Win $250 in the WEBstaurantStore's Summer #Grilling Sweepstakes!

Because it is July, I'm sure it will make sense to all of our customers that we'd love to draw your attention to all of the great commercial outdoor cooking equipment that we carry. So what better way to do it than have a sweepstakes that rewards folks for viewing our Outdoor Grills, Ranges, Steamers & Fryers page? From now until noon on July 31st, you can enter to win $250 to spend at our site. There are many ways to win, just follow the instructions in the sweepstakes box below!

RULES:Open to residents in the USA or Canada only. Ends 12PM 7/31/2013. Winners will be announced 8/1/13. One contestant will win a $250 gift code to spend at our online store. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send us an email!

Posted in: Restaurant Equipment | By Steven Ziegler

Spruce up Summer Salads with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

Summertime, and the Cookin' is Easy

In the spirit of sunny skies and summer birthdays, WEBstaurant Store employees prepared and enjoyed a seafood n' salad style lunch! What better way to kick off the summer season with homemade mac n' cheese, salad tossed in house-made dressing, and Chincoteague bisque and chowder infused with freshly boiled lobster?

Above, check out employees with June birthdays hard at work in the kitchen. And be sure to view Chef Matt Schuler's recipe for Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing! We drizzled it over Mexican Chopped Salad, a colorful mix of chopped romaine with black beans, corn, green peppers, onions, and crispy corn chips.

A proponent of house-made dressing, Matt noted the benefits of creating-your-own-condiments: "I can control what goes in it and adapt the flavors to what I like," he said. "Sometimes I like more acidity and sometimes I like it sweeter. Also, there are no added fillers or preservatives."

With just 7 ingredients and 1 easy step (blend and go!), this colorful dressing is sure to impart a kick of flavor at your next outdoor picnic or porch party!


Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

Makes approx. 3/4 cup of dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cilantro (roughly chopped with stems removed)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and mix until smooth.
  • Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  • Avocad-elicious: Consider using avocado in place of Greek yogurt!

Posted in: Consumables | By Kim O'Brien

Wine Smoothies

Webstaurant in the Windy City: 2013 NRA Show

In a weekend full of scrumptious food samples and lakeside views, WEBstaurant Store employees spent Saturday and Sunday in Chicago for the 2013 NRA Show! Produced by the National Restaurant Association, the 4-day show - which concludes today - draws over 58,000 professionals from across the world for a showcase of the best and brightest innovations in the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industry. And not to mention, plenty of trendy sweets and eats to sample!

While most of our time was spent at supplier booths that lined the halls of McCormick Place, the web crew managed to soak in shoreline views near Navy Pier and visit spots like the beloved "Bean" sculpture at Millennium Park. By night, we dined on fresh, seasonal dishes at Markethouse and savory steak at Benny's Chophouse. And what trip to Chi-town would be complete without deep dish pizza?

It was great meeting industry professionals that rely on our website to keep their kitchens stocked - and the equipment suppliers who help us do so! Check out some snapshots of Chicago taken by our Customer Solutions training specialist Jimmy Stewart:

Posted in: Restaurant Equipment | By Kim O'Brien

Guide to the Perfect Memorial Day: The Top 5 Grilling Mistakes You're Probably Making





Memorial Day is almost here and soon you, like many Americans, will probably take to the deck, don that cheesy apron your spouse forbade you from wearing ever again, and fire up the grill for some good eats and good laughs with family and friends. Whether this is your first time behind the spatula or you're a seasoned grillmaster, take a gander at our list of grilling do's and don'ts so you don't make a rookie mistake like…

Forgetting to Prep: Grilling isn't a spur-of-the-moment thing. Skimp on prep-time and your grill-a-thon is more likely to resemble a Swedish Chef skit from The Muppet Show.

Instead: Prep meats, veggies, sauces, etc. beforehand and have them ready to go when you fire up the grill. Also give cold meats a chance to warm up to room temp - letting them sit for too long is unsafe, but neither should you throw frozen steaks directly on the grill.



