Saturday, April 29, 2017

Baby Foods

Notice something about your foods? Like they're getting smaller?That's because they are. As palates are expanding, dishes are shrinking.Portions are getting tinier and tinier.

The trend may have started with White Castle , the favorite East Coast hamburger chain.They introduced mini hamburgers called sliders.These were small sandwiches that were quarter of  the size of a regular hamburger. The chain sold bags of a dozen by the dozen. They were great for kids because they fit in small hands and weren't overwhelming to eat. It took restaurants and diners a long time to catch on.It's been only the last twenty years that most eateries are now offering them. Now they come in all different styles from pulled pork to chicken to even crab cakes. Sliders are easy to make at home. Just use freshly ground meat such as ground chuck to make a smaller, meatball sized burger. As for the rolls ,King's Hawaiian Rolls are the perfect size for creating these mini marvels. As with regular hamburgers , served with a slice of cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. The rolls can also be used for making grilled cheese sliders along with mini versions of Sloppy Joes. You could even do a breakfast one with eggs, cheese, and bacon. To get a compact eggs, cook them in them in egg poaching rings for the perfect miniature.

Other dishes are getting smaller. Many restaurants are serving timbales of rice and polenta with a smattering of stew or gravy. Again home chefs can make these at home using timbale molds and cooking the grains into small shapes. They are a perfect way of introducing the kids to more sophisticated tastes without them wasting food. Try polenta timbales in a puddle of chicken cacciatore or pork with mushroom gravy.. Rice timbales can be the perfect base for salmon or sole in lemon butter sauce. Timbales can also be delicately fried baskets of dough, filled with quiche or the onion custard used in the Swabian dish zweibelkugen, onion pie.They can also be filled with spinach and mushrooms for a spin on a classic Julia Child recipe, spinach tart. These make great hors d'ouevre's but an even better main brunch dish, especially with a side of fruit. Fruit itself can be turned into miniature delicacies, thanks to melon ballers and sharp knives. A lemon or orange filled with fruit salad is a fun way to start or end a meal.Apples can be hollowed out too and filled with a mix of minced apple, caramel and crushed walnuts for a tiny but tasty end to a meal.

Baby sized versions of favorite dishes are always a fun and novel way to eat. Try  a plate or  sliders
or an lemon bursting with fruit salad. You'll then realize good things really do come in small packages!!

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