What foods would go good with a spring menu

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Hi chefs im new to this and got a job as a kitchen leader was wondering what foods would go good with a spring menu as entrees or apps its an upscale bar i work at
 
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Seasonal produce should feature heavily on every menu in my opinion. cabbages, mushrooms and squash should give way now to early asparagus, , radishes, jersey royals(UK), peas, spring lamb, wood pigeon, crab, place etc. Go to the market and see what is available. Spring is a bit tricky as veg is expensive until it comes in it's own but still whatever is in season will be plentiful and at good price eventually. After a few years you will get used to it and it would come naturally. You said it is an upscale place so you can get fancy stuff. Good luck with it!
 
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Hi there J Valdez,

Welcome to ChefTalk and I like your question.

The trick is "What is available to you, in your area, and for how long? Don't forget the how long part!

I still have snow on the ground, but first thing up will probably be chives around here. So the trick around here is how to feature chives. Chive oil, Tempura Chive sticks, etc.

That is the fun part of the profession!

OK J, what can you make with ______? It doesn't always have to fit the theme of the restaurant either. It is a seasonally available entree or app in your area.
 
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Hi chefs im new to this and got a job as a kitchen leader was wondering what foods would go good with a spring menu as entrees or apps its an upscale bar i work at

Stating your location will help us provide better advice. Spring in Texas is quite different than Spring in Minnesota.
 
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Im in houston... im still not upthere as far as knowledge on fancy dishes im in the process of learning still lookimg for something simple like ive seen strawberrys are in season so maybe strawberry salad....
 

pete

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There's a lot of good advice in the posts above. I know there were a few specific foods listed above, but here are some of the foods I associate with Spring/early summer:
asparagus, peas and pea shoots, radishes, beets, Ramps (wild leeks), mushrooms (especially morels), radishes, spinach, baby greens, rhubarb, strawberries, crawfish, soft shell crabs, and new onions, just to name a few items.

Beyond that, I look at preparation. Spring is the time to try to lighten up dishes. Forgo heavy reduction sauces for lighter broths, or light, vibrant butter sauces. Lamb shanks are a perfect example. During the winter, I would often serve it over a bed of rich mashed potatoes or creamy polenta with a sauce that was reduction of the braising liquid, reduced to maybe 25-30% of its original volume. In Spring, I might now serve that same shank served over a bed of Israeli Couscous studded with pea and fava beans, and served with the same braising liquid, but this time just barely reduced and lightened with with a bit of orange juice and/or orange zest and a bit of tarragon.
 
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You probably want to lay off the strawberries for a few weeks. There's a nationwide shortage due to the Florida and Mexico production ending and the California production delayed by heavy rains and flooding. I paid $16 per case 2 weeks ago and it's over $50 now. Pete's suggestions are spot on. I'd add Eastern fiddleheads and also chive blossoms for unique spring items which are versatile, but little used.
 

pete

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I'd add Eastern fiddleheads and also chive blossoms for unique spring items which are versatile, but little used.
I love chive blossoms. Nice, delicate flavor, and a great way to add a bit of color. Fiddleheads are also a great idea. Personally, I've never been too fond of them. I really want to like them, but I've had them many ways and they have just never wow'ed me. That's okay, though. I go nuts for Ramps and I know many people who just don't get it. To them Ramps are nothing but an onion. That said, Ramps are another great addition to a spring menu. Try and go out and forage them yourself because over the last few years I've seen the price of them skyrocket.
 
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Hi J,

How about a fresh, not fried, strawberry spring roll with a celery leaf and mint dipping sauce? I would experiment adding a fine dice of celery with the berries. If good, I would wrap it. An experiment for sure...

Maybe a strawberry soup with chilies.

Any other ingredients available in a Texas Springtime other than Strawberries? A better approach for this chef is "Hey Chef! What can you make with these ingredients?"
 
