Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

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The types and benefits of tea- Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tea Tales

Tea has been a important beverage in many cultures for thousands of years, and throughout history has often been prized for its medicinal value and health benefits -- in addition to the caffeine buzz.

Tea originated in China some time during the Shang Dynasty between 1500 and 1046 BC, although the details of its emergence aren't clear. In fact, there are a variety of legends surrounding the origins of tea, and very few verifiable facts. According to the folks over at tea.co.uk,

Perhaps the most famous [story of the origin of tea] is [that of] of Shen Nung, the emperor and renowned herbalist, who was boiling his drinking water when leaves from a nearby tea shrub blew into the cauldron. He tasted the resulting brew, and the beverage of tea was born.

An alternative story links tea drinking to the Indian prince Bodhidharma, who converted to Buddhism and in the sixth century and went to China to spread the word. He believed that it was necessary to stay awake constantly for meditation and prayer, and took to chewing leaves from the tea shrub, which acted as stimulant, helping him stay awake. (An alternative, more macabre version has Bodhidharma accidentally falling asleep, and upon waking cutting off his own eyelids in disgust at himself. He threw the eyelids away, and from them sprouted the first tea shrub).

Kinds of Tea

There are several different categories of tea with hundreds of unique varieties in existence, although they are all basically the same plant: Camellia Sinensis. Differences between individual teas is the result of the climate/environment in which the plants were grown, as well as the harvesting and processing practices of the product owner. The basic categories are as follows (info courtesy of itoen.com):

White

White tea undergoes the least processing of all teas. Traditionally cultivated in China, white tea was picked only a few days out of the year, when a white down, known as bai hao, appeared on the tender shoots. The tea shoots are allowed to wither then dry to prevent oxidization. This process is a delicate one, requiring strict attention from the tea makers.

 

Green

Because they are unoxidized, green teas keep their vital color. To prevent oxidization, the leaves are heat processed to eliminate the enzyme responsible for oxidization. In China, this is generally done by roasting or pan-firing the leaves, while the Japanese generally accomplish this by steaming the leaves at a high temperature. Each process tends to bring out a more particular flavor from the tea leaves. The Chinese style of processing tends to bring out a mouthwatering range of flavors from citrus-like to smoky with a lighter body...Green teas that have been steamed contain more moisture and are therefore more delicate.

Oolong

Oolong, also spelled Wu Long, teas are semi-oxidized. The term in Chinese actually means "Black Dragon". Oolong teas have long been cultivated in both mainland China and Taiwan. In general, larger, mature leaves are picked, withered, rolled, oxidized, and then fired...Often, different tea estates have their preferred ways of making oolong tea. It is because of the intricacy of this process that oolong teas can have the widest array of flavors and aromas. Furthermore, oolongs can be steeped several time, with each successive infusion having its own distinctive taste and fragrance.

Black

Black tea is the most well-known variety of tea in the West. Known as "red tea" in China, black tea leaves are fully oxidized. In the case of most black teas, younger leaves are picked before being withered, rolled, fully oxidized, and fired. While created originally in China, black teas are now cultivated worldwide. Some of the most famous black teas come from the Indian regions of Assam, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri as well as Sri Lanka. The use of machines is becoming more common, but the best black teas are those entirely done by hand.

 

How to Brew Your Tea

Brewing a good cup of loose tea is quite simple: All that is required is good water*, the correct quantity of tea, and control of the steeping time. (* If your source of water isn't the best, try using bottled spring water or purified water; many teas have subtle flavors that can be destroyed or masked by water that contains heavy concentrations of iron or other impurities.)

How long and at what temperature to brew your chosen tea depends on the kind of tea being steeped. The following chart should give you a good idea of what to aim for when brewing tea.

image from stashtea.com

 

Why Tea is the Perfect Beverage of Choice

There are numerous reasons why brewed tea is an excellent choice when it comes to selecting a staple beverage. First of all, there is the fact that tea comes in a wonderful assortment of flavors; so many so, in fact, you could have a different variety of tea every day for months and never run out of options. Also, home-brewed tea, hot or cold, is relatively easy to prepare, and unlike soft drinks you have complete control over the quantity of sweetener (if any) you wish to add.

