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Starters from Scratch

Starters from Scratch

Orange-Jicama Salsa

Photo Credit: Elizabeth White

Terri Powell, RD
Director of Food and Nutrition Services Missouri Baptist Medical Center St. Louis, MO

"Since 1986 we've worked with Dierbergs Markets to develop a unique informational program that helps buyers select heart-healthy foods. We want our customers to understand nutrition, maintain a healthful eating pattern and still be able to eat foods that taste good.

"We developed a number of appetizers, including an orange-jicama salsa (recipe below) that utilize more vegetables and whole grains. The vibrant colors and unusual ingredients, like the jicama in the salsa, make them unique in their own right.

"Appetizers tend to be fried and high in fat and calories. Our signature recipes and the healthful approach make our offerings just as tasty but provide appetizers that are much lower in fat and calories and much higher in nutritional value."

Sean Craig
Concept Development Chef Aramark Innovative Dining Solutions Philadelphia, PA

"Appetizer portions are progressively getting smaller. By cutting the portion from a two-bite to a one-bite, we are able to offer more variety while still managing food costs.

"The growing interest in appetizers and hors d'oeuvres has led to a lot innovative recipes like breakfast appetizers that combine an egg and a protein. Appetizer seasonings are also getting unique twists. For one seasoning, we grind popcorn into powder. It's a different taste, yet still recognizable.

"Comfort foods, like meatloaf, are making their way to the appetizer menu. The dishes are simply reduced to a one-bite portion. It sounds bizarre, but people enjoy it and unique appetizers make a great conversation piece.

"We are also trying to get away from deep¯fried fatty foods and to incorporate more vegan and vegetarian options into our appetizer menus."

Bill Shapiro
Foodservice Director Wolf, Block, Schoor & Solis-Cohen Philadelphia, PA

"On Fridays we to like box up a sampling of all our appetizers and sell the box as a lunch option. It's sort of like a bento box. Customers love to get little taste of everything, from mini hoagies with shrimp, mozzarella and sautèed greens to bite¯sized clams casino.

"While shrimp is by far the favorite, thematic appetizers are very popular. For example we recently offered a beet and lamb kabob skordalia, which is a Greek garlic based dip.

"Another favorite is a Thai¯style shrimp roll. The shrimp is marinated then wrapped in a spring roll wrapper, fried crispy and served with a zesty peanut satay dipping sauce.

"We've had great success with our appetizers and we are looking to offer them for bulk sale, so customers can take them home for entertaining or parties."

Portabella Mushroom Bruschetta with Sundried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese

YIELD: 6 servings

1 loaf French bread
5 Tbsps. olive oil, extra virgin
1 cup portabella mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, fresh, minced
1/4 cup basil, fresh, chopped
3/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 oz. goat cheese

1. Slice French bread into 1/4" slices and brush with olive oil.
2. Place slices of French bread on baking tray. Bake at 475°F for 8-10 mins. Or until bread is toasted. Set aside.
3. In a pan with olive oil, sautè the minced garlic, diced portabella mushrooms and sundried tomatoes until tender. Add the chopped fresh basil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. Place toasted French bread on baking sheet and top each slice with 1 Tbsp. mushroom mixture and 1/2 oz. of goat cheese.
5. Place bruschetta under broiler until cheese begins to melt.
6. Remove from broiler and serve.

Orange-Jicama Salsa

YIELD: 8-12 servings

2 medium orange, peeled and chopped
1 cup jicama, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup tomatillos, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 small serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped
4 Tbsps. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
2 Tbsps. lime juice
2 tsps. honey
1/2 tsps. salt

1. Mix all ingredients in non-metal bowl. Cover. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend flavors.

Recipes from Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

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