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I love chive blossoms. Nice, delicate flavor, and a great way to add a bit of color. Fiddleheads are also a great idea. Personally, I've never been too fond of them. I really want to like them, but I've had them many ways and they have just never wow'ed me. That's okay, though. I go nuts for Ramps and I know many people who just don't get it. To them Ramps are nothing but an onion. That said, Ramps are another great addition to a spring menu. Try and go out and forage them yourself because over the last few years I've seen the price of them skyrocket.

Love ramps. Not a fan of western fiddleheads either. Eastern are quite different...milder and asparagus like.
 
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Im new to fine dining dont really know much still as in ramps and leeks i was looking for something simple like strawberry salad with nuts and a vinagrette or something like a salmon with something springy lol.... i
 
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I love chive blossoms. Nice, delicate flavor, and a great way to add a bit of color. Fiddleheads are also a great idea. Personally, I've never been too fond of them. I really want to like them, but I've had them many ways and they have just never wow'ed me. That's okay, though. I go nuts for Ramps and I know many people who just don't get it. To them Ramps are nothing but an onion. That said, Ramps are another great addition to a spring menu. Try and go out and forage them yourself because over the last few years I've seen the price of them skyrocket.


I too enjoy chive blossoms, but unlike you I like fiddle heads. My entire back yard is one gigantic mass of them, so cultivating a few here and there has never been a problem. I enjoy ramps very much. I Julienne and caramelize them. I also am lucky enough to be able to forage for morels and chantrelles. All good stuff.
 
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Selling foraged food in my state is a big no-no. But how lucky are you! Morels and chanterelles cost me almost $50 lb.!
 

pete

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I too enjoy chive blossoms, but unlike you I like fiddle heads. My entire back yard is one gigantic mass of them, so cultivating a few here and there has never been a problem. I enjoy ramps very much. I Julienne and caramelize them. I also am lucky enough to be able to forage for morels and chantrelles. All good stuff.
You don't find chantrelles in my area very often. Morels are another story. In good years, they can be quite plentiful. Unfortunately, I really suck as finding them, so I rely on the generosity of my friends for them. I have a great place for Ramps though. Can't hardly walk without stepping on them. My favorite way is to grill them. I lay the bulb end on the grill with the greens hanging off, away from the heat. Once the bulb ends are tender, I move them so that the leaves can cook, getting nice and wilted and adding just a bit of char to them. I'll throw them on top of a steak or grilled pork, or dress them with a mustard vinaigrette and serve.
 
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You only have to think of two words. Local and Seasonal.

Take a look at what you have available locally and what is in season. That will never fail you. After which it is just pairing the Salmon with what you have and what actually compliments the salmon.

The flavor bible can help you out with flavor combos. You can even take time tested flavor combos and make them new and exciting like a traditional lox. You can use the salmon and make a gravlax, bagel crisp, cream cheese chive sauce, simple and delicious. You could use toast points instead of the bagel. You could spread the cream cheese on top of the salmon, throw the bagel "bread crumbs" on top and make it under the broiler, there are many many many different combinations. Right there are three with just a traditional combination. Grilled with a side salad raspberry vinaigrette. Alder wood smoked, with grilled eggplant, etc. Salmon amandine, with cold spatzle salad and tomatoes.

You can pair salmon with mustard greens. We did it once a long time ago with quinoa and sourish grapes, people loved it.
Sliced red peppers sauteed to perfection, red pepper hummus, salmon, on a small "street" taco sized tortillas, you can even liven it up with a homemade slaw on top or just vinegar(d) cabbage.

The list goes on ad infinity.

I did not add that cream cheese link lol
 
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I'll never understand how someone who has no idea how to put together a menu has managed to be in charge of a kitchen. You might try looking at what other chefs who run similar style places to yours are running this spring. I'm not suggesting you steal their dishes wholesale, but it might help to get an idea of what people are doing with some of the ingredients. There are lots of books, magazines and websites that will help you get inspired for the upcoming season. Buy a few cookbooks...
 
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(Tongue in cheek....)
Patience my friend Someday....patience. We all have to start somewhere, and the OP chose us to help with ideas.
I realize how hard it is to be civil, understanding, non-judgmental, and "genteel".
keep up the good work.
 
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