… but we’ll get to that in a second. First, the dinner report. In my continuing effort to use ingredients I had on hand (and quickly before they turn into mush before my eyes), I was searching for a recipe to use up my fresh asparagus and goat cheese. In catching up on my magazine reading, a recent issue of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food provided just the answer with her Creamy Fettuccine with Asparagus. Martha gave Rachael Ray a run for her money, since this recipe was on the table in less than thirty minutes. The verdict? It was good, but not a WOW for us. Just no real flavor impact. S’ok, they can’t all be winners. But with the fresh dill, it’s a perfect addition for Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging. I think I might give it another try with the addition of grilled chicken.
OK, onto the field trip I took tonight. I thought it was time to do some intrepid reporting for you, so I went to go visit an international grocery store I have heard about, but just hadn’t gotten around to checking out yet. International Food Warehouse has quite the cross-section of cultures happening amongst its aisles. Located in Lodi (370 Essex Street for those near enough), it’s an interesting place. You can see Chowhound’s piece on it here.
As soon as you walk in, the smell of cooked Indian food drifts right over … mmm … I love that smell. There’s a little restaurant inside the grocery store offering up freshly cooked Indian food with a place to sit and eat. Everything from Dosas and Samosas to Onion Kulcha and Naan bread. I snagged a few Chicken Samosas on the way out, couldn’t resist.
The spice selection was fantastic, as were the prices. The below picture is about a quarter of the full spice area. Pure extracts were a bargain at 88 cents (perfect since I was out of orange extract).
Being the olive-freaks they are, it’s a good thing The Husband and Nicholas weren’t with me as I wouldn’t have been able to pull them away from these olive carts. Check out the selection! I did, of course, bring them home some.
My mom will be happy with this next find. I first discovered this brand of jam in a small Turkish/Israeli market that has since gone out of business. She said it’s so good, she can eat it just plain with a spoon. For those that might be able to decipher the characters on the lid — can anyone tell me the origin of it? (You can click on the picture to enlarge it)
They did have a small “American” section with things like pasta, cookies, crackers, etc. I also discovered just how many flavors of Stacy’s Chips there actually are (five!). Our Costco carries Stacy’s Chips, but I’ve only seen the “naked” flavor. I grabbed Cinnamon Sugar and the Parmesan, Garlic and Herb.
I was surprised that their “Spanish” section was so small and didn’t include things that are commonplace elsewhere (Goya chips and Sazon seasoning, for example). The same goes for their Indian section. No ginger paste? The warehouse also doesn’t have any meat, fish, deli or other similar departments. It’s more geared towards packaged and bottled products. That said, I’ll definitely go back every now and then, but no burning need to make regular trips. Now, Corrado’s is another story.
OK folks, that’s a wrap for tonight. Tune in tomorrow to get all the details on our afternoon party … you know it’s going to be something different when The Neighbor is doing the cooking for it, and I’m not allowed to. Also tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the exciting email I got tonight. It’s all I can do to not wake up The Husband… everybody’s sleeping and I’ve got to tell someone!
A year ago today … Preachers Gone Astray.
Creamy Fettuccine with Asparagus
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast 1/4 cup pine nuts, stirring often, until golden, 2-3 minutes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook 3/4 pound fettuccine or other thick-strand pasta until al dente, according to package directions, adding 2 bunches of asparagus (trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into thirds) during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain. Return pasta, asparagus and reserved pasta water to the pot. Toss with 4 ounces creamy goat cheese (broken into pieces), 2 tablepoons grainy mustard, 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves and toasted pine nuts. Season with coarse salt and black pepper.
Sweetnicks’ Notes: This would taste fantastic with some grilled chicken tossed in.