Today: Nov 20 , 2019

Sales, Menus and Recipes: How and Why to Braise
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23 October 2019  

As the weather cools, think about braising your meat.

Braising is a technique for turning tough cuts of meat into fork tender, deeply flavored, meaty goodness. Although it can also be used on vegetables, meats are where it shines best. This is the essence of low and slow. It differs from stewing in that the meat is not totally covered by the liquid, and the flavors are concentrated. 

Here is a braising tutorial:

How to Braise—A basic explanation.

Although I’ve seldom seen lamb shanks, the method remains the same.

The most commonly braised cuts of meat are heavily exercised muscles like shoulder, leg or rump, and also those which contain lots of connective tissue like chuck, shank brisket and oxtail.

Here are some tips for good braising:

* You must  brown the meat and/or vegetable first.

* Bone in is Best—it will promote deep flavor.

* Do not totally cover the meat with liquid.

  • In most cases, wine or beer help the process along because it they iareacidic (and taste good too). 
  • As you use this technique more you will learn which herbs and spices you like in particular dishes. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You are not a slave to a recipe.
  • Braising must be done on the stove top or in the oven, your slow cooker and instant pot will steam rather than braising. (Although the slow cooker comes closer than the instant pot if you brown your ingredients well and don’t use too much liquid.) The reduction of the liquids adds a lot to the flavor of the braise.

So fill your house with the wonderful smells of slow cooking meats, vegetables, herbs and spices and amaze your friends with your ability to put delicious and low cost meals on your table.

Special Sales This Week

Fry’s—There are quite a few digital coupons, Honey Nut Cheerios, $1.99/each when when you buy one with card and digital coupon. Fresh Baked La Brea Bakery French Bread $1.50/loaf. Buy 4 or more participating items get $1 off on each.

Safeway—APPLE ALERT—The special digital coupon this week is for Honeycrisp Apples only $.49/lb for up to 5 lb. You are unlikely to ever see them less expensive. Safeway also has a $5 Friday this week featuring T-Bone steak only $5/lb andLucerne Eggs only $5 for a 60 count box.

Sprouts—Sprouts is selling all frozen pizzas, Buy 1 get One (Of equal or lesser value) Free. Download the Sprouts App to get more than $100 in savings every month. 

National Days this Week

Oct 23—Boston Creme Pie Day
Oct 24—National Food Day
Oct 26—Mincemeat Day (Make your Mincemeat now to have it ready for the Holidays
Oct 28—Chocolate Day (Isn’t every day Chocolate Day?)
Oct 29—Oatmeal Day

Warming Suggestions for Cold Weather Days

Main Dishes

Pasta and Chicken Casserole *
Cider Braised Pork Chops *

In a hurry? Buy a Rotisserie Chicken or baked chicken piece

Braised Brisket *
Braised Chicken Thighs *

Salads and Sides

Braising Just Calls for Crusty Bread! Maybe toasted or rubbed with garlic.
Butternut Squash Gratin (Vegetarian, for Vegan use non dairy substitutes) *
Brown Rice with Sautéd Mushrooms
Simple Pasta Side Dish (Vegetarian, for Vegan, use butter substitute) *
Steamed Zucchini
Roasted Garlic Potatoes *
Apple Salad *
Warm Lentil Delicata Squash Salad (Vegetarian and Vegan) *
Green Salad 
Citrus Salad *

Desserts

Boston Creme Pie*
Mini Mincemeat Pies *
Hot Fudge Sundaes
Dessert Platter with Cheese, Fruit, Nuts and Chocolate
Most Nuts And Fruits go very well with chocolate. For Cheese, try a Stilton and/or a Triple Cream Brie.

Video Recipes

Chicken and Pasta Salad

Cider Braised Pork Chops

You could use really thick chops or steaks too.

Braised Brisket (or other roast)

Braised Chicken Thighs

Chicken doesn’t take as long—we usually don’t get tough chicken these days.

Butternut Squash Gratin

If you have a good vegetable peeler it is neither difficult nor dangerous to prepare a butternut squash.

Simple Pasta Side Dish

Maybe too simple, but everyone has to learn sometime.

Roasted Garlic Potatoes

Winter Apple Salad

Warm Lentil Delicata Squash Salad Vegetarian)

Fruity Lettuce Citrus Salad

Boston Creme Pie

Mini Mincemeat Pies

I’ve done this, amazing looking and not hard.

Quick and Easy (relatively) Mincemeat

It is difficult to find good quality commercial candied fruit. Consider making your own peel and leaving out the cherries, but be sure to put in dried cherries if you do that. 

Here’s How to Candy Citrus Peel 

Remember we are not at sea level, you may need to cook a little longer, both to raw peel and in the sugar syrup. Also for best results cook the different types of fruit peel separately .Store in the refrigerator or it will get moldy after a while.

Chocolate Fudge Sauce

This is for the real chocolate lovers.

Bonus Recipe, Three Different Ways to cook your Steel Cut Oats Overnight. 

Cause who doesn’t want warm Oatmeal on a cold morning.

On Sale This Week

Meats

Beef Roasts—$2.97/lb @Safeway, Chuck, Cross Rib, Eye of Round. BOGO @ Sprouts, Chuck, Rump, Top Round. 
Pork Shoulder Roast—$1.49/lb @Fry’s, Bone In, whole in bag
Chicken—$.77/lb @Safeway, drums, thighs, leg quarters. $.99/lb @Fry’s, Seasoned leg quarters

Fruits and Vegetables

Blueberries—$.97/box @Fry’s
Grapes—$.98/lb @Sprouts, red, green. $1.99/lb @Fry’s, red, green. blaack. $1.99/lb @Safeway, red, green
Apples—$.88/lb @Sprouts, Honeycrisp
Pears—$.99/lb @Fry’s, Bartlett, d’Anjou, Bosc, Red
Pineapples—$1.67/each @Sprouts
Kale—$.98/bunch @Sprouts, (O)
Greens—$3.34/each @Sfeway, Salad Kits, $3.34/each @Fry’s, Salad Kits
Avocados—$.88/each @Sprouts. $1.50/each @Safeway. $1.25/each @Fry’s
Tomatoes—$.77/lb @Fry’s, on-the-vine. $88/lb @Sprouts, on-the-vine, $1.50/box @Safeway, Grape, 
Squash, summer—$.99/lb @Safeway, zucchini
Squash, winter—$.88/lb @Sprouts. $99/lb @Safeway

Other Good Deals

Eggs—$.98/dz @Fry’s, $2.50/dz @Sprouts, Cage Free
Deli Chicken (cooked)—$4.99/8 pc @Safeway, 
Bread—$1.50/each @Fry’s, La Brea Bakery Fresh Baked French Baguette
Yogurt—$2.99 @Sprouts, Greek Gods, 24 oz