How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

If you're like me, you can't start your day without a cup of coffee or three. Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the United States, and a report showed that over one-third of the U.S. population drinks coffee daily. Due to its popularity, baristas are constantly experimenting with inventive ways for people to get their caffeine fix.

One of the newest crazes is cold brew coffee, which is when the coffee is brewed at room temperature or in the refrigerator over a long period of time, typically overnight. The result is a rich and full-bodied coffee that is strongly caffeinated without the bitterness and acidity of drip or French press coffee.

Why Cold Brew Coffee?

  • It has a silky smooth flavor. When making hot coffee, the boiling water burns the beans, which gives the brew an acidic and bitter flavor. Cold brew coffee steeps at room temperature or in the refrigerator, so you get a rich and smooth taste without the bitterness.
  • It's strong. Cold brew coffee is, on average, much more potent and caffeinated than drip or French press coffee. Plus, because the coffee is already cold, you don't have to worry about diluting it with ice.
  • Cold brew coffee is versatile. You can make your cold brew concentrate stronger or weaker by adjusting the ratio of coffee beans to water. For a stronger concentrate, use more coffee, and for a weaker concentrate, use more water. You can also serve the concentrate with cream, milk, or water for a lighter flavor. If you prefer a steaming cup of coffee in the morning, you can even microwave the cold brew until it's piping hot.
  • It's cost effective. Our recipe yields 6 gallons of cold brew coffee, which is 96, 8 ounce portions. If you sell each portion for $3, that's $288 in profits from a $15 bag of coffee beans.
  • You can make it in bulk. Because cold brew coffee takes so long to make, you can easily prepare one big batch and portion it out as necessary. One batch of cold brew coffee can stay in the fridge for two weeks.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

One of the best things about making cold brew coffee is that there is a lot of room for adjustments and versatility. For example, you can let your coffee grounds steep in any large container you have on hand. If you're making small batches, preparing cold brew coffee in mason jars can add a fun and interesting twist. When straining cold brew coffee, there are a few different options. You can use several coffee filters, but cheesecloth is the best option. This is because Cheesecloth is very fine and can strain out many small particles that other filters will miss.



Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs. of coffee beans
  • 3.5 gallons of water

Cold Brew Coffee Equipment:


Step-by-Step Instructions: How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

  • 1.

    Grind your coffee beans on the coarsest setting. Your ground beans should be chunky, similar to the texture and size of Kosher salt.

    2.

    Place your coffee grounds in a 22 quart container and add 3.5 gallons of water. Stir until the coffee is thoroughly moistened.

  • 3.

    Let your coffee steep for 18 to 24 hours.

    4.

    The following day, strain your mixture through a chinois and cheesecloth. Don't press down on the coffee while it is straining because it can add bitterness and acidity. Strain the mixture a second time, if necessary.

  • 5.

    At this point, your coffee is ready to drink, but there will be some silt leftover. If desired, put the concentrate in the refrigerator until the silt settles at the bottom of your container.

    6.

    Pour your cold brew concentrate into another container, leaving the silt behind.

  • 7.

    Add water until you have a 1:1 ratio of clean water to coffee. Serve your coffee over ice and add milk, cream, or simple syrup to taste.

One of the best things about cold brew coffee is how adaptable it is, and you should play around with the recipe until you find the ratio and strength that works best for you. This recipe can also make cold brew coffee concentrate, which you can use if you prefer your coffee strong or if you want to make coffee smoothies and frappes. To make a cold brew concentrate, simply skip adding a 1:1 ratio of water in the last step. Just be warned that the concentrate is very strong and slightly bitter, so if you're planning on serving it black, it's best to dilute it with water first.

Posted in: Coffee & Tea | Recipes | By Richard Traylor

How to Pick a Crab

The beginning of summer means the start of blue crab season for the East Coast. While blue crab is popular among many of the Atlantic states, it is just one of the many crab varieties you can choose to serve in your restaurant. Before you start offering it, however, it is important to learn how to eat a crab. This means mastering the technique of “picking,” or removing the crab meat from its shell. If you’re new to serving crab, keep reading for buying guidelines and serving suggestions, and check out our video on how to pick a crab.