In addition, all four of the basic tea types are high in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that seems to protect cells from the DNA damage that can cause cancer and other diseases. A 2009 review of 51 green tea studies found that sipping three to five cups a day may lower the risks of ovarian, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers.

There's also evidence that tea can have positive effects on the brain. For example, downing from one to four cups of black or green tea a day has been linked with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease. Drinking tea may also be helpful in preventing or delaying certain risk factors of cardiovascular disease, and lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. According to one Japanese study, adults who consumed five or more cups of green tea per day had a 26% reduction in death from heart attack or stroke compared with those who had one cup or less.

At Prisco’s, we believe in offering you choices!- Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Shortly after joining the Prisco team last February, I decided to augment the choices of fresh poultry available to shoppers by bringing in a line of unbranded USDA Grade “A” chicken to supplement what we offer from our Miller’s Amish Country line.

At times it seemed that our hands were somewhat tied by carrying only the Amish chickens, because although their quality was the very best available, the end cost often made our chicken pricing seem a bit uncompetitive compared to what the chains and big box stores offered. We needed to find an alternative that would not compromise our high quality standards, but would allow us to offer shoppers a lower price point for a wholesome product with slightly less stringent processing standards.

So what is a USDA Grade “A” chicken?

The United States Department of Agriculture grades poultry into three categories: Grade A, B, and C.

Grade “A” is the highest quality and the only grade offered for sale in our store. In addition to the unbranded chicken, all Miller’s Amish Chicken is USDA grade “A”. It must be free from bruises, discolorations and feathers. Bone-in products will have no broken bones. Whole birds and parts with skin will have no tears in the skin or exposed flesh that could dry out during cooking. Grade A poultry will have a good covering of fat under the skin and be fully fleshed and meaty. There are no existing grade standards for necks, wing tips, tails, giblets, or ground poultry.


So what are you getting with a grade “A” chicken? You might say it’s an excellent product but without some of the special attributes offered from a high-end brand like Miller's Amish Chicken.

Okay... So if Miller’s Amish chickens are also USDA Grade “A” birds, what makes them stand out and be worth the premium price that they come with?

All of Miller’s chicks are hatched at their own hatchery and placed primarily on Amish family farms. The birds are raised inside naturally ventilated, curtain-sided houses, and are free to roam on open floors. They are fed an all-vegetable, drug-free diet that is ground at Miller's own feed mills from corn and soybeans, minerals, salt and vitamins.  There are also no animal by-products, animal fats, or coloring added, ever, as well as no antibiotics or growth hormones. Miller chickens are raised in a stress-free environment where they have access to fresh water and feed with natural light.

Miller’s Amish Country chicken arrives at our store fresh, never frozen, several time weekly directly from the state-of-the-art poultry processing plant in northern Indiana. Yes they cost a little more, but as you can see you are getting every penny’s worth in the finest fresh chicken available in our area.

If you have any questions about our fresh poultry offerings, please stop by next time you are in the store (sorry, I’m on vacation this week, back next Monday). I’m always happy to answer your questions, listen to your feedback and make certain that you are always able to enjoy the best quality and freshest meat anywhere in the Fox Valley area.

 

Thank you.

Chris Tope – Meat Manager

 

Vinegar – another chef’s aid worth knowing- Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Vinegar. The French said it succinctly: vin aigre - meaning sour wine. That is its origin: the discovery that a cask of wine gone past its time had turned to a wonderful new product. Through the centuries vinegar has been produced from many other materials, including molasses, dates, sorghum, fruits, berries, melons, coconut, honey, beer, maple syrup, potatoes, beets, malt, grains and whey. But the principle remains unchanged - fermentation of natural sugars to alcohol and then secondary fermentation to vinegar. You might say wine is to grapes what vinegar is to wine. -- versatilevinegar.org

There are many types of vinegar available on the market these days, and each one has its own distinctive flavor and particular uses. Vinegars can be made from many different (sugary) foods -- not just wine -- which lend their own taste to the final product. In addition, ingredients such as herbs or spices are frequently added to modify the flavor.

