By Dayle Hayes, MS, RD 2015-06-09 09:30:24
Grilling, smoking and pulling meats can offer all-American flavors on the school lunch menu. It’s a perennial favorite in the annual National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot! Culinary Forecast. It’s served everywhere from five-star restaurants and roadside shacks to stadium tailgates and backyard “home-gating” events. It’s as American as apple pie, with deep roots in ancient cultures. It’s served up in dozens of tasty regional flavors and ethnic fusions. It’s as simple as a pork shoulder slow-cooked for hours over coals and pulled for sandwich fixings, and as complex as free-range turkeys, brined, rubbed and smoked over a period of days. It’s high-tech, low-tech and every tech in between. It’s barbecue. Barbeque. Bar-B-Q. BBQ. Or, in some Southern locales, just plain Q. Like the spelling of the word, there is no lack of differing opinions, views and recipes in the world of barbecue. There is one universal point of agreement: Outdoor cooked meats, fish, poultry and wild game are mouth-wateringly delicious! A Brief History of Barbecue The history of barbecue is as rich and complex as the sauces accompanying the meals. Barbecue historians take their investigations all the way back to the original Paleo diet, when the first humans likely roasted anything they could catch over the first fires they could start. Migratory tribes learned very quickly to smoke, dry and even salt large animal kills in order to preserve the meat and take it on the road with them. The Old Testament’s Book of Exodus (Chapter 27) includes the first recorded design for a portable barbecue, which stood about 41⁄2-ft. high and was more than 71⁄2-ft. long. Additionally, ancient cultures in India, China and Japan all made substantial contributions to the art and science of barbecue. In his book, Real Barbecue, Vince Staten summarizes the history of barbecue on this continent in a few short sentences: “The story of barbecue is the story of America. Settlers arrive on great unspoiled continent. Discover wondrous riches. Set them on fire and eat them.” Many of the most traditional barbecue foodways continue to the present time, especially across the South’s “Barbecue Belt,” where secret sauce recipes can still be cherished and kept classified by families and local restaurants. Culinarians generally describe four basic styles of American barbecue, though today, all of them are influenced by new ethnic layers of flavor brought here by even more recent immigration waves. The traditional four styles are: Carolina: Virginia and the Carolinas were home to the “whole hog” style of barbecue, in which the animal is cooked on a spit and basted with a tart vinegar sauce of English origins. Mustard-based sauces evolved over time from contributions by French and German cooks in the tradition of Dijon and the hearty mustards served with sausages. Texas: As Germans—and their culinary traditions—moved westward into Texas, they met up with the spicier cuisines of Mexico and Central America and began to include beef and beans, along with traditional barbecued pork. Texas has become famous for its long, slow-smoked beef brisket and ribs, served with pinto beans, and today it’s just as likely to be wrapped in a tortilla as it is served with a side of cornbread. Memphis: The early residents of this port city on the Mississippi had easy access to a cornucopia of spices and other specialty items. One of those products—molasses—helped Memphis develop its reputation for a sweeter, richer barbecue. Kansas City: In the early 1900s, a Memphis-born barbecue aficionado, Henry Perry, moved to Kansas City and opened what may have been the first barbecue restaurant in the city. Several historians credit this location as the birthplace of the city’s particular barbecue style, a unique fusion of Carolina and Texas flavors into a spicy-sweet sauce served on any meat that the customer wanted. The State of Backyard Barbecue Today Every two years, the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA) conducts a Barbecue Lifestyle, Usage and Attitude Study. A few key tidbits from the 2014 study confirm that outdoor cooking is still hot, hot, hot! • A whopping 80% of American households own an outdoor barbecue, smoker or grill. Sixty-one percent of these own a gas grill, followed by charcoal (41%) and electric (10%) types. The majority of grill owners use their grills year-round (60%). • Traditional summer holidays top the list of the most popular grilling occasions: