Embrace Your Love of Bacon

Try new bacon recipesLike Ibérico Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms, an easy and impressive appetizer that features Spring Valley Ibérico Bacon. But be forewarned: This stuff is so amazing you may just find yourself wondering if Mrs. Spanish Pork Belly will fit on your address labels.
 
Of course you can create your own dishes, too. For example, how many different mealtime ideas can you come up for our Bacon and Cheddar Loaf? Savory French toast or a breakfast strata, perhaps? Grilled cheese with bacon, tomato, and caramelized onions?  Garlic bread? Croutons? How about taking your avocado toast up a notch?
 
      Or         join a    cooking  class                   and learn how to build a better BLT, including a Grilled Cheesy-BLT with Irish Cheddar & Cherrywood Smoked Bacon; Italian-style BLT with Basil Pesto Mayo & Pancetta; and
a Southern-style BLT with Homemade Pimento Cheese & Bacon Steaks. 
 
Have fun with bacon and celebrate your love of pork on a fork! But, if you get carried away and end up naming your baby Brown Sugar Pork Jowl, I take no responsibility.

Embrace Your Love of Bacon

Try new bacon recipesLike Ibérico Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms, an easy and impressive appetizer that features Spring Valley Ibérico Bacon. But be forewarned: This stuff is so amazing you may just find yourself wondering if Mrs. Spanish Pork Belly will fit on your address labels.

Of course you can create your own dishes, too. For example, how many different mealtime ideas can you come up for our Bacon and Cheddar Loaf? Savory French toast or a breakfast strata, perhaps? Grilled cheese with bacon, tomato, and caramelized onions?  Garlic bread? Croutons? How about taking your avocado toast up a notch?

      Or         join a    cooking  class                   and learn how to build a better BLT, including a Grilled Cheesy-BLT with Irish Cheddar & Cherrywood Smoked Bacon; Italian-style BLT with Basil Pesto Mayo & Pancetta; and
a Southern-style BLT with Homemade Pimento Cheese & Bacon Steaks.

Have fun with bacon and celebrate your love of pork on a fork! But, if you get carried away and end up naming your baby Brown Sugar Pork Jowl, I take no responsibility.

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Build A Better BLT

When you visit your favorite Central Market, look for our Build A Better BLT handout full of recipes for interesting ways to add new flavors to the classic BLT. You may think you've tried it all when it comes to the humble BLT, but you haven't tried all these! You'll discover how to make Spicy BLT with Chipotle Mayonnaise, a Butter Toasted Avocado BLT, and BLTs with shrimp, or apples (pictured), or melty cheese, and more! 

To kick it all off, though, let's stick with basics: The can't-miss, classic BLT. Here's your blueprint for building it better: 
 
All-American BLT
Central Market Old Fashioned Split-Top White or 100% Whole Wheat Bread, lightly toasted
Duke’s Real Mayonnaise
Burgers’ Smokehouse Applewood Bacon Steaks or Central Market All Natural Uncured Hickory Bacon
Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce, thinly sliced
Ripe Tomatoes-on-the-Vine, cored and sliced, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper
           
All-American Cobb BLT Option: Top bacon with crumbled Bleu cheese.

If you're inspired to create your own BLT design, let us hear about it! We'd love to see how you Build A Better BLT! 

Build A Better BLT

When you visit your favorite Central Market, look for our Build A Better BLT handout full of recipes for interesting ways to add new flavors to the classic BLT. You may think you’ve tried it all when it comes to the humble BLT, but you haven’t tried all these! You’ll discover how to make Spicy BLT with Chipotle Mayonnaise, a Butter Toasted Avocado BLT, and BLTs with shrimp, or apples (pictured), or melty cheese, and more!

To kick it all off, though, let’s stick with basics: The can’t-miss, classic BLT. Here’s your blueprint for building it better:

All-American BLT
Central Market Old Fashioned Split-Top White or 100% Whole Wheat Bread, lightly toasted
Duke’s Real Mayonnaise
Burgers’ Smokehouse Applewood Bacon Steaks or Central Market All Natural Uncured Hickory Bacon
Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce, thinly sliced
Ripe Tomatoes-on-the-Vine, cored and sliced, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper

All-American Cobb BLT Option: Top bacon with crumbled Bleu cheese.

If you’re inspired to create your own BLT design, let us hear about it! We’d love to see how you Build A Better BLT!

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Buy Bacon, Get Breakfast Free

Buy:
North Country Organic Bacon 

Get Free: 
Nature's Path Waffles
President Butter
Highland Sugar Works Maple Syrup

That's $12.46 FREE! 

I'm not even kidding.

Now, cue your best infomercial voice and say with me, "But wait! There's more!"

