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.

 

Will it be Ham or Lamb?- Tuesday, March 20, 2018

For some holidays it's a foregone conclusion as to what the main entree will be. For Thanksgiving who doesn’t have a turkey as the main meat? And, of course, it would not be St. Patrick’s Day without corned beef...and just about everyone serves burgers and brats for their July 4th BBQ. Easter, however, is a different animal (literally) all together.

Here in the US, most families serve ham but there is also a pretty large contingent of folks that have traditionally served a spring lamb as their main course for Easter Brunch or dinner.

By far the largest number of us will be eating some form of ham this Easter, but if your lineage is from central Europe near the Mediterranean, chances are your famly eats lamb for Easter. For a number of reasons, lamb has never caught on in the US where we eat on average less that a pound of it per year compared to Australia, another New World colony where lamb is one of the most commonly served meats with Australians consuming over 20 lbs. per year.

If you go back 150 years or so when our economy was much more agrarian-based, hogs were raised and slaughtered in the fall. What wasn’t eaten immediately had to be smoked and cured over the winter, and spring was the ideal time to go to the smokehouse and get a ham to serve at Easter dinner. Of course, in those days you served a whole ham and the ham was too large to consume in one meal. You’d have a number of ham dinners, ham salads, ham sandwiches and, eventually, ham and split pea soup. There is an old farmer’s saying that the definition of eternity is two people and a whole ham.

Regardless of your families’ tradition, we are prepared to supply you with the best quality ham or lamb for your Easter brunch or dinner, and we’ve also got all the timings to make it a memorable meal for all to enjoy.

 

Andy

Guinness Trivia for St. Patrick’s Day- Tuesday, March 13, 2018

When friends or neighbors meet on the street anywhere in Ireland, the second thing said after "Hello!" is, “Are you goin' fer one?”

“Goin'” refers to the local pub and “fer one” refers to a freshly poured pint of Guinness.

  • Pouring a glass or pint of Guinness is a skill. A “perfect pour” should take 199.50 seconds. This is the result of pouring at an angle of 45 degrees followed by a rest. This is crucial. Most Irish people would cringe if they saw anyone pour it any other way. After a pause, long enough so what’s in the glass is a perfect black, the rest of the glass is filled, again at a 45-degree angle. What is handed across the bar should have a creamy head and should be served at exactly 42.8F.
  • What’s the ball doing in the cans? The little white balls that clink around aluminum cans of Guinness are called “widgets” (patented by Guinness in 1969), and are filled with nitrogen-infused beer like you’d find on tap. When you pull the ring on your can, the change in pressure causes that nitrogenated beer to bubble out into the rest of the brew, creating a foamy head like you’d find on draught.
  • The Guinness Book of World Records was made to settle a pub argument. One November day in 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, former Guinness managing director, was out shooting with some friends when they began to argue over which was the fastest game bird in Europe. When reference books supplied no answer, Beaver decided that the drinking world desperately needed one volume that could single-handedly settle any pub dispute. Three years later, The Guinness Book of Records printed its first thousand copies. It has since been published in 23 languages, in 100 countries.
  • What color is Guinness really? At first glance Guinness is quite dark in color, almost black, but actually, it’s red. Hold your glass up to the light and you’ll see a deep ruby red. The company attributes this in part to the roasting of malted barley during preparation.
  • Guinness was first marketed as a health elixir. The first-ever national print advertisement for Guinness touts the stout as a “valuable restorative after Influenza and other illnesses,” and invokes doctors who commend the beer’s ability to enrich blood and cure insomnia.
  • According to a study conducted at Northumbria University in 2013, approximately 13 million pints of Guinness were expected to be drunk on St. Patrick's Day. On an average day, about 5.5 million pints of Guinness are consumed.

 

Savings all around this week, and much if it’s green- Tuesday, March 13, 2018

We started selling corned beef dinners for two this past week which includes colcannon and carrots, and we’ve had a tough time keeping up with demand. It seems everyone is at least a little bit Irish this week as the corned beef, cabbage, Irish soda bread and Guinness beer are flying off the shelves. Another popular offer this year in our deli are the reuben sliders. You can buy any number you wish but for convenience we have some packaged in fours and sixes in the case across from the deli.

