Spread The Love This Valentine's Day! ♥♥♥
It's Time To Start Spreading The Love!
Show love to your friends, family and customers with our colorful and heart-warming Valentine's Day decorations!
Need gift ideas for yourself or a loved one? We've got you covered there too! We have small gift ideas like our Platter Palettes from World Tableware starting at $3.99! Looking for something bigger? How about our Victorinox 7-Piece Fibrox Culinary Kit for only $100.99! This kit is sure to show your loved ones (or yourself for that matter) that you care.
Shop online at www.shopatdean.com and find your own special gift ideas for everyone on your list this holiday season!
♥♥♥ Happy Valentine's Day! ♥♥♥
- Nic Vodicka
Ramekin: Small Dish, Big Taste
What Is A Ramekin?
The ramekin is the best dish to use for making delectable soufflés, desserts, and other dishes that need to be served hot and fresh from the oven. It can also be used to serve dips, dressings, and sauces in a convenient and stylish manner. A quick search on Pinterest and you’ll find everything from mini lasagna and Sheppard’s pie to chocolate molten lava cake and baked French toast. Trust me when I say the possibilities are endless!
But what exactly is a “ramekin” and where did it come from?
A ramekin is a small cylinder-shaped bowl made of ceramic, melamine or glass. Traditionally, ramekins are white in color and are fluted meaning it has vertical grooves on the outside of the dish. The baking dish itself originated in 17th century, France from the Flemish term ‘ramequin’ which means toasted minced meat. A “true” ramekin can hold anywhere from four ounces to eight ounces, but you will find they now come in many shapes and sizes. The ideal ramekin has perfectly vertical sides allowing soufflés and other egg dishes to rise in the oven. Because they are small, the heat can quickly and evenly cook the center of the dish. You’ll know if you have a defective ramekin because your soufflé will fall flat and resemble scrambled eggs.
Materials Used To Create Ramekins
Ramekins are made of materials that can withstand high temperatures as mentioned in the previous section these include ceramic, melamine and glass. Depending on your choice of ramekin recipes, you would select the ramekin made with the most appropriate material to achieve your desired look or taste. Ceramic is the most popular and most often you will find four-ounce white ramekins in your friends and family’s kitchen. It’s a fairly popular item on wedding registries.
So which type of ramekin material is best for your baking endeavor?
- Ceramic Ramkin: Most common, household material of choice as dishes look more appetizing when served in white ramekin.
- Glass Ramekin: Thinner sides allow the dish to cook much faster.
- Melamine Ramekin: Great for portioning out recipes, and won't break easily when dropped. However, melamine should not be microwaved or put in the oven.
While ramekins are usually used to create something special in the oven, there are many other uses for them as well. Festive colored ramekins are often used for homemade salsas, dips, toppings, and dressings at gatherings or events. At home, they are commonly used to serve ketchup, mustard, relish and other condiments. They’re perfect for a sundae party providing easy access to sprinkles, nuts, sauces, cherries and all your other yummy toppings.
Popular Dishes Served In RamekinsThere are many recipes that involve the use of a ramekin. Here is a list of popular and delicious dishes you can try:
We’d love to hear what you’re doing with your ramekins! Please post your favorite recipes below.
- Nic Vodicka
Kitchen Resolutions: 8 Ways To Be A Better Chef in 2016
With 2016 here, its the perfect time to set your resolutions and start the year off right in your restaurant or commercial kitchen. We want to make deciding on and keeping your new year’s resolutions as easy as possible. Just because they are easy resolutions, that doesn’t make them any less important. These resolutions for your kitchen will make your time in the kitchen less stressful, increase your creative juices and make your days a little easier. So, as the ball drops and 2016 starts with a bang, here are the kitchen resolutions to help you have a cleaner, more organized and optimal kitchen.
