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Quality – Choice – Variety: Pick 2... N’ah, you get all 3!- Tuesday, March 28, 2017

We’d be the first to admit that today’s consumers have loads of choices when it comes to shopping for groceries. You can go anywhere from an all organic, non-GMO gourmet boutique to a cut box, no-frills box store where you get low ball prices on what is available at the time.

At Brookhaven Marketplace, we believe in giving you the best that an independent family owned business can offer at what we believe are very competitive prices. And we make certain that our buyers go out of their way to find unique and sometimes unusual mix of items that shoppers love to try.

We think that this week’s ad is a great reflection of that philosophy; you will find choices, quality and great prices on basic grocery needs. Allow us to share some examples:

 

The Basics at GREAT Prices

As you flip through this week’s eight-page ad you will come across great savings on basic groceries that any home would regularly place on a shopping list.

For example:

Rye Bread 1 ½ lb. $2.99

Milk gl. $2.49

Butter 1 lb. $2.99

Chicken Drumsticks 69¢ lb.

Ice Cream 56 oz. 99¢

Strawberries 1 lb. $1.99

Eggs 1 ½ dz. $1.59

Bacon 1 lb. $2.99

Pasta 16 oz. 88₵

 

Best Quality

Again, as you page through please note the focus on quality:

  • USDA Prime and Choice beef

  • Miller Amish Country® natural chicken

  • Complete selection of Boar’s Head® meats and cheeses

  • Over a dozen USDA Organic produce and dairy products

  • A selection of our exclusive homemade Brookhaven prepared foods.

 

Unique Variety

Our motto is “The finest foods from around the world”. As you walk the aisles of our stores, we know that you will find that borne out in the thousands of unique items found only at Brookhaven. In this week’s ad you will find things like:

  • Imported olive oil

  • Lumpini beans

  • Buckwheat

  • Marinated artichoke hearts

  • Gelato

  • Kefir
  • Lactose-free milk
  • Bulgarian style yogurt
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Gluten-free bread

We really appreciate our customers and it is through your continued support that we can offer what we believe is the most pleasant and fulfilling grocery shopping experience in our area. To show off some of that heartfelt appreciation, we will be holding a special one-day event. We have dubbed it our April Fools Ridiculous Sale. Check out page seven of this week’s ad and don’t be fooled, these prices are for real for 1-Day-Only.

April Fools! …No, it’s for real, we mean it…really!

 

Try our Original Recipe Tamales this week!- Tuesday, March 21, 2017

This week, Brookhaven Marketplace is featuring a customer favorite, our Original Recipe Tamales with cheese, chicken or pork filling. If you've never tried them, we encourage you to stop by and pick up a 3-pack for only $4.99.

[info courtesy of wisegeek.com, wikipedia.com, & seriouseats.com]

For those who may not be familiar with tamales, they are made by wrapping various ingredients in a heavy corn dough, and then wrapping corn husks or corn leaves around the dough to create a packet. The packets are then steamed. The finished tamales are typically eaten plain, although they may be accompanied by sides, such as wholes or refried beans.

Contrary to popular belief, a tamale need not be savory. In addition to filling tamales with ingredients like spicy shredded chicken, pork, or beef, some people also fill them with chocolate or fruit. It is also possible to find vegetarian tamales with ingredients like black beans, yams, and so forth. Typically tamales are also heavy on the chilies and other spices, making them zesty as well as nutritious.

Many people associate tamales specifically with Mexican cuisine, which boasts various regional specialties featuring an assortment of ingredients ranging from chocolate to shredded beef. However, tamales are also popular in other parts of Latin America, and they were once eaten by Native North Americans on a fairly regular basis. Indeed, tamales have a long history dating back to the Aztecs themselves. They called the tamales tamalli. In the Aztec language, the word simply means "wrapped food". At that time, they were made in different sizes and shapes in dishes and often served at festivals and ceremonies. The Aztecs would cook the tamales by burying them under hot coals. However, by the time the Spanish conquistadores arrived, the Aztecs had transitioned to cooking the the tamales in underground pits or uncovered pots.

