Prisco’s Family Market

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

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 am to 8:30 pm | Saturday, 7 am to 8 pm | Sunday, 8 am to 7 pm

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Avocados – The SUPER FRUIT you will want to invite to your next party- Tuesday, December 26, 2017

This time of year, avocados are one of the stand-out items in our produce department. They’re the go-to ingredient for guacamole dips at parties, and they're also turning up in everything from salads and wraps to smoothies and even brownies.

The name that’s best known in the industry for avocados is the Hass brand. The Hass tree was discovered in the backyard of a mailman named Rudolph Hass in California in the 1930s, and Hass patented his tree in 1935. When we say avocados are popular, we aren’t kidding. On average, 53.5 million pounds of guacamole is eaten every Super Bowl Sunday, enough to cover a football field more than 20 feet thick.

So what, exactly, makes this pear-shaped berry (yes, it’s a fruit not a vegetable) such a super food? For one thing, avocados contain four grams of protein, making them the fruit with the highest protein content! They offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, including potassium (which helps control blood pressure), lutein (which is good for your eyes), and folate (which is crucial for cell repair and during pregnancy).

Avocados are also a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also give you vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer. Avocados are low in sugar and have he highest fiber content of any fruit, which helps you feel fuller, longer.

These are all great facts, but there is such a thing as too much avocado. While the fat in avocado is monounsaturated fat (which is a "good" type of fat that helps lower bad cholesterol), avocados have a lot of calories. The recommended serving size is smaller than you’d expect: 1/5 of a medium avocado (or 1 ounce) is 50 calories.

 

Let’s Party Like It's 2018- Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Well, Christmas just flew past in a flash. The presents are all unwrapped and many have already been exchanged for something with a better fit or catchier look. What’s next? Well this is the season for celebration, so if you are like most of us the next big thing are the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day parties with friends and neighbors, and perhaps even some relatives who are still in town.

Here are some easy to execute party ideas that your guests will love almost as much as you, because most of these ideas involve us doing all the work with you getting all the credit.

For the most part, New Year’s parties are not sit-down dinner occasions. The food is casual and finger-friendly. For starters, I'd like to suggest the following:

  1. Cheese and fruit trays. This is something my sister Bridget started making up for Thanksgiving this year and they have been a real hit. At $15 each, try two different varieties and listen for the 'oohs' and 'ahs'.

  2. Speaking of appetizers, be certain to check out our new appetizer bowls of chicken wings and Santa Fe egg-rolls.

  3. Continuing on with the idea of finger foods, we are featuring three appetizers this week that are ideal for a New Year's or indoor tailgate party: Bacon-Wrapped Dates stuffed with goat cheese, Mushrooms stuffed with our homemade Italian Sausage & cheddar cheese, and Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeños stuffed with chive and veggie cream cheese.

  4. Our Corned Beef Sliders are a tasty treat and available in packages of six or twelve, so combining packages. You can get just enough for a party of four or forty.

  5. I’d also suggest you consider our homemade pizzas or pasta items located in the first aisle freezer, and nothing hits the spot like a nice slice of Grandma Prisco’s recipe homemade lasagna, available with just cheese, meat or vegetables. Depending on the size of your guest list, we offer full and half trays in the freezer case. Just heat and enjoy.

  6. Another can’t miss favorite from our kitchen is our homemade Italian beef in au jus.This week for the holiday we are offering a free package of six Milano Italian Beef rolls FREE with the purchase of one pound or more of our beef.

If you stop into the store and visit us in the deli we’ve got lots more ideas and things to show you. Looking for craft beer and wine recommendations? Ask Justin and Andy for some suggestions as we have something for everyone’s taste and budget.

Have a fun and safe New Year’s weekend, and we will see you next week when we all go on a diet.

 

Happy New Year!

Jacquie

Need help in the Kitchen? Call on us!- Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I have little time to chit-chat today...Actually, no, that’s not true, I have absolutely NO time to chit-chat today, but I thought it was important to get the word out to those of you who may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with your holiday preparations. If you want to take some of the pressure off yourself, I’d encourage you to give us a call or stop in the store and ask for some help with some of the hard-to-do or perhaps mundane (but still time consuming) tasks required to get a Christmas dinner on the table.