How to Pick a Blue Crab

1. Remove the claws and legs by twisting them off at the base. Set them aside.

2. Peel back the apron found on the underside of the shell using a knife.

3. Detach the top shell from the bottom portion.

4. Remove the gills by peeling them away from either side of the body.

5. Use a crab mallet or claw cracker to crack open the claws and access the meat.

6. Enjoy!

What to Know Before You Start Serving Crab at Your Restaurant

Once you’ve decided to include crab on your menu, your first step is to choose what kind of crab you want to serve. Some options may be more accessible to you than others based on where they are found. Additionally, summer is not crab season everywhere, so keep this in mind if you want to serve fresh crab.

Commonly Served Crabs and Their Availability

  • Blue crab is found on the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico from June to October.
  • Dungeness crab can be found from central California up to Alaska from November to July.
  • King crab is found in Alaska and British Columbia from October to January.
  • Snow crab is found in the northern Pacific and Atlantic states from October to May.
  • Stone crab can be found in Florida and parts of North and South Carolina from October to January.

How to Buy Fresh Crabs

Buying live crabs is the best way to guarantee freshness. Once dead, crabs quickly become toxic because bacteria from their digestive organs enters the meat. Coastal locations have markets or wharves that are excellent for buying live crabs. While there, look for suppliers with clean tanks that are free of algae and murky water. Similarly, seek out tanks with aerators that maintain oxygen levels and keep the crabs lively. Sluggish crabs could be sick or close to death, so it is best to avoid selecting them.

Blue Crab

Be sure to choose crabs with all of their limbs. A missing leg would be an unpleasant surprise for your customer who wants to pick a whole crab!

If you can, hold the crabs and squeeze their shells. Meaty crabs have firm shells and heavy bodies. At the same time, a lighter crab with a brittle shell could be immature and contain less meat. Generally, the meat of a crab makes up ¼ of its total weight, so remember to choose crabs that are large enough for your intended portion size.

While female crabs are meatier than males, some parts of the country put bans or limitations on the amounts of females that crabbers can catch. This encourages reproduction and prevents supply depletion. As a result, you may be limited in the amount of female crabs that are available to you. Find out what the restrictions are in your area so you know whether to ask for male or female crabs when you are at the market.

How to Store Crabs Before Cooking

Once you’ve selected your live crabs, chill them as soon as possible until you are ready to cook them. Putting them in an open container of salt water in your refrigerator lets oxygen in and keeps these sea creatures alive.

When buying crab in non-coastal areas, it’s best to find an online vendor with high turnover and rapid shipping. That way, your crabs come to you before they become unsafe to eat. Because shipped crabs are often no longer alive, it is very important to keep them chilled before cooking.

How to Eat a Blue Crab

Cooked Crab

The most popular methods of cooking crab are boiling and steaming. Fully cooked blue crab is bright red-orange in color and has opaque meat. Once it is cooked, you can start picking.

A great crab picking experience includes more than just plain, cooked crab. Seasoning your blue crab with a spice blend can enhance its natural flavor for an extra kick. Also, offering melted butter and lemon or lime wedges gives your guests the opportunity to alter the taste to their preferences. To round out the meal, try providing a simple salad with light dressing and citrus flavors.


Now that you’ve learned how to eat whole crab, you can bring crab picking to your restaurant. Providing your customers with whole crabs gives them a hands-on experience that other dishes can’t achieve. While this meal choice could fall flat if a patron doesn’t know how to access his or her crab meat, educating your servers and hosts can help prevent this. For this reason, serving whole crab is a great way to keep your guests and staff engaged.

Posted in: Seasonal | Kitchen & Cooking Tips | By Christine Potts

Spicy Cilantro-Lime Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Kebabs are beloved around the world for their smoky meats, savory roasted vegetables, and portable design. Lime and spice marinated chicken kebabs are a smart addition to any menu, and their flavors will transport your guests to northern Africa and the Mediterranean. Whether you serve kebabs on skewers, in a pita, or on top of couscous, this exotic dish is inexpensive to make and is sure to raise your restaurant's profits.