Nutritionally, tamales have a lot to offer. The corn dough is typically made with masa, a form of nixtamalized* corn. The corn dough is highly nutritious as a result, and the filling may add to the nutritional value of the tamales with ingredients like protein-rich meats and fresh produce. Tamales are also extremely convenient, as the steamed packets can be wrapped in foil and easily carried on trips.

* refers to a process for the preparation of maize (corn), or other grain, in which the corn is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater, washed, and then hulled. -- Wikipedia

Interested in preparing your own tamales? Try this recipe:

Ingredients

Tamale Filling

  • 1 1/4 pounds pork loin

  • 1 large onion, halved

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 4 dried California chile pods

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Tamale Dough

  • 2 cups masa harina

  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2/3 cup lard

  • 1 (8 ounce) package dried corn husks

  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions

Place pork into a Dutch oven with onion and garlic, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the meat is cooked through, about 2 hours.

  1. Use rubber gloves to remove stems and seeds from the chile pods. Place chiles in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. Transfer the chiles and water to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture, stir in salt, and set aside. Shred the cooked meat and mix in one cup of the chile sauce.

  2. Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard with a tablespoon of the broth until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt; stir into the lard mixture, adding more broth as necessary to form a spongy dough.

  3. Spread the dough out over the corn husks to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Place one tablespoon of the meat filling into the center. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in a steamer. Steam for 1 hour.

  4. Remove tamales from husks and drizzle remaining chile sauce over. Top with sour cream. For a creamy sauce, mix sour cream into the chile sauce.

 

Traditional St. Patrick's Day foods- Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Even if you aren't of Irish descent, you're probably well acquainted with St. Patrick's Day. It has become quite the phenomenon here in the U.S., with folks all over the country celebrating the day regardless of their particular heritage. It's a great opportunity for people to come together and enjoy each other's company; and unlike major family holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, that company may include a whole lot of strangers. St. Paddy's is all about hitting the pub and enjoying the festivities in a crowd, typically over a pint of beer and a plateful of delicious food.

Speaking of food, believe it or not there's more to St. Patrick's Day than corned beef and cabbage. As delicious as a well prepared brisket or corned beef flat may be, there are other traditional Irish dishes that could be served right alongside, or as an alternative:

[info courtesy of theculturetrip.com, food.com & wikipedia.com]

The Irish Breakfast Fry

Consider starting your St. Patrick's Day with a traditional Irish breakfast. An Irish breakfast will generally consist of some combination of bacon, sausages, eggs, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, white and black pudding – pork meat with oatmeal and blood sausage respectively – and baked beans. Toast and tea are essential sides for this national favorite, which is also known to be a guaranteed hangover cure after an evening drinking Guinness.

Irish Stew

Traditional Irish stew comes in many forms, but the most widely used recipes usually revolve around lamb, potatoes and onions as the central ingredients. This dish dates back many centuries, and before lamb became common, mutton or kid goat would have been used. Especially popular during winter months, warming Irish stew is comfort food at its very best. Herbs like thyme and rosemary make it even tastier.

Coddle

Coddle is generally made up of leftover items from other meals like sausages, bacon, onions and potatoes. Made by simmering stock and steaming the ingredients inside, this dinner might sound like something of an afterthought, but it is a beloved tradition in parts of Ireland.

Boxty

There are 3 distinct and very different varieties of Traditional Irish Boxty: Pan Boxty, Loaf Boxty and Boiled Boxty, named after their method of cooking. "Pan" or "pancake-style" Boxty is a flat pancake-like savory potato dish. It is made using potato, flour and a touch of salt and then cooked on a hot pan. Boxty is always best served straight off a hot pan as it used to be served years ago. Loaf Boxty is a “loaf-style” boxty that has been baked in an oven. It combines the same ingredients as the other types of boxty but with varying quantities of each and is baked in loaves instead of boiled or fried. Boiled Boxty is a “dumpling” shaped boxty that has been boiled to retain its unique shape.

Irish Soda Bread

This dense, crumbly quick bread uses baking soda for leavening. Enriched with buttermilk and sweetened with a bit of honey, it's studded with whiskey-soaked cranberries, as opposed to the more traditional raisins.

Colcannon

Colcannon is a mixture of mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Generally served as a side with boiled ham.

Champ

There's mashed potatoes, and then there's champ: the mashed potato's creamier, scallion-studded cousin. Enriched with butter and milk, seasoned with salt and pepper, and finished with sliced scallions, it's extra zesty and rich.

