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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Tips And Tricks

on December 4, 2014

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I’ve been getting a few requests about #tips when you’re shopping for meat at your grocery store. I would say you first want to get to know your butcher and your fishmonger. Your butcher and fishmonger are there to provide a service, but let me tell you they can do so much more for you. Get to know them, I mean on a first name basis. They are so educated in their field. I’m always learning something.

Let me give you some examples.
First, the butcher. Where I shop, you can watch the butchers work behind the glass, while you’re at the meat counter. When they come out to restock, I always, make a point to stop and talk to them. They know I’m there every day.

The reason for this is because I was taught if you have a well-stocked pantry, and those comfortable spices you rely on. The only things you really need to shop for are the proteins and produce you’re going to be using that day.

 

I have a few pictures here of different cuts of meat.

Second, I learned a few things from my butcher over the years about how to prep certain cuts of meat. Which types of meat are better when they are marinated. What to look for with ground meats and how to properly handle poultry. They told me that if there was something I needed from them not to hesitate to ask. I took that statement to heart.

If I see that a certain cut of meat is on sale, and I need it to be ground,  I know that I can ask them to do that for me. Sometimes ground meat may not be on sale, or chicken cutlets are expensive. Because I’ve built a relationship with my butcher, I choose the kind of meat I want and ask the butcher for the style I need the meat to be. All I’m saying is, just because it’s packaged a certain way doesn’t mean that they can’t customize the meat into the style you need.

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For example, boneless-skinless chicken breasts are less expensive than chicken cutlets. Stop and talk to your butcher, ask him or her if they wouldn’t mind cutting the package of chicken breasts into cutlets. I’m sure they would be glad to do it.

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Third, Fishmongers are also very knowledgeable in their field. They can tell you what to look for in fish, or shellfish and the proper preparation of the different varieties.

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Whenever possible, go to your local farmer’s market to purchase your product. Support your local farmers and buy what’s in season. Believe me, when I tell you, it will make a big difference in your finished recipe.

Finally, when buying spices, try to buy them whole. The shelf life is much longer. Keep them in a cool, dry, dark place. Spices that you use regularly, of course, buy those ground if you don’t want to do that yourself.

Oh, another #trick I learned is to keep all your nuts in a sealed container in the freezer for longer shelf life. I also keep a dried bay leaf in all my flour containers, I don’t know why it seems to keep unwanted pests away. Well, I hope I helped with some of the #tips and #tricks that I learned over the years, and having this blog, able to share.

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