Eat Your Greens

Never heard of Utica Greens? This is one vegetable side you should taste! This dish got its start in New York State and is common there in Italian restaurants and the local Italian communities. But now it’s having a moment in the spotlight, popping up in food magazines and trendy places throughout the U.S.

The main ingredient is escarole and if you aren’t familiar with it, it’s those greens used in Italian wedding soup. With its slightly bitter edge, it’s widely used as a salad green. If you like cooked greens, you should come by and get a sample of what this dish tastes like. There is nothing quite like it!

Think garlicky breadcrumbs, plenty of good olive oil, a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese, and meaty bits of pancetta all tangled up in blanched escarole. The secret ingredient to this dish is where it gets its spicy kick. Some pickled Italian cherry peppers are thrown in to give this dish its distinctive sweet/hot flavor profile.

All you have to do when you get them home is throw it in a hot oven to help toast up those breadcrumbs and serve hot. I like them under the broiler to get a little char on them while all the delicious breadcrumbs and Parmesan get toasty. All I need is a glass of a crisp white wine and I am one happy camper!

Destination: Oaxaca, Mexico

Mexican food—who doesn’t like it? It’s a cuisine that’s embraced worldwide. Interestingly, Mexican cuisine was the first to be awarded an UNESCO Culinary Heritage Status. As we embark on a new Food Explorer destination this month, we’re especially drawn to the cooking coming out of Oaxaca, Mexico (pronounced Wa-ha-ka).

We’re not the only ones who are slightly obsessed with Oaxacan cuisine. American chefs, restaurateurs, and cookbook authors are heavily influenced by Oaxaca, including Rick Bayless, Alice Waters, and Diana Kennedy, to name a few. It’s become quite the trendy food-lover destination bringing in tourists to the region and flooding their food markets. Although we can’t hold a candle to that experience, we’re excited to bring our interpretation of some of these food experiences to DLM.

Oaxacan cuisine has a large variety of ingredients coming from mountain areas, central valleys, southern coastline, and in and around the capital city that shares its name. Think staples like not only corn and beans, but a variety of chiles and stunning produce, seafood, chocolate, avocados, cheeses, and even the smoky mezcal that heavily influences this cuisine. Other more exotic ingredients are the delicious, but not super attractive, corn fungus called  huitlacoche (or corn smut) and a small type of grasshopper called chapulín that is full of protein and plentiful to the area.

We especially love favorites from Oaxaca, such as tlayudas, tamales, quesadillas, black beans, and Oaxacan cheese, also known as quessillo. Chocolate also is plentiful, mostly drunk hot. But the primary focus and foundation of Oaxaca cooking is mole, see page 6 for more! We’re excited to explore Oaxaca and we hope you join us for the journey.

Click here for some recipes to try at home or ways you can bite into Oaxaca, Mexico, via DLM.

Oaxacan Cuisine at Home & DLM

Oaxaca has become a trendy food-lover destination and it’s easy to see why. This cuisine contains a large variety of ingredients coming from many regions. Along with corn and beans, they’re known for their use of chiles, fresh produce and seafood, chocolate, cheeses, avocado, and some exotic ingredients. Come along with us as we explore some recipes for you to make at home as well as Oaxacan foods you can enjoy right here at DLM! Plus, Be sure to join us 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 20, for our Oaxaca Food Explorer Day, in addition to our Tlayuda Cookout, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 19-20.! While you’re here, be sure to look for our one-day sale items! Click here to get a sneak peek of the one-day hot prices on featured items.

Tlayuda

Join us for our Tlayuda Cookout, July 19 & 20, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., at all DLM locations!

MAKE IT AT HOME

Start with 3 basic ingredients:

  1. A large tortilla (preferably corn).
  2. Refried black beans.
  3. Oaxacan String Cheese or shredded Chihuahua.

Then add any of the following: Roasted or grilled veggies, sliced avocado, sliced tomato, salsa, and either shrimp, chorizo, braised pork, etc.

To cook: On a griddle or large sauté pan, heat a tortilla with a little oil. Flip and smear with refried beans. Top with cheese and other ingredients if desired. It’s ready when the cheese is melted. Serve open-faced or folded over.

Jicama with Chile Lime

MAKE IT AT HOME

Forget the veggie tray! Branch out and try some crisp and crunchy jicama drenched in fresh lime juice and sprinkled with dried chile powder. It’s refreshing and delicious on a hot summer night!

Chile Beef Torta

GET IT AT THE SANDWICH STATION 

A torta is basically a Mexican sandwich filled with a variety of ingredients and served in a white sandwich roll. We’re excited to feature a Oaxaca-inspired Chile Beef Torta as our Sandwich of the Month, with deeply flavored beef topped with pickled carrots, onions, and jalapeños, sliced ripe avocado, queso fresco, and fresh cilantro.

Elotes-Style Corn Salad

GET IT AT THE DLM DELI

We’ve taken all the flavors of traditional elotes and made an easy-to-eat Deli salad that’s full of charred corn, plenty of lime juice, a little sour cream, cheese, and dried red chile.

