Deliver comfort and convenience in a single bowl.
Consider the bowl as a perfect dish: a one-hit wonder that delights diners with its tidy package, its layered composition and its completeness of experience. Indeed, quick service, non-commercial and family-casual have all embraced the concept, and diners seem to be clamoring for these single-bowl meals. Take KFC's Famous Bowls™, a category that includes the very popular Mashed Potato Bowl. Patrons who order this find all the components of a classic comfort-food meal delivered in a fun, portable bowl: mashed potatoes topped with a layer of corn kernels, bites of fried chicken, home-style gravy and a finishing layer of shredded cheese. St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, offers its students a few bowl options, including a mashed-potato bowl modeled after KFC's and an "ono" rice bowl: fried rice topped with boneless buffalo chicken wings and a sweet sauce of brown sugar, pineapple and soy. "You can take the bowl concept in any ethnic direction you want," says Jeff Basalik, executive corporate chef for Kraft Foodservice. "It's a great menu solution as it's fun for the guest and really flexible with its construction." With that in mind, our chefs developed the following bowl concepts.
Behind the Recipes
Shrimp & Grits Bowl with Spicy Cream Sauce
Shrimp and grits are a classic comfort food in the South. Here, our chefs deconstruct the components into layers, adding Kraft ChedaSharp Pasteurized Process American Cheese to the grits and andouille sausage to the shrimp. A creamy sauce sits atop the shrimp mixture, adding a lovely mouthfeel with cream, white wine, shallots and lemon juice. For a spicy high note, our chefs add TAPATÍO Hot Sauce. "This is a fantastic lunch or dinner entrée," says Chef Basalik. "We were really pleased with the seasoning in this recipe."
Cheesy Bacon, Egg & Potato Breakfast Bowl
This dish answers the all-day-breakfast trend beautifully. Our chefs start the bowl with oven-roasted diced potatoes, made perfect with a sprinkling of Kraft ChedaSharp Pasteurized Process American Cheese. Next, a layer of scrambled eggs studded with crisp Oscar Mayer Bacon and green onion. TAPATÍO Hot Sauce adds a kick of spice. The eggs are topped with a spoonful of salsa, adding a fresh and colorful layer. "We're seeing breakfast items moving into all day parts," says Freeman Moser III, senior executive chef for Kraft Foodservice. "This bowl answers multiple needs for the operator—ease of prep, good cross utilization of product and menu interest." And for the diner? Layers of breakfast's greatest hits delivered in a single dish.
Barbecue Chicken Bowl
Our chefs layer comfort, flavor and texture in this eye-popping dish. Mashed sweet potatoes are silky and smooth, thanks to a blending of Philadelphia Cream Cheese and half and half. Chipotle peppers add smoke and heat. Next, shredded roast chicken tossed in Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce pulls in a sweet and spicy dimension, and then for a contrast in temperature and texture, our chefs finish the bowl with a refreshing coleslaw. "We bind the slaw with Kraft Signature Mayonnaise because it has rich, creamy body that holds up really well," Chef Basalik says. For depth, they turn to Grey Poupon Country Dijon Mustard.
Fajita Chicken and Brown Rice Bowl with Creamy Chipotle Lime Sauce
We've seen a trend in burrito bowls (all the ingredients of a burrito, minus the tortilla), and see the fajita bowl as the Next Big Thing in Latin-inspired bowls. First, the dish sings with bright, clean flavors. Second, it fits into Healthy Living, so it's perfect for diners who seek better-for-you dishes. Our chefs sauté chicken with red pepper, red onion and black beans. They lay that fajita mixture over brown rice, then add a creamy lime-chipotle sauce made with Philadelphia Neufchatel Cheese, lime juice, lime zest, chipotle, cumin, Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce and chicken stock. The bowl is finished with fresh tomato and cilantro. "The profile is very familiar and the flavors are really comforting," says Kira Smith, corporate chef for Kraft Foodservice.
We asked our chefs to break down some of the many possibilities offered by bowls. They brainstormed the following ideas:
FOURTH LAYER: Sauces
THIRD LAYER: Greens
Complementing vegetables, spices, herbs and other ingredients
SECOND LAYER: Proteins
Beef: breaded, grilled, roasted, sautéed
Chicken: breaded, grilled, roasted, sautéed
Eggs: scrambled, fried, poached
Pork: breaded, grilled, roasted, sautéed
Seafood: breaded, grilled, roasted, sautéed
FIRST LAYER: Base
Greens: arugula, lettuce mix, spinach
Noodles: Asian, Italian
Potatoes: mashed, roasted and diced
Rice: basmati, brown, jasmine, sticky, white
Sweet Potatoes: mashed, roasted and diced
So popular, menu-alert tweets sent to students
Students at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, love the school's mashed-potato bowl—so much so that the kitchen uses Twitter to let students know when it's going to be featured on the four-week rotating menu. The bowl, inspired by KFC's, sports mashed potatoes, corn kernels, chicken gravy and shredded cheese.