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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Have you had the pleasure of tasting a Peppadew Pepper?- Tuesday, March 6, 2018

This type of piquant pepper is originally from South Africa and was first discovered in early 1993 and introduced to market later that same decade. The name is a portmanteau of 'pepper' and 'dew'. Although the pepper is sometimes described as a cross between a pepper and a tomato, this description is not botanically accurate, and refers only to the resemblance in color and size between peppadew and cherry tomatoes.

The fruit is processed for removal of the seeds and reduction of the heat of the pepper to more palatable levels and is then pickled and bottled. The flavor of the Peppadew® fruit is sweet because sugar is added in the pickling process, with mild heat.

They are a juicy and delicious treat all by themselves, but people also enjoy stuffing them with cream or goat cheese. Another great suggestion is for pureeing them with almonds, garlic and olive oil and spreading them on crostini. You might also try stuffing them with our homemade fresh ground pork sausage and broiling them. They make a great addition to a tossed salad and recently we’ve been using them as a pizza topping with great success.

If you have never tasted these delicious little peppers (by no means hot, although they are bright red in color), ask for a sample the next time you are visiting our deli. You’re going to love them!

 

 

Most Googled Recipes of 2017- Tuesday, February 20, 2018

If we consider what it is that people are most often looking for in a search for recipes, we might safely conclude that this list will give us a good approximation of the current trends in food tastes in general. Going with that assumption, one would have to assume that there was a general desire to enjoy lots of our favorite comfort foods in 2017.

Search engine authority Google released its annual Year in Search Data report, and found that these were the top 10 most searched recipes. Just in case you get a hankering to recreate one of these comfort foods yourself, we’ve added links to a few that are ideal for this time of year.

Go ahead – indulge in a little comfort food. It will be good for your soul.

 

Healthy Finger Foods for the Big Game Day- Tuesday, January 30, 2018

This weekend is Super Bowl Sunday and we thought you might like to try your hand at one or two of these healthier finger food recipes...

Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip

Serves 4   Prep time: 10 minutes    Total time: 10 minutes

Every party this weekend will likely have a guacamole dip set out and people will no doubt scarf it up. However, some of your guests may be trying very hard to stay on the diet that they started at the beginning of this month, and chances are they would love you for offering a healthier alternative. This healthy Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip is simple to make and is great for parties or snack time.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pita chips, tortilla chips, cut up veggies-for serving

DIRECTIONS:

Place the yogurt, avocados, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and cumin in a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Scrape dip into a serving bowl and serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or cut up veggies.

 

Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus

Serves 8   Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 45 minutes

Talk about a healthy snack attack! This hummus pairs sweet potatoes, a great source of fiber and vitamin A, and chickpeas, which are high in protein and fiber. Serve it with whole-wheat pita chips...and cross your fingers that there will be leftovers for sandwiches and wraps.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (or 2 cups mashed sweet potato)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each sweet potato with foil. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until tender. Peel sweet potatoes, set aside. In a large food processor (or blender), puree garlic cloves and chickpeas. Add tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, brown sugar, and spices. Puree until smooth. Then add sweet potatoes and puree until completely combined. Serve immediately with pita chips or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

 

Shrimp Ceviche Verde

Prep time: 10 min.   Cook time: 0 min.

This recipe requires no cooking on your part; the acid in the lime juice does all the work. Your guests will rave about this one and ask for the recipe.

  • 1 Lb. fresh, uncooked. shrimp, medium-to-small size, peeled and deveined.
  • 4 fl. oz. fresh. lime juice
  • 1/4 lb. fresh. tomatillos, husked, rinsed and roughly chopped.
  • 1 Cup fresh cilantro (loosely packed), thick bottom stems cut off.
  • salt
  • 1 Serrano chilies, stemmed, seeded and very finely chopped.
  • 1/2 habanero peppers, stemmed seeded and very finely chopped.
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped. chives
  • 1 avocadoes, pitted, flesh scooped from skin and cut into small cubes.

