Center of the Plate Blog

Industry Musings

Archive for November, 2010


Roast Turkey Dinner

Ok, we know there’s plenty of turkey going around during this season but some really crave this traditional dish throughout the holidays. When temperatures change, appetites are altered and minds wander toward the upcoming holidays. Nothing says holiday dinner like a roast turkey with all the fixins. To satisfy a craving for this traditional treat, serve roasted turkey with wholesome potatoes, green beans and yams. Savory stuffing provides additional fall essence with fresh spices. Cranberries and almonds are appetizing extras to this conventional dish. The meal is well complimented by fresh, warm pumpkin pie.


Stove Top Stuffing                                             4 oz.. – 980705

Rest Pride roasted turkey gravy                     3 oz. – 955021

Rest Pride whole green beans                         3 oz.. – 918173

Rest Pride fancy yams in lite syrup                 3 oz. – 815267

Azar sliced almonds                                            1 oz. – 919296

Oceanspray whole cranberry sauce                 3 oz. – 825162

Ready to bake Chef Pierre pumpkin pie         1 slice – 909276

Simplot Triple Cut redskin potato                    4 oz. – 994095

Simplot whole green beans                               3 oz. – 98817

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Grilled Lamb Loin Chops

Grilled Lamb Loin ChopAutumn dishes with grilled meat hearken back to summer days on the patio while also enhancing full fall flavors. Grilled lamb provides delectable groundwork to fresh spices while redskin potatoes provide a nourishing and colorful addition to the delightful dish.


Loin lamb chops                                         1 lb. – 152204

Olive oil                                                        2 Tbl. – 970638

Fresh thyme                                               2 Tbl. – 83454

Fresh basil                                                  2 Tbl. – 84247

Fresh rosemary                                          2 Tbl. – 85246

Chopped garlic                                            2 tsp. – 815390

Salt & pepper                                              1 tsp.

Lemon zest                                                 1 each – 93793

Simplot Triple Cut redskin potato          4 oz. – 994095

Simplot whole green beans                     3 oz. – 98817

Preparation Instructions:

Combine olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place chops in a shallow dish and cover with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least ½ hour. Grill over medium/high heat. Grill for about 4 minutes per side or to desired doneness.

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Veal Osso Buco

Veal Osso BucoThis entrée will delight diners looking for a tasty meal that is healthy and light-tasting. Luscious veal shanks are lightly breaded in flour and browned to give them a hearty yet delicate flavor. White wine enhances the fresh flavor of carrot and onion topped with fresh spices. Tomatoes provide a tangy seasonal taste and appearance.


Veal shanks 2”                        2 lbs. (1 ½) – 651310

Chicken stock                         1 cup – 955030

White wine                              ¼ cup – 815354

Onion, diced ½”                     4 oz. – 87438

Carrot, diced ½”                     4 oz. – 981009

Bay Leaf                                  1 each – 954060

Thyme                                     1 tsp – 83454

Parsley                                     1 tsp – 86068

Olive Oil                                  2 tsp – 815390

Flour                                        2 oz. – 98228

Salt & Pepper                         To taste

Chopped tomatoes                4 oz. — 84591

Preparation Instructions:

Dredge shanks in flour then place in skillet heated with olive oil until browned. Transfer shanks to a baking dish. Place onion and carrots in skillet and sauté until translucent. Add wine, chicken stock, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Bring to a boil and pour over shanks. Place in preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake until tender (about 2 hours). Remove shanks and reduce broth until it thickens (about 10 minutes).

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Creamed Chicken with wild mushrooms in puff pastry shells

Creamed Chicken in puffed pastryThis has to be one of my favorites and one that just looks so good on the plate. This menu option can be presented as a heavy appetizer option or as a mouth-watering entrée choice. Succulent chicken topped with creamy, mushroom soup and mashed potatoes can satisfy diner’s cravings for comfort food that accompany colder fall weather. Puff pastries provide a satisfying shell that is a fitting addition to this heavier fare.


Mini puff pastry bouchees                                        4 each – 968596

Kettle Cuisine Hungarian Mushroom soup           3 oz. – 815216

Restaurant Pride frozen Peas                                 3 oz. – 986034

Simplot classic seasoned Mashed potato           4 oz. – 999035

Dutch Quality chicken Strip, chopped                   3 oz. – 922855

Preparation Instructions:

Cook puff pastry shells per directions on package. Combine mushroom soup and chicken meat in a saucepan and heat to 165 degrees. Place finished pastry shells on plate with mashed potatoes and peas. Ladle creamed chicken into and over puff pastry shells.

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Field Green Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast

Field Green Salad with Grilled ChickenNot everyone needs a big meal to be satisfied in cold weather. Some diners are looking to begin their meal with a light salad appetizer or a healthy but satisfying entrée. A salad can display crisp greens to create a fresh taste and is well accented by grilled chicken to make for a substantial dish. The addition of Feta cheese, Craisins and pecan pieces infuse bold, seasonal tastes and colors into the overall presentation. Whether it’s a warm meal to warm your bones or a great idea for a salad, this wholesale food distributor has you covered.


Field greens                                                     3 oz. – 84613

Feta cheese                                                     2 oz. – 37560

Azar pecan pieces                                           1 oz. – 910796

Kraft’s Greek vinaigrette With feta              1 oz. – 902529

Tyson’s grilled chicken Breast strips            4 oz. – 938355

Oceanspray craisins                                         1 oz. – 994514

Preparation Instructions:

Toss field greens in Kraft’s Greek vinaigrette with feta dressing and place on plate. Top greens with feta cheese and dice grilled chicken. Garnish with Craisins and pecan pieces.

