Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

 

 

 

By Rob Corliss
May 15, 2022

 

Greek cuisine has gifted the culinary world with a treasure trove of exceptional dips. These not only bring rich flavor stories to the table, told through shareable dips with broad appeal. As a springboard to creative recipe development, we’re highlighting three dips that offer a Greek flavor foundation from which menu developers can build off and create something entirely new and unexpected.

Chefs can introduce their signature variations with these dips, taking them out of a standard dip application and transporting them into compelling flavoring systems. Here, we continue that broader thinking, using each Greek dip as an unexpected yet integral part of recipe builds.

A rich and hearty yet silky and smooth dip made from puréed boiled potatoes (Idaho or Yukon gold), lots of garlic, a punch of red wine vinegar (or lemon juice), the richness of extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt.

DIP TRANSFORMATIONS:

  • Stuffing or filling for handhelds or shareables:
    • egg rolls
    • empanadas
    • potstickers
    • pastis
    • pierogi
  • Creamy base for dips, bowls or fillings:
    • potato-ham-cheese croquettes
    • spinach-artichoke dip
    • fish dips
    • salad bowls
    • shepherd’s pie

IDEAS FOR MODERN MENU BUILDS:

  • Steak n’ Garlic Potato Egg Roll: Skordalia + shaved prime rib + Havarti cheese (fried in a crispy wafer)
  • Frankie Goes to Bollywood (burrito): Skordalia (with curry powder added) + shredded pork + mesclun greens + pickled red onions + shredded carrots + cilantro chutney (wrapped in a flour tortilla, press-cooked in egg)

A vibrant dip made from roasted red peppers, whipped feta cheese, olive oil, bright lemon juice (or red wine vinegar), garlic, red pepper flakes (or hot paprika) and sea salt

DIP TRANSFORMATIONS:

  • Sandwich/handheld spread:
    • burgers
    • fried chicken sandwich
    • club sandwich
    • grilled cheese
    • quesadillas
    • skillet cornbread
  • Finishing dollop:
    • enchiladas
    • loaded fries/tots/nachos
    • fried calamari
    • soup
    • tacos
  • Flavoring agent:
    • hot Buffalo chicken dip
    • queso
    • stromboli
    • mac n’ cheese
    • chicken salad

IDEAS FOR MODERN MENU BUILDS:

  • Scarlet Crunch Burger: Angus beef burger + pine nut cheese crisp + leaf lettuce + htipiti + brioche bun
  • Greek Stuffed Shells: Large pasta shells + htipiti + ground beef/lamb + green olive pesto drizzle

An earthy rustic dip that’s made from roasted small-chopped or puréed eggplant, minced red onion, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, chopped fresh parsley, black pepper, sea salt (with cumin and red pepper flakes optional).

DIP TRANSFORMATIONS:

  • Base “warmed sauce” underneath:
    • steaks
    • pork loin/pork chops
    • chicken breasts
    • fish fillets
    • pizza
    • bowls
  • Filling:
    • pasta dishes
    • stuffed mushrooms
    • omelettes
    • frittatas
  • Topping or flavor accent:
    • baked potato
    • sautéed mushrooms
    • shrimp scampi
    • Bolognese
    • Soups
    • stir fries
    • chilis and stews

    IDEAS FOR MODERN MENU BUILDS:

    • Greek Portobello “Lasagna”: Grilled portobello cap + melitzanosalata with bacon added + mozzarella-feta + tomato slice topper
    • Sichuan Pork & Eggplant Bowl: Melitzanosalata + Sichuan-hoisin ground pork ragú + puffed rice noodles

About The Author

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ROB CORLISS is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu. [email protected]