In addition to the many St Patrick’s Day offerings, be sure to check out the beef and pork sale in our meat department. We are offering four USDA Choice Prisco Angus beef steaks: Porterhouse, T-bones, filet mignon and round steaks can be had at the lowest prices in years, and they are selling out quickly as some folks are stocking up. In our pork section you will find all-natural Prairie Fresh pork chops, spare ribs and country ribs, all under $3 lb.

MOST IMPORTANT - If you are saving Prisco’s Points, and we know that most of you are, act before we close on Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, and you’ve got two opportunities to rack up some meaningful points. Spend $50 or more and you not only get one point for every $1 you spend, but we are throwing in a bonus of an additional 250 points. Spend $100 or more and that amount doubles to 500 bonus points. That purchase alone will give you more than enough points to redeem for all but three of the awards being awarded this month. Check out a full list of point redemption items here. Remember, once earned, your points are yours until you spend them…they never expire. We offer twelve items to choose from every month and if you don’t see something you want, save up your points and get two or more items the following month.  

As our slogan says, “Prisco’s Points are free to earn and fun to spend”.

Andy

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!

 

 

A case of cabin fever has hit me bad!- Tuesday, March 6, 2018

It’s been a long uneventful winter and I for one am so ready to see spring arrive. In fact, I’m almost ready to say I’d love to get out and cut my lawn. Actually, when I think about it, I’d much rather cut my lawn this week than go out to shovel the driveway one more time.  

I know that about one month ago, Punxsutawney Phil the ground hog saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter, so I’m hoping that this comes to pass and within the next two weeks we see much more sunshine than overcast skies and that the temperatures stay above the mid-forties. I’m also very much looking forward to having our snowbird neighbors return, because after the holidays when so many of them leave town for warmer climates it gets a bit too quiet around here.

I’m also very much looking forward to taking the cover off the outdoor grill and throwing on a few steaks and brats to welcome the warm weather grilling season once again. Truth be told, I believe I've caught a bad case of cabin fever, and while I’m in no way a public health menace I do believe that the fever may have warped my cognitive abilities this week when putting together our meat ad!

Oay, call me crazy, but I met with Dave Hatcher, our meat manager, and Dave Michaels, our store manager, and we decided to put together a beef and pork sale this week and next like we haven’t seen in years. For example, you'll be able to get our USDA Choice Prisco’s Angus beef porterhouse and T-bone steaks for less than $8 lb., and if you want the very but steaks we offer our rib eyes are going out at $12.99 lb. We also slashed $6 lb. off the price of our tender filets. For you pork lovers, we’ve got our all natural Prairie Fresh country ribs at just $1.49 per pound on all family size packages. If you prefer, we also have center cut pork chops and loin chops at $1.99 lb. I’d also invite you to take home a package of our homemade steak fajitas with all the veggies ready to cook and enjoy.

We have done our part and put together what I hope you agree is a very aggressive ad, so please take a moment to look it over and come in and fill up your cart with some huge savings.

Oh yes… I almost forgot! We have another good reason for you to stock up big this week. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we are offering two big Prisco’s Points Bonuses. For the next ten days until closing on Saturday 3/17, spend just $50 in a single purchase and receive 250 Prisco’s bonus points, or spend $100 and double that to 500 bonus points.

So there you go, two great reasons to head over to our store this week: The biggest meat sale in years and hundreds of Prisco’s Bonus Points to boot.

See you in the meat aisle.

 

Andy

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Some Facts About Button Mushrooms- Monday, February 26, 2018

Something that we tend to take for granted are button mushrooms. They make a great garnish or addition to hundreds of centerplate items, and they are also a primary ingredient for foods like omelets, pasta sauces and pizza toppings. In addition, unlike other, less meaty vegetables, button mushrooms serve very well as the main ingredient of soups and even stews.

These hearty veggies offer a strong and individual flavor and keep well in the refrigerator. Best of all, they are available even in the worst weather, and all year long. Formally known as Agaricus bisporus (also sometimes called "commercial mushrooms"), the button mushroom was first cultivated on horse manure heaps in France in the 1700s. It is still grown this way. Until recently it was the main mushroom cultivated in the United States.

The button mushrrom was originally brown in color. In 1926, a Pennsylvania mushroom farmer found a clump of Agaricus with white caps in his mushroom bed. Cultures were grown from the mutant individuals, and most of the cream-colored store mushrooms we see today are products of this chance observation.

