We all need a refresher now and then. Family dinner is no exception. Before you start cruising Pinterest or Googling the next big thing, consider looking back at the basics. Our own Chef Elliot Jablonsky offers some tried-and-true tips for creating new and exciting flavors, without reinventing the “meal.”
Good food never goes out of style.
Reubens, a few years back, were all the rage. Every bar and restaurant had one. Today, a Banh Mi is popping up on menus all over the country. Does that mean Reubens are no longer delicious? Of course not! Corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, grilled between slices of rye—it’s a savory and sweet masterpiece.
Finding meals that are a little out of fashion is a delicious opportunity. The pressure isn’t on you to invent an entirely new flavor profile, simply to give it a little spin. Try making it healthier. Add a new topping. Plate it in a different way. When you’re starting from a tried and true flavor combination you’re already most of the way to a great meal.
Look for inspiration everywhere.
Our own Chef Elliot said, “everything is a source of inspiration. Sometimes it’s a color, sometimes it’s eating at a restaurant, or looking online or through magazines... and sometimes [inspiration is] a little more subtle.” You can find new recipe ideas without embarking on a trip through the world of online recipes. Why not trust your senses? Consider that sushi roll you love—what makes it so great? Or that appetizer you order every time you’re out—what keeps you coming back. Find a little element you love and then consider how to incorporate it into tomorrow’s meal.
Lead your skeptics down a familiar path to new flavors
Variety is the spice of life for some of us. For others, it is a terrifying trip into the unknown. So how do we convince, children, spouses and friends to join us in our culinary explorations? Chef Elliot suggests starting with something you know they already like. Get them on familiar territory and then introduce a new flavor or ingredient. Take the new Mexicado Burger for instance. Mexican panela cheese and chipotle aioli may not be something someone would take a risk on. But when presented on a fresh grilled burger along with avocado and cilantro, it becomes a much easier sell. For your family, it could be inventing a new type of pizza, or adding a curried chicken option to your taco night. The more familiar the look of the food, the more likely they are to trust the ‘scary’ new flavor.
Why not go and get inspired today? Head into a Buffalo Wings & Rings near you and see what kind of flavor combinations Chef Elliot has created. Maybe you can put a spin on one of them for your next family meal.