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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Glazing your Easter Ham- Tuesday, March 20, 2018

When you glaze a ham it takes on an attractive brown color, and the glaze enhances the natural flavor of the meat. Glazing will also help avoid having the ham dry out during baking. We offer a ham glaze in the deli made by Boar’s Head, or you may choose to create your own from ingredients at hand or to invent your own unique recipe.

Start by baking your ham. The cooking time will vary depending the ham's size and whether there is a bone. If the ham is already fully cooked it only needs to be warmed through. Make certain that you use the right flavor combination in choosing ingredients for your glaze depending the ham you are preparing.

Sweet glazes are best with hams that have been wet cured and are not salty. Sweet glazes can be made from brown sugar, pineapple chunks, fruit juices, honey, maple syrup and even carbonated beverages or dark liquors like bourbon. Tangy glazes should be used on salty hams. These glazes include sweet ingredients, but also include savory ingredients such as mustard, pepper, hoisin sauce or vinegar.

Near the end of the cooking time for your ham is when you will want to apply your glaze. Remove the ham from the oven 30 minutes before it's finished baking. If you are cooking a raw ham, ensure that it's fully cooked before removing it. A ham is fully cooked when the internal temperature is 160 °F. Don’t guess or rely on cooking times from a recipe…use a reliable meat thermometer.

First you want to score the ham. This allows the glaze to penetrate the baked-on crust that the ham will have from having the layer of rind cooking for hours. Make a series of diagonal cuts 1 inch apart across the entire top surface. Turn the ham and make diagonal cuts in the other direction, forming a grid of diamond shapes. If you wish, press a whole clove into the ham in the centers of the diamonds or at the places where the lines intersect.

Generously apply your glaze with a pastry brush to the entire outer surface of the ham. Than return the ham to the oven and continue baking it until the glaze begins to turn brown and shiny. This indicates that the glaze has caramelized and the flavor has taken on a nutty, caramel flavor. Watch the ham while it is in the oven to ensure the glaze doesn't burn. Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest 15 minutes before carving.

 

Easter Traditions with a Twist- Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Easter is always a busy time at a food store because, as with many major holidays, it's traditionally a time when families gather together to share a meal. Not just any meal, either, but what most would consider a feast. It’s a time when foods that we have loved since childhood are planned, shopped for and prepared with great care and attention to detail. It’s a time when, in most cases, paper plates and plastic flatware are foregone in deference to Mom’s best china, crystal and silverware. Last week’s blog focused on our sweet tooth with suggested Easter desserts. This week, let’s concentrate on the main course.

Family holiday meal traditions are a key part of our heritage and something every family wants to preserve, but at the same time it’s always fun to add something new to the mix so we did a little research and have come up with a few ideas that you might like to try this year.

Brunch

If you are serving Easter brunch as opposed to a dinner, here is a real crowd pleaser that is nothing more than a knock-off of a popular quiche recipe.

Breakfast Strata Lorraine


 

Easter Dinner Suggestions

As guests arrive it’s nice to serve a light but tasty appetizer, and here is one that will help you use up all those hard boiled Easter eggs that your children would just as soon pass over on their way to the peeps and jelly beans.

Lemon-Dill Chicken Salad-Stuffed Eggs


 

Side dishes are always a good way to introduce new items to a holiday table. This way if a guest is a bit leery of trying, say, a new vegetable, it can easily be passed over with no commotion. Also keep in mind your guests with special dietary needs. This one should suit your vegetarian and vegan quests.

Spring Pea Orzo


 

Simple Easter Crafts for Kids- Tuesday, March 15, 2016

One of the best parts of any holiday is creating a fun, festive atmosphere for friends and family to enjoy. For children, holidays are particularly special because not only are they a break from the usual routine, but they often give children free reign with their imaginations.

Easter is one of those holidays where this is especially true. From the more traditional activity of coloring hard-boiled eggs, to creating garlands from paper rings and paintings from pastels, there are so many fun projects for kids to do, and so many colors and materials to choose from!

So if you want to give your children something to do while you are occupied with preparing for your Easter get-together, or if you want a great opportunity to bond with your children with a fun project (and brighten up your house at the same time!), try some of these great crafts courtesy of...

activityvillage.co.uk

 

Bunny Mask

"Use a paper plate and some craft cupboard bits and pieces to make a cute bunny mask..."

You will need:

A paper plate
Pink paint *
Pink card *
White pipe cleaner (chenille stem)
Elastic thread
Glue
Black pen

Instructions

Paint the back of the paper plate pink and leave to dry.