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the shrimp into bite-size pieces and scoop into a serving bowl. In a blender, combine the lime juice, tomatillos, cilantro and 3/4 normal tsp salt. Blend until slushy looking, but not completely smooth. Stir into the shrimp and refrigerate 30 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the two chilies, chives and avocado. Taste and season with more salt if you think necessary.

 

Christmas Baking- Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The first two weeks of December are traditionally our best weeks for selling baking ingredients as shoppers wind down a bit from Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping and spend time in the kitchen baking up loads of delicious Christmas cookies, fudge and other treats. If you find yourself looking for something different to bake this year, here are a few selections from our recipe collection.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Christmas Cranberry Pudding

Christmas Stollen

Eggnog Sparkle Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Gluten-free Sugar Cookies

No Bake Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

 

Have You Tried Tamari?- Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Perhaps the real question should be, have you heard of tamari? It’s an Asian cooking sauce very similar in taste and appearance to the widely known and used soy sauce. Actually, both sauces have a great deal in common, but it’s the differences that make tamari of interest to people who may enjoy Asian cooking but have an issue with some of the properties of soy sauce.

Tamari is traditionally tied to the Japanese (vs. the more common Chinese soy sauce). It is a thicker, less salty, fermented soy sauce that contains less wheat. Actually, many tamari sauces are produced with no wheat at all, making them gluten-free. It can be used in Asian and non-Asian cooking to add a full, savory, umami flavor to your dishes.

So, what makes it different from Chinese soy sauce?

While regular soy sauce and tamari are both derived from fermented soybeans, the process in which it is made and the byproduct is much different. Regular soy sauce is essentially made by cooking soybeans with roasted wheat and other grains and adding it to a salty brine to brew. It is then allowed to sit for a period of time to ferment. This mixture is then pressed to extract the dark, brown liquid.

Tamari on the other hand, is made a bit differently. It is known to be the liquid byproduct that forms when making miso paste – like the liquid sweat that forms on cheese (unlike the pressed version in regular soy sauce). Tamari contains much less salt than traditional soy sauce because it’s not created in a salty brine. When the soybeans are cooked down to ferment, little or no wheat is added to the mixture, which makes it a great alternative for those that have a gluten intolerance.

Tamari’s rich flavor comes from an abundance of amino acids derived from soy protein. Aside from being low in salt content and containing little or no gluten, tamari also aids in the digestion of fruits and vegetables, is rich in several minerals, and is a good source of vitamin B3, protein, manganese, and tryptophan. Tamari’s excellent cooking qualities make it a seasoning appreciated by both ethnic and natural foods consumers. Here are a few tips to bring a little bit of flavor to your entrees using tamari:

  • Salt substitute: Use tamari in place of salt whenever the recipe calls for it. Tamari’s low sodium count makes it possible to reduce your intake by around 30% without having to compromise flavor.
  • Dressing & Dip: Tamari’s thickness makes it a great dipping sauce for croutons and spring rolls, and as a dressing for salads and soba noodles.
  • Cooking Oil: Even when cooked or microwaved, tamari maintains its blissful aroma. Bland foods like shittake mushrooms and tofu are enhanced when simmered in a seasoned liquid, and tamari is the preferred seasoning for the long-simmering process.
  • Use tamari to deepen flavors in sauces and soups, including those that are curry- and tomato-based.
  • Mix it with cream cheese and toasted sesame seeds for a spread.

 

Flaxseed and Quinoa, Two Healthy Additions to Any Diet- Tuesday, August 29, 2017

As people become more and more conscious of their food choices, we are finding that many obscure and previously difficult to find food items are becoming more and more commonplace. For example, up until a handful of years ago, not many people had even heard of quinoa, let alone known of its many health benefits. The same is true for flaxseed meal, which is also experiencing a surge in popularity due to its nutritional properties -- especially its usefulness as a low-carb fiber source in many weight-loss diets.

