January 15, 2021
ProChef SmartBrief
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Today's Special
Gelatina de mosaico is a versatile, edible work of art
(OhLizz/Flickr)
Gelatina de mosaico's beauty may fool some into thinking the popular Mexican dessert is difficult to make, writes Esteban Castillo, author of "Chicano Eats." The simple, adaptable recipe calls for cubing three colorful gelatins and adding them to a cooled milk gelatin base flavored with vanilla so the cubes are suspended within the finished dessert.
Full Story: epicurious (1/14) 
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2021 Foodservice Innovation Awards
SmartBrief is partnering with The National Restaurant Association to launch an inaugural Innovation Awards for Foodservice. In 2020, the industry has shown adaptability and resilience in the face of the most challenging times. If you have a product providing sustainability, technology, or safety and health solutions, consider nominating it today!
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Culinary News
Menestra is a Spanish dish with peasant food roots that combines a variety of boiled vegetables in a gravy-like sauce flavored with wine. "Menestra is pure grandmother cooking -- the same as ever, the kind of food you never tire of," said Cristina Gutierrez, a chef and owner at Terete in Spain's La Rioja province, which has been serving the dish for a century.
Full Story: Saveur (1/2021) 
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Sweetgreen puts a lighter spin on the crispy chicken trend
(Sweetgreen)
Sweetgreen is putting its own stamp on the crispy chicken craze with the launch of the limited-time Crispy Chicken Salad. The salad will be made with crispy rice and chicken that is blackened rather than fried, and Sweetgreen will team up with health-focused social media influencers to promote the dish.
Full Story: Restaurant Business online (1/14) 
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The Healthy Kitchen
Cassava is rich with vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber that keeps the gut healthy and supports the immune system. It also has complex carbohydrates, and some variants of cassava are fortified with provitamin A carotenoids.
Full Story: Well+Good (1/12) 
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SmartBrief Originals
Most Clicked: Take a look at this week's hottest food and beverage industry stories with SmartBrief's Top 10 list.
The launch of a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans this week with $284 billion earmarked for restaurants and other small businesses topped this week's Top 10 list. A feature on birria's rise to taco stardom in the US also made this week's most-read list.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (1/15) 
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Beverage News
The forecast for the US wine industry points to a drop in the number of wineries after years of dramatic growth, particularly in the Napa, Calif., region, and restaurants nationwide will begin paring down their wine lists, predicts Tim Carl, based on conversations with wine pros and his own years in the industry as a journalist. More boxed wines and growth for inexpensive wine imports from Australia are also among Carl's list of wine trends on the horizon.
Full Story: Napa Valley Register (Calif.) (1/14) 
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A Side of Business
Restaurant Week launched in 1992 as a way to give New York City's eateries a boost during traditionally slow times, and in the years since the tradition has spread to markets across the country. This year, the pandemic has cities and restaurants rethinking the event, with some opting out, others rescheduling and some still unsure about what to do.
Full Story: National Public Radio (1/14) 
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The pandemic drove many of 2020's restaurant and food trends, and the National Restaurant Association expects some of those trends to continue this year, according to a report released this week. Restaurants streamlined menus, put the focus on off-premises dining, created new family and bundled meal options, and started selling groceries and alcohol to-go to boost sales.
Full Story: Restaurant Business online (1/14),  Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (1/14) 
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Star Ingredient
Rendered animal fat can be used in a wide range of cooking applications, from frying and roasting to baking. "Choosing the right fat is key, as different fats have different flavors and different smoking points too," said Aaron Rocchino of the Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley, Calif., who recommends pork leaf lard for baking because of its mild flavor.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (1/13) 
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CIA Offerings
Brown butter ice cream sandwiches with walnut butter cookies and butterscotch
(The Culinary Institute of America)
Watch chef Barbara Alexander make ice cream sandwiches using walnut butter cookies with brown butter ice cream. The ice cream sandwiches are served with a rich butterscotch sauce, made with real Scotch whisky. The addition of classic French brown butter adds a delicious, rich, nutty flavor to the ice cream. These ice cream sandwiches are a fun and decadent shared dessert. Watch this and more baking and pastry videos.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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