“Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.”

Bobby Flay

I will admit it. I do love shopping at local farmer’s markets and I think the Schenectady Greenmarket is one of my favorite places to go in the summertime but I just can’t get passed the convenience, price and service of Price Chopper (& it is technically local). You will see from my PAST BLOG ENTRIES about Price Chopper that I would call that my grocery store and it would be hard for another supermarket to take that place in my heart. Last month, I took part in Price Chopper’s Be Seafood Smart Demonstration at The Century House in Latham and learned a lot about fish and different recipes to do with them.

Price Chopper Executive Chef Dave Hamlin and Vice President of Seafood Lee French demonstrated some really easy recipes with some products you can find at your local Price Chopper. Last year during Lent, Price Chopper sold 133,920 fried fish dinners, 90,131 pounds of fried hot fish and 56,534 pounds of cold fried fish! Wow! I first met Lee French at the #PCHOLIDAYCHEER and he’s so passionate about seafood. He talked to us about how he travels to different countries to make sure Price Chopper has the best products to serve.

To start they cooked Seared Salmon with Maple and Fresh Dill. Oh wow was this delicious, I can’t wait to make it! Using 2-6oz salmon fillets, Price Chopper Olive Oil, fresh shallots, white wine, fresh dill and Price Chopper Syrup. Brush the salmon with some olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper to create a caramelized crust. Saute the salmon until it’s a rich golden brown and remove from pan. Add some olive oil to the pan and then add the shallots, the wine and dill and cook until reduced. Add maple syrup to shallots just to heat and pour the mixture over the seared salmon fillet. Sounds delicious, right? It was!  One of the most important things I learned from this presentation is that with Price Chopper seafood, fish goes from farm to store in 4 days.

Next we had Baked Swai with Cajun Panko Breadcrumbs. Before this I had no idea what swai was. It’s not too fishy of a fish if that makes any kind of sense, more like a tilapia than a salmon to clarify. They talked about how Price Chopper offers a few different kinds of breadcrumbs other than the Cajun that they were using for this recipe. I was able to grab myself a garlic batch and will be cooking with that as soon as I can! All you need for this recipe is 2 swai fillets, half a lime, a tablespoon of white wine and panko breadcrumbs. Brush the fillets with olive oil, drizzle over white wine and squeeze lime juice, bread and bake. Easy right?

One of my favorite stories to hear was about the Pan Seared Scallops. I learned about the difference between dry (processed) scallops and all natural. Some stores will blow up the scallop with a sodium solution to give you what looks like more scallop for less the price when it’s really mostly full of this solution. I had no idea that was happening! To know if your scallops are the best kind, or any fish for that matter, Lee told us the three most important questions to ask ourselves or even the seafood guy to make sure we’re getting the best product: 1. Why is it that cheap? 2. How long of a period of time are these products from farm to store? 3. And of course, has this product been soaked? As Lee said in regards to Price Chopper, “I’m not gonna sell you anything that’s not safe for you.” The most important thing is that their seafood big wigs visit the plants these products are coming from or more important the country itself.

After the demonstration we got to partake in the best part- EATING! Everything was delicious! My favorite would have had to have been the salmon with maple syrup. When I see maple syrup, my first thought is pancakes or waffles but after that meal I’ll also add salmon to that list. Price Chopper offers quite a few of these cooking demonstrations and they’re always enjoyable. Tomorrow will be their Gluten Free Food Festival that I’m attending and I’ll be sure to let you know about it this coming Sunday! I don’t eat Gluten Free but I’m curious to know some recipes because I can’t imagine carbs not being a part of some of my meals = NO PASTA?

Looking for more Price Chopper events? Follow my blog on twitter or on Facebook and I’ll sure to keep you updated! 🙂