Using Too Much Heat: Most rookie grillers assume a grill has one setting; roaring inferno. But not all items need to be under direct heat all the time; that's a recipe for flare-ups and scorched results (especially on more delicate items like chicken, fish, or veggies).

Instead: If you're using a charcoal grill, don't cover the entire grill with briquettes. Make a hot zone directly over them, but leave an area to keep items that require gentler heat; this also gives you a place to move items in the event of a flare-up.



Getting Saucy: Simple chemistry on this one; most sauces contain sugar, and sugar burns in heat. Slather that porkchop in tons of barbecue sauce when you first throw it on the grill and you're likely to char it black and disappoint your guests.

Instead: Apply sauces closer to the end of the cooking cycle for that signature, savory taste…without burning your meats to a crisp.



Cutting the Meat: Ideally, the only time you want to cut the meat is when you're sawing off a piece that's about to go into your mouth. The more you slice, pierce, etc. during cooking (even to see if it's done or to turn) the more juices escape and the drier the result.

Instead: For flipping and turning, use tongs. For checking "doneness" invest in a food thermometer. And to be sure you're still being safe, here's a list of recommended internal temperatures for all kinds of foods.



Rushing Food to the Table: You may be going crazy from hunger and your guests probably are too, but don't make the mistake of sending your perfectly crafted burgers or steaks out to the table as soon as they leave the grill.

Instead: Let them sit for a few minutes; this lets juices circulate back through the meat for that perfect punch of flavor…while letting you prep that coveted first plate for yourself…win-win.


Photos by Lisa Kyler.
Posted in: Consumables | By Jacob King

Dine Outdoors with the WEBstaurant Store!

It's May - the perfect time of year between Fall and Summer when the weather's just right and snow is a distant concern for at least another five months. So before Summer hits you full on, now is the time to restock your outdoor dining furniture, supplies, and equipment - and there's no better place to do it than here!

Furniture for Your Patio

Deck Chair

For the casual dining establishment, we carry a variety of high-demand products like deck chairs and umbrellas. If you're looking for more durable furniture, we also have a variety of aluminum products. We've even got your outdoor bar covered with a ton of different bar stools that can work with any style bar. And to help with sanitation, we've got a variety of trash cans that'll help keep your business clean while complementing your outdoor motif.

Equipment for Your Patio

Grill

Cooking outside is definitely one of the best parts of summer. That's why we carry special lines of equipment that are designed exclusively to operate outdoors. Things like grills, fryers and ranges are all great additions to your outdoor dining experience, especially since you can probably replicate your entire indoor menu with these versatile pieces of equipment. For your thirstier customers, we also have kegerators and beer dispensers and a bunch of accessories to help get the weekend party started at any catered event.



Heaters, Dishware, and More

Trash Can

To help take the edge off those chilly evenings before July, you can also outfit your outdoor dining areas with a variety of patio heaters that can attach to walls or stand free around tables and help extend the outdoor dining season to bring in more customers. And it's a good idea to stock up on melamine dishware while you're at it since these dishes are more durable than their fragile counterparts. And if you don't want to risk your nicer glassware outdoors, try using plastic cups instead to help save some money. They're great for everything from water to beer to mixed drinks, and aside from a little mop-up, you won't risk anything if a cup is knocked on the floor.

With so much at your fingertips, how can you resist? Make sure you're prepared for all the summer fun with a few quick and easy buys from The WEBstaurant Store!

Posted in: Restaurant Equipment | By Christopher Zook

The WEBstaurantStore's Dream Restaurant Pinterest Sweepstakes!

dream restaurant logo

Whether you are an up-and-coming chef, a home cook, or a restaurant owner looking to renovate, you’ve all imagined what your dream restaurant would be. How do we know? Because we see our products being Pinned to Pinterest onto boards with titles like, “My Café”, “The Diner”, “Restaurant Project”, and “Yogurt Shop”. So, since we know you have dreams and we love seeing our products Pinned, we’re holding our first Pinterest Sweepstakes. Just follow the instructions below for your chance to win $250 in WEBucks to spend at the WEBstaurantStore!  Pin quickly—you only have until 6/2/2013 to enter! Note: This sweepstakes is over, congratulations to our lucky winner, Candice D!