1. Buy local
We love Cleveland and the suburbs. We live in one of the best places for food in the world! Your restaurant or commercial kitchen is in a thriving market where people are flocking to for the food. With all of the options in vendors and resources available, we want to do all we can to support our local communities. At Dean Supply, we are locally owned and operated and also support many Ohio vendors. If you are not sure what options are available for local vendors and opportunities for local support, here are some great lists of Cleveland resources
After the rush of the holidays, its the perfect time to deep clean and degrease your kitchen. Grease happens when creating so many delicious dishes, but it can cause kitchen disasters if not properly removed. Above all we want everyone to be safe in their kitchen. So break out the elbow grease and start degreasing. Degreasing most industrial kitchens is not an easy task, here is some helpful advice:3. Waste less, save more
One way to start the year off right and help the environment is to limit your wasted food. The start of a new year is a perfect time to implement new strategies or procedures with your kitchen staff. Wasting less food and water are both great ways to lower your costs and help eliminate your carbon footprint.
In an industrial kitchen we know cleanliness is crucial and corners can not be cut. That doesn’t mean that your cleaning products have to be corrosive or dangerous. Using natural cleaning products are a great way to start the year off clean and green.
5. Clean as you go
Cleaning is a never ending battle as a commercial chef, or a home chef. Getting behind on the cleaning during a rush can increase your stress and tension in the kitchen. To keep morale high and great food coming, here are some ways to implement a plan to clean as you go.
6. Calibrate electronics - test thermometers, scales, and ovens
A few degrees separate a perfectly cooked meal and one that’s dangerous to consume. It is important to keep your kitchen electronics accurate. Start the new year off on the right foot with calibrated equipment and accurate electronics
7. Care for your knives
A dull knife is a dangerous kitchen tool. When knives are dull your staff has to work harder to get their desired results. This can lead to costly mistakes that can injure your workers and damage your kitchen. So, care for your knives and your staff by supplying sharp tools.
8. Master mise en place
In your kitchen you will relieve stress and keep the flow of food optimized if you implement mise en place or having everything in place. Mastering mise en place is a great way to streamline your kitchen and increase teamwork and community with the kitchen staff.
As you celebrate the new year with friends and family, take a moment to think of your kitchen. Reflect on how to improve your everyday processes and help your bottom line. Whether you decide on one resolution or you want to go big and implement all eight of these, you'll be on the path to a cleaner, more organized and high performing kitchen.
- Michael DeSatnik
- Tags: kitchen resolutions
Kitchen Utensil List: 6 Must Haves for Every Kitchen
We all have been there, we are standing in the kitchen looking over the stove, watching our dish come together while embracing the delicious scent. All of sudden, the pan in the back starts to boil over, the noodles are starting to burn, the vegetables are fully steamed, and the protein needs flipped. We reach in the drawer and are greeted by an array of kitchen utensils. We grab the spoon as our fix all. We struggle to grasp the larger vegetables, we can’t stop the water from boiling over and we just dropped the protein on the floor as we were trying to remove it from the pan. The struggle is real and had we grabbed the right kitchen utensils from the drawer, we might have saved dinner.
Here are 6 utensil must haves that are there to save you in the kitchen in the stickiest of situations.
1. Wasted ingredients stuck in the bowl
Solution: Bowl Scraper
The bowl scraper is a classic and essential piece to any kitchen. When the brownie batter is stuck on the side of your bowl, the scraper comes to the rescue. Scrapers are not just for baking, they can save you from running out of an essential ingredient by ensuring you get all of it out of the container and into your dish. There are many different sizes and variations of bowl scrapers available, so having a set is recommended but even one can be the difference from perfection to over seasoned.
2. Dense ingredients won’t break down
Solution: French whip
The french whip for is great for smoothing and mixing. When the recipe requires a smooth texture, consider using a french whip. This utensil is versatile and can handle vigorous stirring. The french whip is good at breaking down both fine or coarse solids and liquids of various densities. Using a french whip is a better option than using standard spoons as they produce even mixtures. Just like the bowl scraper, the french whip is available in a variety of sizes, depending on the volume you are mixing, try using a different size to achieve a smoother texture.
