Earlier this year, I had the unique opportunity to receive a guided tour of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens by Chef Mark Russell, Executive Chef, and Nema McGlynn, In-Store Dietitian. The purpose of the tour was to identify food superstars and ways to make new and exciting choices – and, I happened to receive some insider tips straight from the culinary geniuses!
Today, I’d love to share how I’ve incorporated some of their suggestions into family favourites, in addition to letting you know about some of the hottest NEW items in the President’s Choice Insider’s Report. So without further ado, here are my Top 5 President’s Choice Faves for Summer 2013!
1. PC BLACK LABEL HATCHO MISO MARINADE
A game changer? You bet it is. Made with an authentic combination of black miso, sake and toasted sesame, use this rich, Japanese-inspired marinade to add a bold, sweet-salty hit to a wide array of beef, pork, chicken and seafood dishes. It’s now my go-to enhancer when making Malaysian Chicken Wings: Mix 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, ground black pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon dried basil – and a generous dash of the Hatcho Miso Marinade. Toss mixture with 12-15 chicken wings and deep fry or bake, as you prefer. Salty, sticky and with just the right amount of savoury-sweetness, the marinade lends a “je ne sais quoi” to all Asian dishes and stir frys.
2. PC SEAFOOD SEASONING RUB
ONE step to perfectly seasoned seafood. Yes, just one step. Simply grab your favourite fish (we love salmon or rainbow trout), sprinkle on the seasoning rub, and bake. Et voila! No guesswork, no messy cleanup, and no excuse not to try it. It imparts a smoky, Cajun-inspired flavour with plenty of kick for spice enthusiasts. Also delicious with shrimp, grilled lobster tails and even chicken. On the side: PC Organics New Potatoes tossed with olive oil, dried rosemary and PC MEMORIES OF Sicilia Coarse Sea Salt.
3. PC BLACK LABEL TASTE #5 UMAMI PASTE SPICED TOMATO & ANCHOVY PURÉE
Known as the fifth taste, umami is distinct from the four other tastes of sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Made with tomato, olives, porcini mushrooms, Parmigiano cheese and anchovies, just a dollop will boost and add robust flavours to a wide array of dishes. Best described as a flavour bomb, this transformational paste is savoury deliciousness. I add it faithfully to my Red Clam Sauce, and POW! With the explosive flavour of Taste #5, my husband and I find ourselves licking the plate when we’re done. If I had only one complaint – I find it hard to get the pureé out of the packaging (as witnessed by my well-squeezed tube below).
4. PC MEMORIES OF Korean Barbecue Grilling & Glazing Sauce
Although technically a fruity, soy-based glazing sauce – made to be brushed on meats 5-10 minutes before the end of cooking – I find it’s a perfect accompaniment to thinly sliced beef and green peppers. I simply marinade the sliced beef in about 1/2 cup of the sauce, then stir fry peppers and green onions until softened. I add the beef and cook until no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes. Finally, I add an additional 1/2 of sauce and heat through. Oh-so-yummy and dinner is ready in less than 15 minutes. Served with PC Thai Jasmine Rice, of course!
5. PC PINEAPPLE COCONUT WATER
I’ll be honest: I’ve never understood the coconut water craze. I’ve sipped coconut water – straight from a coconut on a beach in Varadero, Cuba – and it was sweet, refreshing and delicious. The packaged variety? Kind of salty, to tell you the truth! Now I know there’s a special electrolyte balance and a ton of potassium, but still, not a single memory of the beach came flooding back. Go figure. That is – until I tried PC Pineapple Coconut Water; the addition of pineapple juice lends just the right amount of sweetness and it’s the perfect ode to the tropics. For a treat, combine 1 cup of PC Pineapple Coconut Water, 1/2 cup PC 0% Greek Yogurt, 2 cups fresh, cold pineapple chunks, 1 cup fresh, cold mango chunks, half a large ripe banana and 2 tsp fresh lime juice. Blend away.
And there you have it – five President’s Choice products specifically recommended by Chef Mark Russell and incorporated in my own kitchen. You can find many of them featured prominently in the Summer 2013 Insider’s Report, and they definitely have my vote!
Tell me – what’s your favourite PC product? I’d love to add it to my next grocery list.