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Give the Gift of East Texas Flavor

Stanleys Famous Pit BBQ rubs and sauces.Over the past few years, East Texas has evolved into an up-and-coming part of the food industry. There have even been two Tyler-based food companies named to Oprah’s Favorite Things List: Janie’s Cakes and Greenberg Smoked Turkeys. Both of these brands, along with many other local products, can be found at FRESH. They are the perfect choice for gift-giving to friends, co-workers, neighbors and family. Don’t forget the hostess gifts because you certainly can’t go empty-handed to all the holiday parties.

A large selection of local items can be found throughout the store. Here are a few favorites that would be a delicious East Texas flavor-inspired gift or even a great addition to a holiday gift basket. You can also add a plant or arrangement from floral or a FRESH gift card to round out the gift.

Greenberg Smoked Turkeys: An East Texas family tradition since the 1940s, the Greenberg family has been smoking turkeys the same way for generations. Slow-cooked in a hickory wood smoker, these exceptional turkeys are known throughout the world and have been named one of Oprah’s favorite things for the second time this year.

Janie’s Cakes: Since 2003, Tylerite Janie Clapp has been selling perfect and delicious pound cakes. Shipped nationwide and one of Oprah’s favorite things in 2016, Janie’s Cakes are made with farm-fresh eggs, creamery butter, pure cane sugar and no preservatives. Several flavors are available at FRESH.

Collin Street Bakery: It started in 1896 with an original recipe brought from Germany to Corsicana, Texas, by August (“Gus”) Weidman. This shy baker met a master salesman named Tom McElwee. Together, they made fruitcake history and created the world’s most famous fruitcake. They ship to all 50 states and 196 countries.

Stanley’s Famous Bar-B-Q: The oldest Mom and Pop barbecue joint in East Texas, Stanley’s Bar-B-Q, has developed a loyal following for their award-winning barbecue. Their sauces and spice rubs are just as good. Look for the Sweet Hot Pickles, Clucker Sauce, Rib Rub, Chicken Spike and BBQ Sauce in hot and regular.

East Texas Wine: The wine industry around Tyler is always growing. Available at FRESH, look for Pelle Legna, Kiepersol, Briar Creek Vineyards from Whitehouse and Red 55 Winery from Lindale.

East Texas Beer: Craft beer is on the rise. At FRESH, we love True Vine Brewing Company from Tyler. Also, new to the shelves, Fredonia Brewery from Nacogdoches.

Pace Farm: A micro-farm located in Hallsville, Texas, just east of Longview, Pace Farm uses only the finest East Texas jalapeños in all of their products. Their small-batch pepper jellies are available in a variety of flavors. They are perfect for holiday parties and gift baskets.

Coffee: With two Tyler-based coffee producers, you’ll never have a bad cup in this neck of the woods. Texas State of Mind sources high-quality organic beans stored in oak barrels and then roasted in signature-craft air roasters that produce bigger and bolder flavor. Porch Culture Coffee is a single-origin, small-batch roasted coffee that seeks out coffee farmers who pay an ethical wage, provide a safe working environment, and follow practices that protect and preserve the farm and community. All of this comes together to create a “farm to porch” inspired cup of coffee.

East Texas Cookbooks: Perfect for the home chef who loves to cook, look for “As the Spur Stirs” by Jacqueline Cavender and “Favorite Flavor” by Christine Gardner. Both from Tyler, the books feature family recipes and ideas for Texas-style entertaining. Available at the registers near floral.

Haute Goat Creamery™: Exceptional goat cheese from Longview since 2011, Laura Vanderbilt has been making artisanal cheese from fresh Grade A goat milk delivered from two local Texas dairies. It’s smooth, creamy and available in a variety of flavors.


BREW CLUB Beer of the Month: Karbach Yule Shoot Your Eye Out Beer

Karbach BrewingKarbach Yule Shoot Your Eye Out Beer
Karbach Brewery in Houston is a German-style brewery located northwest of downtown in a warehouse on Karbach Street. Ironically, Karbach is also the name of a German village in Bavaria.