Some nutritional information

What's so special about quinoa? Quinoa's reputation as the epitome of natural health foods is well deserved. It's gluten-free, packed with protein, and contains all nine of the essential amino acids required by the human body for proper function. It's also high in fiber, B-vitamins, potassium and calcium, and vitamin E. A cup of quinoa contains 220 calories, 39 grams of carbs and only 4 grams of fat.

How is quinoa used? Quinoa is a versatile grain and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be consumed on its own (cooked, of course), or as part of a recipe. Most folks use it in a similar manner to rice or bulgar wheat; you can try mixing your favorite seasonings with cooked quinoa and using it as a stuffing. It also makes for a fantastic and filling salad, such as this Quinoa Tabbouleh or Tuscan Quinoa Salad.

Flaxseed (sometimes referred to as "linseed"), is a real powerhouse of a food. It's been shown to improve digestion, lower cholesteroal, help maintain hormone balance, and promote weight loss. Flaxseeds are also the richest plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids available, making it perfect for vegans and strict vegetarians who may have difficulty finding a source elsewhere. Flax is also high in fiber but low in carbohydrates, making it a filling option for folks on a diet. And, like quinoa, flaxseeds contain complete proteins, which means they have notable amounts of all nine essential amino acids. Two tablespoons of flaxseed meal contains 60 calories, 4 grams of carbs and 5 grams of healthy fats.

How is flaxseed used? Flaxseeds are most commonly used ground, as they are not easily digestable whole. Flaxseed meal can be integrated without issue into most recipes that use batters or doughs. You can expect to see flaxseed meal as an ingredient in many baking recipes (cookies and muffins especially), but you can also stir a tablespoon or two into yogurt, oatmeal, or your next smoothie for a little added fiber and protein. Interested? Try this recipe for Apple and Carrot Muffins or this one for Blueberry Pancakes. We also have a recipe for the kale lovers out there.

 

Why settle for ham when you can enjoy prosciutto?- Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sadly, not everyone has experienced all of the special foods that Italian cuisine has to offer. While most folks could tell you what lasagna is and are no doubt familiar with olive oil when it comes to meal preparation, not everyone is familiar with one of Italy's other top exports, prosciutto. Found in delis like Prisco’s, prosciutto is a variety of uncooked, dry-cured meat – specifically ham.

While there are many regional varieties, in general prosciutto has a mild flavor with a fair amount of saltiness due to the curing process. It is typically sliced extremely thin and served either alone or as part of a larger appetizer, side dish or entree... It's not uncommon for prosciutto to be paired with softer cheeses such as fresh mozzarella, and it goes exceptionally well with sweeter foods like dates or even melon, which helps accentuate its savoriness. One of the most popular uses for prosciutto is as a wrapping for vegetables like asparagus, and it makes for an excellent pizza or sandwich topping as well. It should also be noted that the rind or butt ends of prosciutto can be diced and incorporated into soups and stews for added flavor.

Prosciutto Recipes

Appetizers

Prosciutto Flowers

Melon and Prosciutto

Roast Shrimp with Prosciutto

Kiwi Fruit and Prosciutto Crostini

Main Course

Fettuccine a la Prosciutto

Peppered Capellini with Prosciutto

Pizza with White Beans, Prosciutto, and Rosemary

Cream of Potato Soup with Prosciutto and Sour Cream

 

Low-Carb Cauliflower – A healthy food substitute- Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This week, we wanted to place the produce spotlight firmly over one of our favorite vegetables, cauliflower. This may seem like an odd choice, but if you are a foodie or simply keen on cooking, you've probably already come across a number of articles and other media featuring this under-appreciated vegetable. It's become popular as a low-carbohydrate substitute in many recipes, replacing common ingredients such as flour in certain dough recipes (ex., gluten-free pizza crusts), or as an alternative to starch- and carb-laden dishes like mashed potatoes.