The most common vinegars are white vinegar, which is often used in salad dressings and to tenderize meat; apple cider and wine vinegars, for marinades and vinaigrettes; rice vinegar, often used for stir frying and in sushi prepartion; balsamic vinegar, which is used in salad dressings and with seafood; and malt vinegar, which is traditionally used as a condiment for fried foods such french fries or chips.

Vinegar Varieties

[The following info is courtesy of howstuffworks.com]

White Vinegar

This clear variety is the most common type of vinegar in American households. It is made either from grain-based ethanol or laboratory-produced acetic acid and then diluted with water. Its flavor is a bit too harsh for most cooking uses, but it is good for pickling and performing many cleaning jobs around the house.

Recipe:Herb-Marinated Beef Steak

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is the second-most-common type of vinegar in the United States. This light-tan vinegar made from apple cider adds a tart and subtle fruity flavor to your cooking. Apple cider vinegar is best for salads, dressings, marinades, condiments, and most general vinegar needs.

Recipe:Beer-Braised Pork Cutlets

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Wine Vinegar

This flavorful type of vinegar is made from a blend of either red wines or white wines and is common in Europe, especially Germany. Creative cooks often infuse wine vinegars with extra flavor by tucking in a few sprigs of well-washed fresh herbs, dried herbs, or fresh berries. Red wine vinegar is often flavored with natural raspberry flavoring, if not with the fruit itself.

The quality of the original wine determines how good the vinegar is. Better wine vinegars are made from good wines and are aged for a couple of years or more in wooden casks. The result is a fuller, more complex, and mellow flavor.

You might find sherry vinegar on the shelf next to the wine vinegars. This variety is made from sherry wine, and usually is imported from Spain. Champagne vinegar (yes, made from the bubbly stuff) is a specialty vinegar and is quite expensive.

Wine vinegar excels at bringing out the sweetness of fruit, melon, and berries and adds a flavorful punch to fresh salsa.

Recipe:Artichokes with Red Wine Vinegar Dressing

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Balsamic Vinegar

There are two types of this popular and flavorful vinegar, traditional and commercial. A quasi-governmental body in Modena, Italy (balsamic vinegar's birthplace), regulates the production of traditional balsamic vinegar.

Traditional balsamic vinegars are artisanal foods, similar to great wines, with long histories and well-developed customs for their production. An excellent balsamic vinegar can be made only by an experienced crafter who has spent many years tending the vinegar, patiently watching and learning.

The luscious white and sugary trebbiano grapes that are grown in the northern region of Italy near Modena form the base of the world's best and only true balsamic vinegars. Custom dictates that the grapes be left on the vine for as long as possible to develop their sugar.

Traditional balsamic vinegar is aged for a number of years -- typically 6 and as many as 25. Aging takes place in a succession of casks made from a variety of woods, such as chestnut, mulberry, oak, juniper, and cherry. Each producer has its own formula for the order in which the vinegar is moved to the different casks. Thus, the flavors are complex, rich, sweet, and subtly woody.

What you're more likely to find in most American grocery stores is the commercial type of balsamic vinegar. Some is made in Modena, but not by traditional methods. The production of commercial balsamic vinegar carries no geographical restrictions or rules for length or method of aging. There are no requirements for the types of wood used in the aging casks. It may be aged for six months in stainless steel vats, then for two years or more in wood. Thus, commercial balsamic vinegar is much more affordable and available than the true, artisanal variety.