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Thanksgiving business is still achievable

Yeah, we know most folks stay home for Thanksgiving. That’s pretty common. But how to you increase business during Thanksgiving week? Well, there are a number of operators doing just that. With a little creativity, and maybe a little sacrifice of some time off, you can build up your business around this holiday and make a few extra bucks for your efforts. This wholesale food distributor has all the ideas.

If you’re not already serving breakfast, consider opening up on Thanksgiving morning. Families looking for a meal before the hometown football game may just end up at your place. Consider creating takeout specials or even some type of box lunches they can take with them to the game. Beats the snacks that you may end up having to eat if you don’t bring something.

Promoting family meals is a great way to get local families and their visitors to come to your restaurant for a family-style meal outside of the home. While they will spend Thanksgiving at home, extended family may be staying longer and locals might want a place to kick back and enjoy while entertaining family. More tips can be found on my video below with our CEO, Karen Bressler;

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Lobster Stuffed Mushroom Caps

This urbane dish displays luxurious flavors through fresh, quality ingredients. Velvety mushrooms are enhanced by rich lobster and topped with a creamy vodka sauce. This appetizer will fill those who have been active in cooler temperatures or diners looking for an opulent dish. And hey, you can’t go wrong with Nautifish Seafood on your plate…


Large mushroom cap                              6 each – 84381

Nautifish Lobster Meat CKL                   4 oz. – 339702

Stouffers vodka Cream sauce               ¼ cup – 100517

Orefresco shredded parmesan             2 tbsp. – 37336

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat a small sauté pan, add vodka cream sauce and bring to a simmer. Add lobster meat, gently stir – coating lobster with cream sauce. Remove and spoon mixture into cleaned and seasoned mushroom caps. Top with parmesan cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is golden brown. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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Grilled Salmon Fillet with Wasabi Cucumber Sauce

Grilled Salmon with Wasabi and Purple PotatosThis entrée provides the comfort food element many crave in cooler temperatures with a light, zesty twist. Salmon fillet is a buttery tasting base given a light flavor when coupled with fresh wasabi cucumber sauce. Purple mashed potatoes not only fill up diners with hungry appetites, they also provide added color to create the look of fall.


Salmon                                                             8 oz. – 357061

Purple Potatoes                                             3 oz. – 84459

Rest Pride frozen Asparagus Spears         3 oz. – 815554

Ken’s Wasabi Cucumber Dressing             1 oz. – 960448

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat grill to medium heat and lightly oil grate. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Place skin side up, cook for approximately 6-8 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Purple Mashed Potatoes:

Wash and quarter ½ lb. of purple potatoes length wise. Cover potatoes with water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Drain water from potatoes and add work milk and butter. Mash to desired consistency. Season to taste. Serve with steamed asparagus and drizzle Ken’s wasabi cucumber dressing over grilled salmon.

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Shrimp Taco

Shrimp TacoAutumn not only offers bountiful harvests from the garden but it also provides great yields from the sea. Shrimp is typically a crowd pleaser and when served in a taco, it can satisfy a range of appetites. Fresh, light shrimp can provide a tasty foundation for tangy flavors derived from onions, lime and orange. The combination of avocado and Monterey Jack cheese give the dish a savory element that is satisfying and can please diners as an appetizer or entrée. Once again, this wholesale food distributor has you covered with great ideas for any season.


Shrimp 21/25 pdton shrimp                                            4 oz. (6 pcs) – 339462

Diced Onion                                                                           2 oz. – 80587

Simplot Diced Avocados                                                    2 oz. – 100332

Fresh Orange                                                                         2 oz. – 83826

Empire Monterey Jack Shredded Cheese                    1 oz. – 21227 

Mission Corn Tortillas                                                       2 each – 990510

Kraft Lime Cilantro Dressing                                            1 oz. – 992875 

Preparation Instructions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute onions and shrimp. Remove shrimp and onions and place in a small bowl. Add orange segments and avocado. Toss with Cilantro dressing. Place in corn tortilla. Top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

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Health Benefits of Seafood and Of Course, Nautifish

October was National Seafood Month and a great opportunity to draw in customers with tasty dishes derived from the ocean while also providing diners with viable health benefits. It may sound fishy but many experts claim that eating seafood just once or twice each week can provide benefits that improve overall health and well-being. Seafood contains essential oils with nutritional benefits that are an important part of every diet. Oils derived from seafood not only provide energy but they also contribute to enhanced flavor in dishes and can please a wide range of tastes and appetites. 

Nauitfish Scallops

It has been reported that oils in seafood provide a diet with a significant source of fatty acids and can also help prevent some of the most deadly diseases today. The oils in fish have been reported to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, heart diseases, high blood pressure and osteoporosis. According to recent findings, Omega-3 oils found in fish also help improve people’s immune functions. Therefore, adding a few fish dishes to your menu in October can satisfy their appetites while contributing to their overall well-being.

 You can prepare grilled or fried items, combine entrees with fruits and vegetables or marinate filets to further enhance the flavor and minimize unique aromas. Salmon, tuna, lobster, halibut, haddock, swordfish and shark are a few crowd pleasers that can be prepared in a variety of ways to please customers in your restaurant and compliment your overall menu. Your diners will be happy to know that as they are eating delicious menu items they are also improving their health.

However you decide to rework your seafood menu at your restaurant let AGAR help you with freshest fish to provide the maximum health benefits to your customers. We take pride in providing the tastiest and most wholesome seafood with additional items offered in our Nautifish brand. We look forward to working with you to cultivate a few delicious and nourishing seafood dishes.

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