Are you Phat? Our Favorite Fats for 2019
In other words, are you a funky, food-forward cookie up to date on the latest industry trend? FAT—okay, okay, it’s not really a trend as much as it is a necessary component of all things delicious. It makes sauces creamier, meats melt-in-your-mouth-ier, and veggies a must-have. PLUS, it’s good for you! Or, it can be. With paleo trending again and more and more keto recipes surfacing online, we thought we’d start the year by sharing a few of our favorite fats with you! As always, expect global inspirations abound!
It’s actually not butter at all, at least in the traditional sense. It’s similar in look and consistency to unmelted coconut oil or natural nut butter. Unlike coconut oil, which is extracted from the plant, butter is made from the flesh of the coconut and may even contain small bits of coconut meat. You’ve probably only seen this ingredient listed on the back of a chocolate bar, but it’s a deliciously handy ingredient all on its own, too. We love it on a toasted English muffin (with berries and fresh mint on top). We love it mixed in with coconut oil for extra-rich sauteed veggies. We even love it by the spoonful, if coconut’s your ultimate jam.
Another almost-butter? While coconut butter is a foodstuff all its own, ghee is a form of clarified butter that contains caramelized milk solids—it’s a richer, deeper flavor than your run-of-the-mill margarine.
Ghee is a staple in South Asian cuisine, which, in turn, is a staple of our globally-inspired menus! We use ghee in tandoori vegetables, naan, dum aloo and other Indian dishes, but we also like to incorporate it into fusion foods from around the globe. For our Indian-Mexican buffet, ghee was the perfect addition to empanadas, the south-of-the-border equivalent to samosas.
All hail the holy avo! We kid, but it can certainly feel like this is the universal sentiment. This versatile little fruit has taken the world by stormixed into a vinaigrette, even added to cocktails, avocado is always welcome on our table.
One of our go-to menu themes is “Celebrating Chicago Diversity,” with buffets each designed around one of the city’s cultural neighborhoods. We often set our Pilsen station with pork and black bean tacos, but we’ve also experimented with fried avocado tacos—a crunchy/creamy dream. And nearly every Pilsen buffet includes individual boats of fresh guacamole and house-made corn chips!