Whole unopened buttons taste best. Once the partial veil protecting the gills has broken and the cap expands, the flesh becomes softer, cooks darker, and has a stronger taste.

Cleaning

Little water is required for the cleaning of store-bought mushrooms or of field specimens if gathered carefully. Older ones may be fragile and difficult to clean without cracking. A soft brush is useful. Avoid soaking, for the gills retain water and they will cook poorly. For best results, let them drain in a colander 15 to 30 minutes before cooking.

Cooking

The button mushroom is one of the few mushrooms that can be eaten raw in a salad, or ussed for dips. Thickly sliced pieces, when sautéed, may be savored as delicate hor d' oeuvres. Added to vegetarian casseroles or stews, they may simulate hunks of meat.

Preserving

Store your button mushrooms in the refrigerator for a week in an open bowl covered with waxed paper, but avoid plastic. They may also be sautéed in butter and frozen. They are surprisingly good when cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices and dried at home for later rehydration. Buttons may be pickled, spiced, or canned. Use a pressure cooker, applying fully adequate time, heat, and pressure, when canning them.

Meal Ideas Are Where It’s At!- Monday, February 26, 2018

For the past few years we have been enjoying steady and consistent growth in our prepared food section. It is clear that among our most loyal customer base, our home cooked or prepared-in-store meals have been the focus of a larger share of our business. Folks appear to like the convenience and, thanks to my Mom’s efforts (along with her capable staff), they must love the taste.

Once folks have tried these items, we seem to have little difficulty getting them back to try others -- and consistently repeat purchases of their favorites. On any given day in the refrigerated case across from the deli you can find single and two serving packages pf homemade, pre-cooked, heat-and-eat entrees like our meat lasagna, chicken parmesan, beef stroganoff, Swedish meatballs, stuffed peppers, cabbage rolls, and many more.

So what’s our plan? Well, we figure it makes sense to continue expanding this part of our business and continually offer additional items. We also intend to be on the lookout for new ideas that are trending and strong in popularity at restaurants and in social media chats. I’ll leave that research up to my sisters Bridget and Jacquie because they have done a super job of coming up with new concepts, like the now popular grab-and-go party bowls we featured near the holidays.

In addition to the deli, where meal ideas are already cooked and packaged to take home to warm and eat, we are also trying to offer  shoppers meal ideas with some of the prep-work already taken care of by our staff. One good example of such an item can be found this week in our meat case, where we have all the makings of chicken fajitas with plenty of crispy, fresh, pre-sliced veggies available.   Another offering this week in our meat case is our homemade tomato basil chicken using our all-natural skinless and boneless Miller Amish Country chicken breasts.

If you have yet to try one of our entrees I’d encourage you to do so, and if for any reason you aren’t absolutely satisfied with the food, ask for me or my mom, Beth, next time you are in and we will happily give you your money back. If you have an idea for another prepared food dish that you would like to see us offer, by all means stop at the deli and share your thoughts.

 

Thank you

Andy

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.

 

Prisco’s Points About to Evolve into Next Phase- Tuesday, February 20, 2018

We launched our Prisco’s Points Customer Appreciation Program in mid-November of last year, and so far several thousand customers have joined the program. Since launch, we have distributed over 1.5 million points and about 625,000 have been redeemed.

We’ve had lots of fun seeing shoppers taking home free groceries and cash rewards every day simply for shopping at Prisco’s. So far, several hundred people have redeemed a portion of their points; however, only about 30% of the folks who have earned enough points to redeem them for free goods have done so. Chances are good you are sitting on more than enough points to turn some in for free goods or cash, so be certain to ask the checker on your next visit just how many points you have in the bank.

If you are wondering what you can get for FREE (or in some cases, a small cash outlay), check our monthly rewards list for February. Our two most popular items so far this month are the $10 cash discount for 1,200 points, and the FREE $25 gift card for the sports bar next door called Spartan House.

As the headline above reads, we are about to ramp up the value of the program. We have been collecting your transaction data for the past couple of months and with that information we are beginning to see patterns among shoppers. We will soon be able to start offering individual shoppers personalized specials on the items that they care most about and tend to purchase most often. Be on the lookout in the near future for an email or a text with a special offer designed with you and the foods that you like best in mind.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions or suggestions as to how we might make the Prisco's Points program even better, please share them with me or a member of the staff.

Thanks, and keep having fun redeeming those Prisco's Points.

 

Andy