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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I'd love to create a personalized food basket just for you. - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas is getting closer every day and for many of the people I ask, they have most but not all of their holiday gift shopping complete. In many cases they simply don’t know what to get for one or two people on their list. If you face the same dilemma I’d like to make a suggestion: Consider the gift of food and beverage. It’s one gift that everyone can use and appreciate.

There are several ways that we can fill your food and beverage gift needs. The simplest and quickest way is to purchase a Prisco’s gift card for any amount that suits you. Think of this as good solution for the postman, a school teacher, your baby sitter, or the scout master -- people that you want to recognize with a holiday gift, but just don’t know enough about their personal tastes to be comfortable picking out something specific.

For the person who loves to cook we’d like to suggest picking up a copy the newly released Prisco’s Family and Friends Cookbook, containing over 300 recipes contributed by members of the Prisco family and dozens of our customers, neighbors and friends. We’ve been selling the books for about three weeks and about half of the books are gone, so if you would like one or two for Christmas gifts shop the display in the front of our store.

For the past few Christmas holidays I’ve been tasked with being Chief Christmas Elf, maker of food gift baskets extraordinaire. Each year as I gain more experience, I try to find ways to improve upon what we offered the previous year. As in the past we will offer several premade baskets at a wide range of price points, available for you to simply pick up and purchase between now and Christmas Eve. I’m also very happy to create a custom made basket and fill it with any item that we sell in the store.

To make things even easier, this year we are offering a Create-a-Gift-Basket program offering three set price points for baskets where you purchase the baskets contents and my team of gift basket elf’s and I will build out your basket and make it just right for you and the person you are gifting it to. For example, do you know someone who enjoys craft and imported beers? Our store now offers over 800 beer varieties so I guarantee that we can create a beer gift basket that will be loved by any beer aficionado. Maybe you know someone with a passion for cooking or baking: consider a basket of our new line of all organic Spicely spices along with a mixture of imported specialty foods. Please keep in mind that if you want us to build you a custom made gift basket, depending on the amount of traffic when you visit, we may need to ask you to select your basket contents and leave them with us to create your basket for later pick-up.

If you have someone on your gift list that seems to be hard to shop for please think about the gift of food and beverage. Stop in the store and visit our gift basket center at the front. We are here to help make this Christmas a breeze when it comes to gifts of food and drink.

 

Jacquie – Prisco’s Chief Christmas Elf & Gift Basket Maker

 

 

The story behind some traditional holiday desserts- Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thanksgiving is now behind us, but with Christmas swiftly approaching, there's not much time in to relax. Whether you are preparing to entertain a large number of family and friends, or just your immediate family, trying to decide what to serve can be tricky -- especially when it comes to dessert. Christmas in particular is one of those holidays that emphasises the after-dinner offerings more than the main course; when people think of Christmas foods, candy and cookies and pies often come first, followed by the traditional roast beef or ham. Case in point: How many people do you know who decorate their homes with candy canes, along with those garlands and wreathes and the occasional bunch of mistletoe?

There are plenty of traditional desserts, or desserts commonly associated with the holidays, that are well worth serving your guests. Some of the most notable are gingerbread, stollen, fruit cake, "yule logs", and a huge variety of cookies. Everyone is acquainted with some or all of these foods, but why are they so popular? What is their significance?

Gingerbread

Cakes of all shapes and sizes (including smaller items such as cookies) have been part of festive holiday rituals long before Christmas. Ancient cooks prepared sweet baked goods to mark significant occasions. Many of these recipes and ingredients (cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, almonds, dried fruits etc.) were introduced to Europe in the Middle Ages. They were highly prized and quickly incorporated into European baked goods. Christmas cookies, as we know them today, trace their roots to these Medieval European recipes. Dutch and German settlers introduced cookie cutters, decorative molds, and festive holiday decorations to America. German lebkuchen (gingerbread) was probably the first cake/cookie traditionally associated with Christmas.

