Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shopping, cooking and tasting notes

Have you seen these Stop & Shop TV commercials where a woman learns to make pizza at home to save money and invites friends over for dinner? I don't want to learn how to make pizza, but I was interested in mention of  $4.88 for 5 pounds of clementines with a store card -- the lowest price I've seen.

A fried egg, sunny side up.Image via Wikipedia
I visit Stop & Shop about once a month to look over its Nature's Promise offerings that are found throughout the store. These are naturally raised or grown items such as poultry, meat, eggs, milk, organic lemonade and so forth. Yesterday, I went to the Teaneck store for the clementines and to pick up a few things I needed to serve the delightful Syrian meat sandwiches called arayes, which we've enjoyed at Aleppo Restaurant in Paterson. (My spelling of arayes is just a guess.)

The box of clementines looked to be identical to those from Spain, but this one was from Morocco. Still, you can't beat the price (reduced from $7.99) and they turned out to be sweet, though harder to peel than their Spanish counterparts. I weighed the box and fruit  in the store and they totaled 5.32 pounds.

For the arayes, I needed parsley (99 cents for a big bunch, most of which will go to waste) and some Nature's Promise ground beef to add to the naturally raised ground lamb I bought the day before at Whole Foods in Paramus. I also picked up Nature's Promise large brown eggs ($2.99 a dozen) and organic, low-fat milk ($3.69).

Chuck, one of my loyal readers, advised me to use a lot of chopped parsley for the arayes meat, which totaled about a pound and a quarter. I also seasoned the lamb-beef mixture with salt, sumac, allspice, cumin and Aleppo red pepper, and added finely chopped onion and red pepper before hand mixing it.

I split two medium-size pocket breads from Fattal's Bakery in Paterson, spreading and pressing the meat as thinly as possible into each of the four halves. I put them under the broiler until the meat was firm and sizzling, then reunited the halves and cut each sandwich into four quarters. (I made lamb burgers with the rest of the meat and put them into the freezer.)

They were yummy and tasted pretty close to what we've had in restaurants. I served the arayes last night with lamb sausage from Fattal's, yellow rice, canned fava beans with my added tahini sauce and salad.

The Stop & Shop Supermarket CompanyImage via Wikipedia

This morning, I fried one Nature's Promise large brown egg -- sunny side up -- in extra-virgin olive oil, seasoning it with a little salt and a generous pinch of Aleppo red pepper. I toasted one large and one small roll, and ate the egg with this and that -- a slice of Swiss cheese, some tuna-red salmon-sardine salad, wild lox, kimchi and seasoned tofu. Life is good. We've been eating only egg whites for far too long.
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  1. I think I will make arayes this weekend myself, your post gave me a craving. Glad it turned it nicely.

  2. Great. I was very pleased with the way they came out and you really helped me.


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