Cut out two eye holes. Snip the pipe cleaner into 3 and twist together in the centre. Glue to the centre of the face.

Cut out a nose from pink card and glue to the centre of the pipe cleaners.

Cut out two ears from the card and glue to the top of the head. Draw on a mouth with black pen.

Make two small holes, one either side of the face. Tie through the elastic thread.


* Of course, the mask can be any color your child prefers!

 

Polystyrene Egg Bunny

"This Polystyrene Egg Bunny makes a great table decoration that the kids will be really proud of! "

You will need:

A large polystyrene egg
Pink paint
Pink craft foam
Googly eyes
White pipe cleaner (chenille stem)
White pompom
Glue

Instructions

Paint the egg pink and leave to dry.

Cut the chenille stem into 3 short lengths. Glue these to the front of the egg as whiskers.

From the pink foam, cut two feet, two ears and a nose and glue these to your rabbit.

Add two googly eyes and a pompom tail and leave the glue to dry.

 

Easter Chick Thumb Prints

"Why not have a go at making some of these gorgeous thumbprint chicks! All you need are some yellow poster paint, scraps of orange paper or felt (or an orange pen) and a black pen. Children love making thumbprints, and even the youngest children will enjoy trying this with your help!

You could use the chicks to decorate Easter cards and gift tags for friends and family, or go into production and make some wrapping paper!

Pour a little yellow paint onto a pad of folded newspaper or a paper plate and gently dip the child's thumb into it. We found that the second print was usually the best. Practice a few times until you get the hang of it.

When your thumbprints are dry, add details with a black and orange pen (or cut snips of orange paper or felt for the beaks). Older children may enjoy adding speech bubbles with 'cheep cheep' or other chick-like noises inside."

 

Tissue Paper Stained Glass Egg

You will need:

Black card
Glue
Tissue paper (various colors)

Instructions

Fold the black card in half and cut out an egg from the center of the card. Carefully cut out sections from the middle of the egg to make a pattern.

Glue on pieces of tissue paper to cover each of the holes.

Stick your egg up onto the window and let the sun shine through.

 

Easter Brunch – a family tradition- Tuesday, March 31, 2015

In many homes the family starts their Easter Sunday at a sunrise church service followed by a delicious family meal of brunch. We thought that we’d share some of the recipes that have passed down from one generation to the next that make sharing Easter Sunday a wonderful family tradition.

If time is a concern (and when is it not?), many of these recipes can be prepared in advanced and then reheated just before the meal.

 

Hot Cross Buns

Fresh berry bruschetta

Asparagus-and-jack cheese frittata

Breakfast Strata Lorraine

Mimosas

 

 

Lamb can be a delicious red meat alternative- Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Most of us Americans are not accustomed to or very familiar with lamb as a red meat alternative, and as a result we often miss out on opportunities to enjoy it.  Although we don’t tend to eat much lamb, it is a major part of the diets in other parts of the world like France, Greece, Turkey, India, and large portions of Northern Africa and the Middle East.

Cooking lamb is really quite easy, and in addition to the information provided here, please don’t hesitate to ask me questions when visiting the store -- or send me an email at chris@priscosfamilymarket.com and I’ll do my best to answer. 

Let’s start with the basics.  First, like beef, the USDA inspects and grades lamb using the same grading method.  At Prisco’s we carry mostly USDA Choice and occasionally Prime, but never any grade below Choice.  Lamb comes from an animal that is less than one year old; those sheep slaughtered later are sold as mutton, which is a bit tougher. There are five major cuts of lamb: Shoulder, rack, shank, loin and leg.  Cooking lamb is no more difficult than other meats that you are more familiar with, but one thing that you can be certain of is that you will get a very rich flavor. 

For Easter we are featuring two special cuts, a leg of lamb and a rack of lamb.  The leg comes from the back haunches of the animal, and the most common cut includes the upper part of the leg only. Usually leg of lamb is sold without the shank attached, but you can also buy it with the shank, in which case, it's simply referred to as "shank-on leg."  Some people prefer this as it looks more traditional and dramatic on a serving platter, but there's no major advantage to having the shank, other than getting an extra soup bone!

Rare, Medium, or Well?

Personal preference should determine how long you cook your leg of lamb. Most folks prefer medium rare to medium — still tender, with a hint of pink.  All of these cooking times take into account the fact that you broil the lamb first to sear it. They also assume a resting period of at least 15 minutes, during which the lamb actually continues cooking internally. It's best, especially if you like rare or medium-rare lamb, to take it out at a lower temperature than those officially recommended by the USDA.  REMEMBER! These times are only guidelines. Depending on many factors, your lamb leg may roast slower or faster. Check after one hour and then continue roasting, checking frequently, until the lamb reaches your desired internal temperature.

