I am curiousâ€¦itâ€™s my natureâ€¦What do you think? Is it too different for your family or do you see this as fun and exciting? A change from the everyday?We will return to our regular menu selections in the future months – June and Julyâ€™s menu will focus on meals to take on vacation. May will have meals that are easy to make and take on the â€śgoâ€ť as I know most of us are running around with sporting events, graduation parties, end of school activities, weddings. All those things that make sitting down together more difficult.
But in the meantime, I thought I might provide a travel guide to Marchâ€™s menu in case you had any questions. Please feel free to send me your thoughts or pick up the phone and call your local Letâ€™s Dish! store and someone would be happy to answer any curious concerns you might have. Think adventure, think fun, think spring, think newâ€¦
Strap in because this is a whirlwind tour!
We begin our journey in the â€śAmericas.â€ť
After a tease from the good old USA, we head south (and not soon enough for me) to the warm islands of Jamaica and the Caribbean Islands with our Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa. Jerk seasoning is generally a combination of herbs and spices such as chiles, thyme, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, garlic and onions and then rubbed on meats or chicken. We add a touch of brown sugar and other tastes to make it uniquely Letâ€™s Dish! and serve it with a wonderful pineapple salsa.
Fasten your seatbelts as we head west to Mexico where we have two options, Chicken Mole Burritos and Create-Your-Own Quesadillas. Mole is a smooth, blend of onion, garlic, chiles, and chocolate (this adds richness to the sauce without being overly sweet.) Mostly used on chicken, our burritos introduces this sauce in a very simple way with just a touch being added to the burrito mixture. When you tell your kids there is chocolate in this dish, I am sure they will gobble it up!
Continuing our journey, we land in South America where we will fill your plates with things like Pork Tenderloins with Chimichurri and Chili-Lime Tilapia with Cumin Cilantro Rice. Chimichurri is a thick herb sauce that is as common in Argentina as ketchup is in the United States. This condiment is a mixture of olive oil, vinegar and finely chopped parsley, oregano, onion and garlic, all seasoned with salt and pepper. Cilantro, which is widely used in ethnic foods from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean is an herb similar to parsley. The bright green leaves of cilantro can easily be found at grocery stores and the flavor lends itself nicely to spicy foods.
Continuing west, we have our Asian influences starting with the latest in food trends, Asian Noodle Bowl. Rated the â€śTop Dishâ€ť for Food Trends in 2007 by Bon Appetite Magazine, Asian Noodle Bowl meals are popping up on menus around this country. Packing more flavor and taste than an average bowl of soup and experimenting with various different noodles, this type of meal should fast become a family favorite. Ours features noodles, chicken, bean sprouts, mushrooms and other vegetables in a delicious broth with a touch of ginger, coconut milk and other Asian flavors.
From Japan, we are featuring a top pick Letâ€™s Dish! customer favorite with our Japanese Miso Glazed Salmon with Vegetables. Our signature salmon filet is topped with a unique blend of miso, or bean paste, ginger and garlic. Miso is a basic flavoring used in most Japanese dishes which is easily digested and extremely nutritious, having rich amounts of B vitamins and protein. We loved the mixture so much that we even add it into the vegetables to bring the flavor full circle.
Continuing our journey, we head into China to taste our most popular pork wrap, the Asian BBQ Pork Wrap. Reminiscent of Peking Duck, an elaborately prepared Chinese dish, ours features slow cooked shredded pork which has marinated in a sauce made with hoisin, soy sauce and other flavorings. Wrapped in tortillas, this is just the right thing to get your kids excited for dinner every night.
Our last stop in Asia, we come to Thailand where you can sample our Basil Chicken with Potatoes. Although traditional Thai basil chicken is normally ground chicken and served on rice, we found this one to be just as good and very simple to make for our customers, introducing some signature Thai flavors to your family in a familiar way.
Our next adventure brings us into India and the Middle East, where we feature a Tandoori-Style Grilled Chicken with Spiced Cous Cous. Tandoori chicken or other meats are named such for the extremely hot oven in which these meats are cooked. These ovens are called â€śtandoorsâ€ť and are also used to cook traditional Indian bread, naan. Most Americans donâ€™t have access to these ovens, so we adapted this recipe to make it work on grills and in your oven. Ours has a delicious yogurt marinade to keep the chicken moist with peppers, ginger, garlic and curry to give it a bold flavor. We have added a side dish of spiced couscous to accompany this meal.
From there we head to our next stop in the Mediterranean where we offer several options including our popular Greek Burgers with Onions and Feta, our SautĂ©ed Shrimp with Feta and Orzo and our Oven Roasted Veggie Pockets. A common ingredient in these dishes and in other Greek and Mediterranean dishes is feta cheese. White, crumbly and rindless, feta has a rich and tangy flavor which makes it a zesty addition to many dishes. We suggest topping our Greek seasoned angus ground beef burgers with a combination of roasted onions and feta. Served in pita bread, this is a wonderful variation on the standard cheese burger. We also suggest sprinkling our popular shrimp dish which includes tomatoes, white wine, garlic and other spices with feta after placing it over orzo, a small rice-shaped pasta. And finally, we also suggest adding it to our staff and customer favorite Oven Roasted Veggie Pockets. We take a wonderful Mediterranean blend of vegetables such as eggplant, garbanzo beans, onions, peppers and olives and toss them with simple seasonings. Roasted, stuffed into whole wheat pitas and then placing some feta inside, no one will ask â€śWhereâ€™s the beef?â€ť in this meal.
One would be remiss by not stopping in France on our culinary tour so we have added our classic Country French Flank Steak and our already prepared for you by our staff, CrĂ¨me Brulee French Toast. Our signature flank steak has a delicious tomato herb rub made with thyme and other traditionally French seasonings. Although made for breakfast, our French toast is good enough for dessert too. Slices of bread soaked in eggs, vanilla and a touch of half and with a layer of caramel in between is enough to make you think you are in France.
Finally, before returning home, we will make a quick stop in Italy to try out our Ravioli Del Sol (inspired by springtime in Italy), this dish uses our favorite cheese raviolis and we have added our small broccoli florets and olives and tossed the whole dish with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. To top it off, we suggest sprinkling the dish with sunflower seeds.
So there you have it. Around the world in 17 dishes! I would love to hear more ideas and suggestions for meals in the future to add to this culinary tour. Send meÂ an emailÂ or add comments to this post on Food for Thought with your ideas and thoughts, and we will hit the kitchen with full force. And, as I wrote earlier, have no fear, our goal with this menu isnâ€™t to make things scary or threatening, all things on the menu have a truly â€śfamilyâ€ť style which is a perfect way to introduce new things into your routine.