For example, why peel and boil potatoes or make stuffing or cranberry relish when we can do it for you, saving time and mess and giving you more time to work on important menu items? Other popular Christmas items include Grandma Prisco’s homemade lasagna in three varieties, our homemade meatballs and homemade pulled pork, and Grandpa Tony’s homemade Italian beef. Thinking about desserts? We have a wide assortment of sweets, including cookies, pies and cakes. Appetizers are easily taken care of with one each of our shrimp cocktail, cheese and antipasto trays. Don’t forget to check out Bridget’s assortment of brie and other classic gourmet cheeses to serve before or after dinner with your favorite wine.

Are we busy? You bet we are, but only because of great customers like you, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call or visit; we'll put our heads together to see how we can make this Christmas dinner one you will enjoy and fondly remember.

As I close out now and head back to our kitchen, I do want to add one final thought. From my kids, Andy, Bridget and Jacquie, myself and all the rest of the Prisco & Guzauskas families and our employees, we would like to thank you, our loyal Prisco’s customers, for counting on us year after year to provide your family with the food that you will share on this most special holiday.

 

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to all.

Beth

Some Cheese & Wine Selections for Christmas- Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Some of the most popular cheeses to serve over the holidays include creamy goat’s cheese, any number of brie, tangy/extra mature cheddar, and English stilton. As you build your cheese tray, try to include a variety of textures and tastes, and be certain to offer some well recognized American favorites for your cheese newbie guests.

Most cheese belongs to one of four basic categories: aged, soft, firm, or blue. For a good variety, choose at least one from each group. Some examples: 

 Aged: Aged Cheddar, Comte, Goat Gouda
 Soft: Constant Bliss, Camembert, Brillat-Savarin
 Firm: Manchego, Mimolette, Parmigiano-Reggiano
 Blue: Gorgonzola Dolce, Valdeón, Stilton

When choosing wine to go with your cheese, serve unoaked or lightly oaked white wines such as pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc, riesling and chardonnay, and light-style red wines, such as pinot noir, with lighter cheeses like goat cheese, feta, Monterey Jack, Colby, young cheddar, and Jarlsberg.

Serve bigger-style red wines, such as some pinot noirs and merlots, with semi-hard cheeses including farmhouse cheddars, dry Monterey Jack, Manchego, and Gouda.

Some of your guests are likely to prefer a sweeter wine (Port, Sherry and Madeira). These work best with salty, stronger cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton and other blue cheeses, or pungent cheeses like Alsatian Muenster, French Epoisses or Italian Taleggio.

If you'd like just one wine to go with a variety of cheeses, then select either riesling or an unoaked or very lightly oaked chardonnay for a white wine, and a light to medium-bodied pinot noir as your red wine.

If the cows could talk, they’d tell you: The milk at Prisco’s is the best!- Tuesday, December 12, 2017

We carry two brands of milk at Prisco’s, both of which we are proud to offer. The first has been a part of our product lineup for as far back as anyone here can remember…Oberweis milk. As many of you know, our family business was started almost 100 years ago in 1926 by our Grandfather (and for most, of us Great-Grandfather) Tony Prisco. One year later, in 1927, Peter Oberweis of Aurora, IL became co-owner in Big Woods Dairy -- the predecessor of the Oberweis Dairy.

No one today knows for certain when that first Oberweis Dairy delivery was made to Prisco’s, but we know for certain that we’ve been selling Oberweis Milk and Ice Cream at our store for generations. Oberweis is a premium product that is as close to nature as one can imagine. Simplicity is at the heart of every bottle of Oberweis milk because less processing leaves more room for flavor and delivers a healthier product that's better for your family. That means no artificial hormones, like bovine growth hormones, are permitted on Oberweis farms, and no added preservatives or antibiotics are ever found in their milk. They gently heat their milk to the minimum temperature to retain the most nutrients. They call this gentle pasteurization, and you'll taste the benefits! Healthier, tastier, fresher milk -- that's what has made the Oberweis name the most trusted in dairy since 1927.

If you haven’t yet tried Oberweis milk, or perhaps you are a loyal user of this brand, you will be happy to know that through December 26th you will earn 25 Prisco’s bonus points with every 1/2 gallon bottle you purchase.