Brewmaster Eric Warner put in 10 years as a brewmaster in Maryland before Karbach Brewing was established. His partners had also founded a successful beer distribution company, which they later sold to finance Karbach. It soon became a new facility, and their dream became a reality. Three years later, it is one of the fastest-growing breweries in the United States. This brewery may appear cute with their funny names and artistic cans, but they take beer-making seriously. Taste any of their brews and you will admire the craftsmanship, as well as the flavor.

Featured Beer: Yule Shoot Your Eye Out
Inspired by everyone’s favorite Christmas movie, Yule Shoot Your Eye Out is loaded with specialty malts, fresh ginger, cocoa nibs, orange peel and other holiday spices. Karbach only brews a limited quantity. IBU: 37, ABV: 8%

Malts: 2 Row Pale, Vienna, Medium Crystal, Munich, Chocolate
Hops: Spalt, Saphir, Hallertau-Mittelfrüh
Spices: Cocoa Nibs, Ginger, Cardamom, Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice

Food Pairings: Wild Game, Rich Stews, Lamb, Spice Cake, Holiday Sweets

English Mince Pies
1 box refrigerated pie crust dough
1 jar mincemeat filling
1 egg
1 Tbs water
powdered sugar, for garnish

Unroll dough onto floured surface. Use biscuit cutter to cut out rounds of dough the same size as the cups in a muffin pan (mini or regular size). Press dough into muffin cups and up the sides. Fill each muffin cup with mincemeat filling up to 3/4 full.

Cut slightly smaller circles in dough to make lids for each pie. In small bowl, combine the egg and water. Brush some egg wash onto both sides of the pastry lids. Press onto tops of muffin cups. If you have extra dough, it is traditional to cut small moons or leaves to add as décor on the pie tops.

Bake at 350° F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until dough is cooked through and a light golden color. Be careful not to overfill the pies or the filling will seep out of the crust. Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly before dusting with powdered sugar.

Makes 6 muffin-sized or 12 mini muffin-sized pies.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine

Hand-Crafted Confections for Every Occasion

Good things come in small packages and that is certainly true in the FRESH bakery. A beautiful assortment of miniature desserts are always on display and this is the perfect time of year to indulge in some sweet treats.

I’m the occasional baker but, during the very busy month of December, I often rely on FRESH to help me out with dessert. I can’t even imagine how much time and practice it would take to create something so beautiful, delicious and delicate as the Salted Caramel Delight or the perfectly crafted Key Lime Pies.

On more than one occasion, I have used an assortment of FRESH desserts to create a delicious after dinner platter of sweet treats. The presentation is always beautiful and everyone is impressed with the exquisite selection. Plus, it satisfies the appetite of each guest. Some like chocolate, others sweet and creamy and those who want just one sweet bite always love the French Macarons or the Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Each one is like a personalized gift for everyone at the table.

Here are a few of my favorites that will please any sweet tooth:

Mini Key Lime Pie: Graham cracker crust topped with zesty key lime filling with Swiss meringue on top.

Cheesecake Bites: A classic in bite size form. Rich, creamy cheesecake filling topped on graham cracker crust. (Also available in other holiday-themed flavors.)

Salted Caramel Delight: Rich chocolate cake, dark chocolate mousse, rich caramel and peanuts glazed with a milk chocolate ganache.

The Bombe: Mousse filled with crème brulee, ladyfingers, glazed with chocolate mirror and topped with gold flakes.

Pecan Chocolate Chunk Brownie: Brownies with toasted pecans and chocolate chunks topped with creamy caramel and mixed nuts.

Strawberry Tiramisu Cups: Everything you love about tiramisu with strawberry flavors. Sweet ladyfingers layered with strawberries and a velvety mascarpone mixture in a chocolate cup.

Irish Crème Nanaimo Bars: Triple-layered sweet bars combine chocolate and Irish cream with a chocolate crust.

Inside Out German Chocolate: Dark German chocolate filled with chocolate mousse and lightly layered with shaved, toasted coconut.

Mini Cannoli: A staple of Sicilian cuisine. Perfectly fried pastry dough filled with sweet, creamy ricotta filling.

Peanut Butter Cup: Chocolate cups filled with rich peanut butter topped with a mini peanut butter cup for a sweet and salty treat.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Fresh, sweet strawberries lightly dipped in chocolate for melt in your mouth flavor.

