spring menu ideas

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by john meyer, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. john meyer

    john meyer

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    Hi all. hope you can help me out here, here is the guts of it all, I am having issues doing a new spring menu, call it to many hours or whatever but my mind is mush.

    The other issue is I am in a 4star hotel with a largely unskilled kitchen and were pulling it off!  I need ideas that are simple, fast, not to difficult( most of my staff has never cooked before ) I am a chop house in the making but need something more than lamb chops, and rosemary chicken breasts for spring idea, we do have a small pasta selection as well as salmon and walleye and a few salads, my goal is to have some knock out simple dishes that can be hit on the line with little prep ( keep in mind I have had to tell everyone that 3tsp equals a tblspoon lol ) hope someone out there has worked in this kind of pain before and made it happen like I have.  thank you in advance John Meyer
     
  2. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Don't know what your ratio of kitchen time to office time is but I can relate to the inexperienced staff issue. Luckily for me in most places, at least the places I stayed a while, a large part of my time was spent in the kitchen. Here are some spring ideas that I did with inexperienced but eager staff

    Rabbit braised with Red Wine and Morels, served on a bed of Mustard Greens and accompanied by a ragout of Ramps, Fiddlehead Ferns, and White Beans; and an Oregano Spoonbread

    Coconut Poached Cod, a filet gently simmered in a spicy Coconut Broth, served on a pan seared slaw of Celeriac, Spinach, Carrot, and Sunchoke and topped with a Manzano Banana Ginger Chutney

    Grilled Flank Steak a Flank Steak brushed with a Kumquat, Garlic, and Green Peppercorn Paste, grilled, thinly sliced and served on a bed of Arugula, and topped with Kumquats and Vidalia Onions tossed in a Citrus Vinaigrette

    Rice Charred Salmon sprinkled with a ground spice rub of toasted Bhutanese Red Rice and Togarishi, then grilled and topped with a grilled Baby Artichokes and a White Miso Chevre Sauce

    Duck Breast a boneless and skinless breast grilled and thinly sliced, topped with a Honey Lavender Sauce and sprinkled with toasted Sunflower Seeds and grilled Asparagus

    Stuffed Pork Loin stuffed with Bok Choy and Daikon, then pan seared, finished in a hot oven and topped with a Mustard Su-Miso Sauce and sprinkled with a Vidalia Onion Salsa and fresh Watercress

    Asparagus Pistachio Pasta Lemon Pepper Fettuccine tossed in a Pistachio Sauce and topped with Asparagus,, Leeks, and Lemon Zest
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
    tjsbeer likes this.
  3. sumar shahin

    sumar shahin

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    I wish you lots of luck. A variety of salads preferably ones that are not as common, for instance tabouleh is an awesome summer salad, gaspacho is always good and cool. make it simple and colorful.
     
  4. leahhh

    leahhh

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    I too am looking for interesting, creative ideas for my catering menus. Most of my menus are geared toward men so I try to include plenty of proteins. I need ideas as well. We do a beautiful bisque with shrimp and another lobster that I will include on my "spring" menu selections. We do a lot of box lunches and like to change it up for our clients. I am not a chef. I am the sales backbone of the biz and husband is a chef that works a regular gig including the catering. As our lives are spent doing, we have little time to discuss what I sell. Not really problematic but requires planning and perfect execution. Spring ideas are soooooo welcome. Thanks, Leah
     
  5. chad barnes

    chad barnes

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    Keep in mind that there are alot of bases out there that can easily expand your pasta selections or other foods.  We currently use a sundried tomato base and add it to our alfredo for a great sundried tomato and basil pasta (adding fresh basil and sundried tomatoes too).  Also they have roasted garlic and many other selections that can really save you time.  I know it sounds crazy and i thought so too until i started using them alot.  Also expand as much off of what you already have because your staff will be comfortable using those products.  You probably already know that anyway!  I am working on a spring menu and i really just hit the internet for ideas and expand from there if i want to change any of the recipes i find to fit what i have in my kitchen.  Good Luck!

    Chad Barnes

    Executive Chef

    South Side Country Club
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  6. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Hi John,

    Menu development can surely be challenging.

    One method I always do is to create a base list of seasonal items in categories.

    Example:

    Greens & micro greens

    Pepper cress, amaranth,mache- etc

    Beans

    Fava,Haricots- etc

    Beets

    Gold, candy, red -etc

    Carrots

    Beta, Thumbalina,- etc

    Cauliflower

    Romanesco, baby whites, - etc

    Shrooms

    Bianca,morel,maitake, -etc

    Onions

    red and white bunching, spring onions,ramps, baby leeks, - etc

    Peas

    English, sugar, - etc

    All peppers & chilis

    Spuds

    Jewels,Yukon's, fingerling's, - etc

    Radishes

    Icicle, French breakfast, watermelon, Easter egg,lime, - etc

    Roots and stuff

    Jicama,boniata, lemon grass, parsley root, salsify, - etc

    All squashes

    Tomatoes,

    Berries,

    melons,

    stone fruits

    and on and on and on.