Strawberries are also crazy on sale. Only $1.77 for a pound. Are you seeing what I'm seeing? I really hope you're seeing juicy, sweet berries being sliced up on top of buttery toasted waffles and drizzled with syrup.  

Is it Saturday morning yet? Wait, what? Who just said that? Well, if anything was EVER going to make me say those words, the idea of dipping my crispy bacon in syrup in between bites of strawberry waffles is it.

Make your weekend one to remember — Just make sure you have a frying pan. 

Enjoy Opah

And while the Opah’s speckling may be reminiscent of a goldfish, these guys are serious in size. They can be more than six feet long and weigh 200-300 lbs! But big doesn’t mean slow, and having a Frisbee-esque body doesn’t mean wobbly. Opah are actually quite the speed demon — despite looking as if they’re wearing their little brothers’ fins.
 
What’s really interesting, though, is that one Opah has three types of flesh, each a different color. The tender meat of the loin, which runs along the backbone from eye to tail, is a light orange, almost salmon color. The less-tender, side flesh pales to a pink color. The fish’s cheeks yield dark red flesh. Opah has a rich, creamy taste and firm, fatty texture. The flavor is a cross between tuna and swordfish — distinctive but mild.
 
Come on out to our        Hawaiian   Seafood Festival     and see this showy fish for yourself. Then take home your tasty prize and try it with one of these Hawaiian-inspired recipes.
 
 

4 Steps to Perfectly Grilled Fish

1. Clean the grill thoroughly and oil it lightly.
 
2. Season fish as desired. If the fish has skin, slash it lightly before cooking to prevent curling.
 
3. Use a hinged wire grill basket for whole fish and fillets of tender fish. Firmer fish can be cooked directly on the oiled grill. Skewers (metal or water-soaked wooden ones) work great for small shellfish or two-inch chunks of firm fish like tuna or swordfish. Shellfish can be cooked directly on the hot grill or in a basket, depending on size. They’re done when the shell opens. Discard those that don’t open.
 
4. Grill over medium to medium-high heat (400°- 450°). Turn only once to avoid breakage. Estimate a total cook time of 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness for steaks and fillets and 10 minutes for whole fish. Start checking for doneness two minutes before the estimated time, keeping in mind food will continue to cook for a bit after coming off the grill. Now, that being said, you don’t want to go opening the lid all willy-nilly. This will let all the heat out, lengthening your cooking time and delaying your feast! Oh, and one more note; if you’re using a grill basket, remove the fish from the basket as soon as you take it off the grill.
 
For details on other methods of cooking, check out our Seafood Guide.

Pick Poke Bowls

It’s a traditional Hawaiian fish salad, which is like a deconstructed sushi roll in a bowl. It’s made with large cuts of tuna marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds and green onions, served along side rice. 
 
L.A. and NYC are wild about poke. A fleet of restaurants with names like Okee Poke and Pokeworks are popping up to serve the dish, but this coastal restaurant craze hasn’t reached us here in Texas — My Google search for “Texas poke restaurant” returned Pok-e-Joe’s Smokehouse.
 
Sounds about right.
 
But, poke has a lot going for it: It’s simple to make at home, flavorful, customizable, easy to eat on-the-go, and (drumroll, please!) it’s healthy. So, whether you’re a seasoned seafood foodie, new to poke and stoked about trying your hand at what is basically the spirit of Aloha in a bowl, or maybe looking for a new a flavor of protein that won’t derail your Paleo diet and Crossfit workouts, poke is for you.

Ready to give it a whirl? Pick up a Poke Salad Bowl or make your own with this super simple recipe. (Big Eye Tuna is super on sale right now!) Pretty much all you need to do is whisk together a marinade, cube the tuna, toss it together, chill it, and serve over rice with whatever add-ins sound tasty to you.

Go for it! And if you have any questions about preparing your poke, ask a Central Market fishmonger when you pick up your ingredients. 

Help! I’ve Never Bought Fish Before!

And remember, any of the folks behind the seafood counter will be happy to answer any questions you have. Fish and customer service are their specialties! 
 
1.      Look at all these options! What different cuts are available?
There are four basic cuts of fish in our seafood cases.
Steaks: Cut across the fish, usually 1 to 1.5 inches thick.
Fillets: Cut away from the backbone of the fish into long pieces. Cut crosswise into several servings if the fish is large.  
Rolled Fillets:
Smaller fish fillets that can be rolled around in herbs and poached or steamed.   
Whole Fish:
Gutted, with head and tail left on.
 

2.      My in-laws are coming for dinner. How much do I need to buy?
Shrimp: 6 oz (Or closer to 8 oz if your guests are anything like my cousins
who think shrimp is its own food group.)
Fillets or Steaks: 6 oz
Whole Fish: 1 lb
Bottles of Wine: Hey, your in-laws are coming. You might need a couple bottles. For you. But if you really are counting, our best suggestion is to figure roughly three drinks per person over the course of the evening. Keep in mind there are just more than four glasses of wine in a bottle, and do the math from there.

