Learn All About Roasting With Molly Stevens

It’s clearly not as simple as seasoning the meat, waiting until the oven reaches a high temperature and counting the minutes until your roast is done. In her upcoming classes at Central Market cooking school, Molly discusses the many ways of roasting and demonstrates techniques that can be applied to a variety of meats, seafood, vegetables and fruits.

As Molly says, “The finest cooks are the ones who understand the why behind the how,” which is just what you’ll get—and more—during an evening spent with this award-winning instructor. Among the recipes Molly demonstrates are garlic-roasted shrimp with tomatoes, capers and feta; roasted cauliflower “steaks” with crunchy parsley-pine nut bread crumbs; and orange-scented honey-roasted figs with black pepper.

Learn All About Roasting With Molly Stevens

It’s clearly not as simple as seasoning the meat, waiting until the oven reaches a high temperature and counting the minutes until your roast is done. In her upcoming classes at Central Market cooking school, Molly discusses the many ways of roasting and demonstrates techniques that can be applied to a variety of meats, seafood, vegetables and fruits.

As Molly says, “The finest cooks are the ones who understand the why behind the how,” which is just what you’ll get—and more—during an evening spent with this award-winning instructor. Among the recipes Molly demonstrates are garlic-roasted shrimp with tomatoes, capers and feta; roasted cauliflower “steaks” with crunchy parsley-pine nut bread crumbs; and orange-scented honey-roasted figs with black pepper.

Pan de Muerto Available at Central Market for a Limited Time

Pan de muerto (Spanish for “bread of the dead”) is a sweet bread flavored with anise, orange peel and orange glaze traditionally baked in Mexico in the weeks leading up to Dia de los Muertos, which is celebrated November 1-2. The bread is placed on ofrendas and graves and eaten to honor those who have passed.

Pan de muerto comes in many different animal and human shapes. More traditional loaves—like the ones we bake fresh at Central Market—are round with a central raised knob of dough, representing the skull, and crossed bone-shaped decorations radiating from the central knob.

Try a slice with your morning coffee, or dredge it in egg to make a killer (sorry) French toast. Either way you’ll want to hurry in to your store, because pan de muerto is here only for a limited time in our Bakery department.

Pan de Muerto Available at Central Market for a Limited Time

Pan de muerto (Spanish for “bread of the dead”) is a sweet bread flavored with anise, orange peel and orange glaze traditionally baked in Mexico in the weeks leading up to Dia de los Muertos, which is celebrated November 1-2. The bread is placed on ofrendas and graves and eaten to honor those who have passed.

Pan de muerto comes in many different animal and human shapes. More traditional loaves—like the ones we bake fresh at Central Market—are round with a central raised knob of dough, representing the skull, and crossed bone-shaped decorations radiating from the central knob.

Try a slice with your morning coffee, or dredge it in egg to make a killer (sorry) French toast. Either way you’ll want to hurry in to your store, because pan de muerto is here only for a limited time in our Bakery department.

For the Love of Cheese

Why do people like cheese so much?
One food, so many subtleties. Ever since an anonymous nomad in the Middle East took a long and bumpy camel trip with a leather bag of milk and discovered a delicious transformation, cheese has been a beloved part of the human diet. The qualities of milk, the diet of the animal and the chemical properties of the cheese-making process impact flavor in innumerable ways. There literally are hundreds of types of cheese made from all kinds of milk in countries all over the world. If you’re like us, you’d love to try them all.

Why does Swiss cheese have holes? Why do cheese curds squeak? What are these crystals in my aged Gouda?
Cheese is nothing if not a chemistry lesson. To transform milk into cheese, we humans enlist the help of various bacteria. Swiss cheese requires three types of bacteria, one of which — Propionibacter shermani — is rather gassy. Bubbles of carbon dioxide leave holes in the cheese; the size of the holes is impacted by acidity, temperature and cooling time.

On another gassy note, fresh cheese curds squeak when bitten due to gas trapped inside. As curds age, gas escapes. To get the best squeak, bite the curd within hours of creation. Keeping curds at room temperature can help preserve freshness and squeakiness.

And to round out our chemistry theme, aged Gouda often contains small, crunchy white crystals. These are bits of crystallized tyrosine, an amino acid found in the casein or milk protein. Most cheese lovers consider this aspect of aged Gouda’s texture to be a signature delight. When you find them, crunch away. And if you want more, Gruyère, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Piave Vecchio share the trait.

What’s the healthiest way to enjoy cheese?
The short answer is “all things in moderation.” While cheese is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin D, let’s face it: Fat is what gives cheese its beguiling texture and depth of flavor. That said, there are some subtleties to consider.

Soft cheeses, such as feta or ricotta have higher moisture content and therefore a lower fat percentage than harder cheeses. Some hard cheeses are made with skimmed milk, meaning the cream is traditionally skimmed away during the cheese-making process. Good examples are Parmesan, Asiago or Single Gloucester. Of course, cheeses not traditionally made with skimmed milk are often available in low-fat versions, but they tend to lack the richness of their full-fat counterparts.