Watermelon Agua Fresca

GET IT AT THE DLM COFFEE BAR

The refreshingly sweet Agua Fresca literally translateds to “fresh water.” We’re featuring our version of Watermelon Agua Fresca all month at our Coffee Bars. Made with ripe watermelon, cold water, lime juice, and a touch of agave for sweetness.

Quesadilla with Oaxacan Cheese

MAKE IT AT HOME

If you like quesadillas (and really, who doesn’t?) you’ve got to try this simple creation! To start, get the best corn or flour tortilla you can get your hands on and Oaxacan cheese. This cheese is like string cheese in texture, but it’s perfect for a stretchy quesadilla and is just delicious when melted.

Street Corn

GET IT AT DLM (SELECT TIMES BELOW)

As if local Brentlinger’s Sweet Corn could get any better! We have a corn roaster that travels between all three stores, and the results are scrumptious! Whether you choose The Classic or the every-popular Mexican Street Corn style, you’ll have no regrets! 

July’s Corn Roasting Schedule 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at each location:

July 19-20 (DLM WSQ)

July 26-27 (DLM SPR)

Subject to change according to availability.

Beef Barbacoa

GET IT AT DLM (limited time while supplies last this Saturday)

Even our Meat department is getting into the Oaxaca celebration! This Saturday, July 20, they’ll be featuring a slow-smoked Beef Barbacoa for a limited time and while supplies last. DLM Natural Beef Boneless Chuck Roast is smoked for 12 hours for a mouth-watering Beef Barbacoa! Sure to be a hit, you can create any number of Oaxacan dishes, such as street tacos. 

 

7 Insider Tips to Our Peach Party!

Each July, our mission is to bring the ultimate peach experience to DLM where the peach will be king. We scour the U.S. for a tree-ripened peach with the highest brix to be found. This year our search took us back to California, where the Gerawan family grows Prima® Peaches. We love its sweet flavor so much, it inspires items throughout DLM, such as the BLPeach, a sweet take on the traditional BLT, and mouth-watering Peach Salsa.

The longer a peach remains on the tree, the higher the sugar content and the better the flavor. The peaches are hand selected for DLM and placed into a small, round-bottomed bucket that protects the fruit from bruising. Our peaches are hand packed on the same day they’re harvested and handled with the utmost care to protect these marvelous fruits. DLM Prima® Peaches will have a brix level of 11 or above ensuring that the peaches bring that sweet summertime flavor.

Each morning our produce managers will use a refractometer, a device used to measure the brix level of the peach. The daily brix will be written on a sign to let you know how sweet our Prima® Peaches are tasting that day! As July continues, these peaches will just keep getting sweeter and sweeter as they reach their peak. Come to the “party” and be prepared to enjoy one of the sweetest, juiciest peaches around.

7 Insider Peach Party Tips

  1. The longer a peach can rip en on the tree, the higher the Brix. All Peach Party Prima® Peaches have a Brix level of 11 or greater!
  2. Once a peach is harvested, it is also graded. A very small percentage of peaches will make the cut to be sent to our Peach Party.
  3. Once the tree-ripened peaches arrive to DLM, our Produce managers carefully inspect the fruit and measure the Brix. Check the Brix sign to see what it is today!
  4. Look for “Ready Today” and “Ready Tomorrow” signs on our Peach Party display so you can plan your peach feast accordingly.
  5. You can tell when a peach is perfectly ripe by using your full hand and not just fingertips. The ripe peach will yield to gentle pressure.
  6. Peaches are perfect as-is. But they’re also great cooked (try poaching, baking, and even grilling). When cooked, the sugar caramelizes resulting in an even sweeter peach!
  7. Look for recipes throughout DLM during our Peach Party featuring this sweet summer fruit!

 

Spoon on the Salsa

If you’ve ever walked into our stores and have seen Austin Hieb or one of our Produce associates proudly chopping tomatoes, onions, peppers, tomatillos, and other fresh ingredients, know that it isn’t just for show. Our DLM Salsas truly are Made Right Here, and sometimes, you may see that in action. In fact, there is a dedicated associate at each DLM location who ensures that fresh salsa and guacamole is available.

“Today, I diced about 100 lbs of tomatoes,” Hieb says, who has been involved with our Salsa and Guacamole program since it launched about four years ago. He’ll often notice passersby do a doubletake as they see him making these products fresh in the middle of the DLM Washington Square Produce department. Then, the lightbulb moment happens as they see the ingredients being combined. “Oh, you guys make that here?” some will ask. “It’s really cool to see their reactions,” Hieb says.

When we look at a typical week in July, when salsa and guacamole just seem to be a natural fit with a cold beer in hand on a hot day, the popularity truly soars. On an average week in July, we sell more than 400 lbs of DLM Fresh Salsa and about another 500 lbs of DLM Fresh Guacamole. “The nicer the day, the more salsa and guacamole that people crave,” Hieb says.

We feature around 10 different salsa recipes on a rotating basis with some reflecting seasonal offerings, like our featured Peach Salsa this month. Although our salsas are not crafted from Oaxacan recipes, we are bringing back two recipes, Salsa Verde and Salsa Roja, this July as the smoky flavors and ingredients of these varieties are probably the most similar to those flavors that shine in a Oaxacan salsa.