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Posted in: Bakery

WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Champagne

True Champagne is only produced in the Champagne region of France. It is usually a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, and sometimes Pinot Meunier. They use the traditional method of bottling, which means it is bottle-fermented. The wine has gone through one fermentation in the tank and another in the bottle, which creates the bubbles. The second fermentation can take months to years, and the wine goes through a riddling process to remove yeast and sugar sediment. It is then given a sugar dosage that classifies the champagne style as Brut, Extra Dry or Sweet.

Wine of the Month: Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne
One of the oldest champagne houses in France, Florens-Louis Heidsieck was captivated by the Champagne region and wanted to create a beautiful wine to attract a lovely lady. Founded in 1785, his wine became a favorite of Marie Antoinette, and that same year he married his love, Agathe Perthois. Piper-Heidsieck Champagne has a storied past and has been a favorite Champagne of royal courts, noble families and Hollywood legends.

This champagne creates an allure with its festive, light-drenched, pale-gold shimmer and joyful display of neat, lively bubbles. Almond and fresh hazelnut notes accompany the rise of its bubbles, which are lively, subtle and light. It has a smoothness of fresh pear and apple with a hint of citrus. A blend of blonde grapes and white fruits creates a lightness embraced by the Pinot Noir.

Grapes used: 50-55%, Pinot Noir; 30-35%, Meunier; 15-20%, Chardonnay; 10-20%, reserve wines. Sugar Dosage: 10 g/l.

Food Pairings: White Fish, Shellfish, Fruit, Chocolate

Caviar-Smoked Salmon Puffs

1 box puff pastry cups
3/4 cup milk, divided
1 (4 oz) log goat cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 (3 oz) pkg smoked salmon
1 jar Plaza Caviar (available in charcuterie)
chopped chives, for garnish

Cook puff pastry cups according to package directions. (Phyllo cups can also be used if puff pastry cups are not available.) In a 2-cup measuring cup, microwave 1/2 cup milk to a simmer. Stir in goat cheese until combined. Stir in remaining milk, salt, pepper and parsley. Fill pastry cups 3/4 full with goat cheese mixture. Top with a slice of smoked salmon and 1/4 teaspoon caviar. Garnish with chives. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Makes 12 appetizer servings.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Snacking

Throughout November and December, it’s the season of entertaining. Holiday parties, family gatherings and last-minute guests fill our schedules and keep us busy with festive activities. I like to keep a file of quick and easy recipes that make entertaining a breeze. There are a few requirements to fit this category: minimal ingredients, little to no cooking and easy cleanup.

Baked brie is always a favorite. You can use a variety of preserves over the cheese and an assortment of toasted nuts to crumble over the top. It can be baked and served in the same dish, and it can even be made in the toaster oven since oven space can be hard to come by when preparing holiday meals. Spiced nuts also offer versatility in flavor, and a large batch can be made in advance and stored in a large airtight container. Visit the bulk department at FRESH and create your own assortment of favorite nuts. You can even add dried fruit after baking.

The flavor profile can vary by baking the nuts with your favorite seasoning and a touch of sweetness from honey, agave or maple syrup. I like the combination in the recipe below with seasonal fall spices and a generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt. There’s also a touch of heat with cayenne pepper.

Fig and Pistachio Baked Brie

1 (4-inch) wheel brie
1/4 cup fig preserves
1 Tbs honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

Place brie in a shallow baking dish or on a baking pan lined with foil. Spread preserves and honey over the top of the brie; sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with the pistachios. Place in a 350° F oven for about 7 minutes, or until the brie softens and begins to ooze but not melt. Remove from oven. Using a wide spatula, transfer to a serving plate. Serve with crackers, toasted baguette slices or sliced apples.

Per Serving:
Calories: 462, Fat: 35.5 g (15 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 75 mg, Sodium: 470 mg, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Fiber: 0.5 g, Protein: 16 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

Maple-Spiced Nuts

2 tsp dried rosemary, finely minced
2 tsp dried sage, finely minced
2 tsp dried thyme, finely minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 cups mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F. If you have a mortar and pestle, grind the herbs and cayenne pepper together to combine. In a large mixing bowl, combine the nuts, maple syrup, olive oil and herb/spice mixture; toss well to thoroughly coat. Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Per Serving:
Calories: 578, Fat: 51 g (8 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 265 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 5 g, Protein: 13.5 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.


