The desire for favorite dishes to soothe the mind, heart and taste buds is one of the trends identified in the McCormick® Flavor Forecast® 2011, an annual glimpse of the tastes and trends that will define the year ahead. And, as the weather dictates a demand for soul-satisfying classics like stew and pork-and-beans, the spice and flavor folks from McCormick have come up with some new flavor twists.
“At this time of year, it’s no surprise that people crave foods that are soothing and warming – what’s interesting is that people are also seeking out an added layer of fun and flavor to up their level of satisfaction with every bite,” says Larry Tong, McCormick chef. “What this means is that bolder and more complex flavors, like the combination of sweet and smoky or an unexpected ethnic twist on a traditional dish, are making food more thrilling than ever before.”
While most of us appreciate the feel-good aspects of comfort foods, many of us desire more intense flavors to satisfy our changing preferences and palates. For instance, almond butter makes an appearance in Coconut-Almond Chicken Stew with Cilantro – a Caribbean-inspired stew enhanced with the addition of coconut milk, red chili paste, and cilantro. This surprisingly simple stew is a rich and hearty warm-up when the temperatures drop. The recipe features one of the 10 flavor pairings selected in this year’s McCormick Flavor Forecast: Cilantro & Nut Butters.
Have you tried adzuki beans yet? These small, deep red-colored legumes with a sweet, nutty flavor – are commonly used in Japanese cooking and are quickly becoming the hottest new bean in town. Paired with caramelized honey it adds modern touch to the recipe for Sweet and Smoky Pork and Beans —caramelized honey-glazed pork tenderloin served on a bed of adzuki beans and tomatoes.
Or, you may want to try the combination of Mustard Seed & Vermouth in the Dirty Martini Steak Kabobs, inspired by the ingredients used to make the celebrated “shaken, not stirred” drink. A dry vermouth, mustard and olive juice marinade gives steak the “spirit” of the classic cocktail – complete with onion and olive garnishes for the kabobs.
For more information, delicious recipes and tips to experience the flavor trends and all 10 flavor pairings, you can visit www.flavorforecast.com.