Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Cream of the Crop Best of Flavor 2017

Mac ’N’ Ado with avocado Mornay sauce, asparagus and cherry tomatoes

To say that avocado is having a moment is an understatement. Certainly, avocado toast has helped brighten the limelight, but chefs are also leveraging avocado’s creamy texture and glowing health halo for items like smoothies, mayonnaises, mousses and sauces. In the Mac ’N’ Ado, the headliner for the dish is its avocado Mornay sauce.

“This delivers all the creamy deliciousness of a traditional macaroni and cheese, but with a fraction of the cheese,” says Mark Garcia, Director of Foodservice Marketing for Avocados from Mexico. He replaces some of the cheese with fresh avocado, then rounds it out with butter and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. “Fresh additions to the pasta dish include even more avocado, as well as asparagus and cherry tomatoes,” he says. “The rich, creamy taste of avocado is twofold in this recipe—first, as the base coating the pasta and then as a chopped topping over the dish. This balances well with the earthy flavor of asparagus and the sweet taste of the cherry tomatoes.”

So far, the feedback from casual-dining chefs and college and university operators has been really positive. It makes sense, as the use of avocado checks a lot of boxes for today’s menu strategies.

“Not only does this fruit- and vegetable-forward reinterpretation of the classic mac and cheese have a unique and flavorful taste, but by replacing cheese with avocado, the dish maintains its rich, creamy flavor, with fewer calories, fat and cholesterol,” says Garcia. He suggests other alternate uses for the avocado Mornay, include saucing egg, fish and vegetable dishes.

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