Recipes:

Gingerbread Cookies

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

Stollen

The history of the Dresden type Christmas Stollen goes back to the 15th century. The Stollen was designed to symbolize the infant Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. But the original Stollen was not the delicious masterpiece we have today. Stollen is thought to have originated in Dresden in the 1400s. However, at that time the Catholic Church, as part of the fasting rules in preparation for Christmas, forbade the use of butter milk during Advent. Thus, the stollen of the middle ages was a somewhat tasteless pastry. In 1650 Prince Ernst von Sachsen at the request of bakers in Dresden, successfully petitioned Pope Urban VIII to lift the restrictions on the use of butter during Advent. The restrictions were lifted only in Dresden and thus began a baking tradition that continues to this day.

Recipe:

Christmas Stollen

Fruit Cake

The ancient Romans made a mishmash of barley, pomegranate seeds, nuts and raisins as a sort of energy bar; however the modern fruitcake can be traced back to the Middle Ages as dried fruits became more widely available and fruited breads entered Western European cuisine. But variations on the fruitcake started springing up: Italy’s dense, sweet-and-spicy panforte (literally, “strong bread”) dates back to 13th century Sienna; Germany’s stollen, a tapered loaf coated with melted butter and powdered sugar that’s more bread-like in consistency, has been a Dresden delicacy since the 1400s and has its own annual festival; and then there’s black cake in the Caribbean Islands, a boozy descendant of Britain’s plum pudding where the fruit is soaked in rum for months, or even as long as a year.

The tradition of making fruitcakes for special occasions such as weddings and holidays gained in popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries and due to the cost of the materials, it was a grand indulgence. But, as with many traditions, how this confection came to be exclusively associated with Christmas season is a mystery. - [info courtsy of blogs.smithsonianmag.com]

Recipe:

Holiday Fruitcake

Yule Log

The history of the Yule log cake stretches all the way back to Europe’s Iron Age, before the medieval era. Back then, Celtic Brits and Gaelic Europeans would gather to welcome the winter solstice at December’s end. People would feast to celebrate the days finally becoming longer, signaling the end of the winter season. To cleanse the air of the previous year’s events and to usher in the spring, families would burn logs decorated with holly, pinecones or ivy.

With the advent of Christianity, the Yule log tradition continued, albeit on a smaller scale. Families may have burned a log on Christmas Eve, but smaller hearths became the norm so huge logs were impractical. Those small hearths, however, were perfect for baking cakes. We don’t know who exactly made the first Yule log cake, but judging from the individual ingredients it could have been as early as the 1600s. Marzipan and meringue decorations, two of the most popular choices for Yule logs, appeared on many a medieval table. Sponge cake, which often constitutes the base of the log, is one of the oldest cakes still made today. -[info courtesy of history.com]

Recipe:

French Yule Log

Cookies

Modern Christmas cookies can trace their history to recipes from Medieval Europe biscuits, which when many modern ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, almonds and dried fruit were introduced into the west. By the 16th century Christmas biscuits had become popular across Europe, with lebkuchen being favoured in Germany and papparkakor in Sweden, while in Norway krumkake were popular.



The earliest examples of Christmas cookies in the United States were brought by the Dutch in the early 17th century. In the early 20th century, U.S, merchants were also importing decorated lebkuchen cookies from Germany to be used as presents. In Canada and the United States, since the 1930s, children have left cookies and milk on a table for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, though many people simply consume the cookies themselves. The cookies are often cut into such shapes as those of candy canes, reindeer, and holly leaves. -[info courtesy of wikipedia.org & theculinarylife.com]

Recipes:

Turron de Almendra

Anise Pillows - Pfefferneuse Cookies

Butterball Santas

Raspberry Limoncello Linzers

Eggnog Sparkle Cookies

Mojito Jammies

Rolled Sugar Cookies

You can count on Prisco’s when you want only the best quality in Holiday Roasts.- Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It’s a crazy time in the meat department at Prisco’s. We just put Thanksgiving week in the history books and it’s time to start all over again as our customers begin to make plans for their Christmas parties and holiday meals. Every year we hear from hundreds of loyal customers who call in advance to order their special meat needs, but unlike Thanksgiving where the only decision to make is “how big a turkey to order?”, the main course, center plate decision for Christmas is no slam dunk. It’s a big decision, and more so than any other serve-at-home-meal, it’s a large investment in time, work and money. We know that you want to make the correct decision and you want your meal to be a huge success that every participant remembers fondly.

