Blue Star: PREP & ENTERTAIN WITH EASE: SEAMLESS COOLING TO COOKING

Home cooks are always seeking new tools to enhance and refine their process, to produce the best results. At BlueStar®, our goal is to equip every home cook with appliances that maximize performance and efficiency in their home kitchen.

We have the honor of working with America’s best chefs, and rely on their experience to fuel real innovations that make cooking better everyday. Their challenge to us: make the transition from prep to cooling to cooking easier. They wanted a lot: zero transfers, less bowls to clean, easy movement, plus the ability to serve prepared chilled courses.

The full extension shelf in the 36-inch Built-in Refrigerator from BlueStar

Our answer was the full extension shelf in our 36” Built-In refrigerator; which not only made it easier, but seamless. Now home cooks can start a recipe by mixing ingredients on a sheet pan, then store it in the refrigerator or freezer and then move directly to the oven without transferring – and then back to refrigerator or freezer before serving. They can proof breads and pizza doughs before using our artisan bake stone. They can make salads, appetizers and desserts for guests ahead of time and pull them out, ready to serve. Engineered and designed to compliment your cooking process, this leading innovation not only improved how they cook at home, but connected a hallmark of BlueStar’s appliances – accommodation of commercial-size sheet pans, now, for seamless cooling to cooking.

The full extension shelf in the 36-inch Built-in Refrigerator from BlueStar

Keeping the idea of smooth transition in mind, BlueStar’s 36” Built-In refrigerator comes with articulating hinges, allowing the tray to fully extend, saving you from unnecessary contact with the door’s shelving. Built with commercial-grade stainless steel and glass it provides a sturdy, flat surface for organization.  With award-winning, industry-leading features, our refrigerator will enhance your cooking experience, and bring chef-level results at home.

Renowned pastry chef and bread baker Zoe Francois showed us just how effortlessly this all works together with her delectable profiteroles. Easily baked and filled with ice cream in advance, the profiteroles can be kept on a sheet pan in the freezer until you are ready to serve.

Profiteroles from Zoe Francois
Prep time: 1 hour
Baking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

Pate a Choux Dough:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Ice Cream of your choice

Ganache:

  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup

Directions:

To make the cream puff dough:

  1. Piping dough with All-Star Baker Zoe FrancoisPreheat oven to 375° F
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat
  3. Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to a rapid simmer.  Dump the flour in all at once.  Stir with wooden spoon over low heat.  The dough will come together as a smooth ball and the bottom will have a skim of dough stuck to it.
  4. Remove the dough from the pot and place in a bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment.  I love these beater blade paddles with the rubber sides, so you don’t have to scrape down the bowl.  If you don’t have one, then scrape down the bowl after each egg.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each, until it comes together in a smooth paste.
  5. Profiteroles from All-Star Baker Zoe FrancoisIt will be thick enough to hold its shape, but thin enough to pipe easily.
  6. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and pipe the dough into quarter sized balls.  If there are points stickup up on the ends just wet your finger and smooth them out.  Place the sheets into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until they are puffy, but have a little color.  Quickly rotate the trays from top to bottom and back to front.  They may deflate a touch, but don’t worry, they will puff again as they continue to bake.  Bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes or just until they start to turn golden.
  7. Profiteroles from All-Star Baker Zoe FrancoisProp the oven door open with a wooden spoon and continue to bake for about 5 more minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.  They can be made ahead and frozen for up to a couple of weeks.
  8. Once you are ready to assemble the profiteroles cut the pastry open along the sides with a sharp knife.  Scoop ice cream into the pastry shells.  Freeze until ready to serve.

To make the ganache:

  1. Heat the cream to a simmer.  Add the chocolate, swirl the pan to cover the chocolate with the cream and allow to sit for 2 minutes.  Gently stir the cream and chocolate together.  You don’t want to whip too much air into it or it won’t be smooth and shiny.
  2. Drizzle over the profiteroles to serve.

Profiteroles from All-Star Baker Zoe Francois

Broil King: GET YOUR BARBECUE GRILL READY FOR WINTER

When the temperature dips and the leaves begin to fall, it is time to start thinking about preparing your grill for winter.  Whether you are a year-round griller, or you pack your grill away till spring, spending some time cleaning and inspecting your grill after a long summer is one of the best ways to ensure your grill will last for years to come.

  1. Give your grill a thorough cleaning.    Remove the components and scrape the inside of your oven using a sturdy bristle brush.  Take an old rag and a bucket of hot soapy water and clean every surface of the grill both inside and out. Don’t forget to empty the grease tray. If you are storing your grill for the winter, make sure it is completely dry before packing away.
  2. Inspect your components.  If you need replacement parts, now is a good time to think about ordering them.  Check all hoses on your gas grill to ensure they aren’t aging and have no cracks.
  3. Season cast iron cooking grids.  Applying a thin layer of cooking oil to clean dry cooking grids creates an extra layer of protection against rust.  If you won’t be using your grill for a while,  bring your grids inside and store them in a dry warm place. Learn More 
  4. Invest in a heavy-duty grill cover. It will help protect your grill from the elements.
  5. Store propane cylinders in a well ventilated area.      If storing your grill indoors,  detach and store propane cylinders in a well-ventilated area (garage, outdoor shed, etc.) Storing them indoors is very dangerous,  even the smallest of leaks can cause serious damage.
  6. For outdoor use only.  Never use your barbecue in an enclosed space such as a garage, shed, or balcony.  Also ensure your grill is at least 30″ away from combustible surface and not under an over hang.

