I’ve never needed an excuse to whip up a Mexican cuisine-inspired dinner on a random weeknight. And now, with Cinco de Mayo coming up, I’d love to dig a little deeper into some of our markets’ unique and delicious Mexican-style foods – including a special menu in the Deli.
In fact, I’ve got to give a special shout-out to the folks in our Delis, who will have something pretty amazing available this week only — seasoned specialty meats for street-style tacos!
Imagine you’re walking down the street on a sunny, breezy, late-spring day when you notice the smell of delicious, fresh-cooked meat wafting through the air. Now your tummy is rumblin’ like crazy. If only there was a food truck on the corner with amazing street-style food. That’s the vibe that Cameron, our Culinary Menu Coordinator, was going for when he designed the recipes behind the authentic seasoned meat trio in our Delis. The trio features Barbacoa Pork, Chicken Tinga and Carne Molida. Some of our markets will have it warm and ready to assemble tacos, and some will have the meat and all the accoutrements together so you can grab it and put it together at home!
And that’s just the start.
Our Delis also will have tamales, enchiladas, Cuban-style black beans and more! If you’re looking for some legit Mexican-style flavors this week, you’ve got to visit our Delis. This special menu most likely will be gone by May 7.
This is also a great time to call out Our Own Pico de Gallo and Chipotle Salsa. These fresh cups of goodness are made just for us according to our own recipes, using fresh, ripe tomatoes and zero preservatives or added junk you don’t want. Just the good stuff, people. They make a great companion to our Delis’ Street Meat Trio, too. And – it’s a veritable cavalcade of good news – they’re currently on Big Board Buys for $2.98 for a 12-oz. container – save $3.01!
Might be a good time to try our Mexican Layered Dip – one of the six layers!
If you’d rather cook up something yourself in the kitchen, Bulk Foods also has something special for Cinco de Mayo. Our Own Spanish-Style rice blends are such a pleasantly surprising way to jump start a familiar recipe. With varieties like Spanish Rice, Cuban-Style Mojo Rice and Beans, and Salsa Verde Rice, and more, these blends are perfectly seasoned for mouth-watering side dishes, a time-saving meal starter.
Artichokes Make a Surprise Comeback – Hooray!
As the weather continues to get warmer and the sunshine clears away any remaining thoughts of winter, our Produce Markets continue to flourish. For example, Green Globe artichokes are back!
We got a pleasant surprise a few weeks ago when we were able to secure another shipment of the best artichokes of the year — the California Green Globe. The first crop came through back in March, but the weather on the West Coast has been kind and now you’ve got another chance to experience the tender, seasonal flavor of this spring treat. In fact, we were able to put these on our current Big Board Buys – they’re three for $5 – that’s a savings of $6.94!
As we said last time, artichokes might be a little intimidating to prep if you’ve never done it before, so be sure to check out this video to learn how. Or simply pair them with your favorite wine and a really creamy spinach dip. In fact, we even have a recipe for Hot Mexican Spinach Dip!
Gem Avocadoes Join Our List of Varieties
Good news for you avocado nuts. We’ve got another delicious variety of avocado for you to try: Gem avocados.
Most people already are familiar with the Hass variety, and I’m sure some of you had the chance to taste the super flavorful Hawaiian Sharwil variety that came through our markets at the beginning of the year. The Gem is just as rich, nutty and packed with nutrients as the others, but with a thicker, gold-speckled skin that turns dark green when ripe and is extra thick, making it easier to peel but extra hardy for your next picnic on the go. It’s named after a University of California researcher Grey E. Martin who developed it. I can’t decide which of our three guacamole recipes I like best: Guacamole Supreme, Easy Guacamole or Guacamole with Chipotle and Bacon!
My 1-year old bit right through one while we were in the checkout line last week so I can speak from personal experience that the gem skin isn’t TOO thick (I would recommend a less aggressive approach, but you have to appreciate his enthusiasm). They’re on Market Buys right now, so let’s get crackin’ on the fresh guacamole and avocado toast!
Fresh Rhubarb from Sterino Farms
We’re also smack-dab in the middle of fresh rhubarb season. This deep red veggie that looks like celery is super healthy (avoid the leaves — they’re not good for you). Our Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp is an absolute must-try is you’ve never had some. The sweetness of the strawberry and the tartness of the rhubarb make for a delicious tug-of-war for your taste buds. Also try our Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce for a delicious topping to ice cream or a filling for Saturday morning crêpes.
We get our fresh rhubarb from Sterino Farms in Puyallup, a farming family that our Produce Director Joe Pulicicchio has been partnered with for more years than we can remember. Read more about Sterino Farms here and be sure to visit our Produce Market while these fresh and seasonal treat last!
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
QUESO DEL VALLE COTIJA - Made by Karoun Dairies in California, this is a jewel in all Mexican and Latin cuisine.
Hard and crumbly with a hint on the salt, it’s perfect to grate over everything from tortillas to salad to soup. Combine with some stretchy, melty Queso Fresco and you’ve got yourself the ideal quesadilla team.
Just like Parmesan, you should always keep this block of cheese handy to sprinkle on your favorite enchiladas or taco salad.
Chris Allen is a copywriter and assistant marketer with Town & Country Markets. He’s a former contributing editor, radio anchor and producer, and an Air Force veteran. He’s also mastered the art of chopping red onions with one hand while sipping a dry Tempranillo in the other.