Fourth of July (68%), Memorial Day (52%) and Labor Day (51%) are obvious headliners. Off-season grilling events include Super Bowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve/Day and even Easter. Grilling Thanksgiving meals outdoors also has become increasingly common, with 15% of consumers cooking their holiday meals this way. • Nearly half (49%) of grill owners view their outdoor grilling area as a functional extension of their kitchen, while more than a quarter (30%) see it as an entertainment area and 21% find it a place to relax and entertain. • Hot dogs, steak, burgers and chicken still top the list of the most popular meats to barbecue and/or grill. • While “everybody” grills, male heads of household most often make the decision to cook outdoors (62%), light the grill (73%) and cook the meat (68%). The Future of Barbecue? Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue! Bible and leader of Barbecue University™, makes annual predictions about future barbecue trends on his website, www.barbecuebible.com. Midway through this year, five of his 2015 predictions are looking both accurate—and very flavorful. Some of them even may be coming soon to a school near you! 1. Wood-burning grills invade high-end restaurants: “It used to be that grill restaurants were destinations in their own right,” Raichlen writes. “Now highfalutin’ Spanish, Italian and even French restaurants are installing wood-burning grills to cook dishes that once were sautéed or baked in the oven.” Walk around any restaurant district in the United States today, and the aromas of outdoor cooking are likely to draw you toward grilled foods. The popularity of dining al fresco also means that you often can see right where your barbecue has been slow-cooking. 2. ’Que goes green: “Used to be that no one questioned the provenance of the brisket or pork butt. At New Wave barbecue joints, where the meat comes from matters as much as how it was smoked,” says Raichlen. Local eating continues to be on trend when it comes to every ingredient, from veggies to meats. Some restaurants have their own farms or maintain close relationships with local farmers and ranchers—and even school foodservice is expanding its definition of farm to school. In Bend-La Pine (Ore.) Schools, for example, Bend High School Nutrition Services Manager Tracie Gleffe is able to serve cafeteria meals featuring smoked pork that has been raised and butchered by high school students! 3. Side dishes move center stage: Raichlen asks readers to think back. “Remember when sides [dishes] at barbecue joints were afterthoughts? [Remember when it was] Wonder Bread [that came] straight from the plastic bag … [and] canned three-bean salads?” Those may fade into distant memories. Today, there are really no limits to the flavors, colors and nutrition that side dishes can—and do—add to barbecue meats. For example, many school chefs and cooks are using their farm-to-school vegetables to experiment with menuing barbecue with coleslaw and other salads. 4. Tailgating comes home: “The experts call it ‘home-gating’—the same friendly competitive spirit, the same elaborate meals as tailgating—but with the convenience (and better tableware) of entertaining at home.” Outdoor events with mobile barbecues are also becoming a common way to celebrate end-of-year and summer-feeding kick-offs in school nutrition programs, as well. 4. Pizza hits the grill: “Grilled pizza has been around for a long time. What is new is the proliferation of specialized accessories for cooking pizza on the grill. Pizza stones that give you the audibly crisp crust you get from a wood-burning pizza oven. Peels that help you transfer the pizza from the rolling board to the grill and back.” These tools sound truly terrific. Wonder how long it will take for a school to grill a pizza? Maybe some have already tried it! School Chefs Dish on Barbecue If there are candidates likely to push the envelope when it comes to different ways of offering the flavors of barbecue in K-12 settings, the following school nutrition experts are sure to be on the short list. They share some of their barbecue bests with School Nutrition. Joe Urban, director of Food and Nutrition Services, Greenville County (S.C.) Schools, likes his barbecue smoked, using traditional hickory wood and featuring a well-balanced, medium-heat rub and a Memphis-style sauce. Urban likes to incorporate smoked meats into salads, tacos and even mac-n-cheese. He votes a resounding yes for serving barbecued meats at school. Urban’s