Our other brand of milk is a relative new comer to Prisco’s. This past summer when our primary wholesales unexpectedly went out of business, we found ourselves scrambling to find a second source of milk as the Centrella brand was no longer available. We know that a basic staple like milk is a key component for any grocery store, and we were not about to take any brand that came along because our store’s reputation rests heavily on the brands that we offer. After a great deal of investigation and product testing, we settled on our new milk brand, farmer-owned Prairie Farms. We chose Prairie Farms for several reasons: 1) We like supporting a farmer-owned co-op as opposed to large corporate-owned entities. 2) We found Prairie Farms quality to be well above average, and 3) we found that the folks at Prairie Farms were pleasant, helpful, and eager to assure us that we would receive great service and only the freshest possible milk as often as we needed it delivered.

It turns out that our faith in Prairie Farms was well justified as we recently learned that the Prairie Farms dairy was awarded 42 awards at the 2017 World Dairy Expo Competition held in Madison, Wisconsin. Prairie Farms competed in 27 categories and took home nearly 50% of all the awards given out -- far more than any other dairy in the competition. Here is one more interesting piece of trivia about Prairie Farms milk that you may not know just yet: If you make it a habit to buy your milk at Prisco’s, you will be graciously rewarded for your loyalty. That’s right, by registering for our customer appreciation program called Prisco’s Points, we will keep track of every gallon of Prairie Farms milk that you buy, so long as you remember to identify yourself at the register. Then, over time, each gallon not only earns you Prisco Points (1 per $1), but when you buy your 10th gallon you will receive credit for a FREE gallon on your next visit.

Not a member yet? Register here!

 

Christmas Food Drive in Full Swing, Aiming to Top 2016 Results- Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017 was a great year in America for charitable organizations. According to Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, giving by individuals grew nearly 4 percent. On a much more local basis I can attest to the generosity of our Prisco’s Shoppers by the outstanding support that you have given to all of our food drives in the past, including the recently concluded Aurora Area Interfaith Holiday Food Drive. The early arrival of Thanksgiving gave us a few less days to collect food this year, but our customers didn’t let that matter a bit and donations continued to stream in with the result being very close to, if not slightly ahead of, last year's total. Thanks for that wonderful spirit of community to one and all.

Today I had a meeting with Jerry Pigatti as once again, for the 23rd year, our store is partnering with Jerry and his friends to help at least 400 local families have a good, wholesome meal this Christmas that they would otherwise be unable to afford. Jerry has a real passion for this event, and it’s a pleasure working with someone who has so much drive to help those less fortunate. Each year we work together to contact local churches, schools and community organizations to get a list of families that they know are facing real financial difficulties. Together, between Jerry and dozens of his generous friends, the Prisco and Guzauskas families, and many of our very best customers, we raise enough money to contribute over $20,000 in food to give these families a Christmas meal much like the one the rest of us take for granted.

If you would like to help with this wonderful cause, please join us by purchasing one of the food bags being displayed in the front of our store. They range in price from $5 to $15. This year as a small token of appreciation, any customers who are registered in our new Prisco’s Points program will receive one point for every dollar donated, plus we are adding bonus points of 10 points for a $5 bag, 15 points for a $10 bag, and 25 points for a $15 bag.

 

Thank you for your generous support.

Andy

Food Prep Tips to Ease Holiday Stress- Tuesday, December 5, 2017
  • Make it a cooperative meal. Why not split up the work of preparing a huge holiday meal by doing it cooperatively? This is more planned than potlucks, to which everyone brings whatever they fancy. For Christmas dinner, you will want to make sure that all the courses are covered, from appetizers to dessert. If every participant makes one or two items, no one comes to the event already feeling frazzled—or broke!

  • Don’t forget non-carnivores. If you’re going to be one of few vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free eaters at a holiday meal, offer to bring a main dish to share. Make it a heaping helping, because everyone will want some of what you’re having. Look at this as a good thing: what better way to promote healthy food than by showing how delicious these kinds of dishes can be?

  • Make use of alternate sources. Why get bogged down making side dishes like mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, lasagna, and cranberry relish? Call our deli at 630-264-9400 and order homemade and ready to serve -- or heat and serve -- foods from us.

