Guest Author - Catherine Bridges
De-construction uses classic recipes in a new way to showcase your favorites with a unique style or twist. Soups and other casseroles or dishes are separated and the individual components are highlighted as individual pieces of the total dish. For instance, “de-constructing” a soup to an entrée, presents the meat as the main protein, the vegetable ingredients as the sides and the broth becomes an au jus or is thickened to a sauce. Classics are given a new face with a familiar comfort food palate.
By highlighting each individual ingredient, the cook is given the creative license to enhance flavors and personalize the presentation. Taking the vegetable ingredients from a soup or casserole and changing their identity to a meal’s side dish brings them to the forefront and their serving size is usually enlarged while developing your favorite broth or cream soup to a full-flavored sauce.
This is a simple twist on a classic comfort food that makes enjoying your favorites even more fun! Here are some ideas for doing some of your own de-construction:
Serve an Italian Caprese appetizer; Greek Feta Salad or BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich) on a skewer! For the Caprese - skewer cubes of mozzarella, folded leaves of fresh basil and grape tomatoes. For the Greek salad, skewer Feta cubes, oregano leaves, red onion, pitted kalamata olives and fresh-baked croutons. Then, for the BLT, skewer grape tomatoes, with cooked squares of bacon and short lettuce wedges. Then, dip into a mayonnaise and sour cream dip!
Chicken Casserole Ciabatta: Dice steamed broccoli, cooked white rice, shredded cheese and savory chicken breast topped with a few spoonfuls of warmed cream of chicken soup.
Turkey Dinner Wrap: On a medium, flour tortilla set slices of turkey, spread two teaspoons of your favorite dressing (a.k.a. stuffing) and a light touch of cranberry jelly. Wrap and enjoy this abbreviated turkey dinner!
Baked Potato Pockets: Cube cooked white potatoes and combine with sour cream, bacon bits and chives for a twist on baked potatoes.
Chicken Soup Sandwich: Cube cooked chicken and combine with steamed, cubed carrots and celery. Add crushed chow mein noodles and toss with chicken broth. Serve inside a warmed pita.
Vegetable Soup Sandwich: Cube steamed carrots, celery and onion. Mix with tomato sauce and serve inside a warmed pita.
Roast Beef Dinner Wrap: Combine mashed potatoes with cubed carrots, green peas and chopped roast or pork. Top with gravy and wrap for a single portion of this popular home-cooked meal!
A key advantage of de-construction is carrying a healthy, favorite meal in a convenient way to work, a picnic or a party. The simple comfort of knowing what is included in the ingredients and how your food was prepared gives peace of mind to many individuals. This is a positive note especially for those who are particularly sensitive to preservatives or other ingredients sometimes “hidden” in today’s mass-produced food items. Possibilities are endless with the “de-construction” trend. You are limited only by your own creativity!