advice: Adjust heat levels to the needs of the audience, noting that, in his experience, high school students tend to prefer barbecue with more heat than those at elementary school levels. “We recently taste tested St. Louis-style ribs with a group of teen-aged students and they absolutely loved them,” he reports (see photo at left). His intent would be to serve the dish as a two-rib portion for a reimbursable meal, which also would be available a la carte. He plans to add this entrée item to next year’s menu, albeit on a limited basis, due to its comparatively higher cost. Brunswick Stew, a tomato-based dish made with vegetables and barbecue meat, has been a very popular menu item in Greenville County Schools. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/SNMagazine/BonusWebContent for the recipe. Chef Robert Rusan, with the school nutrition program at Maplewood Richmond Heights (Mo.) School District, loves smoked meat. One of his specialties is a whole turkey brined in apple juice overnight, rubbed lightly with Mrs. Dash’s and a seasoning salt before cooking, basted regularly with apple juice to keep the skin moist and then smoked for several hours. He likes to experiment, too. While “everyone else” was focused on smoking beef briskets, Chef Robert tried a corned beef glazed with mustard and brown sugar. He favors very simple cooking techniques, such as a rub with a commercial or custom herb blend and cooking the meat in a smoker or grill until it falls off the bone. Like Urban in South Carolina, Rusan frequently serves barbecued meats in school meals. His most recent success at a district high school was pulled turkey thigh meat so rich and tender that his customers were certain it was really pork. “The preparation is super easy: Drain the broth, add some apple juice and liquid smoke and cook until completely tender,” he says. “I use lots of USDA Foods for barbecues, like making sauce with USDA tomato sauce and brown sugar to top pulled pork made from the USDA pork roast.” The side dishes that you serve with barbecue are important for customer satisfaction, Rusan adds. Depending on family background, some students insist on baked beans, while others prefer a traditional creamy potato salad. “We’ve experimented with sweet and sour vinaigrette on coleslaw, which turned out to be quite popular.” Long before Chef Sharon Schaefer, SNS, culinary manager/executive chef, Westside High School, Omaha, Neb., moved to the Midwest, her family raised pigs in northern New Jersey, and she still remembers the full flavor of super-fresh pork. Today in her own two-chef family, Sharon and her husband often batch-cook barbecue on the weekends to use for a variety of weekday dinner options. They slow-cook full-flavored cuts such as pork butts and shoulders in their 7-ft. backyard commercial smoker, using salt, pepper and garlic, and then adding more complex flavors, such as a tomato-based sauce for sandwiches or Asian soy-based sauces for lettuce wraps. Schaefer reports she is seeing more farm-raised, fuller-fat beef and pork options today, as well as totally different barbecue sauces like apple-chimichurri and other fruit combos. Chef Schaefer has been serving barbecue regularly at Westside High School and recommends the USDA Foods pork shoulder roasts. The staff cooks them slowly overnight to feature on a customizable burrito bar the next day. Students have a choice of pork carnitas snuggled in whole-grain wraps or mixed into salads, both with a wide variety of toppings, all served to order by staff. “These items really increase our participation,” she comments. Executive Chef Tracie Gleffe, with Bend-La Pine (Ore.) Schools, likes to marinate meat before grilling, so she can cook it simply for an amazing flavor and tenderness. When smoking meat, however, she lets the wood chips do all the work, just rubbing the meat first with kosher salt and then adding sauce to the meat once it’s been smoked. She reports seeing more and more pulled pork dishes on area menus, including her district’s school menus. According to Gleffe, pork always has a great flavor and can be used in many different ways. Bend-La Pine Schools serve it as pulled pork sandwiches (with a crunchy slaw), pork carnitas for tacos and burritos, and pork verde, all of which are very popular items with students. “I think serving barbecue meats to children is awesome. Most families have a grill at home, so kids tend to see it as a comfort food and are usually willing to try different items,” she says. Barbecue