Posted in: Restaurant Equipment | By Steven Ziegler

Behind the Scenes: Cinco-De-Mayo-Themed Birthday Fiesta

Cinco de Mayo Chef

While the rest of the world slammed cold pizza and last night's leftovers for lunch today, The WEBstaurant Store treated its employees to a Cinco de Mayo lunch, complete with all the fixings...even mini margaritas!!

Employees with May birthdays took part in the preparation and cooking of almost all aspects of the lunch, including a kitchen tour and a lesson on cutlery, knives and cutting boards, and hands-on demonstrations from Matt Schuler, our corporate chef, and Steve Ziegler, our product expert. Dishes had all the spice and sass of a fiesta and included pork, chicken and beef burritos, re-fried beans and rice, tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa and more!

Check out some pics by Lisa, one of our awesome photographers:

Cinco de Mayo Prep Cinco de Mayo Prep Cinco de Mayo Prep
Courtney and Kyle cut tortillas to make tortilla chips. Chelsey, Amy and Natalie prepare vegetables to be sliced. Steve preps mini margarita cups to be filled.

Also make sure you follow us on Instagram to see pics of the preparation and the party, and other cool stuff we do on the daily!

How to Make Barrel Aged Cocktails

Signature drinks are a bar's punchline: You attract your audience with some advertised deals, set them up with a nice dinner, and take it home with a unique house-only cocktail. But fresh-mixed isn't always the best way to serve every drink. Dating back to the 19th Century, the practice of barrel aged cocktails are making a resurgence among bars the world over for one important and simple reason.

They're delicious.


How to Mix

Credit: deadbait.files.wordpress.com

There are a few quick steps you need to take care of before making your actual cocktail. First, you need a barrel that will suit your needs. The smaller and newer a barrel is, the faster it will work. When you have it, fill it with warm water and let it sit for about two days to test for leaks. If it's all sealed up, you're good to move on.

Next, mix your cocktail as you would serving it fresh. But avoid perishable ingredients as often as possible - you actually don't want to use them at all. Egg whites, creams, and fruit juices are all off limits because they will eventually spoil and mess up the aging process. But once you're barreled, the hard part is over.


How to Store

The storage / aging period is fairly boring for a cocktail, but it still requires some important steps. The entire process takes about six to eight weeks depending on the flavor you're looking for, so it's a good idea to taste test about once a week to avoid over-flavoring. If your cocktail has aged before you planned to serve it, pour it into a glass container to keep it at its prime flavor. It won't absorb any flavor from glass, and you can use this as an opportunity to add bitters or additional flavorings. However, in the event your cocktail becomes over-infused, unfortunately there's not a lot you can do except try again.

If you plan on making multiple cocktail batches, keep in mind that while the barrel's flavor fuses with the cocktail, the cocktail's flavor also fuses with the barrel. So if you've used the same barrel to age Manhattans, don't start using it to age martinis. This will prevent flavor cross-contamination to help your drinks can maintain their signature tastes.


How to Serve

Credit: thebrooklynkitchen.com

When your cocktail is ready to serve, it's important to take precautions to keep the beverage looking clean. Tying a cheese cloth to your barrel's tap will help strain the cocktail to hold back any wood sediment from the barrel's interior. You can also do this if you're serving from glass containers that weren't previously strained just to make sure your customers don't receive any stray solids with their order. If you're expecting a large number of orders for your cocktails, it's a good idea to strain it before the time at which you have to serve it. Otherwise, you may be replacing cloths and taking unnecessary time to filter when it could have been done earlier. After your barrel is empty, keep it water-tight by quickly filling it with warm water. This will help keep the wood soaked.

But really, this whole process isn't difficult. And once you find the optimum time for aging, it gets easier whenever you make a new batch. Barrel-aged cocktails are an excellent addition to any bar or restaurant's menu, and with how quickly they're catching on, it's better to be an early trendsetter than a late adopter.

Posted in: Bar Supplies | By Christopher Zook

Bebidas Para el Cinco de Mayo: Almond Horchata

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