How to Make Lime and Spice Marinated Chicken Kebabs

While there are a wide range of kebabs out there, we chose to make lime and spice marinated chicken shish kebabs. This recipe features traditional African and Mediterranean ingredients like yogurt, paprika, and coriander, but also incorporates herbs like cilantro and parsley that aren't often found in that part of the world. Additionally, we spiced these skewers up by replacing bell peppers with Mexican poblano chili peppers. Wondering how to cook chicken kebabs at your restaurant? Check out the video and recipe below to learn more!



Ingredients

Yield: 4 kebabs

  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • Juice from 1 lime (save zest for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. chopped cilantro (save 1 tbsp. for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 yellow squash cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 2 poblano peppers cut into 1 1/2" pieces

Step by Step Instructions: How to Make Lime and Spice Marinated Chicken Kebabs


  • 1.

    Cut the raw chicken into 1" cubes.

    2.

    Place the chicken into a mixing bowl and add 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil.

  • 3.

    Add 1/4 cup of plain nonfat yogurt.

    4.

    Squeeze the juice of one lime into the mixture.

  • 5.

    Add fresh herbs.

    6.

    Add dried spices.

  • 7.

    Stir all of the ingredients in the bowl together until they're fully combined.

    8.

    Build your skewers by alternately spearing the chicken, cherry tomatoes, squash, and peppers.

  • 9.

    Place the skewers onto the grill and cook them until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

    10.

    Serve the skewers over couscous and garnish with chopped cilantro and lime zest.

Cost Breakdown of Lime and Spice Marinated Chicken Kebabs

TOTAL COST: $7.74

  • Yogurt: $0.32
  • Herbs and Spices: $0.58
  • Chicken: $1.69
  • Vegetables: $4.21
  • Couscous: $0.82
  • Skewers: $0.12

MENU PRICE: $17

PROFIT PER ORDER: $9.26

What Are Kebabs?

Kebabs (or kabobs) are a Middle Eastern dish that's made by grilling different meats (usually chicken or lamb) on skewers over an open flame. The word "kebab" is derived from the Persian words for "grilling," "frying," and "burning," and this delicious meal is served in cuisines around the world. This dish is commonly prepared on a grill, but you can also bake kebabs in the oven.

There are two main types of kebabs: shish kebabs and doner kebabs. The differences between the two are detailed below.

  • Shish kebabs are what we traditionally think of when we hear the word "kebab," as "shish" is the Turkish word for "skewer." These can be made with a variety of meats and vegetables.
  • Doner kebabs are also Turkish in origin and feature meat that's cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The outer layer is thinly sliced into shavings and usually served with sides or in a pita.

History of Kebabs

Kebabs have a long history that dates back to prehistoric times, when early humans discovered fire and began cooking meat on sticks. Ancient Greeks used skewers to prepare meat over open flames, and archaeologists have discovered crude skewers in Greece that date back to the 17th century BCE.

Turkish and medieval European soldiers used their swords to grill their dinner over small fires on the battlefields. Shish kebabs were also perfect for nomadic tribes in northern Africa and the Mediterranean, as they helped tenderize gamey meat and also improved its flavor. Additionally, traders and merchants who traveled from Europe to Asia loved kebabs because they were filling and easy to prepare on the road.


Whether you run a Middle Eastern bistro, food truck, or barbecue restaurant, chances are that shish kebabs are or have been on your menu. This dish is easy to prepare and perfectly portable, so it's sure to be a crowd favorite. If you don't want to use wooden skewers, you can also check out Bon Appetit's recommended metal skewer or shop all metal skewers here. No matter what you choose, lime and spice marinated chicken kebabs are a delicious meal to add to your establishment's repertoire.

Posted in: Recipes | By Nora Fulmer

How to Offer Private Cooking Classes in Your Restaurant

With so many restaurant options available to diners these days, it’s important to think of ways you can set your business apart from all the rest. Private cooking lessons are one way to increase interest in your cuisine and encourage people to eat at your restaurant. Cooking classes are great for brand exposure because providing guests with a fun experience will get them talking about your business, which can go a long way for word-of-mouth advertising. So, if you think cooking lessons might be a good idea for your restaurant, but don't know where to begin, we'll help you figure out some things to consider as you get started.