When it comes to a great cheese, you don’t need much to swoon. Smaller quantities of traditional cheeses may provide more pleasure than larger quantities of low-fat substitutes. Try nibbles of stronger, more mature cheeses such as Raclette or Tarentaise for a taste adventure with your favorite veggies or fruits.

What temperature is best for serving cheese?
Cheese is at full flavor at room temperature. If you are making up a cheese plate, you’ll want to take your cheese out of the refrigerator about an hour ahead of the tasting. Adjust your timing for soft cheeses, as they come to room temperature more quickly than harder ones. It’s also easier to slice softer cheeses when they are chilled, so you may want to slice ahead.

Which vegetables and fruits pair best with cheese?
When exploring cheese pairings, go for complementary flavors that bring out the natural characteristics of the cheese or explore contrasts that round out the palate. Fruits and vegetables provide endless options for pairings.

When it comes to fruit and cheese, you can’t go wrong with apples, pears, grapes and figs. Broad, sweet tones and textures pair perfectly with Cheddar, Red Leicester or Manchego. Consider dried fruits such as cranberries or Medjool dates as well.The Central Market Bulk department is a cheese board’s friend, especially if the fresh stuff is out of season.

Olives and tomatoes must also be considered in any exploration of cheese and fruit. The creamy texture and tangy finish of asadero is great with olives, as is Burrata. Brie and Camembert are wonderful with sun-dried tomatoes.

Vegetables are enlivened by cheese. Try topping a taste of Gouda or Edam with a slice of your favorite spicy pepper. Fontina, Havarti, Munster and Monterey Jack are delicious with the earthy or buttery tones of roasted mushrooms or asparagus. Cucumber or carrot wheels make a healthy (and gluten-free) substitute for crackers or bread at any cheese tasting.

And don’t forget the nuts! An all-time cheese plate must-have, nuts such as Spanish Marcona almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts complement most cheeses. Walnuts are particularly nice with Gorgonzolas and Stiltons.

Which wines pair best with cheese?
An evening with cheese, wine and friends is lovely. Wine and cheese can argue, however, so be careful not to select too heavy a wine for the cheese, and vice versa. Try these guidelines — and never hesitate to ask your cheesemonger for more details in-store. (BTW, we also have some tips for pairing beer with cheese.)

  • Semi-soft cheeses are most compatible with non-oaky, medium-acid wines such as a light Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc or a light-bodied, fruity Pinot Noir.
  • Semi-soft bloomy-rind cheeses are more compatible with non-oaky Chardonnay, sparkling wine, or light- to medium-bodied Pinot Noir or Syrah.
  • Semi-hard cheeses are most compatible with red wines, full-bodied white wines such as Chardonnay, or older-vintage red or white wines.
  • Hard cheeses are most compatible with fruit-forward or sweet wines.
  • Fresh or soft goat cheeses pair very well with sparkling wines.
  • Creamy and tangy blue cheeses are most compatible with sweet wines, sparkling wines, older-vintage red wines or mild, fruity red wines.
  • Mild blue cheeses are most compatible with fruity sparkling wine, semidry Riesling and dessert wines.
  • Washed-rind and/or strong cheeses are more compatible with semi-dry white wines such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer or light, fruit-forward red wines.

Explore the Cheese department at Central Market, and never hesitate to ask for advice from our cheesemongers. They’re here to share their expertise and help you get the most out of your exploration of cheese!

Fully Delicious Full of Life Flatbread Pizza

The artisan flatbreads are handmade in small batches by a dedicated team of bakers in Full of Life’s Los Alamos bakery. Most of the ingredients are sourced from family-owned and independent farms, millers and other food producers within a 300-mile radius, which ensures integrity, seasonality and sustainability.

That’s all well and good, but how does it taste? We’re glad you asked. The crust has the same hearty chew as a freshly baked artisan pizza, and the toppings taste as fresh as the day they were picked in the fields.

One of our favorites is the olive and feta cheese with cornmeal crust, a Mediterranean-influenced pie made with olives grown just four miles down the road from the production facility. Tomatoes are harvested from farms surrounding the small town of Los Alamos, and the rosemary grows wild all around the bakery. The 36-hour slow-rise crust is infused with organic stone-ground cornmeal, topped with slow-cooked certified organic tomato sauce and sprinkled with goat cheese from certified humane Redwood Hill Dairy.

For a lighter meal—and an absolutely unforgettable flavor combination—the flaxseed and pistachio flatbread punctuated with rosemary and red onion needs to be at the top of this week’s shopping list. With only a hint of grana and Three Sisters’ farmstead cow’s milk cheese—and less than 120 calories per serving—one person can enjoy every last bite guilt-free. Other varieties include tomato sauce with three cheeses, mushroom with caramelized onions and tomatoes, cheese and fresh herb, and margherita with mozzarella di bufala and pesto.

Should you be so lucky, Full of Life opens its production facility every weekend and invites the community to join them at their restaurant, where the rotating menu is full of fresh, seasonal dishes and, of course, those award-winning pizzas.

