Shellfish opens up

Operators use shellfish to provide quality and flavor to customers.

Published in FSD Update

By 
Lindsey Ramsey, Contributing Editor

The department also serves mussels in catering by arranging them on a platter and topping them with a spray of lemon juice, chopped tomato salsa or an onion/cilantro salsa. Another simple shellfish dish Cantrell serves in catering is cucumber rounds with a cream and Boursin cheese blend topped with lemon-herb seasoned shrimp, garnished with honeydew melon balls and rosemary.

Thinking outside the box

Michael Uddo, executive chef with Sodexo at Olive Blue Catering at Tulane University, in New Orleans, says his team likes to try new twists on traditional dishes when incorporating shellfish into recipes.

“We do a baked Louisiana oyster on the half shell,” Uddo says. “We shuck it and top it with a cornbread dressing with bacon and fresh thyme and a little mozzarella. We bake it off and it’s a really beautiful dish.”

Another favorite is a take on classic deviled eggs that the team tops with jumbo lump crabmeat salad. The crabmeat salad features mayonnaise, Creole mustard and horseradish.

“We actually do that for breakfast a lot around here,” Uddo says. “It’s really, really popular. Another fun dish we have done is, we took a lobster tail and took it out of the shell. We steamed it in an Italian sausage and fennel broth. Then we topped it with a bunch of vegetables and a little watercress salad. We try to keep our shellfish dishes as light as possible. It was a nice variation on the traditional lobster with drawn butter.”

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
quinoa bowl

In a time of growing health consciousness, it might not be enough anymore for food to be merely filling. According to Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , diners are looking for food with a function, such as those with high protein content, immunity-boosting properties, antioxidants, probiotics and more. The data suggests 63% of consumers see these foods as healthier than those without any specific nutritional function—and would be more likely to buy them.

But are those stated preferences translating on an operational level? There, the answer is less clear. Baby...

Ideas and Innovation
reusable coffee cup thermos

We were inspired by a book titled “Influence” to start a sustainable cup program called My Cup. All 15,000 new students receive a reusable cup with their name on it, which they can use at the dining halls. Personalizing helps them invest in the program and actually use it.

Menu Development
ranch dressing chicken fingers

While salad bars are often the first place K-12 operators look to incorporate more fresh produce, few go as far as making their own salad dressings. But last fall, in a continuing effort to transition from prepackaged meals to an all-scratch menu, Mark Augustine, executive chef of culinary and nutrition services for Minneapolis Public Schools, switched to concocting four varieties in-house—ranch, Caesar, Italian and Asian vinaigrette. The move, designed to eliminate artificial ingredients and lower fat and sodium, presented the biggest challenge when it came to ranch dressing, the school-...

Ideas and Innovation
phone bed call sick

We make people call and directly talk to their boss or supervisor if they are reporting an absence for a shift. While it is more cumbersome, it is a conscious decision. We have adapted and implemented electronic methods to obtain efficiencies in just about every other functional area, except for electronic absence reporting systems. The direct supervisor can put more pressure on an employee to show up—especially those with some form of the “Super Bowl plague”—than any electronic system can.

FSD Resources