 

Regardless of what you choose to serve this St. Patrick's Day, Brookhaven Marketplace has everything you need to prepare your favorite recipes. Not interested in cooking everything yourself this year? Well, we've got plenty of Irish-themed items available for purchase to supplement your meal, including fresh baked Irish Soda Bread and St. Patrick's Day cupcakes. Come see what else we have in store!

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

 

Indulge yourself with a delicious USDA Prime New York Strip- Tuesday, March 7, 2017

This week you have a rare opportunity to try some USDA Prime New York Strip Steaks at under $10 a pound. While Brookhaven Marketplace has always taken pride in providing our customers with the best meat on the market, it's not always possible for us to offer Prime cuts at a discounted price. So of course, we wanted to shine a light on this exceptional cut of beef.

For those not in the know, there are many grades of beef sold on the U.S. market, with the top-most being Prime. Prime beef is usually sold only at fine dining restaurants and gourmet grocers at high prices. The next two grades, Choice and Select, make up the majority of beef sold in supermarkets in the U.S.

So, you may be wondering what it is that determines a beef cut's grade. It's actually relatively straight-forward: Grades are based on the amount of marbling in the meat and the age of the animal from which it was derived. Marbling refers to the flecks and streaks of white fat you find distributed throughout the meat. In general, the higher the degree of marbling, the more tender, juicy, and flavorful the meat will be. Age also plays an important part: Beef is best in flavor and texture when cattle are between 18 and 24 months old, so the grading favors younger animals. As you may have guessed, USDA Prime beef cuts contain the greatest degree of marbling and are exceptionally tender.

As mentioned previously, Prime beef it is generally sold to and by finer restaurants and to some selected meat markets, and is significantly higher in price than other cuts because less than 3% of the beef graded in the U.S. is considered Prime. Given the rarity of Prime cuts, is it any wonder that we are excited to offer these delicious steaks to our customers? Come on down and buy a strip – or two!

Want to get the most out of your steaks? Here are a few recipes to try:

Mediterranean Grilled New York Strip Steak

Grilled Steaks with Mushroom Sauce

Basic Grilled New York Strip Steaks

Steaks with Lemon Parsley Butter

 

Kombucha, the "Immortal Health Elixir"- Tuesday, February 28, 2017

You may have seen us advertise "kombucha" in the past as we did again on the front page of this week’s ad, but perhaps it’s not something you are familiar with. If you're wondering what it is, kombucha is essentially a type of fermented tea with a mild effervescence. Many people purport that it has health benefits beyond what most of us already associate with tea; it is, in fact, considered so healthful and potent that in some parts of the Eastern world it is known as the "immortal health elixir".

Kombucha is made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast and sugar to black or green tea, and then allowing the concoction to ferment for a week or more. The fermentation process produces vinegar and several other acidic compounds, trace levels of alcohol, and gases (which result in the carbonation).

A large amount of probiotic bacteria is also produced during fermentation. Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation and even weight loss.

Other benefits of drinking kombucha

[info courtesy of authoritynutrition.com & draxe.com]

Kombucha boasts all the health benefits of its most popular progenitor, green tea. It contains many bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants in the body.

Studies also show that drinking green tea or kombucha regularly can increase the amount of calories you burn, reduce belly fat, improve cholesterol levels, help with blood sugar control and more.

Kombucha contains antioxidants, substances that help fight free radicals which can damage your body's cells. Kombucha made from green tea also has powerful antioxidant and detoxifying effects on the liver, and studies on animals have demonstrated that drinking kombucha regularly can reduce liver toxicity (the build-up of toxic chemicals in the liver) by up 70%.

Kombucha has anti-bacterial properties. One of the main substances produced during the fermentation process is acetic acid (also found in vinegar), which can kill potentially harmful micro-organisms. Kombucha made from black or green tea has been shown to kill bacteria as well as Candida yeasts, making it a useful drink for people who are concerned about infection.

It may help reduce the risk of heart disease and in managing Type 2 Diabetes. Studies in animals have found that kombucha can greatly improve two markers of heart disease, LDL and HDL cholesterol. Kombucha, and tea in general, helps protect LDL particles from oxidation, which is thought to contribute to heart disease.

