Hot food trends for 2013
Banh Mi sandwiches, elevated sub sandwiches with creative fillings, should pop up on restaurant menus in 2013. | Photo by Melissa Elsmo
Roasted Cauliflower Bánh Mì
(Makes 4 sandwiches)
1 head of cauliflower, sliced through the core into ½-inch thick steaks
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 French baguette sliced on the bias into 5-inch lengths, split and toasted
Cilantro sprigs, sliced cucumber and sliced scallions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the cauliflower on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, curry and turmeric and roast for 15 minutes. Flip the cauliflower, increase oven temperature to 425 and continue roasting for an additional 15 minutes or until tender, fragrant and turning golden brown on the edges. Allow to come to room temperature.
To build the Bánh Mì, spread some aioli (recipe below) on both sides of each toasted baguette, divide the roasted cauliflower evenly among the sandwiches and garnish each with 1/4 cup pickled carrots (recipe below). Garnish with cilantro, cucumber and scallions. Serve at once.
Easy Jalapeno Aioli:
½ cup light mayonnaise
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mix well and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to allow flavors to develop.
Quick Pickled Carrots:
¾ cup white vinegar
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups shredded carrots
½ cup diced red bell pepper
Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. When all of the sugar has dissolved, reduce heat to low and add the salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove dressing from heat and bring to room temperature. Combine the carrots and peppers in a small bowl and pour the cooled dressing over the vegetables. Refrigerate for several hours or up to two days before serving.
Updated: January 10, 2013 8:16AM
Making annual food predictions is a little like reading tea leaves.
Sure there are some clues lingering in the bottom of the proverbial cup, but there is a lot of room for interpretation in all the murky muck. Last year, my prediction list had some serious hits (backyard chickens) and some misses (French Dip sandwiches), but overall I was tickled by the accuracy of some of my 2012 selections. Last year’s moderate success has given me the courage to give it a go again. I’m counting on you to help me on the road to success! So go on a date, drink some tequila, and poach an egg in 2013!
Mel’s Top 10 Food Trends for 2013:
Cauliflower: Rustic, elegant and complex cauliflower presentations have been steadily gaining in popularity on restaurant menus over the past couple of years. Sara Bonisteel of Epicurious backs up my thought that this versatile veggie will emerge from behind broccoli’s shadow to make frequent appearances at the family table.
Mussels: When making sustainable seafood selections, mussels are always a “best choice” according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Food Watch list. Not only are they are farmed in clean waters, mussels cook up in mere minutes and deliver big flavor without breaking the bank.
Nose to Tail at Home: According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, an average American family of four wastes nearly 80 pounds food in a given month at an annual cost of more than $2,200. Increased environmental awareness will help home cooks address their food waste issues and use every part of an animal or vegetable before discarding the scraps.
Friendly Lighting for Viral Food Photos: With hoardes of everyday diners looking to capture images of the best things they’ve eaten to post online, it’s no wonder restaurants feel like strobelight-laden dance clubs. I predict we’ll see upscale restaurants reluctantly embrace this quirky trend in 2013 by adjusting their lighting to accommodate no-flash photography.
Hold the meat; pass the veggies: Pork hit its prime in 2012, while beef continues to get a bum rap in the health arena. Thanks in part to the continued efforts by our First Lady; it stands to reason that 2013 will be the year of the vegetable. When veggies take over our plates in 2013 our waistlines and wallets will be better for it!
Eggs: Thanks to our new-found love for chickens, tireless devotion to breakfast and a desire for alternative protein sources, there is no doubt that egg cookery will gain in popularity in 2013.
Restaurant Romance: Communal tables are still all the rage, but look for the return of two tops and individual entrees in 2013. Getting to know new folks and sharing small plates has its place, but connecting with the person who matters most in your life over a thoughtful plate of food is always on trend.
Main Stream Bánh Mì: These elevated submarine sandwiches feature an array of funky fillings. Vietnamese and French flavors fuse in the most traditional variations of this meat, mayonnaise and veggie laden savory. Look for creative Bánh Mì variations to pop up on restaurant menus in 2013.
Tequila: Due to the rising numbers of folks restricting gluten in their daily diets, I predict Tequila-based cocktails will be all the rage in 2013. Tequila made from 100 percent blue agave is naturally gluten free and infusing the spirit with everything from orange peels to bubble gum makes it just as versatile as vodka.
Befriending Local Chefs: Taming the American fixation with “celebrity chef” culture is long overdue. Our TV-driven foodie obsession often comes at the expense of knowing who is behind the stove at local eateries. As responsible sourcing becomes ever more important to restaurant patrons so will knowing the local chefs who create the foods we eat.