Recipe:Balsamic Rosemary Pork Loin with Roasted Potatoes

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Rice Vinegar

Clear or very pale yellow, rice vinegar originated in Japan, where it is essential to sushi preparation. Rice vinegar is made from the sugars found in rice, and the aged, filtered final product has a mild, clean, and delicate flavor that is an excellent complement to ginger or cloves, sometimes with the addition of sugar.

Rice vinegar also comes in red and black varieties, which are less common in the United States but very popular in China. Both are stronger than the clear (often called white) or pale yellow types. Red rice vinegar's flavor is a combination of sweet and tart. Black rice vinegar is common in southern Chinese cooking and has a strong, almost smoky flavor.

Rice vinegar is popular in Asian cooking and is great sprinkled on salads and stir-fry dishes. Its gentle flavor is perfect for fruits and tender vegetables, too. Many cooks choose white rice vinegar for their recipes because it does not change the color of the food to which it is added. Red rice vinegar is good for soups and noodle dishes, and black rice vinegar works as a dipping sauce and in braised dishes.

Recipe:Barbecued Thai Chicken Salad

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Malt Vinegar

This dark-brown vinegar, a favorite in Britain, is reminiscent of deep-brown ale. Malt vinegar production begins with the germination, or sprouting, of barley kernels. Germination enables enzymes to break down starch. Sugar is formed, and the resulting product is brewed into an alcohol-containing malt beverage or ale. After bacteria convert the ale to vinegar, the vinegar is aged. As its name implies, malt vinegar has a distinctive malt flavor.

Many people prefer malt vinegar for pickling and as an accompaniment to fish and chips. It is also used as the basic type of cooking vinegar in Britain.

Recipe:Garlicky Spinach Topping for Fish

 

Why we chose Boar’s Head products to be our primary deli meat & cheese brand.- Tuesday, July 21, 2015

When selecting what items to offer for sale in our store, we try to keep things in the proper perspective. Our store is rather small (we like to think that is part of its charm) and we simply can’t be all things to all people. So here are the criteria we use when selecting brands or products to carry:

  1. We go for unique items that don’t tend to be available on every street corner. Sure, we carry many of the leading brands and items sold everywhere as a convenience but we prefer items that might better fill a specific niche.

  2. We always choose a local product when the quality and supply of the local items are as good as stock offered by an out of state manufacturer.

  3. We look for genuine good value. We are not a boutique or gourmet store, and we feel items offered should be those that can be used and valuable to the majority of shoppers living in our neighborhood.

  4. We always choose quality over price. We can show you examples all day long where we stock the best but not necessarily the cheapest items available.

  5. We try to focus on healthy alternatives when it comes to foods. I’ll be the first to admit that everything we sell is not exactly health food, but in general we make certain that you have choices, some items that taste delicious, some that are great for your healthy lifestyle, and often we are able to find foods that provide both great taste and good health benefits simultaneously.

  6. If we can make something in the store that is better than what is available from a wholesaler, we will often do that to ensure that our customers are able to enjoy homemade, or home-baked goodness at a great value.

There are, of course, other things we need to take into consideration, but that pretty well covers the basics. So with this as a general background, I thought it would be good to explain why several years ago we selected the Boar’s Head deli meats and cheese as our lead deli line.

Make no mistake, there are dozens of other brands we could have chosen, many better known and most less expensive than Boar’s Head items. But with the exception of a ham from here or a Swiss Cheese for there, no other brand on the market offers as extensive a selection of fine products as Boar's Head. For Example:

  • Just like Prisco’s Family Market, Boar’s Head is a family business. Five generations ago, the company began with the belief that consumers deserved a better quality ham than what was available. Over the years, their company has grown. However, their standards for quality have never wavered - a value passed down from one family member to the next. As a family business, they choose to be devoted to their consumers, not stockholders.

  • Our customers and others across the country love their deli meats and cheeses. If you want a testament to that, visit their website where you can access over 8,000 customer comments proclaiming their love of the Boar’s Head brand.

  • We love the fact that Boar’s Head has such an extensive line of items and that they never rest on their laurels. We see a constant stream of new item introductions or product improvements every year.