In diabetic rats, kombucha was found to slow the digestion of carbs, which reduced blood sugar levels, and it was also credited with improving liver and kidney function.

Last but certainly not least, kombucha may help protect against cancer. In test-tube studies, kombucha helped prevent the growth and spread of cancerous cells, due to its high concentration of tea polyphenols and antioxidants.

How the anti-cancer properties of tea polyphenols work is not well-understood. However, it’s thought that the polyphenols block gene mutation and the growth of cancer cells, while also promoting cancer cell death.

If you've never tried kombucha, then you need to stop by Brookhaven Marketplace this week. We are featuring GT's Kombucha: Get two 16 oz. bottles for $5.00. Assorted varieties are available!

Paczki – The donuts with their own national holiday!- Tuesday, February 21, 2017

In Catholic households, lent is the period of six weeks prior to Easter; a time meant to prepare oneself for the redemption of one’s soul after Christ’s persecution, death on a cross, and resurrection in three days. Over that six-week period, in earlier times Catholics were expected to fast and abstain from eating meat.

Depending on the culture in which you were raised, there are various traditions that have been associated with preparation for lent. People have never looked forward to six weeks of cutting back and denying themselves, so they would find any good excuse to party hearty prior to the start of lent. Best known of these traditions is Carnival in Rio De Janeiro and Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

If, however, you are one of the tens of thousands of people in Chicagoland who are of Polish decent there is a different but very distinct tradition which back in Poland even has its own holiday: Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday), observed on the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday. In Chicago and other cities with large Polish populations, folks commemorate the day on both Fat Thursday and Fat Tuesday.

The center piece of the Fat Thursday or Fat Tuesday celebration is a traditional Polish doughnut known as a Paczek. The paczek (plural is Paczki – pronounced “poonch-key”), are jelly-filled pastries cranked out by the Polish as fast as they can produce them. At Delightful Pastries in Chicago as many as 36,000 were pre-ordered, forcing the Polish bakery to produce 1000s per day to meet the demand.

Paczki are made from deep-fried flat dough with fruit or cream filling and usually covered with sugar or icing. A small amount of grain alcohol is usually added before cooking, which later evaporates to prevent the absorption of oil deep in the dough. Common paczki fillings include plums, lemon, chocolate, and raspberry. Others include rose-petals – a common ingredient in Polish cuisine – and maple bacon.

The traditional recipe is all about the dough. It's denser; it's a yeast dough that doesn't collapse when you bite into it. The American Heart Association won’t be signing up any time soon to be sponsoring Paczki Day, however, as these little dough bombs pack a real caloric wallop. Each one, about the size of a hockey puck, averages 400-500 calories which includes 25 grams of fat.

Paczek is translated as “doughnut” or “little package.” The recipe stems from the idea of using up all the lard, sugar and eggs in the house before fasting begins during Lent. The doughnuts themselves have existed since the Middle Ages when they were filled with pork fat and fried in lard. The recipe was modified when French cooks came to Poland and improved the paczki dough to make it lighter, spongier and more resilient.

As can be expected with any food, there are famous paczki-eating contests. The record holder is Matthew Holowicki of Plymouth, MI, who in February of 2015 won his 8th consecutive Paczki eating contest polishing off 23 in 15 minutes. When finished he collected one more trophy and announced his retirement. For those of you who can’t do the math in your head, that’s around 11,500 calories and 575 grams of saturated fat in one sitting!

 

Tags :  paczki facts
So Onions – with or without… Love them or not so much- Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Onions

An extraordinarily common vegetable in virtually every cuisine, the onion and its relatives stand out prominently worldwide as one of the most, if not the most, popular ingredients in cooking. From common white and yellow onions to the more "exotic" ramps and leeks, onions are everywhere and used in every imaginable type of dish. Indeed, it can be argued (and often is!) by chefs and home cooks alike that onions are indispensable: They add a baseline of sweet and earthy flavor to many cooked dishes and contribute an essential, spicy accent when served raw.

 

But even if you use them almost every time you cook, onions can still be pretty bewildering. With about a dozen varieties readily available in most markets, as well as several less common types, it can be hard to know which kind of onion to choose for a particular dish. Here is a list of the most commonly used onions, as well as a couple less well-known varieties that are well worth checking out.