and Beyond! If you’re ready to show your students that mouthwatering barbecue isn’t limited just to the southern states, review the recipes on these pages—plus more available online at www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagazine/bonuswebcontent. Try them out first as a special promotion or school activity. If deemed a cost-effective success, they may become favorite features on your cycle menu. Always feel free to add your own creative fl air when trying staple dishes in this cuisine. You could create a special signature of this classic meal. KITCHEN WISDOM SAYS . . . • It was a very easy recipe. Quick, delicious and visually appealing, as well. • We had tortillas on hand, so we made whole-grain sandwich wraps with this recipe. It worked great. We sliced the wraps in half and served it as a grab ‘n’ go meal. The colors in the wraps were very visually appealing! • The recipe requires testing with students to find the way they like it best. [We find] that most kids don’t want to see the peppers and onions in large pieces. • [We think that] older students would like this with the onion relish, but younger students [likely] would not. It looks easy to make but [could be] cumbersome to serve [to less-adventurous students], unless the onion relish, lettuce, etc., is served on the side or at a self-serve condiment bar. ROAST BEEF AND BBQ ONION SANDWICH YIELD: 25 servings PER SERVING: 194 cal., 7 g fat, 19 g pro., 9 g carb., 54 mg chol., 96 mg sod., 1 g fiber BBQ ONION RELISH INGREDIENTS Red bell peppers, julienned—3 cups Yellow onions, julienned—6 1⁄2 cups BBQ sauce—8 ozs. SANDWICH INGREDIENTS Whole-grain burger buns—25 Roast beef, thinly sliced—4 lbs. Romaine lettuce—25 leaves* Tomatoes, sliced—50 Avocados, peeled and sliced (optional)*—7 DIRECTIONS 1. In a medium stainless steel mixing bowl, combine the onions, peppers and barbecue sauce. Mix well. 2. Preheat the oven to 350º. 3. Lightly spray a 2-in. half steamtable pan with nonstick spray. Place the pepper/onion/barbecue sauce mixture into the pan. 4. Roast uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes or until the onions are soft. 5. Remove the pan from the oven, cool properly and store for service. 6. Using a parchment-lined sheet pan, arrange the bottom buns and build the sandwich as follows: bottom bun, 1 lettuce leaf*, 2 slices tomato, 1 oz. avocado* (if using), 2.5 ozs. roast beef, 1 oz. onion and barbecue relish and top bun. Recipe and photo: National Onion Association, www.onions-usa.org *Notes: Shredded romaine, if available, can be used as an alternative to lettuce leaves; portion 1⁄2 cup per sandwich. Avocado is optional to serve, as shown in photo; however, it increases nutritional breakdown to 342 cal., 23 g fat, 23 g pro., 10 g carb., 74 mg chol., 154 mg sodium, 4 g fiber. CAROLINA BBQ GLAZED OVEN-ROASTED CHICKEN YIELD: 30 servings PER SERVING: 175 cal., 8 g fat, 60 mg chol., 395 mg sod., 6 g carb. INGREDIENTS Bone-in chicken quarters, cooked*—30 Barbecue sauce—1 cup Cider vinegar—1 cup Black pepper, ground—3⁄4 tsp. Mustard, dried, ground—1 tsp. Hot sauce—2 1⁄4 tsps. Yellow mustard—2 1⁄4 tsps. DIRECTIONS 1. Combine all the ingredients, except the bone-in chicken pieces, in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until they are thoroughly combined. 2. Add the pre-cooked chicken pieces to the bowl of barbecue sauce and toss until they are evenly coated with the sauce. 3. Arrange the coated chicken pieces skin side up on a sheet pan lined with baking paper and cover the top of the pan tightly with aluminum foil. 4. Bake the pan of covered chicken in a preheated 350°F convection oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the foil from the sheet pan and continue to bake the chicken uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes, or until it begins to brown and the minimum internal temperature reaches 165°F. 5. Hold the roasted chicken pieces loosely covered in a holding unit above 135°F until ready to serve. Recipe: Tyson Food Service, www.tysonfoodservice.com *Note: Tyson Oven Roasted Bone-In Chicken can be used for this recipe. KITCHEN WISDOM SAYS . . . • Our students love this! We use the barbecue sauce, rub the chicken with it and bake it in the oven. Our supper students really enjoy it. • This recipe was a huge success at our elementary school level. The kids loved it. Not only was it easy to make, but it used up some of our commodity chicken. The kids couldn’t stop raving about it. Our staff enjoyed it, too! The taste and appearance were