Pressed for time and labor, chefs are looking for ways to simplify prep, maximize throughput and enhance recipes—without increasing costs. One strategy that addresses all these challenges is using premium speed-scratch ingredients, such as flavor concentrates. These ready-to-use flavor builders represent a convenient, scratch-quality way to create a variety of signature menu elements, including dips and dressings, sauces, stocks, marinades and even beverages. They impart the flavor intensity of freshly prepared ingredients with the convenience level of dried herbs and seasonings. Plus, they instill a level of consistency for items that are difficult to produce by lower skilled labor—like caramelizing garlic and onions or fire-roasting chiles.
One of the most effective ways to elevate a recipe is by using condiments, dressings or sauces to enhance flavor and create a distinctive signature. This is particularly useful for transforming menu standards like burgers, sandwiches and salads into craveable specialties.
- Add roasted garlic flavor concentrate to mayonnaise for a scratch-quality aioli to pair with caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese on a French bistro burger
- Mix sour cream with fire-roasted poblano flavor concentrate to ramp up the flavor of classic fish tacos, garnished with pickled cabbage and thinly sliced red onions
- Blend sun-dried tomato pesto flavor concentrate into balsamic vinaigrette to add a sweet umami note that takes salads to the next level, including main course offerings like tuna Nicoise or fried chicken salad
When selecting flavor systems destined for cold preparations, be sure to use a product that is tested ready-to-eat for use without the added step of cooking. This guarantees food safety as well as optimal product quality and fresh flavor.
Saving time on slow cooking
Speed-scratch ingredients such as flavor concentrates are also great for applications that normally involve lengthy cooking times or a degree of culinary expertise, such as stocks, soups, bastes, marinades and braised items, where it can otherwise take hours to develop flavors. For example, adding roasted mirepoix or herbs de Provence flavor concentrate to stock or a braising liquid brings kitchen efficiency to the time-consuming process of slow-cooking foundational recipe elements.
The resulting prep can be used to add layers and complexity to pasta sauces, grain bowls and vegetables, meat and poultry specialties and other menu signatures. Versatile flavor concentrates can also be stirred into a finished dish at the end of prep to add just a little more flavor—no need to heat.
Speed scratch across the menu
Flavor concentrates help add variety across the menu, making it operationally feasible to offer customers a wider assortment of unique specialties with global flavor profiles and cooked-from-scratch authenticity—even in low-labor kitchens. Use these speed-scratch products as you would other seasonings: Simply blend in the desired amount to instantly add the flavor of fresh herbs, roasted vegetables, bold chiles and other recipe enhancements.
- Add fire roasted jalapeno flavor concentrate and honey to softened butter and use as a spread for biscuits, to finish chicken as it comes off the grill or to dress Mexican-style corn
- Use roasted garlic flavor concentrate to boost the flavor of onion soup or to braise short ribs for an entrée, pasta sauce or sandwich filling
- Mix red chile adobo flavor concentrate into pulled pork for tacos, or combine with oil as a wet rub for chicken, or combine with water and cornstarch for a flavorful enchilada sauce
- Stir cilantro lime flavor concentrate into bloody mary mix
Flavor concentrates make it fast and easy to add robust flavor to myriad dishes, from drinks to braises and beyond.
This post is sponsored by Minor’s®