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No. 1 food trend for restaurants in 2014: Eggs

by Debbie Arrington, The Sacramento Bee | Jan 10, 2014
In restaurants coast to coast, prospects for 2014 appear sunny-side up. The No. 1 trend for American eateries? Eggs — and not just for breakfast. “Overall, 2014 really will be the year of the egg,” predicted Christopher Krohn, president and CEO of Restaurant.com, the nation’s largest restaurant dining deals website.

Krohn and staff surveyed thousands of menu items from its stable of more than 15,000 restaurants nationwide before coming up with some trend predictions. One ingredient kept popping up to the top — eggs. 

“We’ll see an explosion of egg dishes in 2014,” Krohn said. “Breakfast is obvious, but we’ll see eggs more and more at lunch and dinner, too. And it’s not just traditional egg dishes such as egg salad or quiche but eggs on top of burgers, pizza, pasta, casseroles, you name it — right on down the line.”

Eggs have managed to bounce back from their cholesterol-busting image, he noted. “They’re now seen as a healthy source of lean protein as concerns about cholesterol appear to be easing.”

“Breakfast for dinner” will continue to be hot and so will regional egg specialties such as Huevos Rancheros. Part of the appeal is eggs’ image as comfort food. It’s also an extremely versatile ingredient that fits into a wide variety of cuisines.

Farm-fresh eggs also can be locally sourced — which fits into Restaurant.com’s No. 2 trend, farm-to-fork dining. In its survey of member restaurants, 62 percent reported that they featured locally sourced produce in 2013.

“Sacramento is at the center of farm-to-fork (trends),” Krohn said. “But we’ll see that trend evolve in 2014 beyond local produce or locally sourced meat and dairy products to a farm fresh approach to preparing foods. It’s about minimal processing. We’ll see more food on restaurant tables that look like they could have been served on your grandmother’s table.”

Other major restaurant trends predicted for 2014: Tea as a flavoring or ingredient; greater variety of bread choices or baked goods; an increased emphasis on antioxidant-packed “super foods”; Mediterranean everything; fries as a basis for non-traditional toppings; and the use of internationally inspired hot sauces.

Rose AcreTM Recipe of the Month

The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

        
          
Ingredients:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 oz milk or semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 4 oz dark chocolate chunk, or your preference
Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, salt, and butter until a paste forms with no lumps.
  2. Whisk in the egg and vanilla, beating until light ribbons fall off the whisk and remain for a short while before falling back into the mixture.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking soda, then fold the mixture with a spatula (Be careful not to overmix, which would cause the gluten in the flour to toughen resulting in cakier cookies).
  4. Fold in the chocolate chunks, then chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. For a more intense toffee-like flavor and deeper color, chill the dough overnight. The longer the dough rests, the more complex its flavor will be.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop the dough with an ice-cream scoop onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 4 inches (10 cm) of space between cookies and 2 inches (5 cm) of space from the edges of the pan so that the cookies can spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges have started to barely brown.
  8. Cool completely before serving.
"This is the day which the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24
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