How to Craft a Savory Mixed Drink or Food-Inspired Cocktail

Restaurants are serving up a new trend- savory mixed drinks and cocktails.
Thai Beef, Caprese Salad, Pizza Pie, and Everything Bagels: What do these foods all have in common? In this case, it’s that the four aren’t just food dishes. Rather, they are also flavors of savory alcoholic beverages inspired by a new culinary trend that’s shaking up bars and restaurants world-wide. The trend is called savory cocktails, and allows mixologists to explore the full extent of their creativity in the quest to find unexpected, food-inspired flavors to” drinkify.”

A Brief History of the Cocktail

How the culinary world came to the point of adding ghee and miso to its mixed drinks is an interesting story. If you go back to the origin of the word “cocktail,” when it first appeared in the early 19th century, it referred to a drink made up of sugar, water, bitters, and of course, liquor. By the 1870’s the concept of a sweet, fruity, alcoholic drink had become so popular that Connecticut native, Jerry Thomas, wrote “The Bartender’s Guide,” which popularized recipes for the Manhattan, Mint Julep, and Brandy Punch, but, what really helped the cocktail industry take off was the creation of better supply chains for bringing ice to warm areas. Somehow, cocktails survived the prohibition era, making a comeback during the mid-20th century, when interest in Hawaiian and Polynesian culture brought rum-based drinks to the forefront. Continue reading How to Craft a Savory Mixed Drink or Food-Inspired Cocktail

Millet – An Ancient Grain That is a Nutritious and Delicious Superfood

 Millet is a trending gluten-free superfood.

Bread is often referred to as the staff of life. This isn’t an exaggeration. Nearly every culture on every continent has built itself on a specific type of bread. However, not all of these breads are made from the “run of the mill” (pun intended) wheat flour that we are so used to consuming. Grains, also called cereal crops, are harvested grass seeds and fruits. These cereals make up nearly 50% of global food consumption, but there are a wide variety of grains, and each culture and region has its own preferred or traditional grain. The Americas, for example, built their civilizations on the maize and corn that their ancestors domesticated. Injera, a gluten-free spongy flatbread made from the teff grass, is a staple of Ethiopian cuisine. And, of course, many parts of Asia are nearly synonymous with rice.

In the increasingly globalized world, consumers enjoy “going against the grain” by experimenting with new, exciting, and different grains, many of which come with nutritional or agricultural benefits. A few years ago, quinoa (actually a pseudo-grain, since it comes from a flowering plant and not a grass) made its pop-culture debut as an exotic grain substitute that was also high in protein. This year brings another “exotic” superfood grain crop to center stage. The United Nations declared 2023 the year of the millet. The millet is a grain family that is nutritious and gluten-free and may also hold the solution to feeding a growing world. Here’s the scoop on millet, and why you should integrate it into your dishes.

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Seven Trending Condiments and How to Make Them

Seven trending condiments, from hot honey to ranch dressing, will tempt your palate.

For the past fifty years, Heinz’s well-known bottle of ketchup has dominated the condiments market and America’s tables. It’s likely to continue to dominate in the coming decades. But, in addition to enjoying their ketchup, young Americans are seeking other condiment flavors to add a little zing to their plates. Some are brand new sauces, 21st century culinary inventions; others are old condiments that are now gaining popularity in the United States. A modern palate requires a modern condiment and these are the condiments that the modern paletes seem to crave most.

Hot Honey

A quick Google search for hot honey makes this condiment out to be an extremely versatile one. The first search results show recipes for pizza, wings, pineapple toast, baked cheese, cocktails, and even cobbler – all featuring hot honey. But, what is hot honey and why do young diners seem to be putting it on absolutely everything?

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One-Pot Cooking: Exotic Dishes and Desserts Ring in the New Year

Part II: Slow Cooker Soups and Desserts

If you work in foodservice and are looking for decadent recipes for one-pot slow cooker dishes such as casseroles, stews, soups, and even desserts, you have come to the right place! Guaranteed to please your customers’ palates, you can create a winning restaurant menu with easy-to-make recipes where all the ingredients are simply combined in a single pot, pan, skillet, or slow cooker. Not only do these all-in-one dishes and desserts require few utensils and cleanup, but they take minimal time to prepare, include ingredients that are on hand and easy to substitute, are often large enough to feed large groups, and can be kept for use as leftovers or stored in the freezer.

For one-pot cooking tips and tricks using a slow cooker, and to learn how your chefs can maximize the wonders of a slow cooker or crock-pot, be sure to read Part I: Slow Cookers and Crock Pots.

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One-Pot Cooking and Meals Reign in Restaurants in 2022

Part I: Slow Cookers and Crock Pots

Restaurants feature one-pot dishes, often made in a slow cooker or crock pot.