great! • The recipe needs to be modified so that flavor of the sauce carries on to the chicken. This can be accomplished by adding a rub to the chicken or adding more sauce after uncovering the chicken for the final step in baking the dish. Delicious Definitions Because barbecue terms may mean different things to readers in different parts of the country and with varying experiences, here is a brief glossary with our definitions for the terms used in this article. BARBECUE: The common definition is a meal or gathering at which meat, fish or other food is cooked outdoors on a rack over an open fi re or on a portable grill. However, many people use barbecue to refer to any food that includes the spicy or sweet, flavorful sauces typically associated with the term. GRILL: A metal framework used for cooking food over an open fire or other heat source. Also a portable device for cooking outdoors, consisting of a metal framework placed over charcoal, wood chips, gas fuel or electric coils. PULLED: A method of cooking meat or poultry where what would otherwise be a tough cut is cooked slowly at low temperatures, allowing the meat to become tender enough so that it can be “pulled,” or easily broken into individual strands or pieces. SMOKING: To cure or preserve meat, fish, poultry or other foods by exposure to smoke or smoke flavoring; e.g. liquid smoke. Today, smoking is done less to preserve meat but rather to add a unique flavoring. KITCHEN WISDOM SAYS . . . • Confirm that the serving size of the dinner roll is compliant with school nutrition regulations. You may need to serve two per student or select a larger whole-grain roll. • We did not use as much vinegar as the recipe indicated. It would have been too acidic for our customers—being from the Northeast, we [tend to] enjoy a creamier and less tangy coleslaw. • I like the pineapple slaw, but from my experience, students don’t tend to enjoy anything too out of the ordinary on their sandwiches. • The pineapple coleslaw was a new recipe for the kids, and they really liked it. We allowed them to take it on the side, due to the fact that pork sliders are [already] one of our most-popular menu items. Kitchen Wisdom says . . . Try This! HAWAIIAN BBQ PORK SLIDERS YIELD: 24 servings PER SERVING: 200 cal., 7 g fat, 2 g sat. fat, 30 mg chol., 400 mg sod., 28 g carb., 2 g fiber, 15 g sugar INGREDIENTS Pineapple, crushed, in juice—16 ozs. Cabbage slaw mix—6 cups Red onions, chopped—1⁄2 cup Mayonnaise*—1⁄2 cup Rice vinegar—1⁄2 cup Barbecue sauce*—1 cup Pulled pork, cooked*—23 ozs. Dinner rolls—24 DIRECTIONS 1. Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice. Set the juice aside and place the crushed pineapple in a large bowl. 2. Add in the cabbage slaw mix and the red onions and mix lightly. 3. In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise and the vinegar until they are well blended. Add this to the coleslaw mixture, tossing evenly to coat. 4. In a medium saucepan, mix the reserved pineapple juice with the barbecue sauce. Add the pulled pork and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 5. Divide both the pork mixture and the coleslaw mixture into 24 equal servings and fi ll each dinner roll with one serving of each. Recipe: Kraft Foodservice, www.kraftrecipes.com *Notes: Kraft Sweet Honey Barbecue Sauce, Kraft Homestyle Real Mayonnaise and Oscar Mayer Carving Boardbrand Sweet & Spicy Seasoned Pulled Pork can be used for this recipe. BBQ SLOPPY JOE PANINI YIELD: 100 servings INGREDIENTS Turkey, lean, ground, raw—16 lbs. Carrots, coarsely chopped—2 lbs. Onions, coarsely chopped—3 lbs. Bell peppers, multicolored, chopped—4 lbs. Barbecue sauce—1 gal. Tortillas, whole-grain, 8-in.*—100 Pan-release spray—as needed DIRECTIONS 1. Heat a tilt skillet or steamjacketed kettle to medium-high and coat it with cooking spray. 2. Add the ground turkey and mix well to brown; drain any additional fat and return to turkey to the skillet. 3. Using a food processor, pulse the carrots, onions and peppers in batches until they are fi nely chopped. 4. Add the vegetables to the tilt skillet with the browned turkey and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. 5. Add the barbecue sauce and let simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened; hold warm. 6. Pre-heat a panini press* to medium-high and coat it with cooking spray as needed. 