  • Do some basic food ahead. Prepare some of the food days early so that your dishes come together quick when you need them, saving time when assembling. Here are a few things you can accomplish ahead of time:

    • Bake winter squashes to prepare for making pies, stuffed squash dishes, and the like.

    • Cook, bake, or microwave potatoes or sweet potatoes.

    • Cook grains, including brown rice, and even quinoa which cooks quickly, simply because it’s one less thing to do when you’re cooking for company.

    • If any salad dressings or sauces are in the plans, it’s fine to make them a day or two ahead.

    • Make bread crumbs or croutons.

  • Don’t fight getting help. Too often we like to be the hero (or perhaps the martyr) professing a “don’t bother, I’ll handle it” attitude. If someone asks to help with a holiday meal, offer them a task or assign a dish to bring. If not enough volunteers are forthcoming, speak up and enlist some! If you ask politely and sincerely, most people would love to be part of the holiday preparation.

 

Avoid Using a Clock if You Don’t Want to Ruin the Roast!- Tuesday, December 5, 2017

November and December are the two month’s every year when our meat department really shines and leads our store in sales opportunities. That’s because my grandfather Tony Prisco was a butcher’s butcher and instilled in every member of our family that we should never compromise quality for the sake of price impression. That was his rule, it was my Uncle Rob’s when he ran the store, and I am here to assure all our customers that nothing has changed…Quality is and always will be NUMBER 1 at Prisco’s.

If you check the competitions' ads over the next few weeks, you will find some unbelievably low retails on several holiday related meat items like bone-in rib roasts, whole beef tenderloin, and strip steaks and fillets. However, do yourself a favor and carefully read the qualifying description where you will see some very impressive terms, like “USDA Government Inspected Beef”.

Folks, no retailer in America can legally sell beef that is not inspected by the UDSA. That’s like saying their water has zero fat and zero calories. And USDA Inspected is a meaningless claim. What these retailers are not telling you is the grade of the beef. We sell only USDA Choice Angus Beef but some retailers pass off select or lower grades without mentioning them by masking the truth with the USDA Government Inspected smoke screen.

So… you’ve come to Prisco’s because you want the best quality for your family and friends, and for that we are truly grateful. Now, having made that decision and having invested in a top-quality roast or turkey, we want to help assure that you get the absolute best eating experience.

Here are the two most important things to always do when cooking a roast or fowl.

1. Never TimeAlways Temperature. Please use cooking times in recipes as a general guide only. Don’t rely solely on cooking your meat according to the time in the recipe. Invest in a meat thermometer. Beef, pork and lamb should all remain in the oven until the meat temperature reaches 145° F (no less than 130° F for rare). For poultry, the temperature needs to get to 180° F in thigh and 165° F in breast or stuffing.

2. Let it Rest. When you take your roast out of the oven or off the grill the meat continues to cook from its own internal heat. If you don't allow your roast or bird to rest after removing it from the oven, the meat will lose juice. Resting allows some moisture to be re-absorbed by the meat. A roast is best rested for 10 to 20 minutes before carving, and 15 to 20 minutes is a good resting time for a turkey.

OK, so now that I’ve got you thinking about delicious holiday meats, I want to let you know about something new that our meat department is offering this year that we’d love to hear your comments on.

First, we will be offering what we like to call Dressed-To-Impress! Yes, when you are entertaining you always want to make a good impression and we feel that the center piece of your meal needs to do so as well. So, when you buy your holiday roast and steaks from Prisco’s you can be confident that every piece of meat will be carefully hand trimmed and prepared to give you not only delicious taste but a beautiful presentation as well.

Another new addition to our fresh meat offerings this year will be our Create-Your-Own Holiday Meat Platter. Here you will be able to choose from: Filet Mignon, Porterhouse Steaks, New York Strip Steaks, Ribeye Steaks, Lobster Tails, and Shrimp, and create a selection just to your liking. If you give us a 24-hour lead time, we will select and prepare exactly what your are looking for, and with input from you and advice from our experienced meat cutters and their manager, Dave, we can build a platter to fit your budget.

 

Hope I’ve got you thinking of a delicious Christmas Roast.

Andy