  • We like the fact that Boar’s Head offers 29 items that have earned the AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION® Heart-Check mark. This is your assurance that these heart-healthy products are certified by the American Heart Association® and meet their criteria for heart-healthy foods.

  • We also like the fact that all of the foods produced by Boar’s Head are certified as being 100% gluten-free, something most deli items can’t say.

  • Just like our Prisco’s Ground beef products that are all ground in-store with never any fillers or additives, there is something to be said for what is not found in Boar’s Head deli meats and cheeses. You may be familiar with the Feingold® Food List. This is a clinically developed list of foods that do not contain any of the potentially harmful food additives often found in most of the processed foods products sold throughout the United States. This list includes food dyes, artificial flavoring, artificial sweeteners and preservatives: BHA, BHT and TBHQ. Boar’s Head offers over seventy items listed on the Feingold® list of safe foods.

  • Folks whose Dr. has told them to cut back on their salt intake will be pleased to know that we have twenty low salt alternative meats available from Boar’s Head, which provide the same great taste with much lower sodium levels.

If you have any questions or suggestions about our Boar’s Head line or any of other deli / bakery items, please drop me a line at beth@priscosfamilymarket.com.

 

Good Eating,

Beth Guzauskas – Deli Manager

 

Family Picnic Ideas- Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A picnic is a great way to enjoy a meal out with the family.  If you plan it well, it can be much more economical than eating at a restaurant, and everyone can have lots of fun. 

Most picnic grounds offer safe to use (although rather crude) grills, but if you want, you can take your own portable along or simply serve pre-cooked or cold foods.  Fire safety is one important lesson that you will want to instill in your children when cooking outdoors or if you have a camp fire and roast marshmallows.  Make sure everyone understands how dry conditions are in the summer, and don’t hesitate to tell them about the dangers of fire spreading if not carefully managed and supervised by adults. 

Because you need to pack lots of food, utensils and other supplies, planning a picnic is not a spur of the moment event.  You need to plan well and this can be something that the whole family is involved in.  Ask the kids to help come up with:

  • Things that they would like to eat.  When they help plan the menu they tend to be more willing to eat what is on their plate.
  • Have them come up with activities that they would enjoy and ask that they gather the necessary equipment, like a badminton set, bat, balls and gloves, squirt guns, balloons, swimming trunks, bathing suites and towels, Frisbee, sand toys, etc.
  • Let the kids help with preparing the food.  There are plenty of things that they can do and it’s a great learning experience.  They might make Jello® or a tossed salad; with a parent’s supervision, perhaps the older children might cut fruit for a fruit salad.
  • Get everyone’s input and help in organizing supplies.  You will probably need blankets, coolers, paper towels, plastic plates and cups, a tablecloth or two, sunscreen, a first-aid kit, hats, and a camera.  Oh, and don’t forget the bug spray: no picnic would be complete without ants, mosquitoes and flies!

If you’re a bit stuck for food ideas, here are some kid and adult-friendly suggestions that your family is certain to enjoy:

 

If you love Prisco’s please tell a friend.- Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Folks, if you are reading this newsletter there is no doubt that you are a loyal Prisco shopper and chances are that you have been one for many years. For that I sincerely thank you, as do all the members of the extended Prisco family and all of our employees.

Having been part of this neighborhood for just short of 90 years now, we have seen many things change over the years, including the invasion of huge box stores from out of state and the demise of far too many local independent businesses.  Don’t get me wrong, competition is a good thing that has kept us on our toes for all this time, and it’s a big part of why we are always striving to improve the products and services we offer to you, our neighbors.   

Prisco’s Family Market is and always will be a neighborhood market determined to provide the local community with the best quality of foods, many homemade here in our store at competitive prices.  Ever since my dad Tony Prisco managed the store we have been known as the best meat store in Aurora, something we take great pride in.  Being a small local market, however, it’s difficult to toot our own horn and tell people about the treasures that lie in wait when you pay us a visit.  We don’t have a huge advertising budget so you won’t hear of us on the radio or cable TV like you have been hearing from our competitors, and we don’t have a huge storefront on busy streets like Orchard or Galina, so sometimes people simply don’t know about us.