For more grill maintenance tips – check out this link  Annual Maintenance

Crown Verity: Amp up your grilling with these simple but practical tips and techniques.

There’s no limit to what you can do with your grill. Make the most of your Crown Verity with our grilling tips and techniques.

Before you start grilling, think about what you want your end result to be. This will be determined by the kind of food you’re grilling and how you’re going to grill it. For example, fish cooks differently than chicken. Burgers do great over direct heat while a roast is best cooked over indirect heat. Get to know your grill and don’t be afraid to customize.

Here are a few other tips and techniques to keep in mind:

Make sure your grill is sufficiently hot before you start cooking. This lets the grill and the interior get to a proper temperature that makes for more even and efficient cooking.
Oil your grill to keep leaner cuts of meat and vegetables from sticking. One recommended method is to rub a paper towel soaked in cooking oil over the grates using a pair of tongs.
Everyone knows marinating your food adds flavour. But did you know it also tenderizes your meat? It’s best to marinade overnight but even a few hours before will work. (Tip: if you’re using BBQ sauce, apply it about ten minutes before the meat is done, otherwise the sugar in the sauce will burn.)
Remember when you were little and were told not to play with your food? Same goes when you’re grilling. Once your food is on the grill, try to avoid touching it. Timed properly, most meats should only need to be flipped once before they’re done. Test with a pair of tongs first: if it’s not “releasing” then it’s not ready yet. (Even better, consider buying a good digital meat thermometer and don’t be afraid to use it.)
One thing to keep in mind when grilling meat is that it continues to cook even after it’s been removed from the grill. To avoid having that juicy rare steak turn into a medium one, make sure to allow for some additional cooking time after it’s plated.
Don’t forget the kebab (sometimes referred to as a meal on a stick). It’s quick, easy and the possibilities are endless. Grilling tip: medium-rare kebabs are packed tight on the skewer while medium-well are spaced out.
Don’t just limit yourself to meat. Vegetables are great when they’re grilled. You can do other sides, even breads. Fruits taste amazing, too. (Veggie baskets are ideal for this.)
Ever heard of breathing room for food? Leave some space in your grill that has no direct heat. Turn off the burner in one corner. This carves out a place to keep food warm yet doesn’t cook it.
When grilling, keep the over/under rule in mind. When you’re grilling, it’s recommended that you be under. Why? You can always put undercooked food back on the grill to finish but if it’s overcooked, there’s no going back.

Happy grilling!

Danby: 5 Ways to Use a Mini-Fridge

best bar fridge

Small but mighty, mini-fridges have all the benefits of a full-sized unit in a pint-sized space.

They’re perhaps best known as a dorm room staple, keeping home-cooked leftovers and tasty beverages cool for hungry college students. But it’s time to think beyond the dorm! There are many ways these versatile appliances can make life more convenient.

Here are a few other cool ways to use a mini-fridge you may want to try!

Stay Energized at the Office

Do you spend most of your days working at a desk? If so, a mini-fridge can be a solid addition to your workspace. Use it to store homemade lunches, coffee, cream or milk, snacks, or drinks.

Having a mini-fridge at your desk will keep you well-fed and hydrated throughout the day, without the need to use that germy water-cooler or nasty lunchroom fridge. Stock the mini-fridge with healthy snacks to avoid the temptation of the office vending machine.

Mini-fridges are great for home offices as well since they save you a trip to the kitchen (and its many potential distractions).

Store Homegrown Food

There’s nothing like eating your very own homegrown produce. But when it comes time to harvest, your fridge becomes full to the brim with fresh fruits and vegetables! Make room for more with a mini-fridge in your pantry or garden shed. The same goes for eggs from backyard chickens!

Keep Food Allergens Separate

Managing food allergies can be a challenge, especially when it comes to kids. When a child has a food allergy, families do their best to keep the foods in question out of that child’s reach.

But what about food that needs refrigeration? You can keep allergens on their own shelf in the fridge, but they will still be in close quarters with the rest of the food.

There’s a better solution: keep foods containing allergens in their own separate mini-fridge. A mini-fridge can easily fit a carton of milk, eggs, peanut butter cups, or other common culprits for food allergies.

Have the Best Bar Fridge

No one likes it when thirsty party guests rummage through their kitchen fridge. They may be your friends, but they don’t need to know about your emergency cheesecake stash.

Instead, get a mini-fridge to use as a designated drink fridge for your bar or rec room. Your beverages will stay cool, your guests will be happy, and your party will be way more organized.

mini bar fridge outside

Enjoy Cold Drinks in Any Room — Or Even Outdoors

Sure, a full-sized fridge is great. But it’snot exactly mobile. A mini-fridge, on the other hand, can go just about anywhere if there’s a place to plug it in.

You could stock your workshop or garage with choice beverages, or indulge in snacks by the poolside. A mini-fridge can make your car-camping experience all the more convenient. The potential ways to use a mini-fridge are limited only by your imagination!