Winter Wonders on the Menu

January 30th, 2013

As the cold winter air surrounds most of us these days, it is the perfect time to revise menus to reflect the season. ‘Winter-izing’ food & beverage menus is as necessary now as getting out a favorite warm winter coat.

And the best way to warm up your menu? Savory soups and stews. No other dishes embody comfort food quite like the hearty, warm goodness of soups and stews to help keep the cold days of winter at bay.

Our VSAG team of chefs has been busily creating menus for a few of our clients and we thought we would share some of their specialized ideas to get you started on warming up your restaurant’s winter menu offerings.

Sure, we love a good, thick chili as a winter mainstay, but have you ever tried adding a Burgoo stew of sirloin, potatoes and some good Bourbon (to add just the right kick of flavor) to your winter menu? Or how about a slow cooked pork stew with green and yellow lentils, cilantro, lime, avocado and egg that is not only delicious, but also a hearty and healthy option for your guests? Or have you considered a savory stew featuring rotisserie chicken, lima beans, chickpeas and pearl barley?

And for soups, a great place to start is with beans. They add richness, color and flavor, and are a good source of vitamins and protein. For example, a kidney and black turtle bean soup mixed with bacon will surely be a crowd pleaser, and as dried ingredients beans are shelf-stable and have many cooking options for great menu additions. We have also found that whenever a restaurant adds Tomato Soup to the menu, during the colder months it becomes a top seller – especially when paired with a great Grilled Cheese sandwich.

Add some thick-cut ciabatta bread and cook stews and soups low and slow to let the amazing flavors meld together and permeate the restaurant. Guests will be clamoring to get out of the cold and savor your winter fare again and again – and may even beg for the recipes!

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