The good news is you don’t need to travel far to experience what the LA Times calls “a pizza parlor in your kitchen.” Look for it in the Central Market Frozen department.

Fully Delicious Full of Life Flatbread Pizza

The artisan flatbreads are handmade in small batches by a dedicated team of bakers in Full of Life’s Los Alamos bakery. Most of the ingredients are sourced from family-owned and independent farms, millers and other food producers within a 300-mile radius, which ensures integrity, seasonality and sustainability.

That’s all well and good, but how does it taste? We’re glad you asked. The crust has the same hearty chew as a freshly baked artisan pizza, and the toppings taste as fresh as the day they were picked in the fields.

One of our favorites is the olive and feta cheese with cornmeal crust, a Mediterranean-influenced pie made with olives grown just four miles down the road from the production facility. Tomatoes are harvested from farms surrounding the small town of Los Alamos, and the rosemary grows wild all around the bakery. The 36-hour slow-rise crust is infused with organic stone-ground cornmeal, topped with slow-cooked certified organic tomato sauce and sprinkled with goat cheese from certified humane Redwood Hill Dairy.

For a lighter meal—and an absolutely unforgettable flavor combination—the flaxseed and pistachio flatbread punctuated with rosemary and red onion needs to be at the top of this week’s shopping list. With only a hint of grana and Three Sisters’ farmstead cow’s milk cheese—and less than 120 calories per serving—one person can enjoy every last bite guilt-free. Other varieties include tomato sauce with three cheeses, mushroom with caramelized onions and tomatoes, cheese and fresh herb, and margherita with mozzarella di bufala and pesto.

Should you be so lucky, Full of Life opens its production facility every weekend and invites the community to join them at their restaurant, where the rotating menu is full of fresh, seasonal dishes and, of course, those award-winning pizzas.

The good news is you don’t need to travel far to experience what the LA Times calls “a pizza parlor in your kitchen.” Look for it in the Central Market Frozen department.

Share the Love With Ro-Ro�s Cinn-A-Rolls

RoRo is the nickname for founder Amy Collins’ grandmother, who created the recipe for these cinnamon rolls. At first she simply baked them for her grandchildren. Then the neighbors offered to pay for them. (Yep, they were just that delicious.) Here’s the secret: the cinnamon and vanilla frosting is baked right into the dough, not just poured over the top.

RoRo’s Cinn-A-Rolls are fully cooked but are best served warm. Here’s how you do it. Bring the rolls down to room temperature. Remove the plastic lid, cover the package lightly with aluminum foil and place it in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. These cinnamon rolls are special enough to serve to family during the holidays, but we like to have some on hand for an everyday treat.

Share the Love With Ro-Ro�s Cinn-A-Rolls

RoRo is the nickname for founder Amy Collins’ grandmother, who created the recipe for these cinnamon rolls. At first she simply baked them for her grandchildren. Then the neighbors offered to pay for them. (Yep, they were just that delicious.) Here’s the secret: the cinnamon and vanilla frosting is baked right into the dough, not just poured over the top.

RoRo’s Cinn-A-Rolls are fully cooked but are best served warm. Here’s how you do it. Bring the rolls down to room temperature. Remove the plastic lid, cover the package lightly with aluminum foil and place it in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. These cinnamon rolls are special enough to serve to family during the holidays, but we like to have some on hand for an everyday treat.

Oh the Possibilities of Pumpkin

For me, the smell of freshly cut pumpkin conjures up childhood memories of crisp fall evenings spent scooping out the guts onto newspapers and giving the seeds to Mom to roast in the oven while we carve our jack-o-lanterns. Who hasn’t done that, really? We bet you expect more from Central Market, so here are a few Foodie ideas from our creative team at the Dallas store:

Chef JD from our café makes a simple pumpkin puree to ladle over gnocchi. Simply peel and dice fresh pumpkin meat, then cover and simmer with some butter, sea salt and pepper while the natural moisture of the pumpkin releases in the pan. When soft, place in your blender or food processor. Add a little water, if needed, to thin it out. Brown some butter with sage and stir it in. Then pour the sauce over the gnocchi, and you’ve got a fabulous fall treat.

Chef Fred from our cooking school loves pumpkin fries, and they are as easy as they are tasty. Just peel and cut the pumpkin into thin strips. Blanche briefly, fry in your choice of oil and sprinkle with sea salt. It’s a great idea for a Halloween party!

Executive sous chef Dustin makes pumpkin spice gelato when he gets some spare time. We can’t give you that recipe, though! You’ll just have to come to the Dallas store and try some for yourself.

If you’re looking for more inspiration in the kitchen, our website has oodles of pumpkin recipes.

If you end up with more pumpkin than you can cook, we have another idea for you. Did you know that big cats (tigers, leopards, bobcats and the like) love pumpkins? It’s true. The cats bat them around like kittens with yarn balls and dive right in the water after them, toting them around in like obedient dogs with their favorite chew toys. It’s truly fascinating. (Check out this video.) There are several sanctuaries you can donate to, the closest of which is in Tyler, Texas.

Hurry in and shop our vast selection of gourds and pumpkins before they are gone!