Celebrating the fall and winter holidays is a great way to get together with friends and family and eat lots (and lots!) of wonderful foods. One thing many people enjoy is eating new meals constructed from holiday leftovers days after the holiday has passed. It's a great way to update your menu and accommodate customers. As long as it's done safely. The safest way to preserve those holiday leftovers? Use a blast chiller or shock freezer.
Serving leftovers has long been a way for businesses to have to shop for less product, help eliminate food waste, and expand their menu without having to expend a lot of labor. But serving leftovers improperly can ruin the taste of the meal and put your customers in danger. Here are some tips on how to store and serve holiday meal leftovers to keep the festivities going, safely.
Storing Leftovers Safely
Making sure that any leftovers you anticipate using later on are safely brought to temperature and stored properly is imperative for customer safety. According to the USDA, the most common cause of foodborne illness is not cooling cooked food down correctly. By using a blast chiller/shock freezer, food will be moved quickly to frozen food storage conditions. So the leftover food never hits the danger zone and doesn't allow bacteria to grow.
Save Time and Labor and Taste
Foodservice operations take great care in making sure that they are preparing tasty food quickly while providing excellent customer service. Missing any of those components can mean dissatisfied customers who might not return for future purchases. Did you know a blast chiller/shock freezer can help your kitchen with all of these points? By being able to save leftovers safely, food prep for the meals where you use the leftovers will take less time. You can also prepare foods like cornbread or mashed potatoes in advance so that staff can work on other things that help the business make more profit. And by using a blast chiller or shock freezer, the ice crystals that form to help with the freezing process are smaller than they would be with traditional freezing. Those smaller ice crystals help prevent the cells in the food from bursting, which helps the food not get freezer burn, retain its shape, and keep the flavors of the food intact.
Serving Holiday Leftovers
When it's time to serve those holiday leftovers, there are a lot of different things you could come up with to delight your customers. Creating soups from turkey and ham bones lets you utilize other leftovers in your kitchen like collards, beans, onions, or noodles in a hardy meal. A shepherd's pie made with turkey instead of ground beef or lamb lets you serve a winter favorite with a holiday twist. Don't forget to use those leftover mashed potatoes for the topping. Sandwiches stuffed with turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and stuffing are always a fan favorite. You can even doctor the sandwich up with apples and walnuts. And one leftover recipe that the team at Thermo-Kool loves is leftover stuffing waffles. Served with turkey and cranberry sauce on top, it's a unique breakfast idea that reminds everyone of the holidays.
Have questions if a blast chiller or shock freezer is right for your foodservice business? Download our FREE assessment sheet to learn more.