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.
CHEF BILL’S POTSTICKERS
- 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
- Mix the beaten half-egg with salt, tamari, sesame oil in a medium bowl.
- Add the cabbage, pork, ginger, carrot, scallions and garlic; mix well.
- Hold one goyza in your palm. Spoon 1-1/2 teaspoons of mix into the middle.
- 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.
- Place on a plastic-wrapped pan, cover with a damp towel and continue with the remaining dumplings.
- 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,
Contact Chef Bill Thompson, owner of The Amelia Island Culinary Academy, at [email protected] to find inspiration and get you Cheffed Up!