 

A Guide to Onion Varieties

[info courtesy of seriouseats.com]

 

Scallions

One of the most versatile onions around, scallions are long and thin, typically no fatter than a finger. Sweet and mild with hardly any bite to them, they can be used raw or cooked and fit right into any number of dishes.

What They Look Like: Bright white at the bottom with hollow, dark green tops, scallions are usually sold in bunches.
How They Taste: Scallions provide a gentle onion flavor, but are just as much about their texture: they're crunchy and juicy at the same time. Their dark green tops tend to have a bit more bite to them and are best used as an accent, as you would fresh chives or parsley.
How to Shop and Store: Look for scallions from late spring to late summer, when they're harvested fresh and are at their peak. The onions' white sections should be firm and bright, without any moisture or sliminess, and the tops should be sturdy—avoid any bunches that have wilted tops. Never store fresh scallions in a plastic bags: their high moisture content will quickly lead to rot. Reusable mesh produce bags tucked into a crisper drawer are a great option: they allow air circulation, but keep the scallions from drying out. If your scallions still have roots, trim them slightly, stick 'em in a glass jar you've filled with a couple inches of water, and stash 'em in the fridge for up to a week.
How to Use Them: Along with garlic and ginger, scallions are indispensable to stir-fries. They also make an excellent contribution to soups, either as part of the stock or a garnish.

 

Vidalia Onions

Vidalia is the legally registered name of the squat, ovoid, sweet yellow onion that's grown in and around the town of Vidalia, Georgia. Extremely low in pyruvic acid—which, when exposed to air, makes your eyes tear—Vidalias are among the mildest in the onion kingdom.

What They Look Like: Narrow at the stem and root, and wide around the middle, like a spinning top, with a thin, papery, light yellow skin.
How They Taste: Super-sweet and crisp, ideal for eating raw.
How to Shop and Store: Look for Vidalias in the markets between late April and early September. Firm, medium-sized onions without any bruises will taste the best. To store, wrap each onion in a paper towel and store in the fridge; they'll keep for weeks.
How to Use Them: In late summer, when both Vidalias and tomatoes are at their peak, it's tough to beat a basic sliced tomato salad with slivered onions and a simple oil-and-vinegar dressing. In winter time, how about grilled tomato and cheese sandwiches with seasoned soup?

 

Ramps

Whether you can't get enough of them or think they're a wee bit overrated, there's no denying what ramps signify: spring, and the return of fresh, delicate produce after a long, cold, potato-filled winter. Count us in the ramps-loving camp: these wild spring leeks have a pungent garlic-onion flavor in their base, which softens and becomes mild in the leaves.

What They Look Like: Kind of like scallions, but with large, broad, flat bright-green leaves up top. The slender white bottom sections often have a dash of bright purple or magenta joining them to the leaves. While they're pretty expensive in many major cities, ramps grow like weeds in places like Appalachia and Quebec.
How They Taste: Like a cross between garlic and onions, with a pronounced funk that's almost cheeselike. The edible tops are notably milder and sweeter than the bulbs at the bottom.
How to Shop and Store: Often heralded as one of the first signs of warmer weather, ramps have a short season, showing up in farmers markets in late winter and only staying there until early spring. Their bottom sections should be firm, never slimy, and the tops should be bright without any wilting. Ramps don't store super well but will keep in the refrigerator for a few days in reusable mesh produce bags tucked into a crisper drawer.
How to Use Them: Throw 'em on the grill. Or pickle them. Put ramps in your dumpling filling or in your chorizo quesadilla. Add ramps to biscuits and frittatas. Make ramps into soup with fresh asparagus.

 

Yellow Onions *

Yellow onions are undoubtedly Americans' favorite: nearly 90 percent of onions grown in the US are yellow. Their deep but not-too-strong flavor makes them endlessly versatile in cooking. Larger, slightly sweeter yellow onions labeled Spanish onions are often found right next to plain old yellow onions; they're a milder choice that works well for raw applications.

