Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development


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Dish description: Grilled flat iron steak with a brown-butter peanut sauce served over whipped peanut potato mash with chiffoned asparagus and Maldon sea salt

Team representative: Skye Estroff, owner/food expert, freelance social media and TV personality, Skye Estroff, LLC, based in Atlanta

What do peanuts bring to a brown-butter sauce? How does this complement the steak? 

SE: When our team was brainstorming this dish, we really attached to the brown butter trend and wanted to integrate that savory element into our flavor profile. I also thought miso could elevate this combination of flavors, so we incorporated the paste into this sauce as well. The unctuous components of brown butter and miso enhanced the richness of the steak. The crunch of the chopped peanuts added intrigue to the plating and gave the perfect condensed pop of umami to each bite of the dish. 

How did you add peanuts to a mashed potato application? What was the resulting flavor? 

SE: We wanted every component of our dish to incorporate peanuts, but we wanted to use another application of peanuts besides chopped. Several members of our team (including myself!) are avid boiled-peanut fans so we had the “a-ha!” moment to boil our peanuts and add them to the whipped potatoes. Once the peanuts were boiled and shelled, we used the ricer to get a fine peanut texture to mix with the potatoes. These were some of the best potatoes I’ve ever tasted—the peanuts added a depth of flavor to this otherwise classic side dish. This is a trend I hope makes it to menus soon!

General thoughts on the use of peanuts in an application like a classic meat-centric dish? 

SE: To me, peanuts are one of the most versatile ingredients, so they can enhance a meat and potatoes dish infinitely. The whipped peanut-potato mash is innovative and simple with a high reward of flavor. Because peanuts can mix and match with any set of ingredients, it’s an exciting creative process to decide how peanuts fit into the final dish. 


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