  • Set your oven for roasting temperature at: 325°F
  • Rare: 125°F (about 15 minutes per pound)
  • Medium-Rare: 130°F to 135°F (about 20 minutes per pound)
  • Medium: 135°F to 140°F (about 25 minutes per pound)
  • Well-Done: 155°F to 165°F (about 30 minutes per pound)
  • Lamb Is already tender meat so don't overdo it!

Cooking your leg of lamb...What You Need

Ingredients

  • 5 to 7 pounds lamb leg, bone-in
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 stems fresh rosemary

Equipment

  • Roasting pan, with rack
  • Aluminum foil
  • Sharp chef's knife or carving knife, for carving

Instructions

  1. Take the leg of lamb out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking so it comes to room temperature. This promotes faster, more even cooking. Rub the lamb with olive oil. Set the lamb in a rack inside a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Broil for 5 minutes per side. Turn on the broiler and position a rack below so that the top of the meat is a few inches from the broiler element. Broil the lamb for 5 minutes or until the top of the lamb leg looks seared and browned.  Flip the lamb over and broil the other side.
  3. Top with garlic and rosemary. Take the lamb out of the oven. Turn off the broiler and set the oven temperature to 325°F. Reposition the oven rack to the middle of the oven. Mince the garlic and rosemary leaves. Flip the lamb leg over again and rub the top with the chopped garlic and rosemary.
  4. Cover the lamb loosely with foil. Tent the pan loosely with foil to keep the garlic and rosemary from burning. Put the lamb back in the oven and cook at 325°F for one hour.
  5. Remove the foil after an hour and take the temperature.Take the lamb's temperature and remove the foil. The lamb is ready (medium-rare to medium) when the temperature is 135°F (or above). At 135°F the lamb is cooked to rare, but it will continue cooking as it rests, so we recommend taking it out of the oven at 135° for medium-rare to medium. (Refer to the cooking chart above for general roasting times).
  6. If needed, continue cooking the lamb until done. Continue cooking the lamb (uncovered) until it reaches your preferred internal temperature. Check the temperature every 20 minutes until done. Important! Let the lamb rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
  7. Carve the lamb. Turn the lamb so the bone is parallel to the cutting board. Make perpendicular slices to the bone, angling straight down until your knife hits the bone.  Then cut the lamb off the bone by slicing through the bottom of the slices with your knife parallel to the bone.

When you serve your leg of lamb, I highly recommend serving it with a mint pesto or mint jelly.  Check with anyone in the meat department for recipe cards for leg of lamb, as well as a recipe for rack of lamb.  I hope that you enjoy your Easter lamb.


Chris Tope - Meat manager

Easter Baking Recipes- Tuesday, March 10, 2015

One of the best parts of any holiday -- aside from having fun with friends and family, of course -- is the food! Food is central to many celebrations; a varied (but not necessarily large) spread represents abundance, and socializing over a meal is a great way to strengthen emotional bonds -- especially among people who may only see each other a couple times per year.

To that end, here are a few baking recipes, courtesy of joyofbaking.com and food.com, that will help bring your family a little closer together...if only due to a shared interest in delectable things. Click on the title of each recipe for instructions.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons are a delicious combination of dried coconut, whole eggs, white sugar, and vanilla extract. Warm from the oven the contrast of a crispy exterior to a moist, soft and chewy interior is amazing. Enjoy them plain, dip the bottoms in melted chocolate, or just place a small chocolate chunk into the center of each cookie. This is such a quick and easy cookie to make that is sure to delight.

Orange Chiffon Cake

An Orange Chiffon Cake also has that wonderful light and spongy texture. Chiffon cakes contain both egg yolks and egg whites, along with baking powder, orange juice, and a liquid fat (in the form of oil). It is the oil that gives this cake its wonderful moist and tender crumb and keeps the cake soft even when refrigerated. This cake goes well with berries or topped with a light icing or whipped cream.

For the kids:

Easter Nests with Jellybean Eggs

We all know that kids love to help in the kitchen, so here is a recipe that they can be hands-on with and let their creativity shine. Depending on their age, this could even be something that you make together and leave out Saturday night with a note to the Easter Bunny asking that he hide them throughout the house.  

And something a little less sweet:

Easter-time Hot Cross Buns

An Easter tradition, these lightly sweetened cinnamon yeast buns feature tender little currants strewn throughout. An egg yolk wash gives these buns a browned, glossy finish, making a canvas for the namesake cross, a painting of milk and sugar icing.