3. Water is boiling over
Solution: Wooden Spoon
The wooden spoon is the epitome of kitchen supplies. This utensil will mix, whip and scrape anything. It is harder to reach a smooth consistency with the spoon than the french whip, but it is still easily a kitchen essential as its versatility is much needed in the kitchen. Along with mixing the capabilities of the wooden spoon it also can be used to assist you when you are boiling water. If you place a wooden spoon across the top of your pot it will prevent the water from boiling over.
4. Uneven cooking due to heat rotation
A set of tongs is great for grabbing and moving. Safety is so important when you are in the kitchen. Ensure the preservation of your fingers and hands with a set of tongs. Tongs are great for rotating hot items whether they are on the grill, in the oven or boiling on the stovetop.
Don’t grab ingredients with your fingers! It contaminates food and can cause yourself unnecessary harm. Tongs are available in a variety of styles and colors. There are also plastic tongs that are a great go-to for serving cold dishes. We don’t recommend them for the everyday home use since they are not designed to be washed and reused, it is better to invest a little more money in a metal set of tongs for everyday use that can withstand the temperatures.
5. Watery dishes
Solution: Perforated basting spoon
A perforated basting spoon is perfect for serving and separating. Most great recipes are intricate processes that require combination, separation and skill. These steps all need to be timed and expertly executed. But, sometimes, we make mistakes and add a bit too much of something and now we have to separate and salvage what is still good without risking the loss of the whole mean. The perforated basting spoon allows you cook and serve your dishes as they were designed or how you see fit. This kitchen utensil will allow even a novice chef to embrace more difficult recipes.
6. Burgers are burning
The heavy duty turner ensures an even cook. Tongs are great for most flipping and turning, but sometimes you just need a turner. Turners are necessary for meats, larger items and for items that are prone to sticking. Along with the traditional use of flipping your meats and other dense items, turners have many other uses. Turners are used to chop, smooth out toppings and move ingredients in the pan.
Cooking is not for the faint of heart. It requires risk, confidence, courage, and imagination. When you are crafting your next masterpiece make sure that you are prepared with these essential kitchen utensils because it could be the difference between enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal and ordering take out- again.
- Michael DeSatnik
- Tags: news
11 Essential Items of Holiday Catering: Plan The Perfect Holiday Office Party
Photo Source: Ehow
Plastic trays are strong and durable. When serving heavier foods such as meats and sandwiches, they are the preferred choice. Many of the popular plastic tray options are black in color allowing your delectables to stand out. Plastic party trays are also available with clear plastic lids that provide a clear view of the dish, protection from the weather and easier transport.
Foil trays are an economical option depending on your catering needs. They are durable like plastic party trays but offer a metallic appearance as opposed to black or white plastic platters. The metallic appearance may aid in the winter themed party by adding a little zing that looks more festive but still saves your pockets. Foil trays also have optional plastic lids, perfect for protecting your dish but if you need to save a little more, plastic wrap will keep your food in place but we don’t recommend stacking the trays.
Photo Source: D.S. Mee Bee
Need to save a little more? Take a cardboard circle, cover it in aluminum foil, load it up with your foods and delicacies. Cover it with plastic and wah-lah, your dish will stay in place. You’re ready to go and at a fraction of the cost and your dish is beautifully displayed. This is a popular method for deli catering when serving party trays.
How will your guests dine on their foods? If you use reusable flatware and the hosting facility is willing to wash everything, then we applaud you. However, if you are looking for a faster grab and go, disposable cutlery, here are some popular option for you to consider:
Polystyrene Cutlery: Although polystyrene cutlery is heavier, it won’t snap in half like other plastic cutlery. It is also the more popular choice when it comes to color selection offering a wider array of colors beyond white and black.
Polypropylene Cutlery: Now this is the stuff that bends. Beginning with medium weight cutlery, this is the most economical choice when purchasing plastic cutlery in bulk. Great for samples, smaller portions, or when budget is the biggest factor. We wouldn’t recommend polypropylene cutlery for soups or other hot foods as the plastic becomes even more bendable under the elements.