If you are struggling, not certain just what to serve or perhaps how to prepare your center plate meat, perhaps I can help with some general information regarding some excellent choices for your holiday meal.

How much should I buy?

Here are guidelines of serving sizes for an adult for various popular entrees:

Beef Roasts – For boneless roast like a tenderloin, figure four servings per pound. For a rib-eye roast you will get three servings per pound, and for bone in roasts like a standing rib you will get between two to two-and-a-half servings per pound.

Pork Roasts and Hams – Pork Crown roast, very popular for Christmas, will yield about 3/4 up to one serving per pound. A five pound roast will consist of 10 t 12 chops, serving six people. For a center cut, boneless pork loin, you will get 3.5 servings per pound, and if it’s a bone-in roast that drops to 3 servings per pound. For hams, you can get 4.5 servings per pound if it's boneless, or 3.5 per pound with a bone-in ham.

Turkey - A turkey will produce approximately one serving per pound, and if you serve a bone-in breast you will get two servings per pound.

Once you have decided what you want to serve and determined how much you need to serve your quests, the hardest part is behind you. All that’s left to do is put it in the oven, right? Well, there are some important preparation steps no matter what you decide to cook, but the one thing that separates the great home cooks from the pretenders is knowing when to take the roast or bird out of the oven. Undercooked meat is not only a health risk but it looks and tastes unappetizing. On the other hand, too much time in the oven and, to a lesser extent, not enough time resting the meat out of the oven, are both big problems that will only lead to disappointment to you and all of your guests.

How do I avoid ruining my roast or bird?

The answer is all in temperature control. Any good chef’s most trusted tool, after his/her knives, is their temperature probe (quick read thermometer). Cooking meat to the correct internal temperature is the best way to assure a great tasting dish. As the Geico commercial says, “Everybody knows that”. True no doubt, but I’ll guarantee that if you are honest most people never use a meat probe thermometer. In fact most home chefs don’t even own one. What a shame! Anyone can buy a professional model meat probe thermometer for around $10 and it will last for years, but the sad truth is we just don’t consider a meat thermometer a must have kitchen tool.

Good news Prisco Shoppers…… You don’t need to buy a professional probe meat thermometer because, as our gift to you in the hopes that you will use it often to cook many delicious Prisco roasts in the years to come, we are giving you one FREE. Simply purchase any beef, pork roast, ham, or fresh Ho Ka Turkey over the next ten days and the $9 thermometer is yours FREE -- just pay Uncle Sam the tax.

So, now that you know that the secret to a great roast is to cook it to the correct temperature, what is the correct temperature you ask? Great question. Here is your answer.

 

Finally, we'll try to make it easy for you to find excellent recipes to use for the holiday. You will find these and thousands more on our website.

Rice-Stuffed Pork Crown Roast

Beef Wellington with Green Peppercorn Sauce

Standing Rib Roast

Balsamic Rosemary Pork Loin with Roasted Potatoes

Glazed Roasted Ham

Apricot Herb Glazed Turkey

 

Well, that should give you all the knowledge necessary to be an outstanding chef this holiday. All you need to do now is give us a call at (630) – 264-9401 and give Lee or Dan your holiday meat order!

 

Happy Holidays,

Margaret Prisco – Meat Manager

 

Pistachios are heart healthy & a tasty snack- Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanks to their “hearty” nutrient profile that includes antioxidants, unsaturated fats and various vitamins and minerals, pistachios make a heart healthy snack.

