Unfortunately this will be the last weekly update we have as our internship comes to a close. We took the suggestions from the taste panel and made adjustments to the dishes. The Superfoods Casserole was updated with a roasted red pepper béchamel sauce as its base and the pork fritter turned into a slider with a tomato-Dijon Tzatziki sauce. After careful dissection of all the dishes, the recipes were finalized and will hopefully be on the Soyfoods councils website soon. There was one final presentation on our internship, which we had to give to the managers of Iowa State Dining. The presentation was an overview of all the dishes we had created and how we think they could be applied to the ISU Dining system. We also brought samples of the “new” beans and rice, spicy edamame pesto and the Indian spiced lentil soup for them to try. Most of the managers seemed on board with trying out the dishes, one even suggested doing a large scale test during the fall semester to see how well the students like our dishes….
This week was the most important week of this internship since we had the taste test on Tuesday. We spent all of Monday getting ready for the big day. We began our day by making a list of what needed to be bought from the supermarket and then we headed out to make our purchases. When we got back to the lab we chopped vegetables and weighed out spices so that we would have some things prepped for the next day. We also spent Monday doing the nutritional analysis of our dishes so that we could have a nutritional label to present with each recipe. We were presenting ten recipes and we were only able to make one recipe ahead of time, which meant that there was a lot of work to do on the day of the taste test….
Week 3- Soyfoods council Internship
With Monday of week 3 being Memorial Day and us having the day off, our schedule was pretty tight. We still had 4 more recipes to come up with, shop, test and finalize. After more brainstorming, we finally committed the four remaining recipes. We thought these four recipes would work the best for large scale production. We decided on two recipes with pork to show that soy is not just a meat alternative but it can also be a complement to the meat. Since the dining center only has a limited selection of soy product, we wanted to show them all the possibilities of soy so we created a couple dishes using some products they currently did not have in stock. We also found an alternative use for a previous dish and decided to incorporate it into a new one. Even though we only had the four days we actually came up with 5 new dishes!
Our week began with food shopping. We headed to our local grocery store and purchased all the necessary items for 6 recipes that we had previously written. The rest of the week involved testing these recipes and evaluating their flavor, visual appeal, texture and overall acceptability. We worked on two recipes a day and then used the rest of the week to improve these recipes. We decided to take an international approach when creating these recipes as requested by the ISU dining chefs. So far we have Italian, Chinese, American and Mexican dishes and we are still working on Indian and even more Mexican recipes. Since the dining centers need to be able to prepare recipes quickly and in large amounts we have been focusing on developing strong flavors that can quickly enhance the soy product’s taste by using a variety of spices, chilies and even hot sauces.
Most of the recipes that we have developed are vegetarian due to the fact that the dining center wanted to increase their vegetarian options, but next week we will focus on developing recipes that include beef, pork or chicken.
The week started out with Erica Bierman giving us a tour of the facilities we would be using followed by some research and brainstorming. On Tuesday we met with the chefs at ISU Dining to discuss some of our ideas and see what there were in need of at their facilities. Some of the ideas we came up with on Monday where not going to be able to work in the dining system. The next few days we did some more research and then ran some tests to see how the soy products held up to the ideas we had planned for them. We tried different coating when baking, frying and blending to see which option would work best for us. We found that coating the tofu in corn meal before baking or frying really improves flavor and texture. On Thursday and Friday we started writing out actual ingredient lists and procedures for each individual recipe.