Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
February 19, 2020

Skillets immediately convey home-cooked comfort, making them a safe place for global brunch introductions. Two popular formats are primed for signaturization now: hashes and baked egg dishes.

Hash

Hash gives operators license to introduce a world of flavor combinations, thanks to its casual parameters of chopped up meat, potatoes and onion. That foundation promises comfort and breakfast, with an invitation to get creative and go global with formats and inclusions.

Move hash into a…

  • Shareable cast iron-skillet
  • Breakfast bowl presentation
  • Breakfast taco or atop a tostada

Global flavor touches

  • Sticky pork char siu with pickled red onion
  • Tandoori lamb with mint raita
  • Sumac-dusted pork kebab with labneh

Shakshuka’s quick rise to stardom is thanks to a recognizable and craveable format of eggs nestled in a flavorful tomato-pepper sauce seasoned with warm spices. From there, chefs are demonstrating how many different ways they can take this dish.

Baked Eggs

It’s hard to think of a more comforting dish than baked eggs. Shakshuka, that Eastern Med baked egg dish starring an aromatic tomato-pepper sauce, helped make them a modern brunch staple and opened up the doors for creative iterations. Its flavor profile and format have found a solid fan base among American diners, encouraging chefs to riff on the flavor combination and look to other global pantries for signature renditions.

Try This:

Eggs in Purgatory
Perhaps shakshuka is familiar enough that this can be known as the Italian shakshuka, though it has a great narrative without the borrowed moniker. This Sicilian dish sees eggs bobbing in a fiery, garlicky tomato sauce, baked and finished with Parmesan, then served with crusty bread. Some say the name refers to its spiciness, linking it to devilish heat. Others get more poetic, claiming that the white eggs look like painting of souls trying to escape the flames of purgatory. Perhaps a perfect narrative for the redemptive quality of brunch? In any case, it’s yet another delicious way to serve up global comfort and flavor during this daypart.

Huevos a la Flamenca
A classic baked egg dish from Spain, huevos a la flamenca has a much tamer origin story. Named after the colors of the dress from a flamenco dancer, this dish, similar to shakshuka, is often served in individual cazuelas, upping its modern appeal. It sees eggs stewed in tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onion, chorizo and sometimes morcilla. It’s topped with migas, Spain’s version of garlicky breadcrumbs, which get crispy and golden when the egg dish is baked.

Menu Sightings

Green Shakshuka: Two baked eggs in a cast iron skillet with a blend of tomatillo, poblano peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro and feta cheese, served with pita
Miriam Restaurant, New York

Shakshuka: Wood oven-baked tomatoes and peppers, farm eggs, black kale, chickpeas, yogurt, baguette
Republique, Los Angeles

Eggs in Purgatory: Spicy tomato stew with a duck egg in a hole
St. Anselm, Washington D.C.

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