That is why this week we are asking “If you love Prisco’s, please tell a friend”.  You see, hands down the very best possible advertising that any business can ever receive is the personal endorsement of a friend or neighbor. To make it worth your while and to give you something worth talking about, we decided to put our best foot forward and offer any shopper the ability to receive a FREE $10 Prisco Gift Card just for purchasing fifty dollars (in any combination) of fresh meat, seafood, or Prisco’s homemade sausage.

You see, we truly believe that if we could get more local folks to visit us, see what we offer and take home a nice selection of the best meat in town, we would have an excellent chance of getting that new customer to become just what you are, one of the best customers in Aurora.  So this week if you are so inclined, please do two things.

1. Tell a friend or neighbor that this would be an excellent time to give Prisco’s Family Market a try and receive a $10 gift card.
2. Secondly, be certain to take advantage of this great offer yourself and save 20% off your purchase of any fresh meat, seafood or sausage.

By the way, for those of you who love craft beers this is also a great time to stop in and pick up several packs of six or four beers as Andy is running a colossal craft beer and hard cider event with over 200 items on sale.  Enjoy your week, and as always, thank you for all your support.



Rob Prisco

 

Grilling Seafood- Tuesday, July 7, 2015

There is more to summer grilling than burgers, brats, steaks, and ribs. We hope that at least every third or fourth time you light your grill it is seafood that you have selected as your main course. The USDA MyPlate and American Heart Association recommend consuming two servings of fish per week, so we don't want to forget about seafood during summer grilling season.

Grilling seafood can be tricky if you don't know how to do it correctly, so we consulted a couple of experts on the subject in writing this blog entry: Red Lobster Executive Chef Michael LaDuke, and food industry consultant Derrick Riches, a freelance writer for About.com and an avid backyard chef.

Preparation

  • Prior to igniting the grill, make sure it’s clean.  You also may want to brush the grill grate with a light coat of oil or nonstick cooking spray to prevent fish from sticking.
  • If you’re going to use a marinade or sauce, soak the fish/seafood for approximately two hours to infuse it with the flavor.  Be careful when selecting the marinade, because a marinade heavy with sugar can cause the pieces to stick to the grill as the sugar caramelizes.  Before putting your fish/seafood on the grill, drain off the excess marinade or sauce and pat the fish dry.
  • While cooking, you can baste the fish with the marinade or sauce to create a deep, rich glaze, but make sure to avoid using the marinade or sauce the meat was soaking in, as it can contain bacteria.  Instead, set aside some extra marinade or sauce for basting.
  • Another way to season is to brush it with a light coat of olive oil and then add your favorite seasonings.  Try using black pepper, kosher salt and a touch of lime juice.  For a more intense flavor, add ground celery seeds, crushed capers, garlic, marjoram and thyme.

Cooking

Derrick Riches says that he gets a lot of requests for information on how to grill fish properly.  Fish is meant to be grilled, he claims.  The direct heat cooks fish fast, easy, and without removing moisture.  Grilled fish is quite flavorful and juicy.  The second rule about grilling fish is to make sure it doesn't stick.  Whether you oil the cooking surface or brush the fish itself with a little oil, make sure that you have a non-stick surface to work with.

The most important part of grilling fish is knowing when it's done.  This is generally the trickiest part of grilling, but don't worry:  When fish is fully cooked the meat will flake easily with a fork and will appear opaque all the way through.  If any part of the meat is still glossy and partially translucent, then it's not done.  Don't ever serve under-cooked fish.  Not only is it unsafe, but you might turn someone off fish for life.  To make this easy, always start out with a steak or fillet that is evenly cut.  If one part is much thicker than another it will be difficult getting the thick part cooked before the thin part dries out. 

