What's In My Grocery Bag II

Many of you seemed to really enjoy the What's in My Grocery Bag post I wore a couple weeks ago, so I've decided to make this a regular feature!

Just like last time, I'm including a detailed list of every single thing in this week's grocery bag, along with a few notes on how I plan to use each item. My hope for this series is that you'll get some ideas for using ingredients, and learn a little bit more about the way that I cook and shop beyond the recipes that I post here. (Plus, I can totally appreciate the voyeuristic element of seeing what's inside somebody else's fridge.)

If you have any questions about how to cook an ingredient I mention here, or want to share your own recipe ideas for things, just leave it in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Dairy
1/2 lb New York State Extra-Sharp Cheddar (I'm going to make jalapeno and cheddar tater tots with these using a recipe I got from Marc Murphy based on the one he serves at his restaurant Ditch Plains.)
1 16oz carton of Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt in Plain (I typically prefer Fage yogurt, but they were out so I got Oikos. I use this as a substitute for sour cream in dips, sauces, tacos, and chili).
1 gallon Organic nymilk Whole Milk (I'm going to attempt homemade fresh mozzarella using a mozzarella-making kit that Eugene bought me. According to the instructions, this 1 gallon of milk should yield 1 pound of mozzarella. Fingers crossed!)

Fruit
2 6oz cartons of blueberries (they're back! Will probably just eat these fresh with a bit of cream or ice cream; perhaps use a few in pancakes)
1 16oz carton of strawberries (strawberries have just come back in season in NY. Will enjoy this first batch sliced with perhaps a touch of fresh mint)
1 Cantaloupe  (I love how affordable fruit is in season; this huge, sweet melon was just $1.99!, I'll cut it up and eat it fresh and cold. I also like to pop a few cubes in the freezer and eat them like ice pops.)
1 Francine Mango (Francine mangoes are a very soft and sweet Haitian variety; I want to try this kind as I've never had it before.)
2 Tommy Atkins Mangoes (Tommy Atkins mangoes are firmer and more common. I'm planning to slice these and served topped with chili powder, salt, and lime.)
8 Lemons (lemon water, tea, in cooking for marinades, on fish and seafood)
5 Hass Avocados (I want to try an avocado popsicle recipe I read, and of course, a lot of salads! My favorite is arugula, avocado, sardines, and a lemon vinaigrette--perfect summer lunch full of fiber, protein, and good fats.)
1 Bunch Bananas (quick breakfast or snack on the go, but really mostly for doing this thing I do where I dip the peeled banana in melted semi-sweet chocolate and freeze, then eat. It's my favorite weeknight dessert!)
2 On the Vine Tomatoes (for fresh salsa)


Vegetables & Herbs
1 package Organic Alfalfa Sprouts (love these in sandwiches with just a bit of mayo on whole grain bread, also great in salads and turkey burgers)
1 bunch Organic Watercress (my favorite salad green--love that spicy, peppery bite. It's also great pureed with Greek yogurt and garlic for a quick salad dressing or veggie dip)
Organic White Mushrooms (going to add these to my turkey burger patties)
1 bunch Local Asparagus (roasted with olive oil and lots and lots of pepper--seriously my favorite way to eat them)
3 Belgian Endive (I'm planning to braise these in olive oil and serve with gremolata, just like we had at Eat Write Retreat! Sublime.)
Cilantro (I use this in salsa, sofrito, on fish tacos, and in cocktails)
Parsley (to make gremolata for the braised endive)
Mint (will julienne and sprinkle on fresh berries, use in my morning water along with some lemon and cucumber juice, use in cocktails)
6 Jalapeno Peppers (will be using these in the aforementioned jalapeno and cheddar tater tots (!!), also in salsa, guacamole, and cocktails)
1 Red Bell Pepper (not exactly sure yet, but always good to have around)
1 package Satur Farms Wild Arugula (salad with avocado, lemon vinaigrette, and sardines or smoked oysters)

Seafood

2 Farm-Raised Tilapia Fillets (pan-fried and served with a lemon, butter, and parsley sauce)
1lb Shell-Off Cleaned Fresh Wild Rock Shrimp (sauteed over salad)
4 Wild Soft-Shell Crabs (I actually already cooked and ate these! Made soft-shell crab tacos with cumin yogurt, avocado, and fresh salsa.)

Meat
2lbs Ground Turkey (turkey burgers! I'm thinking chipotle mayo, alfalfa sprouts, and freshly baked wholegrain buns)
2lbs Organic Grass-Fed Ground Beef (meatballs; Eugene really liked the ones I made last week so I'm going to reprise and make extra that I can freeze for quick meals in the future)

Grocery
1 can Goya Coconut Milk (I want to make a Puerto Rican frozen dessert that my grandmother used to make me. It's called limber de coco. I'll definitely be posting about this!)
1 bag Goya Red Lentils (braised lentils, lentil soup)
1 bottle Monini Il Monello First-Pressed Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, 2009 Vintage (good olive oil for salad dressing, soup garnishes, and to dip bread into)
Rice Select Jasmati Long Grain Jasmine Rice (to accompany the lentils, chicken, other dishes. I'm not a huge rice fan, but I love jasmine rice)
1 jar Roland Hot Sliced Jalapeno Pepper (to use in those tater tots I keep mentioning. Also for garnishes on burgers, sandwiches. Eugene also just likes to eat pickled things along with his food.)
1 Spice Supreme Chili Powder (I'd just run out so I got a new jar for chili, black bean soup, to sprinkle on fresh sliced mangoes along with a bit of cayenne, salt, and lime juice)
1 Spice Supreme Curry Powder (I never buy curry as I don't really love it, but I wanted to experiment a bit with it on lentils and possibly chicken)

Bakery
2 Par-baked French Baguettes (I love to bake from scratch, but par-baked (partially baked) breads are amazing because they allow you to have freshly baked bread in a total of 40 minutes. I keep a few of these in my freezer and pull them out and finish baking them whenever I want something to accompany a soup, or to serve with cheese, or for sandwiches.)
1 Par-baked Raisin Pumpernickel Bread (this kind is especially good with creamy aged cheeses, just add some fruit and a glass of wine for a perfect summer supper or picnic)


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Interested in revamping your grocery bag, transitioning to a real food lifestyle, or learning the best ways to pick and store produce and ingredients? Check out my mobile culinary workshops and pantry consulting services, which I'm currently offering in the NY metro area.

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