7. Place warm tortillas on a fl at work surface, and top each one with 4 oz. of warm BBQ Sloppy Joe Filling. Fold sides in and roll forward tightly to form a burrito. Place in Panini press, close lid and toast until golden. Recipe and photo: Mission Foodservice, www.missionfoodservice.com *Notes: Mission 8-in. Heart Grains Tortillas can be used for this recipe. If you don’t have a panini press, you can create a makeshift one using your grill top and something heavy, like a cast-iron pan. See “Panini, Per Favore,” in the February 2011 issue of School Nutrition for ideas. BASIC HONEY BARBECUE SAUCE YIELD: 50 servings (2 Tbsps. each) PER SERVING: 103 cal., 0.6 g protein, 20.1 g carb., 2.9 g fat, 242 mg sodium INGREDIENTS Onions, dehydrated—2 Tbsps. Water, hot—2 Tbsp. Margarine or butter—1 ⁄4 cup Honey—1 qt. Black pepper, ground—1 Tbsp. Paprika—2 Tbsps. Yellow mustard—1 Tbsp. Ketchup—2 3⁄4 cups Garlic, granulated—1 tsp. White vinegar—1 ⁄2 cup Tomato paste, canned—3⁄4 cup, 2 Tbsps. DIRECTIONS 1. Reconstitute the dehydrated onions using the hot water. Do not drain. 2. Combine the onions with all of the remaining ingredients in a large saucepot. Using low heat, allow the ingredients to simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes. 3. Critical Control Point: Hold for hot service at 135°F or higher.* Recipe: National Food Service Management Institute, www.nfsmi.org *Notes: The recipe source advises using the sauce to baste chicken or another meat during cooking, or use it as a 2-Tbsp. serving of dipping sauce accompanying chicken or fish nuggets. Mouthwatering barbecue isn’t limited to the southern states. Review the recipes on these pages—plus more online at www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagzine.bonuswebcontent. PULLED TURKEY YIELD: 50 servings (2.24 oz. each)* PER SERVING: 137 cal., 1.65 g sat. fat, 811 mg sod. INGREDIENTS Turkey roasts, USDA Foods bulk—9 lbs., 9 ozs. Basil, dried—2 Tbsps. Oregano, dried—2 Tbsps. Garlic, mashed—2 Tbsps. Salt—1 Tbsp. Chicken broth—1 qt., plus 1 3⁄8 cup DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. 2. Place the turkey roasts in 6-in. steamtable pans. 3. Combine all of the remaining ingredients together. After they are mixed well, divide equally to pour over the turkey in all pans. 4. Cover the pans tightly with foil, place them in the preheated oven and braised for about three hours. Critical Control Point (CCP): Heat to 165°F or higher for 15 seconds. 5. Cut the turkey roasts into pieces no larger than 4-in. each before cooling. CCP: Place the chunks of turkey back into the broth in the bottom of the steamtable pans. Refrigerate the pans until contents are chilled to 41 degrees or below. 6. Remove the chilled turkey chunks from the broth, reserving the liquid. Place the turkey pieces into a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle. With the machine on low speed, paddle the turkey just until it’s nicely broken up and shredded. 7. At this point, the turkey is ready to be used as is or as an ingredient in another recipe. If the turkey seems dry, moisten with some of the reserved broth. Recipe: Wenatchee (Wash.) School District/Washington State Schools, “Scratch Cooking” Recipe Book *Notes: According to the recipe source, the total yield provides 50 servings creditable for 2 ozs. meat/meat alternate. BONUS WEB CONTENT Ready to dedicate much of the summer to a little barbecue research? For more mouthwatering barbecue recipes and resources, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagazinebonuscontent. Recipes obtained from outside sources and published in School Nutrition have not been tested by the magazine or SNA in a school foodservice setting, except for certain “Kitchen Wisdom” selections, which are evaluated by a volunteer pool of operators. When available, nutrient analyses are provided by the recipe source. Required ingredients, preparation steps and nutrient content make some recipes more appropriate for catering applications or adult meals. Readers are encouraged to test recipes and calculate their own nutrition analyses and meal patterns before adding a recipe to school menus. In addition, SN recognizes that individual schools use varying documentation methods and preparation steps to comply with HACCP principles; we encourage you to add your own HACCP steps to these recipes. Dayle Hayes is a nutrition consultant and speaker based in Billings, Mont. She also maintains the School Meals That Rock Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SchoolMealsThatRock). You can reach her at EatWellatSchool@gmail.com. Photography by jiunlimited.com and istockphoto.com.
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