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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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.

 

Picking out the “Perfect Wine”- Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Have you had the perfect wine? Chances are, probably not. The reason is because I really don’t believe there is a single perfect wine, just like there is no “best wine in the world.”

Wine-making is a beautiful art and since the boom of red and white blends, vintners have really had a chance to showcase their skill. From a $7 bottle of Cocobon to a $25 bottle of Decoy, vintners have shown that the flavors of each grape, when combined, can create a synergistic effect. My favorite case-in-point so far is Hahn GSM. The sweetness and fruit flavors of the Grenache combine with spiciness and tannins of the Syrah, while the Mourvèdre adds dryness and complexity. If you haven’t had it yet, come check it out. Just about everyone I recommend this wine to has come back for more.

Let’s go back to the idea of the perfect wine and, even though I absolutely love GSM, talk about why it’s not the perfect wine. This example will explain why I don’t believe the perfect wine exists.

A majority of wine is consumed either during or after a meal. Our taste buds get shocked whenever any food comes in contact with them. The taste lingers for quite some time. Two best practices have come because of this fact: 1. Palette cleansing 2. Food pairing. Palette cleansing is the practice of cleaning the taste buds with neutral flavors so that the next taste that enters the mouth can be pure. This can be done with special crackers made for wine tasting or somewhat bland, salted crackers you can find at your local grocery store (wink wink). Food pairing is the practice of understanding the flavors in food and beverage, and rather than clearing those flavors, combining them to a favorable taste.

The secret to never being able to create the perfect wine, I believe, lies in the second best practice. There are some flavors that mix better than others, and some that are never meant to be mixed. Take for instance when Megan and I were mixing up our cocktail for the Cocktail Class in November: We tried combining heavy cream and ginger beer. Hint: Don’t try that at home.

How does GSM fall into all this? Take my experience with GSM and smoked chicken. If you know me, you know I don’t like heavily-oaked chardonnay. You also know I love GSM. Case closed right? Bring in smoked chicken and the game changes. I tried a glass of GSM while having smoked pulled chicken for dinner one night and it was very good. So good I drank my glass of GSM and there was no more to be had. There was a bottle of a heavily oaked Chard open so in the name of food experimentation, I braved it out. And my world changed forever. The smoke of the chicken meshed so well with the oak and grape flavors and I didn’t want to believe it.

Lesson learned? A wine I normally can’t stand beat out a go-to bottle once the flavor profile was changed. And it wasn’t because the GSM was bad in that instance (obviously, since I finished my glass!), but it was because the chardonnay just pulled a Michael Jordan on it. Sorry Karl, the mailman doesn’t deliver on Sundays.

The perfect wine will never exist because of the way our taste buds work. So my recommendation for you is to try as many flavor combinations as possible. Even things you normally wouldn’t like. You’ll have some combinations you will never touch again. But those meals that end up being heaven on a table will keep you coming back for more.

If you haven’t already, stop by and talk to Megan. She is doing an awesome job and having lots of fun curating our wine selection. She is very knowledgeable and adventurous, and willing to help you put a great wine or beer on your table!

 

Cheers!

Andy  

Tags :  wine selection
Let’s Talk Turkey!- Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Without a doubt the month of November is the busiest that our meat department gets every year, followed closely by December. It is so gratifying to realize that thousands of our customers come year after year to our store and order their fresh turkey and Christmas roasts. On behalf of the Prisco Family and our employees we would like to say “Thank you” for your ongoing support and we want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

That being said, I’d like to devote my Shout Out to passing on some helpful advice and perhaps answer questions about how to best prepare and enjoy the center of your holiday meal… The turkey.

Let me begin by going over the top 10 reasons why you should always purchase an all-natural Ho-Ka fresh, non-basted turkey from Prisco’s Family Market.

  1. These are locally grown turkeys raised on the Kaufmann Farm in Waterman, IL.

  2. The Kaufman Farm is a green farm. In addition to raising turkeys, the farm rotates crops of corn, soy beans and wheat. Turkey litter is the only fertilizer used on the corn which is grown to feed the turkeys. Turkeys range on freshly harvested wheat fields, which were no-till drilled into last year's soybean field.

  3. Ho-Ka turkeys are raised in a slower, gentler fashion in order to assure that each bird attains maximum tenderness, a denser meatiness and a richer favor.

  4. Ho-Ka turkeys are fed a balanced diet of animal protein and natural grain.

  5. Ho-Ka turkeys are younger and therefore more tender, dressed at 16 to 19 weeks.

  6. Our Ho-Ka turkeys are 100% natural with minimal processing and absolutely no additives.

  7. Prior to Thanksgiving they are raised free range on freshly harvested wheat fields

  8. Our Ho-Ka turkeys are comparable to or better tasting than those sold online or in specialty stores at more than twice the price per lb.

  9. Our fresh (never frozen) Ho-Ka turkeys retail for just $2.99 lb.

    ..... And the top reason to buy your fresh Ho-Ka turkey from Prisco’s Family Market is .....

  10. YOU ALWAYS GET IT EXACTLY YOUR WAY. Simply call us at (630) 264-9401. Tell us what size bird or birds you want, what extras you would like included, and when you want to pick it up. It’s that simple. All you need do then is invite the quests and write your shopping list for the fresh produce, deli trays, pies and wine and beer to get when you stop to pick up your delicious, fresh Ho-Ka Turkey.