Biodegradable Cutlery / Compostable Cutlery: Recently, as greener trends become more prevalent, cutlery companies are getting more innovative with the biodegradable materials they are using in their catering items.They use materials like corn, palm leaves, bamboo, and other renewable options that they grow versus compound. Beyond being better for our planet, they also make quite the statement with their more natural appeal.
Metallic Looking Cutlery: Popularized by WNA’s Reflections line of silver plastic forks, knives, and spoons, this type of cutlery adds class to even the simplest of catering events. Great option for a classy setting with a quick clean-up.
Mini Cutlery: Appetizers anyone? Sampling smaller dishes? Cocktail power hour? Use mini cutlery to add character and design to your holiday catering service. Available in all of the same options as listed above for cutlery.
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression." - Author Unknown
Nick Jonas has it right, “There's levels to your love.” When displaying your food, appearance is everything, right? Making your food options pop with levels along the buffet line is one great way to showcase your eatables. There are a variety of ways you can raise the plate i.e. overturned bowls, plastic boxes covered in table cloth, metal raised platforms, cake stands, pizza stands, 3 tier stands, buffet systems, or more. Anything that elevates a plate or bowl provides depth to an otherwise boring flat table. While deli catering may not get this complicated, it’s still good to have options, right?
Plasticware: This includes all of the plastic tableware that you will be serving with. It also includes the disposable cutlery that we mentioned already.
Plastic plates do not have to look boring and cheap. Companies like Creative Converting, WNA, and EMI Yoshi offer more elegant solutions with different shapes and styles that are sure to delight your guests.
Photo Source: Wedding Wire
Photo Source: Pinterest
When serving from a chafing dish or buffet line, it is essential that you follow this one rule: do not cheapen your food with ugly buffetware. You have spent countless hours purchasing ingredients, prepping, cooking, transporting, and setting up to display your meals, don’t quit now! Serve your dishes with style using serving utensils that match, that are suited for the task at hand, and are meant to add the final touches to your catered event. Use polished stainless steel serving utensils that add quality to every plated forkful. Remember how we mentioned the metallic looking disposable cutlery from WNA? Well they also offer the same look to larger serving utensils like tongs, serving spoons and more.
Don’t have the time or budget to deal with fancy plastic trays? Use foil pans! A favorite for deli catering and ideal for cookies or other pastries served in bulk. Many foil pans also have foil lids, so you can protect and stack them for easy transport. But look at us jumping straight to desserts before the main course. Aluminum foil pans are obviously essential catering items for all caterers. What makes them great is that much of the cooking can be done off premise but just stick a foil pan in a chafing dish and you’re ready to go. When chafing fuel is used, these pans will heat up nicely and keep your foods warm if needed. They come in a variety of sizes which makes it easy for you to use them for just about any dish.
The larger the better right? Nope. Unless you are having a family style sit down dinner, control portions and expectations of the food you serve by picking the best suited sized bowl. Serving bowls are available in stainless steel, melamine, ceramic, plastic, large rimmed. Even more, you can get them in a variety of shapes i.e. oval, round, square, and rectangular. Disposable serving bowls are the ideal choice for large salads, pasta bowls, and fruit bowls. Although available in many colors, clear and black are the most popular.
Food Boxes and Beverage Dispensers
If you are setting up on location, travel smart and be prepared. Contact your favorite catering equipment supplier and get food boxes that safely transport foods at appropriate temperatures.
If you have reached this point and still need to ask “What is a chafing dish?”, it may be too late. The king of buffetware defines your catering presentation - well at least in the eyes of the guests. If this is a one-time gig and you’re just serving food platters then a chafing dish is not needed. But if you are like most party planners and caterers, this is an annual if not more frequent service you provide and therefore, a chafing dish will demonstrate a prestige not easily achieved.
We recommend roll top chafers. They offer an ease-in-service by providing somewhere for the lid to go, keep your delicacies warm and the mirrored gleam denotes a professional touch.
Now you’re set for a show-stopping holiday party but in case we missed anything above, we would love to hear your thoughts. Until then, Party on!