    Herbs, artichokes.

    After I categories, I determine my proteins etc and just start putting the puzzle together.

    Takes time, and practice, but it works like a charm.

    Talk to your purveyors and have them help you with local seasonal ingredients.

    Always remember that what you put on your menu must be available for the period of time that you intend to run it,so be aware of limited growing seasons, like ramps, fiddle heads,etc.

    Good luck
     
  7. grillbeast

    grillbeast

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    Limited seasonal availability on certain spring items can be a problem, so think of ideas that can be done with multiole substitutions, like a small shape pasta with "spring green pesto.". You can use ramps while you have them plus a mix of watercress/arugula. Sub scallions after ramp season. Think bright fresh flavors.
     
  8. grillbeast

    grillbeast

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    I also like serving fish or scallops with a crunchy slaw of jicama, carrot and other slightly sweet vegetables. Instead of a warm sauce component use a citrus vinaigrette. Add a starch if you feel you need to. The pick up is super simple, cook fish(sear or grill or broil), plate with two cold components (slaw, vin) that are ready at hand.
     
  9. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Hey John, hope your spring menu is coming along well. Below are a few pictures of some new spring menu items I was testing this week.





    Happy cooking,

    CC
     
  10. pollopicu

    pollopicu

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    Cape chef, your dishes looks scrumptious. What is the first dish, if you don't mind my asking?
     
  11. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Hi Pollopicu,

    It is a basic hand stretched and grilled naan, topped with whipped mascarpone flavored with fresh dill and tarragon, garnished with house cured coppa and asparagus and drizzled with a puree of fresh spring peas, baby spinach, young basil, olive oil salt and pepper.

    It's really tasty, particularly with a herbaceous Sancerre.
     
  12. cape chef

    cape chef

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    BTW, I see you are in CT, where abouts?
     
  13. pollopicu

    pollopicu

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    Oh my Lord, that sounds so delicious! Every single ingredient speaks to me.
     
  14. pollopicu

    pollopicu

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    I'm in Northwest CT, Litchfield county...just moved here. I'm not very familiar with the state yet.

    What area are you in?
     
  15. iceman

    iceman

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    WOW.      I thought, just from the title, that I could give you some dishes.  Boy'o'boy ... I'm probably gonna get clobbered here, but I'll give them up to you anyway.  These are all just recipes from a magazine for give-or-take 4-people, but I think they can be expanded for a restaurant with some simple work.  I've made most of these (*), and they're not at all tough.       Anyway ... here they are. 

    *  Spring-Vegetable Paella

    Sautéed Spring Vegetables with Bacon and Hazelnuts

    Short Ribs with Mushrooms and Spring Vegetables

    *  Farfalle with Spring Vegetables

    Garlic-Rubbed Pork Shoulder with Spring Vegetables

    Spring Vegetable Soup with Tarragon

    *  Spring Vegetable Potpies

    *  Bruschetta of Spring Vegetables

    Swordfish with Vegetable Couscous and Tomato Vinaigrette

    *  Rustic Vegetable Tart

    *  Barley and Grilled-Vegetable Salad

    *  Bulgur Salad with Lightly Roasted Vegetables

    Grilled Pork Tenderloins with Vegetable Curry

    *  Vegetable Summer Rolls with Chile-Lime Dipping Sauce

     
  16. nibbles

    nibbles

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    I love asparagus this time of year. My new spring dish is a Challah Toad-in-a-Hole.

    Brush challah slices with butter and grill til golden on both sides. Cut out a small hole in the center but not all the way through, to make room to sit a poached egg there. Top with slice of crisped proscuitto, and salad of blanched asparagus, artichokes and hearts of palm dressed in champagne vinegrette. Then top with watercress, pea shoots or a nice microgreen with a little dressing.

    Drizzle balsamic around the plate. I could eat this everyday
     
  17. sharon m

    sharon m

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    I would love your honey lavender sauce recipe to use with the pan seared duck I serve. Would you consider sharing it with me?
     
  18. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Sorry it took me a while to get back to you, but I have been busy at work. I didn't write that one down and it has been a few years since I made it; but to the best of my recollection basic gist was:

    bring xeres vinegar to a simmer and pour over lavender, let steep for a few minutes and strain

    make a gastric with honey and lavender steeped xeres

    saute shallots, galangal, and garlic; deglaze with marsala and drambuie

    add duck stock and honey; reduce; add lavender let sit for 1-2 minutes; strain

    finish with gastric

    Hope that you can make sense of my transcription. If I can be of any further help, don't hesitate to ask. If you give it a whirl, let me how it turns o