GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Minnesota's own Chef John Byrne, US Foods' first Food Fanatic, offers his top ten food trends for 2013.
1. Local and sustainable produce: Buying locally-grown vegetables and fruits isn't a new concept, but it continues to take a stronger hold as customer demand increases, and more restaurateurs are finding great ways to incorporate local produce into menus.
2. Sustainable seafood: Customers are more safety-savvy and environmentally-conscious than ever before, creating an even greater appetite for sustainable seafood. .
3. Small/Micro plates: The social dining trend continues as restaurant patrons seek small plates, or tapas-style dining.
4. Breakfast anytime: Breakfast isn't just for the a.m. hours - Minneapolitans are enjoying their favorite meal all day long.
5. Retro foods: With the fall and winter months quickly approaching, retro foods are poised to make a comeback. Dishes that were hot in the 50s and 60s, such as macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and pot pies, are perfect to provide a little comfort and warmth during the cooler months.
6. Global street food: Minnesotans don't need to travel to the streets of Beijing or Bangkok for great global fare. They can find ethnic flavors in their own backyards. Empanadas, adobo flavors and other international eats are popping up in more places than ever before.
7. Trend-Setting menu items: Consumers are asking for dishes with a unique flair, and specialty items like new, innovative items such as Chef's Line products, including pork belly can help add a level of sophistication and style.
8. Preserving, pickling and charcuterie: As customers look for ways to stretch their dinner dollars, what some might consider "old-fashioned" food preservation techniques are making a major comeback.
9. Artisan cheeses: Cheese is one of the world's most popular foods, and hand-crafted artisan cheeses add complex flavors, and excitement, to any dish. Artisan goat, Gouda and blue cheeses are a great way to bring new tastes to the table.
10. Dessert cocktails: What could be more fun than drinking your dessert? From crème brûlée to apple pie, desserts are headed to tables in a martini glass.
Connect with John on Twitter @ChefJohnByrne
Buffalo Chicken Empanadas with BBQ Blue and Avocado Slaw
1 18 ea Molly's Kitchen™ buffalo-style
4 T cilantro, chopped
1 lb coleslaw mix
16 oz Monarch® BBQ blue dressing
2 ea avocados, ripe
2 T Monarch® ancho chili seasoning
3 ea celery ribs, bias cut
1 c Chef's Line™ Portuguese churrasco sauce
6 oz Chef's Line™ pork belly
In Optimax, fry empanadas (or bake in oven).
In a large bowl, combine cilantro, coleslaw mix and
dressing. Mix well. Place slaw on plates. Top plated
slaw with three empanadas each. Garnish plate
with slices of avocado. Dust plates with ancho chili
seasoning. Garnish plate with celery and drizzle
with Churrasco sauce. Finish with a sprinkle
of caramelized pork belly dust.
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