- Michael DeSatnik
32 Holiday Gifts For Chefs
Dean Supply Holiday Gift Guide
32 Gift Ideas For Chefs and People Who Enjoy Cooking, Baking and Life
Our Price: $11.99/Set Others: $48.99/Set
This 20 piece baking set is ideal for anyone who uses a kitchen. While the baking dishes are obviously great for bakers, look at all of the small bowls and containers you get. The pie dish can easily be used for other uses in the kitchen, like portioning and prepping. Ya know, like Rachael Ray style!
Know a mixologist or someone who thinks they are a mixologist? Check out these double walled cocktail shakers. Packaged in a cool little box, these cocktail shakers make great gifts for any bartender. Oh and they are pretty stylish too - meaning even if they never get used, they will look great on the shelf!
Our Price: $33.65
Our Price: $35.69
If you know someone who got the baking itch from watching all of those cake decorating shows on the Food Network than these cake decorating supplies are for them. With 52 and 55 decorating tips to pick from they will be designing 12 foot tall wedding cakes in no time - all because of your thoughtfulness. Now give yourself a hug!
Our Price: $33.43
It will be hard for the person you buy this cocktail set for to screw up your next drink. Includes 6 bartender tools that we can only hope will improve the quality of your next drink.
Our Price: $100.99
Starting out in the restaurant world is no easy feat for a chef. Long hours, leg cramps, pressure from just about everyone, and to top it off territorial behavior around one’s cutlery. The only help you may be able to offer a friend who has chosen this path is a brand new 7 piece professional chef knife set. It won’t cure their leg soreness, but will put a smile on their face that they won’t have to fight over the best chef knife every night.
Our Price: $25.31
For those of you who have just discovered Guacamole due to every restaurant chain who now offers the guacamole for 99 cents extra, this one is for you. Anyone can make a mean guacamole recipe with this stainless mortar set. Ready?! Grab some avocados, lemon juice, tomatoes, chilies, a dash of salt and pepper and mortar with your pestle. Or gift it with a bag of tortilla chips so that your friend gets the hint.
Our Price: $47.94
Know an aspiring an artist who likes to play with their food? Let them take their craft to whole new level with this 9-piece garnish set. Tomatoes can be turned into roses, carrots into palm trees, and radishes into flowers. Give the gift of creativity with fruit carving tools.
The perfect gift for every wine drinker, the rabbit wine opener comes with its own stand and foil cutter. Your recipient will never encounter a wine bottle again too tough to be opened.
You may not win any awards giving a measuring cup set as a gift but answer this question: what kitchen would be operational without a set of measuring cups? I think you have your answer. Besides they are stainless steel, graduated, and have a no-spill pouring spout.
Our Price: $9.99 Others: $25.23
Everyday is a fiesta with this 5 piece margarita gift set. Easily gift wraps so really all you need is some tequila, lime or lemon juice, and some triple sec. Bueno!
No kitchen cabinet should be without a set of rocks glasses. The wider brim up top suggests that these Libbey glass cocktail glasses can be used for the old fashioned cocktail. How can you beat a quality glassware set for under 5 dollars?
Who doesn’t want a set of new cookware? If you know a new homeowner or someone with an induction stove, this cookware set is makes a perfect gift. The pots and pans set includes: sauce pans, fry pans, and a dutch oven.
Our Price: $61.86
It has been said that the cast iron skillet should be in every kitchen. Others have gone to lengths that the cast iron skillet could be used for almost every meal. We don’t know about that, but we do know is if someone gave us one as a gift, we might certainly try!
Our Price: $18.56
Give the gift of tenderizing love with this 48 blade meat tenderizer from Chefmaster. By punching holes in meat allows the meat to be chewed easier and allows the marinating dressings and spices to be absorbed evenly and fast.
Our Price: $4.95
Here’s a kitchen tool your friend doesn’t have. Sure it's not a fancy kitchen gadget but those break easily anyways. The Pro Chopper can cut, dice and even mince on cutting boards or in the salad bowl. Versatile as a food chopper and affordable which makes it a great stocking stuffer.
