Today: Jul 05 , 2020

Sales, Menus & Recipes: Kitchen Science and Food Jokes

15 August 2019  

 Cooking is Chemistry.

Mix together some various substances, apply heat, watch the magic transformations. Sounds like chemistry, or cooking. Transforming food ingredients by heat, drying and freezing have been going on for a very long time. Over the millennia people have discovered fermentation, leavening, caramelization and other ways of producing tasty food from unpromising ingredients. Preserving food is also based on chemical processes, and the control of heat is of supreme importance, leading to stoves, ovens, freezers, and even the slow cooker.

It is not necessary to understand the science behind cooking, but it can be helpful. I like to find videos with explanations of different techniques to share with our readers. Not only can it be interesting, sometimes it can actually help make better food.

Why couldn’t the sesame seed leave the casino? She was on a roll.

Some of this week’s recipes call for Harissa. This is a north African spice paste. Dry Harissa can be purchased locally at The Spice Traveler, in the Old Capitol Building, next to Bashford Courts. But you can also make your own. Here are a couple of recipes. It really helps to wear plastic gloves when working with either fresh or dried hot chilis, otherwise you may burn your eyes, even after washing hands. Believe me on this because I’ve done this. Also when sautéing chilis you may want to provide plenty of air circulation, the effect in an enclosed space can be overpowering. 

Harissa Paste

You may need to adjust the amount of chilis. They should be red and about the heat of Jalapeños. Fresh or dried can be used but will require different techniques. 

Special Sales This Week

Fry’s—The Buy 5 or more Save $1 on each item Sale Continues This Week. Especially Good Deals include select varieties and sizes of Dawn, Tide, and Seventh Generation liquid soaps for $1.99/each, and Huggies Natural wipes for $.99/each.

Safeway—Extra Special Digital Coupon of the Week: Signature Select Ice Cream, 48oz for $.49 each, limit 1, must have digital coupon.  Many good clip or click coupons: 1 dz eggs $1.49, limit 2; Sarah Lee Bread Skippy Peanut Butter or Welch’s Grape Jam or Jelly for$1.88/each limit 4. Thursday August 15 is MILITARY DISCOUNT DAY. Save 10% on most purchases. (valid military id required)

Sprouts—Wants to encourage you to eat plant based foods, tasty and good for the environment. You will get 35% off more than 300 plant based items from brands like Silk, Kashi, bear naked and many more. There is also a 72 hour sale, Fri Sat & Sun. Look for Mangos, 3 for $1, Bartlett Pears 3 lb for $1 and Organic, Air Chilled whole chickens for $1.99/lb.

National Days This Week

Aug 14Creamsicle Day
Aug 15Lemon Meringue Pie Day
Aug 16Tell a Joke Day (see food jokes sprinkled throughout today’s column)
Aug 18Fajita Day
Aug 21Spumoni Day

What happened when there was an explosion at the cheese factory? All that was left was debrie. 

This Week’s Suggested Menu Items 

Main Dish

Fajita’s *
Grilled or Pan Broiled Lamb Chops
Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa *
Grilled or Pan Broiled Steak
Shakshuka Eggs (good for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner) *
Harissa Baked Chicken *
Shrimp Jambalaya *

Salads and Sides

Orange Salad with Fennel *
Carrot, Date and Orange Salad *
Composed Salad
Steamed Rice
Crusty Bread
Steamed Quinoa with Sautéd Mushrooms


Creamsicle Float *
Lemon Meringue Pie *
Spumoni *
Ice Cream Sundaes

How come oysters don’t donate to charity? Because they are shellfish

Recipes and Videos


Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa

The mango salsa can be used in many ways.

Shakshuka Eggs with Harissa

Serve with Nan bread or a crusty Baguette to sop up all the delicious sauce. Other veggies can be added: diced red bell pepper, green onions (slice some tops for garnish), sliced mushrooms,  thinly sliced carrots. If using canned tomatoes use San Marzano type. Make extra sauce. Good on anything from steak to vegetables, and Vegan too.

Baked Harissa Chicken 

Do this as shown, or do on a sheet pan using bone in chicken parts.

Shrimp Jambalaya

I personally would add another sausage, but that’s just me. I would also use smoked paprika.

Orange Salad with Fennel

Carrot, Date and Orange Salad

Pomegranate Tangerine Salad

Use Oranges and frozen pomegranate arils—easy peasy.

Creamsicle Float

Lemon Merengue Pie

Alton Brown (may he cook forever) repairs his original recipe.