If you’re looking for a business forecast for the 2022 restaurant industry, the recipe to success may lie in one-pot cooking. As restaurateurs and caterers struggle to get back on their feet in the aftermath of COVID-19, many are turning to the food and beverages that became best-sellers during the corona crisis and which have remained popular among consumers ever since.

Front-and-center on restaurant menus for the New Year, expect to see wholesome one-pot dishes where all the ingredients cook together in a single pot, skillet, or cooker. These one-dish meals tend to contain all the elements of a healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner – and then some. Combine your choice of protein, starch, vegetables, sauces, syrups, salt and pepper, then add herbs and spices, for a dish that takes the taste buds over the top. While these recipes were once geared primarily for family dining, single-serving one-pot creations for individual diners are now also rising in the rankings.

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Shining the Limelight on Lemons

Cater to lemon-lovers with lemon-flavored dishes and desserts that steal the show

Attention lemon lovers around the world: If lemon is your favorite flavor, you have come to the right place! Similarly, if you are a seasoned chef, professional baker, budding culinary student, or restaurant owner, this Comprehensive Guide to Cooking and Baking with Lemons is the perfect recipe for success to keep your customers coming back for more.

So pucker up and prepare to learn all about lemons, one of Mother Nature’s most underestimated flavorful ingredients…

Tapping into the Taste of Lemon

Lemons are best known for their slightly sour or tart taste. Typically used to enhance the flavor of other foods (rather than be consumed alone), their pungent quality becomes citrusy, light, and refreshing when added to sweet and savory recipes alike. During the cooking or baking process, all parts of a lemon can be used: the juice, the pulp, and the peel/rind. Note: In recipes, grated lemon rind is often referred to as ‘lemon zest’. Continue reading Shining the Limelight on Lemons

Winning Ways to Update Your Restaurant’s Fall Menu

Update your restaurant's fall menu with seasonal   ingredients and recipes

With summer over and the back-to-school season fading, restaurants fall menus have kicked into high gear. Once again, the autumn presents foodservice providers with a host of fruits, vegetables, and spices that are the hallmark of this pre-Winter period. Whether you are a caterer, restaurateur, run a coffee shop, pizza store, or even a smoothie stand, now is the time to cash in on the bounty and indulge your customers with seasonal favorites and new fall-inspired recipes.

Fall Produce Flourishing

The abundance of fresh produce available at affordable prices is reason enough for chefs to get excited as they conjure up their next Instagram-worthy pièce de résistance to attract consumers and entice the masses to sample their wares.

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Gazpacho Takes the Lead on Summer Soup Menus

Summer soup season is here, and the cold soup selections are (ironically) selling like hot cakes. Leading the pack, however, is gazpacho, the quintessential tomato-based chilled soup, appearing on restaurant menus everywhere. Featuring the aromas, flavors, and colors of the season’s top produce, fresh, cold gazpacho is a customer favorite.

With its origins in Spain, there is a famous Spanish saying: “De gazpacho no hay empacho” — there’s never too much gazpacho. If you work in foodservice and want to boost business this summer, it’s time to learn more about what has kept this dish so popular and what’s new in gazpacho recipes today.

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Add Fenugreek to Your Restaurant’s Menu

Restaurants spice things up by adding fenugreek to their menu

If you are a chef or restaurant owner looking for a new spice to infuse life into your customers’ favorite dishes, it’s time to add fenugreek to your list of ingredients! A long-time staple in Indian cuisine with a rich history in traditional Chinese medicine, fenugreek is an aromatic plant that is both an herb and a spice. It is available year-round as a seed (popularly known as methi), in whole or powdered form (with the former including the root and twigs), and as dry leaves that are especially popular in Middle Eastern cooking.

Fenugreek Quick Facts

The fenugreek plant is largely grown in South Asia and parts of the Mediterranean. It features small round leaves with long pods that contain distinctive bitter-tasting seeds. Its taste is described as sweet yet bitter with a hint of burnt sugar and a maple syrup aroma when cooked. In addition to packing a tasteful punch, fenugreek seeds provide some significant health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant activities that are good for the body.

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Carob Makes a Comeback

Carob-flavored recipes on the rise in 2021

The all-natural sweetener that gained fame as a healthy chocolate substitute at the turn of the millennium is popular once again and being featured prominently in restaurant recipes in 2021. Most used to prepare sweet treats and desserts such as brownies, fudge, and milkshakes, there are so many good reasons why adding carob-flavored dishes to your menu is a sure-fire recipe for success.

Carob Benefits

If you are new to carob, it is a sweet, edible pulp that comes from the pods of a tropical carob tree. Dried and roasted, the pulp is ground into a powder for consumption or transformed into carob chips, syrup, or extract. In an age when wellness tops consumers’ minds, carob steps up to the plate with its multiple health benefits. These include the facts that carob is: Continue reading Carob Makes a Comeback