Our Price: $21.56
This kitchen tool gets the user digging perfect balls out of melons and other soft fruits. You can be assured this melon baller kitchen utensil will last for years considering it is made by Victorinox which is the same company that makes quality kitchen and durable outdoor gear.
Our Price: $58.18
Veggie Pasta? Sounds silly right? Wrong! If you or your friends haven’t been turning zucchinis and squashes into vegetable noodles you have been missing out. Seriously, it's awesome! The vegetable spiralizer is an unconventional gift for an unconventional kitchen.
Clam Steamers (Available between August-October)Starting at: $242.35
This may be a Midwest thing, but we love to throw clambakes. It could be the craft beer, the great company, or a reason to throw a party but either way we love them. We also know the importance of having a quality clam steamer that will withstand many seasons of use. Our clam steamers make a great gift for anybody who enjoys a clambake. Note: Now taking orders for 2016.
Give a man a french fries and feed him a snack; give a man a french fry cutter and feed him french fries forever. Are you loving it?
Our Price: $13.79
Yes, we know these oven mitts are long. Really long. Like really super long. Ok, we know. but at least there will be no part of the arm is exposed when digging into the back of the oven. Save the hairs on a friend's biceps this holiday season with this oven mitt.
Starting at: $8.52
Maybe not for everyone, but if you know someone who has a large pizza oven any of our pizza peels will do the trick. Be forewarned, there are plenty of choices so you might want to slyly do some diligence as to what is preferred. Wood handles are great when taking heat transfer into consideration. Can also be used to slide under breads, pastries, and other delicate baked goods.
Our Price: $59.99
This holiday season instead of buying a cheap chef’s knife that will fall apart in 6 months, buy a chef’s knife from Victorinox. The organic softness of the Victorinox chef knife resonates with every movement from blade to handle. Actually, it’s great present for any celebration.
Give the power of handheld blending this holiday season with this immersion blender. Put ingredients in bowl and turn on hand held blender. It is lightweight and cleans up quickly which is always ideal when given to those who have a knack to get messy.
Our Price: $10.19
Do you know someone in your life that never finishes a bottle of wine but wants to savor every last drop? Enter Vacu Vin Wine Saver. This handy little bar tool will lengthen the taste and quality of each bottle by creating an airtight vacuum.
Our Price: $60.30
Obviously a strange gift for some, but this bottle display is great for those who entertain and want to provide their guests a unique way to showcase what wine they have available for the night. It might be overkill for a household of two that Netflix it every night. Then again, we won’t judge.
Starts at: $8.67
The tea box with the glass top has been one of our popular gift items over the years. Use for tea storage and easily display all of one’s favorite teas that are neatly organized in this modern tea chest.
We love coffee. The stuff is addicting. It’s science. Maybe you have a friend that feels the same way. Instead of buying them one of those pod eaters, give them a reusable french press coffee maker that requires no coffee filters or costly plastic pods.
Baking a cake takes time and patience. The larger the cake, the greater the skill set. If you know someone who excels at baking a cake, then get them a cake stand this holiday season. They will be impressed with how easy it is to spin their cake around so that everyone can get a bite.
Our Price: $2.99 Each Others: $7.55
Designed in the shape of one happy fish, this glass fish platter from Cardinal glass makes a cool serving piece on any dinner table. Can be used as a serving dish, a dinner plate or as a display piece.
“A wise man invented beer. A smart man drinks it. But a genius drinks Guinness.” Those words alone are reasons why you can’t ignore a Guinness glass as a gift for someone special.
Our Price: $9.99
If you know someone who can’t mix wine and glass get them unbreakable wine glasses. These heavy plastic wine glasses are meant for those around patios and pools but can used anywhere.
Dean Supply has over 20,000 items so it’s difficult to choose which items will be best used as gifts. If the 32 items in this gift guide didn’t appeal to you, check out our clearance products and our food preparation supplies categories for more Christmas gift ideas. Also, if you think we missed some of the essentials, please leave your suggestions in the comments section. Happy Holidays!
- Michael DeSatnik