If you have a fillet that is uneven consider cutting it in two.  Put the thick half on the grill first and when it's about halfway done, put the thin half on.  This way you will get the fish cooked to perfection without burning anything.

Generally, you want to buy fish either whole or in fillets or steaks.  Fillets will give you the most trouble because they tend to fall apart a little easier.  This takes us back to the two rules:  With an oiled surface, put the fish on the grill and leave it until you are ready to flip.  Flip gently and leave it there until it is ready to leave the grill.  You can tell when a fillet is ready to flip because the edges will become flaky and opaque.  Steaks and whole fish tend to hold together better but take longer to grill.  If you are grilling whole fish, stuff it with something like lemon slices.  This not only adds to the flavor but creates a space to let the heat through.

Also, keep some fresh lemon juice and maybe some melted butter handy while you are grilling.  You can brush this on as you grill to add flavor and keep the fish moist.  But remember, that butter will burn...so be careful with it!  Try dripping lemon juice over the fish while you grill it.  The steam and the sizzle add to the show and makes everyone appreciate the meal just a little bit more

With respect to grill time for various types of seafood, here is what Executive Chef Michael LaDuke of Red Lobster had to say:

  • The meat should sizzle when you put it on the grill.  Fish cooks fast, so make sure you keep an eye on it.  Cook it until it’s about 60 percent done, then use a wide spatula to turn over each fillet.  Remove from the grill when it’s medium rare because it will continue to cook as it sits.
  • Oysters, mussels and clams cook even faster.  To prepare them, place them on the hottest part of the grill.  They’re done when the shell opens up.
  • To grill shrimp, place them on a skewer, one on top of the other.  Watch them closely, because they will cook quickly.  To grill scallops, place them on a skewer with the flat side up.  This allows them to pick up more flavors from the grill.

 

Brewing Up Ideas- Tuesday, July 7, 2015

This week we launch our annual Big Beer Event! I had a customer ask me if this was to move out all the “crappy” beer. I laughed a little to myself but then thought, “you know, I never really explained why we do this so he probably doesn’t know.” The Big Beer Event is a celebration: A celebration of delicious beer, and a celebration of the people who enjoy it responsibly.

Quite simply, I started this event 2 years ago and continue it in the spirit of celebration. It is a “thank you” to the wonderful customers who have helped guide the selection to what it is today. It is an incentive to try new beers that normally wouldn’t be chanced because that old stand-by is just too good to pass up. It is a reason to gather your friends and family to explore some of the many options available.

There are two philosophies I am pushing this year that I strongly encourage you to take to heart...

No Beer Taste, and Beer is fun

The first philosophy is that there is no such thing as a “beer taste” anymore. This one sounds strange because the traditional lager that most people know as beer does have a distinct flavor. However, it is no longer an all-encompassing flavor. Nowadays you can find a beer that tastes like fresh, tart raspberries right out of the field. You can have a beer that tastes like a cup of coffee, banana bread, a margarita, crème brulee, a chocolate bar, or even bacon! You can have a beer that’s as crisp and refreshing as a tangerine, or as a spicy as a jalapeno. You can have a beer that’s as hearty as bread or as tart as a Sourpatch Kid. Don’t be bogged down by the perception of having a “beer taste.” If you don’t want that taste, I can find you something different.

The second philosophy is that beer is fun. Explore it, cook with it, share it, and enjoy it. The flavor combinations are endless. You can make every experience you have with beer different, or you can enjoy the same thing all the time – but be sure to have fun.

We will have regular tastings throughout the two weeks from breweries such as Stone, Dogfish Head, and Goose Island. Over 200 beers will be on sale, and we have a special incentive if you buy 4 6-packs or 6 4-packs.

Take this opportunity to enjoy some new beers or even your good ole favorites.

Please be responsible while enjoying beer. Protect yourself and the community and never drink and drive.

Cheers!

Andy Guzauskas – General Manager & Beer Guru