What They Look Like: Ranging in size from golf ball to softball, with light yellow flesh and golden, papery skin.
How They Taste: Assertive when raw, deeply sweet when cooked.
How to Shop and Store: Yellow onions are available year-round: in summer and early fall, when they haven't been in storage long, they taste sweeter, with their sharpness intensifying through the winter months. Look for firm, unbruised onions that are heavy for their size. If you plan on using your bulb onions within a few weeks, they can be stored at cool room temperatures in a dark place: an open basket or a bamboo steamer in a cooler part of the kitchen works. If you plan on storing them longer, wrap them individually in paper towels or place them in a breathable vegetable storage bag and keep them in the refrigerator. Cut or peeled onions can be stored, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for only a few days before they go mushy.
How to Use Them: Yellow onions are ideal for long-cooking in soups, stews and braises, and of course are sticky and delicious when caramelized.

* On sale this week at Brookhaven: Try Dry Onions ($1.99/3lb.) and Spanish Onions ($0.39lb.) in your next recipe.

 

White Onions

Many cooks don't know the difference between white and yellow onions. The white versions are somewhat sweeter and cleaner in flavor but don't store quite as well as yellow onions do.

What They Look Like: Ranging in size from baseball to softball, with white flesh and bright white, papery skin.
How They Taste: Milder in flavor than yellow onions, white onions can be eaten raw.
How to Shop and Store: White onions are available year-round and taste the same throughout the seasons. Look for firm, unbruised onions that are heavy for their size. Bulb onions should be stored in a dark, cool, dry location.
How to Use Them: Because of their crisp texture and mild flavor, white onions are great raw slivered in salads, thinly sliced on your favorite sandwich, or scattered over a pizza. Popular in Latin American cuisines, white onions are a great addition to huevos rancheros, refried beans, and Cuban picadillo.

 

Red Onions

Though they can be pungent and spicy, red onions are great for eating raw, bringing crunchiness and brightness to a variety of dishes. You might see them all the time, next to the yellow onions on the supermarket shelf, but red onions only make up about eight percent of the onion market in the US.

What They Look Like: Ranging in size from golf ball to softball, with bright maroon flesh and dark red, papery skin.
How They Taste: Assertive and spicy when raw; still strong, but sweeter, when cooked.
How to Shop and Store: Red onions are available year-round: in summer and early fall, when they haven't been in storage long, they taste sweeter, with their sharpness intensifying through the winter months. Look for firm, unbruised onions that are heavy for their size. Bulb onions should be stored in a dark, cool, dry location; see advice for yellow onions.
How to Use Them: Red onions take extraordinarily well to pickling, whether they're destined for the top of tacos or folded into a bright ceviche. Put red onions on your pizza and try them in a chopped salad with cherry tomatoes and bell peppers. We also love red onion jam as a burger topping or spread on crackers.

 

Shallots

Where would be without shallots? They're often seen in French cuisine, where they're featured in classic sauces such as mignonette. They're also indispensable to Asian dishes—often crisp-fried or ground into curry pastes.

What They Look Like: Shallots are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Western shallots, the kind you're most likely to encounter in a U.S. supermarket, are small, slender and lighter in color than red onions, with pinkish-orangey papery skin and light purple flesh. In an Asian market, you might find Asian shallots, which are very small and deep dark purple.
How They Taste: Milder in flavor than red onions, but more assertive than yellow, with a hint of garlic flavor.
How to Shop and Store: Available year-round, shallots' flavor intensifies throughout their winter storage. Look for firm, compact shallots with shiny, unblemished skin. Kept dry and stored in a cool, dark area of the kitchen, like a cabinet, shallots will keep for several weeks to a month.
How to Use Them: Thinly sliced and fried for topping Thai curried noodles, congee, or deviled eggs; minced into basic vinaigrettes for added crunch and flavor.

 

Pearl Onions

Tiny and sweet, pearl onions come in yellow, red, and white varieties, with the latter being the most common.

What They Look Like: These cuties look just like regular onions but are about the size of a jawbreaker.
How They Taste: Much milder and sweeter than large bulb onions.
How to Shop and Store: Pearl onions are sold year-round, usually in small mesh bags—they're not easy to find loose and can be difficult to find altogether, so frozen, pre-peeled bags of pearl onions are an appealing option. If buying fresh, store as you would large bulb onions.
How to Use Them: The biggest annoyance about using fresh pearl onions is peeling them: to do so quickly and easily, blanch them in hot water, then slip off the skins with your fingers. After that, simply glaze them, cream them in a bubbly gratin, or pickle them for use in a Gibson cocktail.

