Hot Grill Summer – With Burgers, Kebabs & More

Squash Skewers

The distinct sizzle of the griddle. That first bite, combining a juicy patty, tomatoes, lettuce, and onion between a sesame seed bun. Operators can never go wrong putting a burger on the menu. It doesn’t matter the daypart, execution, or whether guests get to build it to their liking, burgers and their accompaniments brighten up any restaurant concept.

According to experts, 85% of U.S. consumers love or like burgers, which leaves plenty of room for operators to put their own spins on them. The burger boom is also an opportunity for Markon to shine. From its line of premium Ready-Set-Serve produce to a host of easy-to-execute recipes, Markon serves as a great resource to keep your burger offerings fresh.

Burgers with Inclusions

With sustainability issues always at top of mind, Markon partnered with the Mushroom Council in previous years for a blended burger recipe contest. The event challenged chefs to create new blended burgers that contained at least 30% mushrooms, such as Markon’s First Crop Crimini Mushrooms used in this chef-driven, premium mushroom burger.

For participant Kyle Hash, the contest pushed him to be more economically mindful. “It was a fun contest as a way to stretch burgers and make them a little bit more cost effective,” says Hash, executive chef at 28 North Gastropub in Melbourne, Florida.

Using less meat means less stress on the environment and operators’ budgets as rising food costs continue to be a concern. And the additional umami from the mushrooms increases blended burgers’ craveability.

Burger Accompaniments

When most people think of premium burgers, Angus, Kobe, or USDA prime beef comes immediately to mind. Constructing the perfect burger, however, takes so much more, namely the ingredients accompanying the burger patty. For example, Markon’s Ready-Set-Serve blends feature the season’s best greens, such as romaine, cabbage, and kale, adding a nice crunch to every burger bite. And what’s a good burger without a tomato? Markon’s First Crop Tomatoes are always juicy and add the perfect amount of acid. Those same ingredients may also be used for a side salad, of course.

Switching up the potato side dish by daypart may also elevate a burger entrée. For example, during brunch, chefs may improve upon home fries with this chef-inspired recipe from Markon. Smashed fingerlings with garlicky chimichurri add a little spice and excitement to the classic comfort food fave. They’re extra crispy on the outside and tender inside. During lunch, great options to typical fries include sweet potato fries sprinkled with chopped herbs, sea salt, and shaved parmesan; crispy fries paired with tarragon aioli; and lemony Dijon potato-shallot salad. And a dinnertime burger calls for something heartier, such as lemon new potatoes with collard greens. Such an inventive upgrade justifies a higher price point, too.

Other Grilled Favorites

When warm weather rolls around, customers crave more than just burgers on the grill. Kebabs – beef, shrimp, and other proteins – are a big trend for 2022, and while there’s less meat involved, they add global flavor and are stacked with freshly grilled vegetables and fruits.

Quite a few of Markon’s chef-inspired recipes lean into the Mediterranean trend of the year. For instance, operators may try on Cajun shrimp kebabs loaded with juicy, charred red onion or the sensational squash kebabs layered with slightly blackened zucchini, yellow squash, and chopped green onion. They’re fun, seasonal dishes ideal for patio noshing.

About Markon
Markon Cooperative, Inc. brings a fresh approach and thinking to all of its premium farm-to-table produce so foodservice operators can bring the freshest ideas to their consumers. Based in Salinas, California, Markon serves as the produce purchasing, logistics, information, and marketing partner for its five member distributors (Ben E. Keith Foods, Gordon Food Service, Gordon Food Service Canada, Nicholas & Company, and Shamrock Foods) and their North American foodservice customers. Learn more about Markon’s commitment to providing the highest-quality, safest, and freshest produce at Markon.com.

 

 

Diners are increasingly hyper-focused on high-protein and plant-based foods. Alongside all of the new-fangled, lab-based, cell-cultured options out there is the humble bean. A staple food for millenia, beans are being re-examined as a healthy, versatile ingredient worthy of menu inclusion.

  • Retro and heirloom recipes—like Southern succotash, French cassoulet, and Cajun red beans and rice—fit the bill for those in search of authenticity.
  • Most world cuisines incorporate some type of bean in their classic dishes. Think feijoada in Brazil, black beans and rice with plantains in Puerto Rico, and garbanzo beans in Israel. Modern interpretations of these recipes are packed with produce and herbs.
  • The creamy texture of mung beans is proving an ideal substitute for those that are eliminating soy from their diets.