BREW CLUB Beer of the Month: Angry Axe IPA

Fredonia Brewery
Proudly brewed in the oldest town in Texas, Fredonia Brewery began in 2016 when creator, Paul Murray, turned his passion for home-brewing into a brewery that represented his love for Nacogdoches and the independent spirit that created Texas.

An alumnus of Stephen F. Austin University, Murray uses the college mascot and the Nacogdoches old-town heritage as inspiration for his lineup of beers.

Featured Beer: Angry Axe IPA
Cascade and Columbus hops are used to complement Crystal 10 and Melanoidin malts. Some slight red tones can be seen in this caramel-colored ale that leaves a pleasantly bitter taste on the middle and back of the tongue as well as on the finish. With an IBU of 78, Angry Axe offers moderately bitter flavor combined with orange peel, caramel and citrus notes. A great choice for enjoying with friends who appreciate a beer with predominate hop character.

Food Pairings
It is sometimes difficult to pair food with an IPA that is higher on the IBU scale. They need flavors that stand up against the bitterness of the beer and complement rather than contrast the pairing. Avoid overly spicy or salty food, as the hops in the beer can make the food taste spicier or over-salted. The beer will also latch onto sweeter flavors and highlight the subtle sweetness of foods like caramelized onions or roasted meats.

Cuisines with a complex flavor profile like Thai, Indian or Moroccan food match the array of aromas and flavors that complement IPAs. Also, oily fish like salmon, burgers or sausages with sautéed onions and citrus desserts that balance the sweet and tart.

Tandoori Chicken with Yogurt-Mint Dipping Sauce

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp peeled fresh ginger (from a 1-inch piece), grated
2 tsp vegetable oil, plus more for baking sheet
1 tsp coarse salt
8 chicken legs and thighs
1/2 cup mango chutney

Combine yogurt, tomato paste, garam masala, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, 2 teaspoons oil and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the chicken to a large baking dish or gallon-sized plastic bag; coat the chicken with the yogurt mixture. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Heat oven to 450° F. Rub oil on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Remove chicken from the marinade. (Do not wipe or rinse marinade off of chicken.) Arrange pieces in a single layer. The high heat of the oven is similar to the type of ovens used in India, but the layer of yogurt marinade protects the chicken from burning. Broil until golden and cooked through (about 20 to 30 minutes total), flipping once halfway through. Remove from oven, and then brush with chutney. Serve with dipping sauce.

Calories Per Serving: 620, Fat: 41 g (12 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 223 mg, Sodium: 785 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Fiber: 0.9 g, Protein: 42 g.

Yogurt-Mint Dipping Sauce

1 tsp sugar
10 mint leaves
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder, to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp garam masala, to taste
1 Tbs mango chutney

Place the sugar and mint leaves on a cutting board. Chop into a sugary mint paste. Add to the yogurt; stir in all remaining ingredients. Serve as a dipping sauce with the chicken.

Calories Per Serving: 61, Fat: 2 g (1.5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 11 mg, Sodium: 38 mg, Carbohydrates: 5.5 g, Fiber: 0.1 g, Protein: 5 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes

WINE CLUB Varietal of the Month: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir was born in the Burgundy region of France where it is often referred to as red Burgundy instead of Pinot Noir. The wines from Burgundy have flavors of ripe red berries, sweet black cherries, mushrooms and what sommeliers call forest floor, which is the smell you get from freshly fallen damp leaves.

American-grown Pinot Noir can be divided into two categories: warm climate and cool climate. Warm-climate wines have more ripe fruit flavors and less acidity, while cool-climate wines still enjoy the heat of the season. As temperatures drop off close to harvest time, the acidity is preserved, and the fruit flavors become more tart.

Many warm-climate Pinot Noir wines come from Napa Valley, and the cool-climate varieties are from Sonoma County, specifically the Russian River Valley, Oregon and Washington.

“A difficult grape to grow, Pinot Noir achieves greatness in only a handful of places worldwide, and the Russian River Valley is one of those places. Our Pinot-perfect climate combined with an amazing complexity of soil types results in wines that not only reflect their individual sites but share a common thread. Aromas tend to be bright, focused fruit, ranging from wild strawberries and raspberries to red and black cherries. Notes of cola and baking spices are common. In the mouth, they are rich and velvety with their high degree of ripeness kept in check by bright acidity,” according to the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association.