We all need some fat in our diet. Fat adds flavor which makes any snack a satisfying treat. The trick is to choose foods that contain good fats (unsaturated) as opposed to bad fats (saturated). Pistachios are a great choice of snack because they contain almost 90% unsaturated fat, i.e. the good stuff. So the next time you consider ordering French fries, choose a healthier, crunchier snack of pistachios instead.

The Skinny on Fats.

Most Americans take in much less than the recommended 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories. As a good source of fiber, pistachios can help meet this goal. A serving of pistachio nuts provides 3 grams of dietary fiber, or about 12% of the Daily Value.

The Weight-Wise Nut

Known as the Skinny Nut, pistachios are one of the lowest calorie and lowest fat nuts around. The good news about pistachios and weight management just keeps adding up.

In-shell Snack May Slow Consumption

According to James Painter, PhD, RD, Chair of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University, the “Pistachio Principle” is caloric reduction without calorie restriction. It is one of the many ways we can alter our environmental cues, allowing us to become more mindful and satisfied with our food choices.

Dr. Painter has conducted two preliminary behavioral nutritional studies: In the first study, people who consumed inshell pistachios ate 41 percent fewer calories than those who consumed pistachios without shells. This suggests that empty shells may be a helpful visual cue as to how much has been eaten – thereby potentially encouraging reduced calorie consumption.

 

Some great cheeses to consider for your upcoming Holiday parties.- Tuesday, December 2, 2014

With the party season coming into full swing, I thought this might be a great time to share a bit more about some of the things we’ve learned about fine cheese. It’s a very good idea to have some variety of cheese on hand any time, but for the next month or so it would be a shame not to be prepared for guests. Here is a list of some surefire winners to have on hand, all available in our specialty cheese shop across from the deli case.

Brie

Brie is the best known French cheese and has the nickname "The Queen of Cheeses". Brie is a soft cheese named after the French region Brie, where it was originally created. Several hundred years ago, Brie was one of the tributes which had to be paid to the French kings.

True French brie (for French consumption) cannot be exported to the US. Considered by purist to be the finest Brie, it is made with raw cow's milk -- and that's why these cheeses are unavailable in the United States. They don't meet our government's 60-day aging requirement for raw-milk cheese.

Brie that is exported to the US is produced from whole or semi-skimmed cow's milk. Rennet is added in to raw milk and heated to a temperature of 98.6°F to obtain the curd. The cheese is then cast into molds; several layers of cheese are filled into a mold and then kept for around 18 hours. After this the cheese is salted and aged for minimum of four weeks. Check this week’s ad for three featured brie cheeses, all worth having on your cheese platter.

Brie cheese is slightly pale in color with a grayish tinge under a rind. Its flavor varies depending upon the ingredients added while producing the cheese. In order to enjoy the taste fully, Brie must be served at room temperature.

Wines and Beers to pair with brie: Champagne, Montrachet, and Corton-Charlemagne. Beer lovers will enjoy wheat beers from Belgium and Germany, usually called weissbier or hefeweizen.

Cotswold

Cotswold is named after the picturesque region in southwest England, known for its rolling hills and lush pastures. Similar to Cheddar, it has a creamy, smooth texture that melts in the mouth. Chive and onions are added giving it a distinctive flavorful enhancement that melts well. Cotswold goes well with grilled meats, especially burgers, and on baked potatoes. Cotswold is served in pubs in England on toast or rustic bread.

Suggested Pairing: Brown Ale or Shiraz

Blue D’Auvergne

Produced in the mountainous region of Auvergne, this cheese tends to be milder, creamier, less salty and more approachable than other French blue cheeses. Aged for about four weeks, it has a natural rind, often with some white surface mold. Typically buttery and moist, the flavor is spicy, but not sharp or biting. Hints of grasses and wild flowers prevail on your tongue. Serve atop a burger or in salads. Bleu d’Auvergne is wonderful warmed in a mushroom cap or crumbled on a meatloaf.

Suggested Pairing: Red Bordeaux or Porter

Mimolette

A Hardy French Gouda, The Mimolette is a most unusual cheese, spherical like an Edam but with a rough, moon-like surface and a bright orange interior. It resembles a melon when cut open. The texture is firm and oily and the color a vivid orange. With ageing it slowly hardens and dries and the color changes from carrot to orange-brown. It has a firm texture with a very nutty flavour and a thick brown-gray crust.

