Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
July 11, 2022

When consumers find a menu item they love, they regularly want to repeat that experience. Offering that flavor experience in a new format affords patrons more opportunities to enjoy what they love. Savory hand pies offer a craveable, portable vehicle for delivering familiar favorites.

Reformatting popular dishes into hand pies provides operators ideal off-premise options. Position these as easy to eat, quick bites of a menu favorite that satisfy cravings when time does not allow for a sit-down meal.

Here are 10 well-known regional dishes made more accessible via savory hand pies.  All impart comfort nestled within crispy carriers. Big flavor and fun are the thread that weaves them together.

NORTHEAST

  • Chicken Parm (pupusa): Crispy chicken breast bites + marinara + Parmesan + buffalo mozzarella
  • Black n’ Blue (pasty): Charred filet mignon bites + Gorgonzola cream sauce + roasted cremini mushroom slices + crunchy onion straws

SOUTHEAST

  • Jambalaya (pupusa): Andouille sausage bites + pulled chicken + white rice + peppers/onions/celery
  • Chicken-Fried Steak (pasty): Chicken-fried steak bites + cream gravy + mashed potatoes

MIDWEST

  • Burnt Ends (arepa): Burnt ends + KC barbecue sauce + smoked provolone + creamy apple-cabbage slaw
  • Detroit Pie (pasty): Pepperoni + Wisconsin brick cheese + fontina + garlic-tomato sauce

SOUTHWEST

  • Sweet-Heat Fajitas (pupusa): Chipotle-honey skirt steak bites + bell peppers/red onions + smashed avocado
  • Enchilada Verde (arepa): Carnitas + Hatch chile sauce + black beans + Cotija crumble

NORTHWEST

  • Totchos (pupusa): Smashed crispy sweet potato tots + smoked peppered bacon pieces + Tillamook cheddar sauce + spiced marionberry glaze
  • Beer Beans n’ Franks (pasty): Kielbasa bites + brown sugar-craft beer baked white beans + minced Serrano chile

FEATURED RECIPE

Spiced Pulled Chicken in Corn Cake

Spiced Pulled Chicken in Corn CakeCredit: Smithfield Culinary

A Southern entrée of pulled chicken and corn cakes transforms into a savory hand pie in these Spiced Pulled Chicken in Corn Cake with Roasted Jalapeño Sour Cream.

GET THE RECIPE FOR Spiced Pulled Chicken in Corn Cake

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]