cheffed-up

Grocery Getter, Part DEUX

Second installment of Chef Bill’s ode À la épicerie

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As promised, here is Part 2 of my grocery store appreciation story. As I so eloquently espoused last week, I really enjoy—you could even say love—grocery stores.

I grocery shop wherever I travel, so I was pretty stoked to visit Paris. Even though I knew we couldn’t afford to visit the many Michelin-starred restaurants, especially with all the chillins in tow, I planned to do the next best thing: visit the food markets. Because we were limited on time, and my wife had zero interest, I squeezed in a couple of market forays while she was working. One destination was La Grande Epicerie de Paris, an ultra-high-end grocer where you can find the finest chocolates, pastries, pâtés, cheeses, wines, meats and even the famed blue-footed Bresse chicken! The only thing between me and this curator of culinary perfection was the Paris metro.

Traversing a foreign city’s metro with very few language skills and five small children was quite an adventure in itself. Of course, I was more than up to the task, and what a memorable time it was! Each of my children and my wife delight in mocking me for this expedition (we went all the way across Paris to see a grocery store!!) but, hey, YOLO.

In Jax, my list of favorite grocers continues with Fresh Market. While I find these stores to be a tad dark and cluttered, the meat selection and prepared foods are top-notch. And speaking of meats, the new Winn-Dixie on Baymeadows has some pretty sweet dry-aged beef. For cheese, I used to frequent Whole Foods, but lately its selection has really fallen off. My new cheese and salami spot is Grater Goods in Murray Hill: small, friendly, knowledgeable, perfect. The variety and quality of grocery stores is the best it’s ever been, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

And did I mention all the Asian markets? Stop at one for some goyza wrappers, and give this potsticker recipe a try.
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CHEF BILL’S POTSTICKERS
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 5-1/2 oz. ground pork
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp. carrot, shredded
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. tamari sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, use only half
  • 30 goyza wrappers
  • Corn starch solution as needed; canola oil as needed

Directions:

  1. Mix the beaten half-egg with salt, tamari, sesame oil in a medium bowl. 
  2. Add the cabbage, pork, ginger, carrot, scallions and garlic; mix well.
  3. Hold one goyza in your palm. Spoon 1-1/2 teaspoons of mix into the middle.
  4. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with cornstarch solution, fold in half, pressing the ends together. Begin to make pleats, pressing the sides together as you go.
  5. Place on a plastic-wrapped pan, cover with a damp towel and continue with the remaining dumplings.
  6. Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat, with canola oil. Begin arranging dumplings in a tight circular pattern (don’t let them touch each other). Cook until the bottoms begin to brown. Add about 1/4 cup of water to pan, cover and let steam for about 7 minutes. Remove lid and serve.

Until we cook again,
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Contact Chef Bill Thompson, owner of The Amelia Island Culinary Academy, at cheffedup@folioweekly.com to find inspiration and get you Cheffed Up!

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