Suggested pairings: Chianti and Sangiovese and Port, Acme Brown Ale

Huntsman

Huntsman is the combination of two British cheeses: Double Gloucester and blue Stilton. It is a trademarked name, owned by the Long Clawson Dairy, which is located in Nottingham. The cheese is made by alternating layers of these two classics. The layering is done by hand and is a very labor-intensive process. The result, however, is a striking combination of fudgy, rich, tangy and earthy sensations. Because of its layering, the appearance is gorgeous on a cheese tray.

Suggested Pairing: Nut Brown Ale or Shiraz

Wensleydale with cranberries

Pasteurized cow’s milk is used in this handmade cheese. Drawn from cows that graze on sweet limestone pastures around the Yorkshire area of upper Wensleydale, the cheese is young, mild and clean, with a honey aftertaste. Wensleydale with Cranberries uses only all-natural ingredients. Great for a sweet dip, stuffed in phyllo dough, or on a beautiful cheese plate. This would also be delicious on a turkey sandwich. Wonderful crumbled in a salad with balsamic dressing.

Suggested Pairing: Lambic beer or fruit-based wines

 

Have a very “Cheesy” holiday season.

~ Bridget

 

I’d like to share a few Special Holiday Announcements- Tuesday, November 25, 2014

By the time you read this blog Thanksgiving will be at most one day away. As always it’s a crazy busy, yet crazy-wonderful time here at the store. We can’t tell you how great it is to see all of our faithful customers who have been supporting us for almost 90 years stop in to pick up their Thanksgiving turkey and fixings. In a way, we get to join hundreds of you at table each Thanksgiving as you bring home your entire family for a national day of Thanks.

As always, we will be closing our store for Thanksgiving Day in order to be able to share this special time with our own families.

Before the turkey and gravy have even cooled off, the rush is going to be on to jump from one holiday towards the next, Christmas. No doubt most all of you will be spending a good part of this coming weekend Christmas shopping in the stores or online. I realize that your local grocery store isn’t going to be at the top on your list of places to shop for Christmas Gifts, but let me share some ideas that just may fit the bill.

 

Prisco’s Family & Friends Cookbook


This past summer you may recall that we were collecting recipes from customers to add to our own list of often used family recipes. Well, we put them into a nice cookbook which just arrived this week from the publisher. We think that this is one cookbook you will want to have in your collection as it has over 300 recipes, all contributed by your friends and neighbors who live in your neighborhood and shop at Prisco’s Family Market, just like you.

Here’s a sampling of a few of the recipes you’ll get in the book:

  • Grandma Ruth’s German Potato Salad

  • Sesame-Ginger Asparagus

  • Aunt Jennie’s Short Ribs

  • Gramma Pigatti’s Stewed Conigilo

  • Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

  • And my own, Texas Style Brisket

The books will be featured from now through Christmas (or while supplies last) at $14.99 ea.

 

Craft Beer Gift Sets

Back by very popular demand we will once again be featuring an extensive collection of craft and imported beer gift sets. Next time you are in the store visit the display located at the front of the beer aisle (against the cold beer case). Andy has done a great job of putting together around two dozen great gift items starting at prices under $10. Sometimes we think Andy has just a bit too much fun selecting all the beer gift items, but oh well: Let’s just humor him and check out his stash.

 

Prisco Gift Cards

If you are having difficulty coming up with a Christmas gift idea for someone, here’s a thought…

There is one thing we all know that anyone can use and appreciate: Groceries! That’s right, think about gifting those hard-to-buy-for friends with a Prisco’s Family Market Gift Certificate.

 

Entertainment for the holiday season

Do you enjoy a good Christmas play or concert? Rob & I certainly do and here’s some great news, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy great Holiday Entertainment performed locally by the Fox Valley Orchestra.

