Tag coconut

Parties That Cook’s Top 10 Food Trend Predictions for 2012

People do this every year. No matter how accurate or far off our hunches may have been the previous year, we love trying to predict future trends. Last year, I must say, the general food community pretty much nailed it! Check out our Food Trend Predictions for 2011, and judge for yourself!

Moving on to 2012, predictions are much more varied. Still, we at Parties That Cook are happy to take a stab at it. Here are our Top 10 (or so) Food Trend Predictions for 2012!

1. Kale – In everything. Whether it’s dried kale chips, kale Caesar salads, green smoothies, etc., kale is moving up in the world and back into our lives this year. Insider Tip: Parties That Cook will be putting a kale on our upcoming menus. Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe!

2. Fusion Foods – This controversial trend includes such bright ideas as tikka masala burritos and Asian tacos. Some folks would rather see the end of these culinary experiments, while others welcome the possibility that dim sum might be branching out with California twists.

3. German Food – With the recent surge of beer gardens popping up on the scene, one can only speculate that German food will rise in popularity. Side note: Peruvian food is another ethnic food category with high expectations in 2012.

4. Pretzels – Only time will tell how HOT these will be, but if appearances on menus late in 2011 are any indication, it’s fiery. Check them out on our menu in both sweet and savory forms!

5. Mushrooms – Sustainable foods seem to be a priority deserving of their own category, so it’s only fair that mushrooms take a spin in the spotlight. People are foraging and growing mushrooms from popular DIY kits. Bring on the mushrooms!

6. Coconut – No, not water. This year, it’s all about deliciously sweet coconut jam! Bibby served this jam at our office holiday party. Way to be ahead of the curve!

7. Social Cooking – With the increasing ease of sharing EVERYTHING via social media, we’re going to see a continuing rise in food photography, social eating, and social COOKING!

8. Pickling – If the 2012 Fancy Food Show (in San Francisco) offers any hints at coming trends, pickles and home-pickling are set to make a big scene this year.

9. All These Things! – Courtesy of the PTC team, here’s a quick list of this year’s up and coming items: “Buratta has gone mainstream… It’s on every menu!” “Meatballs are going to be BIG in 2012. All kinds!” “Ethnic spices. Definitely check out Williams-Sonoma’s collection of World Spices.”

10. Things that were trending in 2011, and will CONTINUE to trend in 2012:
Food trucks: Take ‘em or leave ‘em, they haven’t saturated the market in enough cities to officially be “OVER”.
Pies: While the rise in popularity over the cupcake was arguable in 2011, this year brings fun twists to these already versatile treats (i.e. Pie Pops).
CSAs and Buying Local: Haven’t heard the word hyper-local yet? Don’t worry, you will.
Bacon: Might never come down from its chart-topping position. Now, with bacon chocolate, bacon beer/cocktails, bacon baked goods, and bacon things that shall not be mentioned in this blog, bacon has more ways than ever to stay on our plates and on our mind.
Eating Healthy: Little Miss Muffet’s secret is out! Whey is the next step in healthy eating and weight control. Find it in water, smoothies, and sauces this year.

Have your own trend predictions for this year? We’d love to hear them! Let us know what you think the next BIG thing might be in the comments!

Put a Spring in Your Step with Parties That Cook’s Banana-Mango Spring Rolls

As we move into Spring and the weather warms up, you’re going to start to crave more fruit. It’s just a fact of life (much like how Dads are the original hipsters). In any case, these Banana and Mango Spring Rolls are sure to satisfy! The delicious Caramel-Rum Sauce provides  just the right “kick” to take this sweet appetizer (or snack) to the top! You can even make them as a post-Bay to Breakers reward!

Banana and Mango Spring Rolls with Caramel Rum Sauce
This recipe can also be found in our Appetizer Recipe Library!

Spring Rolls:
4 cups canola oil, for frying
4 bananas
1 mango
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup rum
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut for filling
12 (8-inch) square frozen spring roll pastry wrappers, thawed
1 egg, beaten or water

Caramel-Rum Sauce:

6 Tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup coconut milk

Toasted coconut
Powdered sugar
Mint sprigs

Preheat oven to 200ºF

Heat Oil: Heat the canola oil in a wok or frying pan to 360°F.

Cut Fruit: Peel the bananas and cut them in half lengthwise from top to bottom. Cut the bananas into a 1/2-inch dice. Cut the mango into 1/2 inch dice as well. Roughly chop the macadamia nuts and mince the ginger. Set aside until ready to use.

Sauté Fruit: Melt coconut oil in a medium sauté pan.  Add brown sugar, minced ginger, rum and salt; bring to a boil, then add the fruit.  Sauté for about 2 minutes until the fruit softens slightly. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.  Let cool slightly. Mix in the toasted macadamia nuts and coconut right before ready to make the rolls.

Make Spring Rolls: Place 1 spring roll wrapper on work surface in diamond shape (1 pointed end toward you and 1 pointed end in opposite direction). Cut off 2 inches of the end pointed towards you. Place 2-3 Tablespoons of the fruit mixture in the center. Fold bottom (now cut) corner of spring roll wrapper up over fruit, and then fold in sides over fruit. Brush remaining unfolded part of spring roll wrapper with water or beaten egg. Roll up wrapper, enclosing fruit completely. The spring roll should look like a log. Place onto a sheet pan. Repeat with remaining spring roll wrappers and fruit mixture.

Fry Rolls:
Working in batches of about 6 rolls at a time, add spring rolls to 360°F oil and cook until golden brown and crisp, turning often, about 5 minutes per batch. Using a skimmer, transfer spring rolls to a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Keep warm in a 200ºF oven until ready to eat.

Caramel-Rum Sauce: Combine butter, brown sugar, salt and rum in heavy medium saucepan. Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and starts to bubble and turn darker brown. Add coconut milk and whisk until mixture is smooth.

Serve: Slice spring rolls in half on an angle. Place sliced spring roll on a serving platter. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, powdered sugar and garnish with mint.  Serve caramel-rum sauce in a bowl for dipping.

Makes 24 Pieces

Recipe created by Parties That Cook® www.PartiesThatCook.com.