Rachael's Hot List - Spring 2014 Edition
Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014
For some it's a food-lovers' scavenger hunt, but for our Chef Rachael, the Hot List is simply a portion of her actual recent shopping lists. It's a look into her cart, as well as a look into her life. We've asked her to explain some of her recent purchases (and for those of you scavenging, we're telling you where she's finding them).
"This dry, crumbly cheese from the folks that brought you Prairie Breeze™ is a standout new star in the Imported Cheese case. You'll have to depend on your store's Cheese Specialist to recommend a pairing – I would tell you it needs nothing. It makes for great out-of-hand snacking."
Find Flory's Truckle in the Imported Cheese Department.
Kowalski's Sea Salt and Black Peppercorns
"For years and years I've expounded on the virtues of coarsely ground black pepper. (Take a look at any of my cookbooks and you'll see what I mean.) For the same reasons I've always liked coarse salt, I've loved coarse pepper for what many chefs call ‘the sprinkle factor.' But, since switching out my old favorite pre-ground pepper for our grinder, I've realized what I have been missing is flavor. I don't know why I should be so surprised. I love fresh ground nutmeg and coffee – fresh everything. I also love the fact that you can adjust the grinder top up and down to get coarser or finer grind. It doesn't hurt that the bottles are so darned cute, either!"
Find Kowalski's Sea Salt and Black Peppercorns in the Grocery Department.
"This is possibly the weirdest thing I'll ever say about something on my list: I wasn't even buying it for use in the kitchen. While you won't hear me talking about avocado facials or using cucumber slices to de-puff your eyes, I have to admit I used this to make a homemade eyeshadow primer! Yep. The same reason cornstarch is often added to confectioner's sugar to keep it from caking is why it works to keep your eyeshadow from settling into creases in your eyelid. Don't wear eye makeup? That's ok – you can use your box for all sorts of kitchen-y reasons. It helps fried and roasted foods to become extra crispy and creates satiny, shiny and translucent pan sauces."
Find it in the Grocery Department.
Boar's Head Chipotle Gouda
"I skip cheese on my sandwiches a lot. I often find it doesn't add enough to hold my interest or it won't stand up to other flavors I favor. Not so with this peppery slice! Pair it with Boar's Head Chipotle Chicken for a real taste treat!"
Find Boar's Head products in the Deli Department.
"If I'm ever in need of an impressive dessert to serve guests, cannoli is my choice because it's fast and can be made ahead of time. I just sweeten the cheese with a little powdered sugar (granulated sugar is too grainy) and stir in some chopped pistachios, dried cherries and finely chopped dark chocolate. If I'm feeling creative, I'll add orange zest, raisins, nutmeg or even black pepper. Pipe the filling into premade Alessi Cannoli Shells and refrigerate them until ready to serve. Dusted with a little powdered sugar and drizzled with some warm dark chocolate sauce, these are irresistible."
Rachael buys her ricotta in the Imported Cheese Department, but you can also find it in the Dairy Department.
Kowalski's Garlic Marinara Pasta Sauce
"I love all of our pasta sauces – for different reasons – but this one has to be my favorite for its flexibility. Not only does it work for any kind of pasta, it's a meal-making workhorse; when used in place of some broth, it makes a great addition to a pot of soup and works wonders for adding fast flavor to a pot of shellfish, too."
Find Kowalski's Pasta Sauces in the Grocery Department.
"It's no secret I love to make cocktails. I favor orange-flavored liqueur for playing around at the bar; it's universally a good match for most all flavors. Recently, though, I discovered this cherry liqueur and found it has a specific and useful partner – whiskey, which generally I don't drink much of. Whisky can be a little aggressive and dark for me, but with a great homemade sour mix and a little of this syrupy and very sweet liqueur, I've found a way to really enjoy it. I'll note that Cherry Heering is much thicker and sweeter than other fruit-flavored liqueurs I've tried, so a little goes a long way."
Find it in one of our four Wine Shops.
"I've been feeling the love lately! Even though they aren't my favorite flower, there is something singular about roses that just makes you feel blissful. Especially so with our roses, which last so incredibly long! I don't know why I'm surprised every time I buy them at how long they last."
Find roses in the Floral Department.
Kowalski's Maple Syrup
"This 'hot' item in my house is even hotter since the introduction last year of Kowalski's own line of pancake mixes. Buttermilk is my family's clear favorite, and I've got a little tip: don't overmix your batter and be sure to let it stand for a minute after you've mixed it before scooping it onto the griddle. Your pancakes will be ‘sky-high' fluffy! YUM!"
Find both Kowaski's Pancake Mix and Kowalski's Maple Syrup in the Grocery Department.
"To be fair, lemons are on my list all the time, but especially so in the spring. When I'm looking for that little 'pop' of brightness and freshness, I reach for a lemon. It peps up everything from salads and cocktails to desserts and pan sauces. And I'm obsessed with lemon zest as much as the juice – if not more. There's so much flavor in that yellow peel! I'll grate some into rice dishes, cake batter, icing, dressing – you name it."
Find them in the Produce Department.