Winter Song”

Saturday, December 13th at 7:30 pm at the Batavia Fine Arts Center (Details below)

and

Sunday, December 14th at 3:00 pm at Crimi Auditorium at Aurora University (Details Below)

Featuring:

Charles King, Chorus Master and Maura Brown, Violin

  • Humperdinck - Prelude to Hansel and Gretel

  • Hely-Hutchinson - Carol Symphony

  • Vivaldi - Winter from The Four Seasons

  • Anderson - Sleigh Ride

  • Mathias - Sir Christemas

  • Mendelssohn - Vom Himmel Hoch

  • Berlioz - The Shepherd's Farewell

  • Susa - A Christmas Garland

Online Ticket Pricing: http://www.foxvalleyorchestra.org/order.php

Regular: $13 Student/Senior: $11 Kids 8 and under: $8 Online Fees: $0.75 per ticket

Door Ticket Pricing:

Regular: $15 Student/Senior: $13 Kids 8 and under: $9

“Sing-Along Messiah”

Sunday, December 21st at 3:00 pm at the Batavia Fine Arts Center (Details below)

Fox Valley Orchestra & Chorus
Colin Holman, Conductor

Messiah Part 1 and Hallelujah Chorus

Bring your own Messiah score to sing along, or purchase one at the venue!

Online Ticket Pricing: http://www.foxvalleyorchestra.org/order.php

Ticket price - $9 (Available through Friday, 12/19)

Door Ticket Pricing:
$10

Venue locations

Batavia Fine Arts Center Crimi Auditorium at Aurora University
            1201 Main Street Batavia $07 S. Calumet Ave., Aurora


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Georgette Prisco

 

Brussels Sprouts – a little dynamo of a vegetable- Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Whenever I see Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and rutabaga, I think of Thanksgiving as these three vegetables have always been on our family's Thanksgiving dinner table.  Today let’s focus on Brussels Sprouts:

I am always amazed when I see a dinner guest pass by the sprouts in favor of the mash potatoes with gravy, stuffing , corn and green beans.  Most often when I ask if they wouldn’t like some sprouts they admit sheepishly that they have never eaten a Brussels sprout and don’t know if they would like them.  What a shame that they have been missing out on this little vegetable dynamo!

Brussels sprouts are related to other better-known vegetables in the Brassica genus like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.  They grow on long, curving stalks as small, tightly closed heads that resemble tiny cabbages.  The tops of the stalks have spreading leaves, making these impressive-looking plants when in the field.  Brussels sprouts grow best in cool, coastal regions, and are in season in the fall and winter.  They may be boiled, braised or steamed, or parboiled and then sautéed.

The "sprouts" (the aforementioned heads that resemble miniature cabbages) are produced in the leaf axils, starting at the base of the stem and working upward.  Sprouts improve in quality and grow best during cool or even lightly frosty weather.  Brussels sprouts require a long growing period, though newer hybrids have greatly reduced this requirement.  In all but the most northern states, summers are usually too warm for completely satisfactory production from spring plantings.  Plants set out in late spring to early summer grow well and produce high-quality sprouts when the fall weather begins to cool.

Nutritional & Health information
Brussels sprouts are a very good source of many essential vitamins, fiber, and folate.  They are especially high in Vitamin C.  They, along with their other cruciferous cousins, have been shown to have some very beneficial effects against certain types of cancer, as they contain many different ingredients that are believed to help prevent the disease.

Brussels sprouts can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you use a steaming method when cooking them.  The fiber-related components in Brussels sprouts do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed.  When this binding process takes place, it's easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels.  Raw Brussels sprouts still have cholesterol-lowering ability, just not as much as steamed Brussels sprouts.

 Here is a collection of Brussles Sprouts recipes. Enjoy!

