Use Speed Scratch for Fast Flavor

Go Big on Breakfast
July 6, 2018
National Restaurant Association sues to protect tip credit
July 11, 2018

An elegant holiday table setting in red and white



From high-quality recipe components to fully prepared and ready-to-use menu items, value-added products can be a boon to any foodservice kitchen. This is the power of speed scratch.

Bases and sauces represent one of the most common speed-scratch strategies. In addition to being used to create stocks and soups, bases can be used as rubs for meats, flavor boosters in braised dishes, and as building blocks for marinades and sauces. These bases can be added to any item that would benefit from a little extra flavor. Add a complementary base to cooked vegetables or bean dishes, enliven hash browns, or enrich egg dishes such as quiche.

Ready-made sauces are easy to use as is or add a signature touch to recipes.

Did You Know?

Sauces can also be tailored to your own menu needs with interesting additions:

  • Use in a casserole or au gratin
  • Flavor mashed potatoes or other vegetables by substituting a flavored white sauce or Alfredo for some of the liquid
  • Customize with the addition of pesto, caramelized onions, crumbled bacon, and so on
  • Use in cream soups, such as Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice or Seafood Bisque
  • Mix with vegetables and a protein (optional) for a main course stuffed baked potato

Fully Prepared Convenience

Fully prepared items also make great starting points for signature dishes. Macaroni and cheese is already a multitasker, perfect for a side dish, entrée, or kid’s meal item—as-is or embellished with other ingredients, such as stewed tomatoes or Buffalo Chicken ingredients—but look what else it can do:

  • Use as an over-the-top topping for burgers or a “mac dog”
  • Layer with meat and bake, to serve lasagna-style
  • Use in place of, or addition to, sliced or grated cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich
  • Serve with a caddy of garnishes, such as chopped cooked bacon, scallions, shredded cheese, and sunflower seeds, so guests can customize
  • Fry into mac-and-cheese fritters, with or without a dipping sauce such as marinara
  • Add breadcrumbs and bake in mini muffin tins for a bar snack or catering item

It’s All Gravy

Talk about a menu workhorse: Gravies of all kinds are the ultimate speed-scratch solutions. Gravy can be used in ways that go way beyond the mashed potatoes.

  • As a dip for fries or “tots,” or for a classic poutine
  • In casseroles, shepherd’s pie, and pot pies
  • As a binding for meat loaf or meatball mixtures, and in croquettes
  • As a flavor-building thickener for soup
  • For au jus, French dip, open-face, and other whole-meal sandwiches
  • In a simmer sauce for pot roast, chicken fricassee, and other braised proteins

Content courtesy of Nestle Professional



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.