What if you have questions?

Is this the first time you’ve cooked a turkey dinner? Perhaps not the first but it’s been a while and you don’t want to disappoint a house full of Thanksgiving quests? Not to worry, you’ve come to the right place. We have all your turkey questions answered and several you haven’t even thought of yet. Here are some examples of questions we get asked most often.

  1. Question: Can you really tell the difference between a fresh Ho-Ka turkey and the less expensive frozen alternative?

    Answer: Some people can’t but the vast majority can and that’s why hundreds of local area families return to Prisco’s every year to order their fresh turkey and holiday roasts.

  2. Question: Is there a difference in taste between the various brands of turkeys that you carry?

    Answer: While individual customers show a particular preference for one band over another our taste experts say it’s difficult to taste any clear difference because we carry only Grade “A” natural birds. We like to steer people who aren’t pre-set on a particular brand toward the locally grown, all natural fresh Ho-Ka brand because they offer the best opportunity to match the bird size with your particular needs.

  3. Question: Do you only sell fresh turkeys? What if I’d prefer a frozen turkey?

    Answer: No problem at all, we carry two of the most popular frozen turkeys in the market, Grade “A” Nobest and Butterball.

  4. Question: What size turkey should I order?

    Answer: To have plenty for everyone, figure one pound per average adult and about ½ a pound for seniors and children. This is one meal, however, where everyone wants some leftovers, so after counting heads and pounds add on five or six pounds for delicious leftovers and turkey sandwiches.

  5. Question: Do I need to get a hen?

    Answer: This is something that you may have heard from grandma or perhaps even Mom. Years ago when turkeys were raised totally free range the Toms (males) ran a lot, fought with each other and got lean and a bit tough. A Tom turkey was something to be avoided if possible. That’s not the case any longer: All the turkeys are raised humanely and are well cared for to assure that no matter the sex of the bird, you are getting a delicious natural meal.

  6. Question: Will my turkey keep fresh in my refrigerator?

    Answer: Yes it should keep fresh for a week if properly refrigerated. Just keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

 

  1. Question: What can I do to avoid hurt feelings when four kids want the two drum sticks?

    Answer: Easier than you may think. When you order your turkey ask for two extra turkey legs…no problem. Some customers who have an abundance of white meat lovers order an extra turkey breast rather than trying to fit two full turkeys in the oven.

  2. Question: What is the proper temperature for a roasted turkey?

    Answer: The white meat should be 160-165 degrees F. and the dark meat 170-175 degrees F. Most of the fresh turkeys come with a popup timer. The Ho-Ka and Butterball do not. Pop up timers are available for sale in the store. The frozen turkeys do come with timers. Of course the surest method is to use an instant read thermometer.

  3. Question: I have a small family and nobody likes dark meat. What do you suggest?

    Answer: Buy one of our exceptional boneless or bone-in breasts. Our meat cutters make them right here at the store in a variety of sizes. We are one of the few stores that offers a complete range of fresh turkey parts including breasts, drumsticks, thighs, wings, backs and necks for stock, and giblets. (Boy if they thought that they didn’t like dark meat wait till they try some turkey giblets.)

  4. Question: I’ve heard brining can make a turkey moister. What does that involve?

    Answer: Brining your turkey is a good way to add moisture and seasoning throughout the bird. It is generally worth the effort. The most basic way to brine a turkey (see The Joy of Cooking) is to add two pounds of salt to two gallons of water in a suitable container and, in a cool spot, submerge your turkey for 4-6 hours. At roasting time, remove from the solution, pat dry and cook according to instructions. Many times people like to add their own touches to the brining solution such as apple cider, or various spice combinations. Brining kits are available in the store.

 

Margaret’s 5 step process to carving a turkey

I’d like to close out this little epistle on turkeys by sharing my sure fire best way to carve your turkey

Take the turkey from the oven, place on a cutting board and remove the stuffing. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes before beginning.

  1. With a sharp carving knife, remove the legs by placing the knife in the seam where the thigh meets the breast. Slice through the meat slowly, pushing down on the leg until you reach the ball joint (where the thigh bone meets the pelvis). With the tip of the knife, cut through the joint, releasing the whole leg. Grasp the drumstick in one hand and with the knife, find the drumstick/thigh joint and separate the drumstick from the thigh. Repeat for the other side.

  2. Next grasp the wing and probe with the knife tip to find the joint where the wing attaches to the breast. Cut through the joint and remove the wing. Repeat for the other wing.

  3. You now have the whole breast with back portion attached. At this point the breast meat can be sliced “as is” or the breast meat can be removed from the carcass in halves and then placed on the cutting board for slicing.

  4. To remove the breast meat from the bone, score the breast down the middle along the keel (or breast bone) with the tip of the knife. Once the seam has been created insert the blade lengthwise and “scoop” along the breast bone. The breast half should literally fall away from the bone at this point. Repeat for the other half.

  5. You now have a disjointed turkey. The meat can now be sliced as you wish. The drumsticks, thighs, and wings can be served as-is, or the meat can be sliced off and the bones discarded. Slice the breast meat against the grain.

 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Margaret Prisco