Friday, April 24, 2015

Merguez Lamb Patties and Gold Raisin Couscous

Kibbi at Open Sesame 
in Long Beach, CA
I was quite surprised to read that lamb consumption is this country hit a new low last year. It's a decline that's been a long time coming.  The number of sheep raised in America is half what it was 20 years ago and one tenth of what the country raised in the late 1940s.  And it's not just lamb meat that's trending down. Wool has been replaced by synthetics that are less expensive. Fewer sheep, less lamb.  In fact, Americans now eat less than a pound of lamb a year.  As recently as the 1960s that figure was 4-1/2 lbs.  But for someone who grew up looking forward to lunch at his grandmother's because it almost inevitably meant a lamb chop, it's hard to understand why. Especially when you can make something as wonderful as these Merguez Lamb Patties.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review of Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer #7: The Good. The Bad. The Meh. In the Flyer and On the Shelves

No Joke. These people are waiting
to get in to my Trader Joe's.
Trader Joe’s, the California-based food market, just cleaned the clocks of virtually all its competitors according to Consumer Reports Magazine. It scored an 87 out of 100.  While some local supermarkets beat it by a point (Wegmans in the East, Publix in the South and Sprouts in the West) the only national competitor, Costco, came in second with 84 points. 27,000 consumers gave Trader Joe’s high marks for service, perishables and very clean stores.  They also hit it out of the ballpark for their extraordinary (low) prices.  Since I live very close to a Trader Joe’s, which regularly has to “crowd control” on weekends, I would have to concur.  Trader Joe’s is a phenomenon.
I use the store on an almost daily basis.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ina Garten's Roasted Shrimp with Feta

Shrimp is far and away the popular seafood in the country and has been for at least the last 10 years.  Nothing comes remotely close to per capita shrimp consumption which hit 3.6 lbs. last year.  Just for comparison, salmon catapulted to the second position beating canned tuna for the first time ever in 2013.  But it’s an also-ran with Americans eating fully a pound less of salmon than they do of shrimp.  Needless to say, I am a shrimp aficionado.  It is so easy to keep a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer.  They defrost in no time and like almost all seafood, they cook in record time.  So when I came across this Ina Garten recipe from her 2010 cookbook “How Easy is That?” (Clarkson Potter), I had to try it. The results were nothing short of remarkable.