As a confirmed lover of good food, this is the time of year when I’m scouting for new ideas and trends for the coming year. The James Beard Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate, nurture and honor those that make America’s food culture “delicious, diverse, and sustainable” recently released their 13 food trend forecasts. Here are some of the highlights I can’t wait to try.
Cauliflower is the new kale, or the hottest vegetable on the block. For some folks, there’s no regret in leaving kale in the ground, and the mild flavor and starchy consistency of cauliflower is a welcome addition to the dinner plate. Roasted cauliflower steaks with tomatoes and capers anyone?
Fermentation moves from underground to the home kitchen; kimchee, pickled watermelon rinds, sauerkraut and more. There’s a growing body of research indicating that cultured and fermented foods are better for your health, for flavor, and for the planet.
Hooray for the return of classic French cuisine! In our household where we grew up watching Julia Child, French food techniques never left. Boulanger (baker), boucher (butcher), garde manger (pantry supervisor), potager (soup cook) your time has come. I’m ready to dust off the grande bonnet and get cooking!
Move over beef. Consumption of red meat has peaked, and we are Americans are becoming more adventurous; duck, lamb, venison, even rabbit. Or better still, more vegetables. Increasingly vegetables are taking center stage on our plates, showcasing the craft of talented Maine farmers.
Sprinkles on our cake. I can’t quite wrap my head around those tiny, bright confections packed with sugar. But they sure look pretty, and good enough to eat.
Fried dough, fry bread, doughboys make the jump from country fairs to dining rooms. A quick and easy bread to make, I like it fried in lard the best. Think of it as a delivery system and be creative with your toppings; drizzled with local honey, topped with savory goat cheese and marmalade, refried beans and salsa. Served alongside pulled pork, beef stew or even clam chowder, doughboys are perfect with any meal.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole meal or whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons Sea salt
- 1 cup milk at room temperature
- ¼ cup warm water
- Lard or oil for frying
- Assorted toppings of your choice
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, sea salt and baking powder.
- Add the milk and water, stirring with a fork until sticky dough forms.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until just smooth.
- Return to the bowl, cover with a towel and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
- In a heavy pot or electric fry pan, heat 1 inch of lard or frying fat of your choice to 365 degrees.