Wine of the Month:
Migration® Pinot Noir

Created by the Duckhorn® Wine Company to showcase Pinot Noir grown in the cool-climate winegrowing region of the Sonoma County Russian River Valley, this wine highlights the lush fruit, bright acidity and balanced oak of the aging process. Coastal fog and sandy loam soils have contributed to a Pinot Noir with beautiful, high-tone red fruit flavors of cherry, cranberry and strawberry with enticing hints of orange and cinnamon spice.

Classic Russian River Valley aromas of ripe red raspberry, Bing cherry and pomegranate erupt from the glass. These red-berry flavors resonate on the lush, silky palate, where they blend with blackberry notes and hints of French oak-inspired spice. This wine is barrel-aged for 10 months in French oak.

Food Pairings:
Pinot Noir pairs well with pork, lamb, salmon, mushrooms, truffles, Gruyere cheese and sharp cheddar. It is also a great choice for Thanksgiving as it complements roasted turkey and many of the side dishes.

Thanksgiving Turkey Cakes

(The perfect way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers.)

4 cups leftover turkey meat, brown and white
1 cup stuffing
2 cups side dishes (potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, corn, etc.)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs
cooking oil
cranberry sauce, turkey gravy or buns, for serving

In a food processor, pulse each of the first 3 ingredients separately a few times to chop. Place in mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add eggs. Fold together; form into small cakes that are about 3 inches wide and 2 inches thick. Cook in a fry pan with a small amount of oil until brown on both sides and heated through. Serve with cranberry sauce, with turkey gravy or on a bun.

*Nutritional Information will vary depending upon the side dish combination used.

*Calories Per Serving: 195, Fat: 8 g (2 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 97 mg, Sodium: 224 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 22 g.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes

Pumpkin Season is Upon Us

Pumpkin Season is Upon UsIt used to be that we’d buy a pumpkin for Halloween and have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. That would be the extent of our annual pumpkin tasting.

From the beginning of October until the end of November, it’s likely you’ll see pumpkin or pumpkin spice as an ingredient in almost everything, from cereal to pasta sauces and even beer. As you shop through the aisles, it’s incredible to see some of the pumpkin-inspired ideas purveyors have created.

FRESH is happy to jump on the pumpkin wagon because it kicks off our favorite season of eating with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. There will be a large selection of pumpkins on the patio next to produce. FRESH has big ones, little ones, heirloom pumpkins, Cinderella pumpkins and a vast assortment of pumpkin centerpieces and floral arrangements crafted in our own floral department.
While shopping, you have to get a pumpkin spice latte, or try the pumpkin gelato.

In the bakery, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin loaf, pumpkin cheesecake and crème brûlée will be offered as delicious seasonal treats. Don’t forget the traditional pumpkin pie.

Also, check the calendar for information about the kids’ Halloween Costume Contest on October 28, along with other pumpkin-related events and specials.

Brown Sugar-Pumpkin Pound Cake with Pecan Glaze


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (plus more for greasing pan)
3 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting pan)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbs bourbon (optional)
2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
4 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease Bundt pan with butter; sprinkle with flour. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter, both sugars, vanilla and bourbon together at medium speed until fluffy. Blend in pumpkin. Add the eggs, one at a time. Set mixer speed to low; add flour mixture in 3 batches. Combine until just blended. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, add batter to prepared pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out fairly clean. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; remove it from the pan.

Place all glaze ingredients in saucepan over low heat; stir until melted. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. After cake has completely cooled, spoon glaze over the top of the cake.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

BREW CLUB Beer of the Month: Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale

Rogue Pumpkin Patch AleRogue Brewery
Started in 1987 in the basement of the Rogue Public House in Ashland, Oregon, a group of like-minded “rogues” decided to create a brewpub. One year later, they opened a 60-seat pub and a brewery in the basement. Their first beers were an amber ale and an Oregon golden.

Fast-forward to 2017, and Rogue is still growing and brewing. They create a large assortment of handcrafted ales, lagers, porters, stouts and spirits that are distributed throughout the country.