 

Thanksgiving Checklist- Tuesday, November 18, 2014

If you will be entertaining the family for Thanksgiving try to stay cool and calm; be well organized and, most of all, don't forget it's your holiday, too, so enjoy the day. Here are some useful last minute ideas we found on Epicurious.com to help assure that things go smoothly:

Wednesday Before Thanksgiving: To make tomorrow manageable, do as much cooking as you can today.  Here's a list of ideas:

    * Defrost pie crusts and turkey stock.
    * Assemble and bake pies; store them at room temperature (unless they're custard-based, such as pumpkin pie, which should be refrigerated).
    * Prepare any side dishes, such as mashed potatoes, that can be made ahead and reheated in the microwave.
    * Clean and dry salad greens and store them in a resealable plastic bag.
    * Set the table, arrange chairs, set out flowers, candles, and any other decorations.

Thanksgiving Day: The big day! Here's a schedule to help you sail through with ease:

In the morning:

    * If stuffing your turkey, prepare the stuffing and fill the turkey.
    * Put the turkey in to roast.
    * Defrost breads and any other prepared items that have been frozen.
    * Chill white wine and beer.
    * Set up the bar for any other drinks you'll be making.

Midday:

    * While the turkey is roasting, complete all the other dishes. Let them stand at room temperature or, if ready more than one hour ahead, refrigerate.
    * Half an hour before dinnertime: When the turkey comes out, let it rest while you make the gravy and reheat the side dishes on the stove-top, in the oven, or in the microwave.
    * Dress the salad.
    * After the turkey has sat out of the oven for 20 minutes, carve the bird and serve the meal.


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Kitchen too small? … Time too short? We can help!- Tuesday, November 18, 2014

As soon as the last doorbell rang and the last small goblin headed home to count their Trick-or-Treat stash, the calendar seemed to take a huge leap forward and almost without warning the major entertaining holiday season is rapidly approaching. I’m not trying to raise your anxiety level-- quite the contrary. I hope to let you know that, as a loyal Prisco shopper, you are not alone and there are lots of things we are prepared to do to help make this Thanksgiving holiday a pleasant one to remember.

Here are some things for you to consider and we will step in to help along the way:

  1. The Turkey: The entire day revolves around the Thanksgiving meal and of course the central focus of the meal is your turkey. For most Americans, the turkey is a frozen bird that you will want to purchase about a week prior to the big day, stick it in the freezer and remember to take it out to thaw in plenty of time prior to Thursday morning. Things are a bit different for most of our customers, however. While we do offer frozen turkeys, capons, quail and ducks, the vast majority of our customers now purchase a fresh, non-basted Ho-Ka or other brand of turkey that needs no thaw time and has been proven to be, hands down, a flavor improvement over the frozen turkey. IMPORTANT DATE: Since these are fresh turkeys that are slaughtered and dressed just days before you cook them, we need accurate information for ordering purposes. If you want to be certain that you get the correct size turkey (allow 1 lb. per adult and 1/2 pound per child or senior) you should order your turkey ahead of time. It is best to do it on or before Thursday 11/20, but certainly no later than Saturday 11/22.

  2. Side Dishes: If everyone had enough kitchen, stove, refrigerator, freezer, and oven space to serve a Thanksgiving dinner every week of the year, America’s kitchens would be more than twice their actual size. If you find yourself too tight on space or too crunched on time you might like to let our deli kitchen serve as a back-up alternative. Look closely at this week’s ad and you will see that we can pre-make almost all of the sides everyone loves and serves for Thanksgiving, and that the price we charge for the convenience is well worth the cost. We have homemade mashed potatoes, our famous secret recipe turkey gravy, stuffing with our homemade sausage, homemade cranberry sauce, and many more tasty sidedishes ready to heat and serve.

  3. Party Platters: No matter the size of your guest list our pre-made party platters are always a big hit. We offer antipasto, sliced meat, cheese, vegetable, fruit, and shrimp trays to name a few, and almost all come in multiple sizes. Check the party tray offerings on our website by clicking here.

  1. Cheese, Wine & Beer Pairings: This year we added two things to make your holiday meal and entertainment even easier. One was to work with our vendors to put together delicious pairings for our wines, craft beers, and gourmet and specialty cheeses. These pairing charts, which you will find in our ad and posted in-store, take all the guess work out finding just the right cheese or beverage to serve before, with, or after your Thanksgiving dinner.