A few popular restaurants that offer classes include Pierpoint, TwoChefs, and Mumford's. Each of these establishments has something unique to offer—whether it’s a kid’s class, locally-sourced focused, or basic knife skills. There are so many possibilities of what your cooking class can be.

So, if you think offering cooking lessons at your restaurant is something you’d like to try, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Decide on a Cooking Class Style

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When you offer cooking classes at your restaurant, you can decide how much you want your customers to be involved. Two popular cooking class styles are:

1. Lecture-style demonstrations where your customers sit back and relax (perhaps with a glass of wine) and watch you explain step-by-step how to put together a dish that they all get to taste at the end.

2. Hands-on learning where customers roll up their sleeves, put on some aprons, and actually make dishes themselves, under your guidance.

Both lesson styles can be effective in giving your guests a great experience, so you just need to decide what you feel most comfortable with and which style best suits the setup of your kitchen.

How Frequently Should You Offer Cooking Classes at Your Restaurant?

Depending on your availability, you will have to choose how often to host lessons. You could offer a lesson once to see how popular it is, and then continue with them if you get good feedback. Some chefs offer classes that are meant to be a one-time experience, while others are designed as a series of classes for patrons who want to hear more.

How Much Should You Charge Per Class?

As for the cost of private cooking lessons, this will depend on what you plan to serve, how involved your guests become, and the type of dining experience people expect from your restaurant. Base your rates on the extra amount of supplies you need and how much technique you're sharing with students. Are you in the city or the suburbs? Do you offer casual fare or fine French cuisine? All of these factors will impact your price.

How Many People Should You Host at a Time?

Make cooking lessons open to a designated amount of people, depending on the size of your kitchen. Maybe you love the idea of twenty people in your kitchen doing small prep tasks and learning basic techniques. On the other hand, you might prefer the idea of five people in your kitchen, so there's less distraction. Whatever your maximum limit, be sure to stick to it when people ask about available openings. If people call your restaurant asking for a lesson and you don't have any room, simply thank them for their interest and tell them to try again when your next lesson comes up.

Stock Up on Separate Supplies for Students to Use

For groups that will be helping you cook, consider buying supplies that are separate from what you typically use in your kitchen. This way, you don't need to worry about a customer ruining your favorite chef's knife or piano whip. When the event is over, you can wash everything and store it in an area for cooking lesson supplies only. Aprons, mixing bowls, extra chef knives, and cutting boards are some food prep basics that can help with cooking classes in your restaurant. You can also provide recipe print-outs, so customers can take notes and remember what they helped you prepare.

Make Safety a Priority

Of course you want your guests to have the best experience possible at your cooking class, so take some steps to keep everyone safe and happy. Safety considerations are obviously most important if you choose to do a hands-on lesson because your customers will actually be touching and interacting with ingredients and equipment. Here are a few key points to keep in mind as you consider safety precautions:

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  • Write up a liability agreement for your guests to sign. Accidents happen, so make sure your business is not put at risk. Having a written agreement ensures that everyone’s on the same page and your guests understand that there is always a risk of injury when working in a kitchen.
  • Make sure you ask about any food allergies prior to the class.
  • Explain all the basic rules of kitchen safety and sanitation at the beginning of class. Hopefully, everyone will be familiar with these already, but it never hurts to review.
  • If your recipe requires the use of large cooking equipment, consider keeping that step as a demonstration, rather than having guests work with your commercial appliances.

At the end of your cooking lesson, share the meal you've prepared with all of your guests. Customers will love telling their friends they helped make dinner at a restaurant, and they'll encourage more people to join your cooking classes. Also be sure to advertise your private cooking lessons in your restaurant, on flyers, on social media, and on your website. It's unique to find a restaurant that will open its kitchen doors to amateurs, so you could become the trendsetter on your block.

Posted in: Management & Operation | By Jessica Wieser
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