Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have a Mariano's practically in my backyard? Alright, maybe it's more of a skip, a hop and a jump into the car, but it's still close. Since I'm in Arlington Heights, I live by the first Mariano's in the area. Mine has been open over two years now and has been crazy busy since opening. The Arlington Police still direct traffic to and from the parking lot at times. That's how busy this store is. I love being so close because I can always pop over to find something special for dinner.
I was on the lookout to make something new and different for Saturday night. I decided to check Mariano's huge recipe database on their website for a dish to make. Instead of one dish, I found an entire meal to make. I decided to tackle the Korean-Style Oven-Browned Short Ribs, the Spinach with Roasted Sesame Seeds and Hazelnut Chocolate Decadence for dessert. If you're ever stumped on what to make for dinner, definitely check out this database. I guarantee you'll find something. Another awesome feature is the ability to save recipes you like to your recipe box. This way you'll easily be able to find your favorites whenever you want.
The produce at Mariano's is always crazy fresh and so well stocked. There always seem to be 3-4 employees working in the produce department. They have a large variety of organic and non-organic produce along with things like fresh daikon radishes. Today I needed some spinach to make the spinach with roasted sesame seeds.
Next it was off to the butcher counter to see if they had some short ribs. They didn't have any at the counter, but there were some pre-packaged on the shelf. I was slightly disappointed as I love getting things from the butcher counter, but it did make my trip quicker. :)
While in the meat department, I saw this sign advertising the ham rewards program for the holidays. When you shop between 1/27/13 - 3/24/13 for every $10 you spend you get a point, if you rack up 85 points you can then purchase a Roundy's Select Fire Glazed Ham or Organic frozen turkey for $.99 a pound. If you do a lot of shopping at Mariano's, this is an awesome deal!
I didn't realize that hazelnuts were a seasonal item, so I had to make a substitution in my Hazelnut Chocolate Decadence recipe. Mariano's carries a variety of dry goods in bins by their produce department. I thought macadamia nuts would work great instead. They do taste awesome. If you decide to use them in your tart, definitely place a pan underneath it. Macadamia nuts have a higher fat content and that will leak right out of your springform pan. Live and learn.
Korean-Style Oven-Browned Short Ribs are pretty easy to make. You take a dutch oven and add all the ingredients except for the sesame oil. Add enough water to cover the ribs and bring the water to a boil. Simmer, skimming off the fat for about two hours or until the meat is tender. Then cook them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Easy-peasy.
The spinach with roasted sesame seeds is just as easy. After cleaning your spinach, place it all in a large saucepan. Cook with a cover on for 3-4 minutes until wilted. Drain and squeeze out the moisture. Roughly chop and toss with sesame oil and sesame seeds.
This meal was a little richer than something we'd normally have for dinner. But its nice to have something special from time to time. Mariano's is a great place to find all your favorite fresh ingredients for your family. I know its one of my favorite places to pick up everything I need for a special meal.
Seriously, it's easy to go to Mariano's for everything on my list. With their large and fresh produce section, I can easily pick out meals and ingredients to help my family, eat well, live well and shop well. If anyone thinks grocery shopping is a chore, then they haven't stopped by a Mariano's.
Check out the rest of my shopping trip on Google+. You can also connect with Mariano's on Twitter and Facebook.
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Mariano’s #cbias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own.