A little about cauliflower

While there are many different cultivars of white cauliflower, they are all marketed under the same name. In addition to the white varieties we're all well aquainted with, cauliflower also comes in other shades, including orange, green, and purple. Such varieties include the "broccoflower", a genetic cross which combines the physical features of cauliflower with the chlorophyll of broccoli, while mostly maintaining the cauliflower's unique flavor. With heads ranging from yellow-green to lime-green, broccoflower has a slightly sweeter taste than conventional cauliflower.

Selecting and storing a head of cauliflower

When choosing a cauliflower, look for a clean, white head with tight bud clusters – you'll want to avoid cauliflower whose florets are starting to separate or sag. The head of the cauliflower should be surrounded by thick green leaves, leaving the florets better protected and ensuring freshness over a longer period. Spotted or dull-colored cauliflower, of course, should be avoided if possible.

Cauliflower will keep forup to five daysif stored in a perforated plastic bag or in an open dry container in the refrigerator, but is best eaten as soon as possible. Never seal your cauliflower in a plastic bag or other closed container and always keep the head stem-side up to prevent moisture form collecting on it during storage, which can accelerate rot.

Cauliflower recipes

So, how to prepare your cauliflower? As mentioned previously, you have plenty off options when it comes to cooking this incredible vegetable. There are a number of substitution options for more complex recipes, and cauliflower can serve as a standalone ingredient for simple sidedishes in place of other, more conventional veggies. Consider the following examples...

Cauliflower Rice

Instead of the usual white rice, substitute cauliflower in your favorite recipes. Just pulse the florets in a food processor or grate them on a box grater (via medium-sized holes) until you have small, rice-sized pellets. Once you have your "rice", just saute in a skillet over medium heat in olive oil; cover and allow the heat to steam the cauliflower until desired tenderness. You can then season your "rice" as you see fit. - Cauliflower rice can be used in any dish that calls for white rice, including sushi.

Cauliflower in place of potatoes

This applies to both mashed varieties and chopped. Instead of diced potatoes in your corned beef or breakfast-style hash, try cauliflower. It cooks up roughly the same without any additional fuss, and really provides the texture you'd expect from a good hash. The cauliflower does an excellent job of soaking up the other flavors, whether you are cooking with bacon or meat or simply spices, and is an excellent base for highly seasoned dishes.

Cauliflower also makes for a fantastic mashed potato substitute. If you are trying to shave off calories and carbs, serve up mashed cauliflower at your next meal. It's easy to prepare: Just steam the cauliflower for about 14 minutes then place in a food processor. Add some cream or buttermilk, some butter, salt and pepper, and garlic if desired. Pulse until desired consistency and serve.

Basically, the sky's the limit when it comes to subbing cauliflower for potatoes. Shredded or diced cauliflower works splendidly in other potato-heavy dishes...Cauliflower Tots and Cauliflower Pancakes (fritters) are also fantastic. Just use your imagination!

Cauliflower pizza crusts

One of the most talked about uses for cauliflower these days is as an ingredient in low-carb and gluten-free pizza crust. Preparation is a bit more involved than making mashed cauliflower, but you're using many of the same utensils. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor until you have a powder – this is your flour alternative. For the specifics on preparing your cauliflower crust, see below.

Recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com:

Ingredients

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg

2 cups freshly grated mozzarella

1/4 cup Pizza Sauce

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor to a fine snowy powder (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Transfer the processed cauliflower to a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a clean, dry kitchen towel and allow to cool.

When cool enough to handle, wrap the cauliflower in the towel and wring out as much moisture as possible, transferring to a second towel if necessary. In a large bowl, stir together the cauliflower, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, egg and 1 cup of the mozzarella until well combined. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and press into a 10-inch round. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and top with the pizza sauce and remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 10 minutes more.

Cauliflower in place of pasta in some dishes

Everyone loves macaroni and cheese, right? Well, even if you don't personally, surely you know someone who does. Cauliflower makes it possible for folks who love their mac to continue enjoying it, albeit modified. Just substitute small, bite-sized cauliflower pieces for the macaroni: Cook the cauliflower in boiling water for about five minutes; you're going for a more al dente texture, crisp-tender. Drain well and pat dry, then transfer to a baking dish. Pour your preferred cheese sauce over your "mac" and cook until browned on top and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve.