3.      What kitchen tools will I need?
A few key items will get your dinner prep off on the right foot. (Or is that fin?)
Hinged Wire Grill Basket: Holds the flaky fish firmly in place so you can turn it quickly without it falling apart.
Tongs: Essential for turning smaller fish during cooking. Avoid piercing fish with a fork when possible.
Shears: The easiest tool for cutting small fish.
Extra Wide Metal Spatula: Sliding a really big spatula under a fish and steadying it with a pair of tongs is the sure-fire way to turn a fish without breaking it.
Pliers: Use to pull out small bones. (Your Central Market fishmonger will do this for you before packing your fish in ice for the ride home, but it’s important to always double check.)
Deep-frying Thermometer: If you’re frying fish, this is an inexpensive must-have, because the temperature of the oil is your key to success. If you don’t have one, test the oil temperature by dropping in a small bit of batter. If it sinks halfway down, then bubbles back to the top, your oil is hot enough to use. 
 
See? It’s not so scary. Well, at least the seafood isn’t. As for dinner with your in-laws, you’re on your own. Just remember to swing through our wine department after you pick up your seafood and everything will be fine!

A Taste of Island Life, Straight From Hawaii

Our buyer greets the fishing boats each morning and selects the finest fish for us at the famous Honolulu Fish Auction. Fresh, never frozen, the day’s selection is flown direct from the Big Island to Texas and is available in your Central Market within 48 hours of leaving the auction. 

And this week (March 1-7), our premium selection of Hawaiian seafood is the star of our stores! We’re kicking off our Hawaiian Seafood Celebration to shine a spotlight on some classic favorites (Swordfish, coming up!) and introduce you to some varieties you may not be familiar with, but should be! (We have an Opah steak with your name on it!) 

 
Here's a closer look at what we have in store, and, as always, your Central Market fish monger will be happy as a clam to help select the perfect cut for you.

Let's dive in with the classics: 
 
Big Eye Tuna
Tell me more: Often known by its Hawaiian name, Ahi, this tuna has a firm texture, mild flavor, and is an excellent source of extra lean protein. It’s the preferred fish of sashimi lovers.
Best enjoyed: Seared or raw 
Recipe ideas: Hawaiian Tuna Poke, Sesame-Crusted Tuna with Wasabi-Ponzu Sauce
 
Swordfish
Tell me more: Hawaiian swordfish can reach 600 lbs. and are in season right now! It has a firm texture, mild flavor, and high oil content. A four-ounce serving provides 1,200 mg of omega-3s.
Best enjoyed: Grilled 
Recipe ideas: Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa, Hawaiian Swordfish Kabobs
 
Mahi Mahi
Tell me more: Yummy Yummy. Available from Hawaii most of the year, mahi mahi has a firm texture and a delicate, mild, sweet flavor. 
Best enjoyed: Grilled just until flaking.
Recipe ideas: Sweet & Sour Mahi MahiGrilled Kona Mahi Mahi
 
Now let’s jump into deeper waters with a few amazing Hawaiian fish you may not have experienced yet:
 
Opah
Tell me more: Also known as moonfish for its large, round profile, this crimson-finned fish can tip the scales at 200 lbs. It has a firm texture, rich flavor, and is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins and omega-3s.
Best enjoyed: Seared
Recipe ideas: Grilled Opah with Mango-Avocado Salsa, Grilled Hawaiian Opah with Candied Lemons and Herb Salad
 
Monchong
Tell me more: It has a highly transparent appearance, firm texture, moderate flavor, and is a good source of protein and iodine.
Best enjoyed: Grilled
 
Kampachi
Tell me more: Kampachi is sustainably farm-raised and was dubbed the “wonder fish” by Fortune because it “melts on your tongue, holds up on the grill, and is so rich in oils that it'll fry in a pan without butter.” 
Best enjoyed: Pan fried or raw.
Recipe ideas: Grilled Kampachi Collar with Ponzu Dipping Sauce, Asian-styled Steamed Hawaiian Kampachi,
 
And don't forget the shrimp! These head-on dandies are quite large, weighing in at 13 to 15 per pound.

Kauai Shrimp
Tell me more: The shrimp are farm-raised in pristine salt water with hydro-electric power operating all production systems. They have a firm and succulent texture and sweet flavor. 
Best enjoyed: Grilled or sautéed. Take care not to overcook. 

Stop in today and try something new. We can't wait to hear which is your favorite!

Remember March 1-7 it's all about Hawaiian seafood, fresh from the Big Island.

Aloha, y'all!