All Tips

Summer Tips

  • You don’t have to use salt when cooking summer vegetables, try adding lemon juices and Schwartz Herbs and spices, this will give a more natural flavour to your vegetables
  • As the kitchen is a really hot place to be in, make sure that your fridges have adequate ventilation, as you need a good air flow around your refrigerator for it to work properly
  • Fish is always good in summer as it is generally makes a lighter meal. For that little bit of extra spice with why don’t you sprinkle with Schwartz Piri Piri seasoning
  • I love tomato brochetta in the summer as a light snack, try brushing the brochetta with the oil out of the Schwartz Garlic in oil, to make a great flavour combination.

Barbeque Tips

  • Make such your coals are glowing white before you start cooking and for extra flavour place some pine cones in with the bbq coals
  • If cooking chicken on the bbq, remove all bones from the thighs and breast, this will allow the meat to cook properly.
  • I like to place my chicken breast on a plate and rub in some Schwartz Arrabbiata seasoning
  • To cook salmon on a BBQ, place some onions on food grade foil, then mix together some finely diced tomatoes, ¼ tsp Schwartz Garlic in Oil and ¼ Schwartz Turmeric and place on top of the salmon. Seal the foil and place on a hot BBQ for 12 minutes or until cooked.

Festive Tips

  • Why not try using filo pastry for your mince pies - you can then shape them into cracker or star shapes making your mince pies unique as compared to your competitors.
  • When cooking your turkey, remove the breast bone from your turkey, this reduces the cooking time and makes carving a lot easier allowing you maximise you portion control.
  • Sometimes a traditional Christmas pudding can be a really heavy dessert, why not try crushing your Christmas pudding, adding some port and Cinnamon cream until you have a mousse consistency. Line a coupe with a thin layer of chocolate sponge, then fill with the mousse, top with another thin layer of chocolate sponge and allow chilling. Once chilled remove from the coupe and cover with a thick setting chocolate sauce. When that is set, garnish with little white marzipan (represents the brandy sauce) and two marzipan holly leaves and serve. It looks and taste like Christmas pudding but is a lot lighter!
  • Christmas can be a stressful time for chefs. To make things less stressful be as organised as you can, make sure all those orders are placed well in advance and the staff know their they are doing. Make sure all equipment is in working order - there is nothing worse than walking into a busy service and your combi is down or your stove is not working.
  • Talking of hygiene and food safety, if you are using frozen turkey, make sure you have thawed it properly and cook it so the juices run clear, the last think you want is a visit from the EHO in the New Year saying you have given your guests food poisoning! The fact that your guest may have had more Christmas spirit than they intended at their Christmas bash will have nothing to do with it - they will always blame your perfectly cooked meal.

Other Tips

  • Buy a loin of pork with the bones on, then you can sheet bone the loin and use the ribs as spare ribs
  • Buy in whole chickens and use the different cuts for sauté, fricassee and pies. Use breasts as a whole with sauce, use the thigh for dicing in pies and drumsticks as they are, adding some Schwartz Herbs to your breadcrumb mix. Use the winglets for the buffet, maybe with a little Schwartz Cajun seasoning and you can be really inventive by taking the chicken fillet from the breast and use for chicken satay.
  • Batch cook your vegetables to order. If you blanch your vegetables and refresh quickly, then you can finish them in boiling water with herbs and lemon juice or heat them in the steamer. This will allow you to manage your portion control more effectively.
  • Why not replace 25g of meat with 25g of pulse vegetables such a cannelloni beans or chick peas. This will bulk out your dishes more cost effectively.
  • Slowing cook less cuts of meat, such as brisket - this will allow the meat to be tender and have lots of flavour. The less you spend on ingredients the more you can improve your Gross Profit. I love slow cooking; I would braise a casserole at around 120oc to 140 oc for 1 hour to 2 hours longer depending on your cut of meat.

Salad Tips

  • When preparing a summer salad, always wait until the last minute to mix with the dressing so your salad does not wilt.
  • When making dressing for salads, use the Schwartz Freeze dried herbs, once they are add to a liquid they will react like fresh herbs and deliver a great fresh flavour.
  • When making a potato salad, why not try seasoning it with Schwartz Mesquite seasoning - this will add a great smoky flavour to your dish
  • Char-grilling is great for summer cooking, especially chicken as it looks great on a bed of salad, drizzled with a dressing of fennel and coriander.

Winter Tips

  • Pheasant is makes a great winter casserole, why not season with cinnamon and hazelnut for something different.
  • I like slow cooking in the winter, there is something about leaving beef casserole to develop all those flavours over a number of hours. Talking of those flavours with not use some butterbeans and Schwartz Oregano.
  • Squash is a great winter vegetable, and makes great soup. Roast it in the oven with some Schwartz Garlic in Oil, Nutmeg and Paprika. Once cooked, remove from the oven, skin and place into vegetable stock, bring back to the boil, blend and serve with some warm bread………mmmmm
  • I love roast potatoes in the winter, why not try seasoning them with Schwartz Fennel and Coriander seed.