Featured Beer: Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale
Each year, Rogue increases the number of pumpkins grown on Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon. They pick their pumpkins fresh from the patch, load them on a truck, and drive them 77 miles to the brewery in Newport, Oregon. At the brewery, they are roasted and pitched into the brew kettle. From patch to batch, Rogue grows pumpkin patch beer.

The Pumpkin Patch Ale has a dark color with aromas of spice, citrus zest and toasted caramel. Spices with hints of vanilla, malt and caramel are prominent in the flavor. It finishes dry with a hint of sweet pumpkin.

Food Pairings
Dessert, Pork, Grilled Turkey, Ribs

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Garlic-Parsley Sauce

1 large spaghetti squash
1 Tbs olive oil
coarse salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 shallots, small-diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbs parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut spaghetti squash in half, and clean the seeds out with a spoon. Drizzle with olive oil, and rub with salt and pepper. Turn the squash halves flesh-side up on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the inside of the squash is tender. Let cool for 15 minutes. Run the tines of a fork down the length of the squash flesh, pulling out long strands of squash. Continue until all of the flesh is pulled out of the skin. Place the strands loosely in a bowl. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook until softened. Add squash to the pan; toss to combine. Cook until warmed through. Stir in parsley and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Grilled shrimp or chicken can be added to this dish.

View this recipe to print or add items to your shopping list.

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Posted in: Beer & Wine, Recipes

Mangia Bene at FRESH

There’s a famous Italian quote, “Mangia Bene, Ridi Spesso, Ama Molto.” It means “Eat well, laugh often, love much.” It sums up the Italian lifestyle of long, multi-course feasts filled with laughter, friends and family. It’s also a good reason why Italian cuisine is so loved in America.

At FRESH, there are plenty of ways to eat well, especially when it comes to authentic Italian food. From October 9 – 15, the store will be celebrating a Taste of Italy. In every department, products will be featured that highlight the essence of Italian cuisine and are perfect for creating your own multi-course feast with friends and family.

The ingredients in many Italian recipes are really quite basic. They highlight the wonderful natural flavors of things like quality extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, handmade pasta, artisanal cheese, slow-baked bread and plump juicy San Marzano tomatoes.

Here are a few of my favorites that I think you will enjoy from various departments throughout the store:
Cheese: Housemade Fresh Mozzarella, Gorgonzola Bleu Cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano and Asiago.

Charcuterie: Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Speck, Molinari & Sons Italian Salami and Pancetta, and Columbus Italian Salami.

Fresh Pasta: Also found in the cheese department is fresh pasta. Made daily, you’ll find Fettucine, Pappardelle, Alfredo Sauce, Marinara and Bolognese.

Pizza di Napoli: Enjoy an authentic Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in our new pizza oven. Made with handmade dough, San Marzano tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. An assortment of toppings and flavors are available that are truly Italian.

Chef-Prepared: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Lasagna Rolls, Eggplant Parmesan and more.

Bakery: All bread is baked in the store. Look for Rustic Italian Bread, Focaccia Bread and Ciabatta.

Wine: There is a wide assortment of Italian wines to enjoy from throughout the country and at every price point. From an inexpensive Chianti Classico to the prized Barolo. Two of my favorites are from Southern Italy.

Asmodeus Nero d’Avola from Sicily is a dark red wine that has a rich earthy flavor, but it is also balanced with red fruit, spice and high tannins. Also, Lacryma Christi Bianco Feudi di San Gregorio from the Naples area is a bright and golden white wine that has floral notes and flavors of white fruits. Lacryma Christi means “Tears of Christ” and the legend claims that as Christ ascended into heaven, he wept over the beauty of the area and brought life to the vines that were growing on Mt. Vesuvius.

Italian Products: Some of the essential Italian pantry ingredients can be found in the aisles. Look for Extra Virgin Olive Oil made in Italy and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. San Marzano whole canned tomatoes are available in a variety of brands, along with sun-dried tomatoes, basil pesto, olive tapenade and a variety of pasta sauces. Of course, you need some pasta to go with all of these wonderful ingredients, and FRESH carries Montebello dried pasta that is made in Italy. Available in a variety of shapes, Montebello is handmade using Old World techniques.

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