 

Cippolini Onions

These little disc-shaped yellow onions, which might remind some people of visitors from outer space, were once reserved for the world of gourmet stores and fancy restaurants, but nowadays are pretty widely available in large supermarkets.

What They Look Like: Slightly larger than pearl onions, with a squat disc shape and pale yellow skin.
How They Taste: Extra sweet.
How to Shop and Store: Cippolini are sold year-round, sometimes in mesh bags. Store in a cool, dark place.
How to Use Them: I'll be honest: cippolini are kind of annoying to peel. You'll need to lop off their root and stem ends with a sharp knife, then use a paring knife to strip away remaining peel. Because of their high sugar content, cippolini take wonderfully to caramelizing.

 

Leeks

Leeks look a lot like scallions, but in fact, they're a totally different plant. Larger in size than their spring counterparts, leeks' white portions are tender and sweet, but their dark green tops are woody and best reserved for flavoring stocks.

What They Look Like: You might mistake them for big, overgrown scallions.
How They Taste: Extremely mild, with a pronounced sweetness. Because they're so fibrous, leeks generally aren't eaten raw.
How to Shop and Store: Leeks have been bred to survive the winter months, and are in season from late fall to early spring. Leeks can be pretty gritty and sandy: be sure to wash carefully before cooking. If you need to store them, trim off a portion of the dark green tops, place in a reusable mesh produce bag or roll them in a just-slightly-damp kitchen towel, secure with a rubber band, and store in the crisper drawer for up to one and a half weeks.
How to Use Them: Though too tough to eat when raw, leeks melt into wonderful softness when cooked. One of the most appealing ways to cook them is braised in stock and olive oil, then dressed with a lemony vinaigrette. Leek soup with lemon and dill is an economical winter warmer, and a beef and leek stir-fry is lightning-fast and delicious. 

Tags :  onions
Sometimes it's about the little things on Valentine's Day- Monday, February 6, 2017

While not considered a holiday on par with Christmas and Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day has been a popular mid-winter tradition for ages. It's a time for lovers to express their affection in the keenest, most conspicuous way possible: These days, this is usually in the form of elaborate bouquets and fanciful greeting cards -- and, frequently, an assortment of sweet treats. Of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with this gift exchange; it's always nice when our partners commemorate the day in this way. But if you want to make this Valentine's Day especially fun, in addition to the usual trappings why not try doing something a little different for your significant other? Or several things!

Valentine's Day ideas for him or her

[info courtesy of sheknows.com & stylecaster.com]

  • Rather than simply relying on a store-bought card, write your partner a love letter.

  • Buy his/her favorite perfume or cologne, and simply put it in the medicine cabinet for him/her to discover.

  • Buy a cool blackboard mug and write a cute love note on it in the morning.

  • Buy a calendar and fill it with important dates (our first dinner together, our three-year anniversary, etc.).

  • Rent old Hollywood films to see how romance was done back in the day.

  • Rent some silly comedies and spend the night laughing together.

  • Write a bunch of activities to do together on popsicle sticks and when you’re feeling spontaneous, randomly pick one.

  • Leave a little note in his/her briefcase or laptop bag so they will find it when they get to work.

  • Make him/her a special bag lunch with a note written on a napkin inside.

  • Surprise him/her with that special something they have been coveting (no matter how big or small).

  • Try an activity that he/she loves that you don't usually do together.

  • Book a couple's massage.

  • Plan a romantic getaway to a bed and breakfast.

  • If he/she has to work late, have his favorite take-out delivered to the office, and pre-pay, of course!

  • Go stargazing (weather permitting). Bring a bottle of champagne.

If you want to do something extra special, you can also try preparing a meal for your significant other (this would be especially surprising and thoughtful if you don't usually do the cooking). Regardless of your culinary interest or expertise, one wonderful way to commemorate the day at home is to serve a romantic, freshly prepared meal, and Brookhaven Marketplace is happy to help. We have all the ingredients you could possibly need for a delicious Valentine's Day dinner of your own devising. And whether you are experienced or a novice in the kitchen, we also offer pre-portioned meal kits with simply, easy-to-follow instructions. Try our Surf and Turf package which includes two 8 oz. Filet Mignon, two 5 oz. Cold Water Lobster Tails, a side of Double Baked Potatoes, and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries for dessert. In addition to the food items, this package also comes with a lovely Valentine's Day wine: Joseph Car Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.