Cauliflower in cookies

This may not seem very appetizing, but it turns out that powdered/processed cauliflower can make a pretty good substitute for regular flour in cookies. For a tasty treat, try this recipe courtesy of thesmartcookieblog.com:

Flourless Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup frozen cauliflower, thawed

1/2 cup cottage cheese (I used 1%)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp honey

2 prunes, soaked in water for a couple minutes (the longer they soak, the better)

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup raisins

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine cauliflower, cottage cheese, cinnamon, ginger, milk, maple syrup, honey, and prunes in food processor. Process until smooth. In a large bowl, mix together oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Pour the mixture from the food processor into the bowl with oats. Mix to combine. Fold in cranberries and raisins. Form dough into cookies and place on greased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Let cool before removing from baking sheet and serving.

 

Fun to make after school snacks – Banana Sushi and Banana Rollups.- Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It’s back-to-school time and that means lots of changes in daily habits; and often, some unwanted stress for parents and kids alike. Here are two fun ways to give the kids an after school snack that they will look forward to and can also have fun making themselves with just a little adult supervision.

Banana Sushi

Serves 1 Prep Time: 10 mins Total Time: 10 mins

Ingredients

• 1 medium banana

• 1 tablespoon nut butter (any kind will work!)

• optional toppings: chopped nuts, chia seeds, shredded coconut

Instructions

Peel banana and then spread on 1 tablespoon of nut butter. Sprinkle on optional toppings and press them lightly into the nut butter to ensure they will stick. Using a sharp knife, evenly slice banana into “sushi” pieces. Enjoy right away or transfer onto a baking sheet and freeze for later!
 

Banana Roll-Ups

Serves 4 Prep Time: 10 mins  Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

• 2 (7 to 8-inch) soft flour tortillas

• 3 tablespoons peanut butter

• 2 tablespoons hot fudge ice cream topping or Nutella

• 2 bananas

• 2 teaspoons toasted wheat germ

Instructions

Spread tortillas with peanut butter. Spread chocolate topping carefully over peanut butter. Place banana in center of each tortilla. (If bananas are very curved, make 2 cuts at intervals on inside edge to make them lay straight.) Sprinkle each with wheat germ. Roll up tortillas. Cut each in half diagonally.

 

Sensational summer blueberries are now available!- Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer is the best times to purchase blueberries. This amazing fruit is officially in its peek season and not only readily available, but in its prime in both texture and flavor. You'd be hard pressed to find blueberries bursting with this much sweetness any other time of year. Why are blueberries hard to beat? Here are a few reasons:

Nutrition

Blueberries are considered a superfood. Superfoods, for those not familiar with the term, are foods (usually raw items, such as fruits and vegetables) that have been confirmed to be nutrient-rich and especially beneficial for the health and well-being of the consumer. Blueberries fall into this category because they are high in fiber and low in calories, and an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals (such as K1, vitamin C and manganese) and antioxidants.

While blueberries are often eaten fresh, they make for an excellent ingredient in many baked goods, and are perfect in jams and jellies, and even juiced. They are also easy to store, lasting several days if refrigerated (be sure they are dry and free of mold before placing them in the fridge), or months if frozen.

Freezing blueberries:

There is a specific process to this if you want to maximize consistency: First, spread your blueberries out on a rimmed baking sheet and let them firm up in the freezer for a couple hours. Afterward, transfer them into a resealable plastic bag and pop them back in the freezer. They should keep for a few months. Note: Because freezing can break down the cellular structure of the berries, you may wind up with a less plump texture. Because of this, your best bet is to use your (still delicious!) berries in baking recipes or smoothies once they are removed from the freezer.

Try some of these fabulous blueberry recipes

For fresh blueberries, try:

If you have frozen berries: