How to Bread Meat so the Breading Won't Fall Off

Whether you’re frying up chicken, pork, or steak, the crispy outer breading adds a satisfying crunch, attractive coloring, and delicious taste to your meal. However, sometimes that breading can begin to flake off while cutting into it, forcing your customers to eat the breading separate from the meat. In order to keep your delicious dishes whole throughout the entire meal, here are step-by-step instructions on how to bread meat so the breading won’t fall off.



Ingredients You'll Need

  • Your Choice of Meat
  • Milk or Buttermilk
  • Flour
  • Assorted Seasonings
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Egg Wash

Step by Step Instructions for Breading Meat

  • 1.

    Season the meat with salt and pepper.

    2.

    Moisten the meat – we suggest buttermilk but you can use milk or a seasoned milk mixture. Let it sit for at least a half hour.

  • 3.

    Season your flour using spices like paprika, thyme, salt, mustard powder, or even other ingredients like parmesan cheese.

    4.

    Remove the meat from the milk mixture and thoroughly coat it in the seasoned flour.

  • 5.

    Place the meat on a tray, cover, and put it in the refrigerator for one hour. This is extremely important as it allows the flour to become sticky and attach to the meat.

    6.

    Prepare the breading in a shallow dish.

  • 7.

    Coat the meat in egg wash.

    8.

    Thoroughly coat the meat with breading.

  • 9.

    Gently lay the breaded meat in your pan. Be sure not to overcrowd.

    10.

    Use your probe thermometer to keep track of the temperatures of the meat and oil. Turn your meat over when it's browned.

  • 11.

    When your food is done cooking, remove it from the oil and set it on clean, dry paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

    12.

    Serve!

When it comes to breading meat, most breading procedures are basically the same. But taking the extra time to soak your meat in buttermilk and let the flour get sticky will ensure that your breading is fully adhered. This creates a final result that is crispy on the outside, juicy in the middle, and altogether irresistible.

Posted in: Smallwares | By Jessica Wieser

Recipes to Raise Your Profits: Coffee Stout French Onion Soup

There’s nothing more comforting on a cold day than a warm bowl of French onion soup. What sets this soup apart from other soups is the layer of melted cheese on top, often flowing over the sides of the bowl to make a beautiful golden crust. To put a modern spin on this classic French dish, we switched out some of the key ingredients and incorporated something unexpected: a coffee stout.

What is French Onion Soup?

French onion soup is a basic soup of caramelized onions in broth, finished with a dash of sherry, and topped with a crunchy crouton with lots of melted gruyere cheese.

We chose to use coffee stout instead of the traditional sherry because it brings smoothness and color to the soup, with just a hint of coffee taste. Additionally, instead of the traditional gruyere cheese, our chef chose a combination of Swiss and provolone because both cheeses are great when melted. Plus, by combining two different types of cheeses, you can create a more dynamic flavor. To create this signature cheese layer, we used a salamander broiler, which produces heat from above, making it the perfect tool for melting cheese in a matter of minutes.

History of French Onion Soup

King Louis

People have enjoyed onion soup dating as far back as the Roman Empire, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that the French started caramelizing the onions—a simple step that transformed a very simple soup into something more sophisticated. Legend has it that King Louis XV (pictured to the right) was at his hunting lodge one evening and the only ingredients in the pantry were onions, butter, and champagne. So, French onion soup was born! The truth of this story is somewhat unsubstantiated, but it’s a fun legend nonetheless.

In the 1960s, Julia Child’s popular cooking TV show sparked a newfound appreciation for French cuisine, bringing into vogue such dishes as beef bourguignon and, of course, French onion soup. That’s when this soup became a real staple on restaurant menus across the United States.

Why is French Onion Soup Popular?

You’ll find French onion soup on nearly every kind of American menu, from cozy diners to fancy country clubs. This soup is popular for many reasons. First off, it’s inexpensive to make and requires just a handful of common ingredients that most kitchens will have stocked for other recipes. Onions have a long shelf life, don’t require special storage space, and have a savory flavor that’s familiar and comforting on a cold day.

Cost Breakdown of Coffee Stout French Onion Soup

Onions are inexpensive because they grow well in many different environments and have a long harvest period. When we calculated the total cost to make 8 servings of French onion soup, it fell around $5.18. That's only $0.65 per serving! Most menus will sell this soup for about $5 per serving, leaving a significant profit margin of $4.35. Of course, these numbers will vary slightly, depending on which specific ingredients you choose. But chances are, you can make a great French onion soup for just pennies per cup.

  • Sold on Menu- $5
  • Food Cost per Serving- $0.65
  • Profit Margin per Serving- $4.35

Coffee Stout French Onion Soup Recipe

This recipe makes 8 servings of 1 cup each. You can expect a total cook time of about 65 minutes, but most of that is just waiting for everything to cook down. So, while that may sound like a long time, you’ll be free to work on other tasks while your flavors develop. It’s important not to rush these steps because, as your onions cook down, their natural sugars are released, creating that beautiful flavor that is essential in French onion soup.

This recipe calls for beef stock, but you can easily substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian version. Check out the video below to learn how to make coffee stout French onion soup.

Ingredients for the Soup

  • 1 oz. unsalted butter
  • 2 lbs. thinly sliced sweet onions
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 12 oz. coffee stout
  • ½ gallon beef stock
  • 1 Sachet d’Epices
  • 1 large crouton
  • 1 piece each of swiss and provolone cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for The Sachet d'Epices

  • 4 sprigs of parsley
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
  • 1 garlic clove

Directions

  1. Saute the onions and minced shallot in the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally until browned. This will take about 30 minutes.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the coffee stout and reduce by half.
  3. Add the stock and the sachet and simmer about 35 minutes.
  4. Season your soup with salt and fresh pepper.
  5. Place the finished soup in a crock.
  6. Add crouton and top with cheese.
  7. Broil in the salamander until the cheese is golden brown and slightly bubbly.

How to Make a Crouton

Croutons make sense for a few reasons. They’re a perfect use for day-old bread that almost any restaurant will inevitably have in their kitchen. Using your day-old bread for croutons is a great money-saving strategy because you won’t need to purchase premade croutons, and you also won’t be wasting the bread you already have.

For our crouton, we simply:

1. Cut a sandwich roll with a cookie cutter

2. Sprayed it with regular cooking spray

3. Seasoned it with salt and pepper (but you can get creative with the seasonings here)

4. And then toasted the bread in the oven

You can complete this step prior to beginning your soup, or do it while you wait for the onions to cook.

What is a “Sachet d’Epices”?

A sachet d'epices is a little pouch full of aromatics and spices that’s used to infuse flavors into a liquid. The pouch is usually a simple square of cheesecloth that’s loaded with herbs, tied into a bundle and then dropped into your broth to be removed later. You can use the stems of herbs because they hold up really well while cooking, and you can save the leaves for garnishes or other more delicate uses.


Coffee stout French onion soup is a modern take on a classic French recipe, making it a great menu item for nearly any kind of restaurant, from tavern to French fine dining. Requiring only a few basic ingredients, this soup is a great way to make something impressive out of items you likely need to keep stocked for other recipes. You can showcase your creativity by switching up your choice of cheese or trying out different techniques to make the perfect crouton.

Posted in: Trends | By Jessica Wieser

Hiring Seasonal Help for Your Restaurant

The holiday season, the summer months, and Mother’s Day are often times of the year when restaurant owners find themselves understaffed. Rather than keep a larger, full-time staff on board year round, consider hiring seasonal employees to fill in the gaps during your restaurant's busiest times. These individuals will help your business maintain its good customer service reputation without taking away shifts from your full-time employees during slower times of the year. We’ve provided some tips for hiring seasonal help to make the process as simple as possible.

Advantages of Hiring Seasonal Help

Advantages of Hiring Seasonal Help

It can be hard to gauge customer demand in the restaurant business, especially if your establishment is fairly new. Having too many people on the clock during a slow day takes away from your profits because you're paying employees who aren’t working, whereas not having enough employees on a busy day leads to poor customer service. So, if you’re new to the game, be sure to start tracking peak data traffic using your point-of-sale system. This will allow you to plan ahead and learn when your restaurant experiences its busiest and slowest times. By being well-staffed for the busy season, you’ll experience some of the following advantages:

  • Your business will adjust more easily and quickly to workload fluctuations.
  • You’ll be able to effectively respond to increased customer demand.
  • Customer service will be better and customer satisfaction will be higher.
  • Customers will experience shorter wait times and faster service.
  • Full-time employees will have more flexibility in their schedules during the holidays.

What to Look for in Seasonal Employees

Now that you know what seasons are the busiest, it’s time to start thinking about who you should hire. Since these seasonal staff members are only on board for a few months out of the year, it would be a waste of time if you interviewed, hired, and trained someone who didn’t work out. You may also want to consider interviewing high school students, college students, and teachers on break. But, before you start offering positions, be sure to look for candidates who:

  • Have some restaurant experience, since training time is limited.
  • Have good interpersonal skills.
  • Have great personalities.
  • Demonstrate good customer service.
  • Smile, make eye contact, and communicate well.
  • Interact well with your full-time staff.
  • Don’t have a lot of prior commitments.
  • Don’t need to take a lot of time off.

Tips for Training and Hiring Seasonal Help

Tips for Training and Hiring Seasonal Help

Whether you're looking for seasonal hostesses, busboys, bar backs, or servers, we have some hiring tips for you. We’ve listed pointers below that may make your hiring and training experiences less stressful, allowing you to quickly respond to increasing amounts of customers.

  • Promote the best benefits about the job. It may require a lot of hours and weekends, but servers will make great tips during busy seasons.
  • Amp up your job description and market your company as a fun place to work. Offer discounted meals to employees, as well.
  • Post your openings to all social media channels.
  • Ask your star employees for candidate recommendations.
  • Make sure you’re aware of your local labor laws. Even if an employee is considered seasonal labor, that doesn't mean they are not eligible for certain benefits.
  • Train all of your new hires at the same time.
  • If some of your seasonal hires turn out to be great fits, consider offering them a part- or full-time position, or make sure you let them know you'd be interested in bringing them back in during other busy times of the year.

Whether you’re prepping for the rush that comes with hungry holiday shoppers or the wave of summer vacationers, your restaurant is sure to benefit from hiring seasonal help. By finding the right employees and training them well, you’ll be able to prevent the formation of long lines of waiting customers, seating parties later than their reservation times, and delivering poor customer service.

Posted in: Holidays | By Ashley Kufera

The Pros and Cons of Paper Bags

Wondering whether your business should start using paper bags? While they might not be the most interesting topic in the world, understanding the differences between various types of bags and their capacities and functions can be useful for any restaurant, take-out business, or grocery store.

Types of Paper Bags

With the wide range of paper bag sizes available, it can be hard to pick the product that best suits the needs of your business. Keep reading to learn more about the distinctions between different bags.

Brown vs. White Paper Bags

Paper bags generally come in two colors: brown and white. While brown paper bags are used more frequently than their white counterparts, white bags will highlight your establishment's logo and present a cleaner appearance than brown bags. Regardless of the color you choose, all of these products feature a thick construction that's resistant to tears and rips.

Which Paper Bag is Best for Your Business?

If you run a restaurant or small deli, paper lunch bags or shopping bags with handles are a useful choice for your business. Additionally, grocery stores usually need heavy weight paper grocery bags and sacks. Liquor stores can use beer, liquor, and wine bags, while merchandiser bags work well for boutiques or bookstores. If you run a produce stand or farmer's market, we recommend produce and market paper bags. Finally, paper bread and recloseable coffee and cookie bags are a great choice for bakeries and cafes.

Choosing the Best Paper Bag

The chart below provides basic information on paper bag types and capacities, along with their average length, width, and height measurements. The units used to measure the capacities of paper bags include ounces, pounds, inches, pecks, quarts, and liters. A peck is equivalent to 2 gallons, 8 dry quarts, 16 dry pints, or around 9 liters.


Bag Type Capacity Length Width Height
Lunch Bags 1/2 - 5 lb. 11" 3 - 5 1/4" 5 - 10"
Grocery Bags 2 - 25 lb. 17" 4 - 12" 7 - 18"
Beer, Liquor, and Wine Bags Varies Varies 3 - 10" 11 - 16"
Baguette Bread Bags Varies -- 4 - 5 1/2" 16 - 28"
Produce Bags 1/4 - 1 pk. Varies 6 - 8" 8 - 10 1/2"
Recloseable Tin Tie Coffee Bags 1/2 - 8 lb. 9 3/4" 4 - 6 1/2" 7 - 16"
Merchandise Bags Varies -- 6 - 21" 9 - 24"

Note: Length is the measurement of the base of the bag from side to side, while width refers to the measurement of the base of the bag from front to back.

Paper Bag Terminology

Believe it or not, the world of paper bags has its own set of unique terms and descriptors. Here are a few of the most important:

  • Paper basis weight is the weight in pounds of one ream (500 sheets) of paper in its basic size (before being cut to specific dimensions). In other words, basis weight refers to the thickness of the paper used to construct a bag. As the basis weight increases, so does the amount of paper. A basis weight of 30-49 lbs. is referred to as standard duty, while basis weights of 50 lbs. and up are marked heavy duty.
  • A gusset is an indented fold on the side or bottom of a paper bag that allows the bag to expand for greater capacity.
  • Paper bags with a flat bottom design are designed to open up with a flat bottom. This is the most common bag type and is very easy to load.
  • Pinch bottom design bags are designed with tightly sealed pointed bottoms, hence, they have no length measurement. These bags work well for cards, calendars, and candy.

Pros and Cons of Using Paper Bags

If you're having trouble deciding whether your business should use paper bags, consider the following important factors:

Pros of Using Paper Bags

  • Paper bags are 100% biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable.
  • Many paper bags can withstand more pressure or weight than plastic bags.
  • Paper bags present less of a suffocation risk to young children or animals.

Cons of Using Paper Bags

  • Unlike their plastic counterparts, paper bags aren't waterproof.
  • Paper bags are more expensive than plastic bags.
  • Paper bags take up more storage space than plastic bags and are considerably heavier.

As you can see, there are both benefits and drawbacks to using paper bags. When choosing bags for your business, it is important to have enough knowledge to make an educated decision on which type is best for you. If you are looking for a classic look and feel, paper bags are a great option for your restaurant, school, catering company, grocery store, or deli.

Posted in: Disposables | By Nora Fulmer
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