  1. Dessert: The other new addition to our Thanksgiving offering is our pre-Thanksgiving Pie Palooza event where we are selling over twenty varieties of delicious fruit-filled and seasonal pies, baked just for you. These pies are much more than you might expect because we searched far and wide to find the very best ingredients to use in making these especially hearty pies. Each one weights in over 2 lbs., and many are more than 40 oz. Our staff has been taken aback at just how delicious these fresh baked pes are, and have all said that this will be only the first of many more Prisco Pre-Thanksgiving Pie-Ploozas. You can see our complete line of pie offerings by clicking here.

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and if you have any questions give us a call at 630-264-9400 -- or just stop in the store.

 

~ Beth (Prisco) Guzauskus
   Director of Food Service

 

10 Ways to Keep Your Thanksgiving Stress-Free- Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hosting a big turkey dinner can be a challenge but, if you do it with love and ask for some help, it need not become a stress-filled event. The following tips -- put together by Editor Debra Steilen of Better Homes & Gardens -- will prove to be a big help in making Thanksgiving a pleasant family occasion for all your guests -- and for you, the host or hostess, as well.

1. Create a plan. Sit down and make a guest list. From the number of guests you invite you can plan a meal. The secret to a simple meal is planning ahead so everything doesn't demand your attention all at once.

2. Plan a potluck.
A potluck can be a great way to share the load, and with just a little planning you can avoid 15 green bean casseroles at your dinner table. Ensure menu variety and head off an all-deviled-egg buffet by assigning food categories to your guests. Don't be shy -- this eliminates the guesswork for them, too. Give non-cooks a chance to participate by including categories such as beverages, paper products, or decorating.

3. Shop early.
Prisco's Family Market will get busier closer to Turkey Day. Plan your main shopping trip a week in advance and follow up with a second trip a day or two before Thanksgiving to pick up things like produce and bakery goods. Ask your spouse or partner to help with the shopping; it’s always easier if you have help finding things, and an extra pair of hands makes putting the groceries away much less stressful.

4. Prepare as much as possible in advance.
There are plenty of side dishes, desserts, and breads that can be made ahead of time. For instance, measure seasonings and store them in labeled bags or containers; cut and store vegetables; and roast garlic a week in advance, then store the cloves in olive oil in the refrigerator. 


One thing that you should not do, however, is pre-stuff your turkey.  Harmful bacteria can multiply in the stuffing and cause food poisoning even when the stuffed bird is refrigerated. The cavity of the bird actually insulates the stuffing from the cold temperatures of the refrigerator and acts as an incubator for the harmful bacteria. 

The ingredients for the stuffing can be prepared in advance and refrigerated separately. To save time, chop vegetables such as onions and celery the night before. The safest method is to mix the ingredients and lightly stuff the turkey just prior to popping it into a preheated oven.

5. Remember: practice makes perfect.
If you're braving a new recipe or using ingredients that you aren't quite familiar with, try them out beforehand so you'll be primed for success on Thanksgiving Day.

6. Let your family help.
Have the whole family help clean house and put up decorations. Children will jump at the chance to make place cards, fold napkins, and dress up your holiday table. This will also keep them out of the kitchen while you attend to the food.

7. Use your microwave oven.
Take advantage of this appliance to reheat food before serving when all the burners on the stove-top are occupied.

8. Let the turkey rest before slicing.
To avoid a last-minute crunch and assure tender turkey, let the bird rest out of the oven, covered, for about 20 minutes before slicing.

9. Serve buffet-style.
Serving dinner buffet-style saves on both space and cleanup time. Also, with pretty serving bowls and silver utensils, guests can help themselves to seconds whenever they want.

10. Relax.
Remember that Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day full of family, relaxation, and reflection. Thanksgiving is a great time for families to gather and spend the day together sharing traditions, so don’t let the task of being the host or hostess overwhelm you and rob you of that joyous family experience.