Last Updated on
How many hours does your staff spend prepping stocks and braising liquids? How quickly can you add flavor complexity to specialty sauces and signature soups?
If you’re looking to trim time and labor costs, speed scratch cooking addresses these questions and more. It’s a value-added option that works in all types of foodservice operations, and it’s easy to implement in your commercial kitchen.
Speed Scratch Cooking Fundamentals
The name says it all. By definition, speed scratch cooking blends ready-made components and fresh ingredients. The combination offers a flexibility that covers everything from menu development to streamlined prep.
This style of quick cooking continues to earn respect across the industry. The availability of high-quality products from national vendors gives your staff an almost unlimited range of culinary direction and creative choices. Consider these three speed scratch fundamentals.
1. The Benefits Add Up
Every foodservice director, kitchen manager and restaurant owner appreciates saving time and money. Speed scratch techniques do both, and they work especially well in smaller operations. These are just a few of the benefits that make this style of cooking a great fit for commercial kitchens.
• Ready-made recipe components hold down food costs.
• Speed scratch cooking allows for greater seasonal flexibility.
• It simplifies menu development and redesign.
• Staff can cross-utilize main ingredients without additional inventory.
• The kitchen gets more done in less time, and that helps control labor costs.
2. It’s Easy to Implement
Many of the nation’s major foodservice suppliers offer product lines that cater to restaurant speed scratch cooking. Ready-made recipe components are low-cost, and most feature an extended shelf-life. Bulk buying keeps the pantry stocked with a versatile lineup of inexpensive, ready-to-use ingredients.
Popular sauces like bechamel, alfredo and marinara are easier to prepare when your staff starts with ready-made bases. Rich soups come together in less time with ready-made chicken or beef stock. Broths, pestos, sauce foundations and even pastry doughs are all in the roster of easy-to-use speed scratch components.
3. Recipes Are Simply Delicious
The best speed scratch cooking recipes serve as inspiration for making every dish unique. These examples showcase simple ideas for incorporating quick cooking techniques into your daily operations. With a little culinary creativity, you can turn out deliciously original soups, sides and entrees.
– Hearty Marrakesh Soup
Bring out the hearty taste of Marrakesh soup with an economical granular chicken base. Paprika, curry and cumin are just a few of the flavors that make this Moroccan lentil and spinach soup a house specialty. The recipe moves from prep to table in about an hour.
– Creamy Cucumber Avocado Soup
Save time in a busy kitchen by using ready-made chicken stock as the base for this silky veggie bisque. All the ingredients are simple to prepare, and the soup gets extra points for beautiful presentation when you serve it in fresh baby iceberg lettuce bowls.
– Oven-Roasted Vegetables
Transform sweet potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts into a quick-roasted side or entree. A ready-made caramelized vegetable reduction instantly gives the dish deep flavors. This recipe works year-round with all types of fresh premium produce.
– Perfect Pasta Primavera
Ready-made alfredo sauce puts pasta primavera on the fast track for a busy service. Simply bake and add a veggie combo, sauteed chicken or fresh shrimp. The basic recipe utilizes almost any ingredients you might have on hand.
– Pesto Buttered Skirt Steak
Side a grilled skirt steak with seasonal vegetables, and top off the plate with pesto butter. Keep this elegant entree quick and simple by using a ready-made pesto. It’s another example of how easily speed scratch cooking applies to almost every type of restaurant dish.
– Chocolate Truffle Cake
Delight customers with an irresistible slice of truffle cake made from a professional grade mix. Elevate classic devil’s food to decadent heights with a topping of blended fruit preserves, cream and butter.
We Value Your Partnership
Every commercial pantry has room for a few speed scratch food components. Every chef has unique ideas that don’t have to be time-consuming. Ready-made ingredients and culinary inspiration always make productive kitchen partners.
You can count on Hitchcock Farms for a professional partnership too. As we grow, pack and ship premium produce from our California fields to your tables, we’re proud to be a part of your continued foodservice success.
Dan Holt is an experienced produce professional who started in the industry as a quality assurance inspector in the early 1990s and leads sales at Hitchcock Farms as Vice President. Prior to joining Hitchcock Farms, Dan enjoyed success in organic, specialty and conventional produce and with independent operators, regional and national chains in North America and abroad. Dan continues his passion in produce through collaborative inspiration and promoting healthy and sustainable food.