Easy Spumoni

Classic Spumoni

Spumoni is an Italian Ice Cream treat, made up of layers of different ice creams, with fruits and nuts mixed in. Usually made in a loaf shape, served in slices. It can also be made of scoops of the different ice creams with mix ins, packed into a container, frozen and re scooped into dishes or cones.

The classic combination is Pistachio Ice Cream with chopped toasted pistachios mixed in, Cherry Ice cream with Maraschino Cherries mixed in, and chocolate ice cream with chocolate bits and toasted almonds mixed in. But this is not a rule, just a suggestion. Go Wild! Use any type ice cream you like and mix in whatever seems best. You can even mix in flavorings like almond extract or cherry or other flavors of liquor, candied fruit etc.

To simplify, use ice creams that already contain cherries, pistachio nuts, chocolate bits or other mix ins. 

To fill a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan you will need 3 cups each of three different types of ice creams. As you need the ice cream to be softened, to mix in whatever, you should start with one flavor, let it soften enough to mix in, spread it in a plastic film or parchment paper lined loaf pan. Freeze for 20-30 minutes while you work on flavor two, spread that in the pan, freeze while preparing flavor three, spread it in, cover well and freeze for several hours. 

To serve, un-mold on a flat surface. Slice, garnish with chopped nuts and cherries.

How do you make an egg roll? Just push it.

Items On Sale This Week

Meats and Seafood

Lamb Chops—20% Off @ Sprouts
Steak—$BOGO @Safeway, Chuck Fillet, $5.77/lb @Safeway, Rib Eye, bone in. $6.99/lb @Sprouts, T-Bone or Top Sirloin Fillet. $8.99/lb @Fry’s, Ribeye
Pre Marinated—Buy 1 get 1 at 50%Off @Sprouts, Chicken, Beef, Pork
Chicken Parts—$.87/lb @Safeway, bone in, Jumbo pack
Salmon Fillet—$9.99/lb @Sprouts, fresh wild. $9.99/lb @Fry’s, fresh wild
Fish—$6.99/lb @Sprouts, Wild Tuna Swordfish or MahiMahi, prev frozen
Shrimp—$7.99/lb @Sprouts, 16-20 ct, raw, 72 hr sale. $9.54/2 lb bag @Fry’s, frozen, 31-40 ct, 
Friday and Saturday only, With Digital Coupon. $13.98/2 lb bag @Safeway, 16-20 ct, frozen.
Sausage—$3.99/pkg @Fry’s, Aidell’s, Buy 5 Sale. $4.99/pkg @Sprouts, Links or Loops

Fruits and Vegetables

Raspberries—$.87/6 oz box @Safeway. $2.50/5.6 oz box @Sprouts
Blueberries—$3,99/18 oz box @Fry’s. $1.25/6 oz box @Sprouts$3.33/6 oz box @Safeway, (O)
Strawberries—$1.25/lb box @Sprouts. $3/1 lb box @Fry’s, (O). $3.33/lb box @Safeway (O). 
Yellow or White Peaches or Nectarines—$.77/lb @Fry’s
Yellow Peaches—$1 for 3 lb @Sprouts. $1.99/lb @Safeway. 
Watermelon—$.87/each @Safeway, Personal. $.87/each @Fry’s Personal. 
Grapes—$.77/lb @Fry’s, green. $1.88/lb @Sprouts, red, green
Apples—$2.98/2 lb bag @Sprouts, Pink Lady (O)
Tomatoes—$.99/lb @Safeway, Roma.
Avocados—$.98/eacj @Sprouts
Hothouse Cucumbers—$.98/each @Sprouts
Celery—$.99/bunch @Safeway. $.98/bunch @Sprouts.
Carrots, $.99/16 oz bag @Safeway.
Broccoli Crowns or Cauliflower Heads—$.99/lb @Safeway.
Squash, yellow or Italian—$.98/lb @Sprouts
Bell Peppers—$.98/each @Sprouts, red, yellow, orange

Other Good Deals

Eggs—$.98/dz @Fry’s. $1.49/dz @Safeway, with clip or click coupon. 
Snack Cakes—$1.25/pkg @Fry’s, Little Debbie, select varieties
Almonds—35% off @Sprouts, select varieties in bulk.
Veggie Straws or Chips—$.99/bag @Sprouts, 72 hour sale
Sodas, 2 ltr—$.77/each when you buy 5, Coke, Pepsi or 7-Up, limit 1 offer
Cooked Chicken—$4.99/8 pc @Safeway, baked or fried.