themselves and others.
Any commercial kitchen requires careful planning, and one making use of solid fuel appliances needs to take extra care to manage the various associated risks. Is there room for a flue in your proposed cooking space?
Planning your commercial kitchen
Whether you are planning on installing a solid fuel appliances or using other types of commercial ovens like those supplied by https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/catering-equipment/heavy-cooking-equipment/commercial-ovens-ranges, you will need to be attuned to the regulations surrounding health and safety and food hygiene. This is a relatively complex area but there are lots of good resources online.
We also recommend that you seek specialist advice to ensure that your kitchen is fully compliant with the law and safe for you, your personnel and your customers.
The sheer variety of familiar foods often leaves the shopping public bemused. Even buying something as simple as a yogurt involves choosing not only on the flavour but also between fat-free, low-sugar, Greek-style, whipped, layered or any one of a dozen more options.
This isn’t a limited trend, either, as dozens of long-established food products have been tweaked to widen the target market to stretching point. However, it doesn’t always pay to mess with something which became popular precisely because it looked and tasted a particular way, and this is definitely the case with the modern classic Italian dessert tiramisu.
If you yearn for a dessert that will be egg-free, spurn alcohol, substitute cream for all or part of the mascarpone cheese or include any kind of fruit, then go ahead and make it, but don’t call it tiramisu, because it’s not.
The Essential Components of a Classic Tiramisu
Start with around 20-24 genuine savoiardi – the type imported from Italy. They are readily available online, or you can make your own. These should be soaked briefly (not just dipped) in 100 ml at least of espresso, or good-quality very strong coffee.
The cream should always be made from mascarpone cheese, mixed with sugar, whipped egg whites and a greater number of yolks. There’s more flexibility when it comes to the (optional) alcohol. Basically, Marsala wine, coffee or almond liqueur, rum, or brandy are fine – just not all at the same time!
The tiramisu should have four layers and the cheese topping dusted with fine cocoa powder before being left to chill and set for around six hours.
The Irish Have It Right
Fans of cookery shows are probably aware that innovative twists to homemade goodies rarely succeed, and such is the case with tiramisu. To enjoy it to the fullest extent possible, this is a dessert which should always be true to the recipe recognized as being closest the original – advice which the Irish have taken to heart. Any authentic Dublin Italian restaurant should be serving the real thing, which means there are plenty of eateries such as Toscana Dublins Italian Restaurant to indulge a sweet tooth in.
Always insist on a classic Italian tiramisu, with ingredients that blend to produce a marriage made in food heaven.
Sometimes there are occasions when you end up with leftover wine that you really don’t want to waste. Perhaps you opened a red and a white to accompany different courses of a meal or the differing taste buds of your guests, or you simply wanted one glass at the end of the day and can’t stand the thought of wasting the rest of the bottle.
Whatever the reason, there are some things you can do to ensure you never end up using your favourite tipple as drain cleaner.
You could consider buying the smaller half-size bottles so that you aren’t leaving wine opened.
The reality is that once it is opened the wine, whether red, white or rose, starts to be affected by oxidation, caused by the oxygen in the air. It is suggested that 24 hours of being open in the air may well age a wine the equivalent of one year in a bottle.
Choose your wine carefully, whether via a physical store or online merchant. If you enjoy it more, it is less likely to be wasted, and better-quality wine often keeps better.
If looking for online wine merchants in Northern Ireland, you could consider the selection of wines available at http://thewinecompanyni.com/.
Storing Opened Wine
Many people think that wine, especially sparkling wine, will be bad or undrinkable with a day or two. But actually, as this article from the Daily Mail states, wine can be kept for up to five days, especially when stored in the fridge – even the red wines.
Before putting it in the fridge, ensure the bottle is resealed as tightly as you can, either via the original cork or with a wine sealer or stopper of some kind.
Another option is to freeze your leftovers in ice cube trays, or for bigger amounts in small plastic freezer containers. These are perfect to add extra flavour and body when you are cooking stews, sauces, and soups. Simply throw in a cube or two straight from the freezer or allow a small tub to defrost to use in your recipe.
If you drink the same wine on a regular basis, they are also a great way to add ice for a refreshing wine cooler in summer without adding extra water to your drink as the cubes dissolve.