Happy Valentine's Day!

 

Try serving something different at your Super Bowl party- Tuesday, January 31, 2017

If you're a football fan, you're already well aware that the Super Bowl is this Sunday, February 5th, and odds are you already preparing to entertain family and friends. Alternatively, perhaps you will be heading elsewhere for the event and are expected to bring an appetizer or other snacks along with you to help out your host(s)... Whatever the circumstance may be, we here at Brookhaven Marketplace have a suggestion to make your Super Bowl party spread both super flavorful and super colorful: mini sweet peppers.

In addition to the bowls of chips and other snack or finger foods, why not offer your guests some delicious – and somewhat healthier – options in the form of artfully prepared mini peppers? Mini peppers offer the perfect combination of compactness (they don't require more than a couple bites to consume), flavor (they are delicately sweet, not cloying), and texture (crisp, but with bite!), all in a nutritious, easy-to-cook package.

Mini peppers can be prepared in a number of different ways: Baked, sauteed, marinated and pickled, grilled, or fried. They can even be eaten raw, sliced, with or without dip. It's entirely up to you, which is what makes them so spectacular as a primary ingredient in most recipes. Below, you will find an assortment of recipes all featuring mini peppers. It's time to "wow" your neighbors, family and friends, and make this year's Super Bowl party one to remember.

Mini Taco Stuffed Peppers

 

Roasted Sweet Mini Peppers

Sweet Pepper Poppers

Marinated Sweet Peppers

Mini Stuffed Peppers

 
Asparagus, the "food of kings"- Tuesday, January 24, 2017

This week, Brookhaven Marketplace is having a sale on Ocean Mist asparagus at $2.99 lb. Ocean Mist Farms has been delivering some of the freshest vegetables around since 1924, and they take great pride in their produce and reputation for quality. Whether you are already fan of asparagus or only marginally acquainted with it, now is a great time to buy and try out some new recipes. You'd be hard pressed to find a better product, or a better deal!

The Food of Kings

[info courtesy of oceanmist.com]

Asparagus may not officially be royalty, but it sometimes is referred to as the “food of kings,” and "the aristocrat” of vegetables. Cultivated for more than 2,000 years, asparagus was prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans for both taste and the medicinal properties they believed it possessed. King Louis XIV of France loved asparagus so much he had special greenhouses built, so he could enjoy the vegetable year-round.

Ocean Mist Farms places a similarly high value on the delicious asparagus it grows. The company’s expert harvesters, packers, and quality assurance inspectors make sure that only the premier spears are selected.

Health Benefits of Asparagus

[info courtesy of eatingwell.com]

1. It’s loaded with nutrients: Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

2. It can help fight cancer: This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.

3. Asparagus is packed with antioxidants: It's one of the top ranked fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process.

4. Asparagus is a brain booster: Another anti-aging property of this delicious spring veggie is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12—found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy—to help prevent cognitive impairment. In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. (If you’re 50-plus, be sure you’re getting enough B12: your ability to absorb it decreases with age.)

5. It's a natural diuretic: It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from edema (an accumulation of fluids in the body's tissues) and those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.

How to Select & Store Your Asparagus

[info courtesy of realsimple.com]

Size isn’t an indicator of quality or flavor; thick asparagus is just more mature than the thin variety. Instead, look for bright green or violet-tinged spears with firm (not limp) stems. Make sure the tips are closed and compact. When the bunch is squeezed, it should squeak. Avoid stalks that appear woody.

If you need to store your asparagus for a short time, trim the bottoms and wrap the cut ends in a damp paper towel. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to three days. Alternatively, you can treat your spears like fresh flowers: Place the cut ends in a bowl or a vase filled with an inch of water and cover the tops with a plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator.

Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus and Jack Cheese Frittata

Risotto with Portobello Mushrooms and Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus Soup

Marinated Asparagus Salad

Steamed Asparagus 

Chicken and Fresh Asparagus Casserole