Shop Cheap

Sharing the best prices on groceries and other stuff in the Sacramento region.

June 23, 2010
Recipe roundup: Iceberg, grapes, eggplant

The Shop Cheap Kitchen is alive and cooking this week with recipes from researcher Sheila Kern. The recipes all feature ingredients that are on sale this week. We have everything from Iceberg lettuce chopped salad (Iceberg is 33-cents a head at Save Mart) to Green Bean, Grape and Pasta toss (the grapes are a bargain this week, too). Enjoy!

Iceberg Lettuce Chopped Salad with "French" Dressing


Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Show: 30 Minute Meals Episode: What's Warm, Cozy and Fast? Dinner!

Yield: 6 servings


1 head iceberg lettuce, core removed and chopped

4 radishes, chopped

4 scallions, chopped

1/3 seedless cucumber, chopped

1 cup shredded carrots, available in produce section


3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and white pepper


Combine lettuce and chopped veggies in salad bowl.

Add all of the dressing ingredients into a blender. Put the top in place and blend on high until dressing is combined. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Adjust salt and pepper, to your taste.

Iceberg Lettuce with Blue Cheese Dressing


Yield: 8 servings


1 cup yogurt, preferably whole milk

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more as needed

Salt and ground black pepper

1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into 8 wedges

1/2 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts, optional


1. Mash yogurt with blue cheese, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a grinding or two of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon juice if necessary.

2. Place each wedge of iceberg lettuce on a plate, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with nuts if using.

Green Bean, Grape, and Pasta Toss


Southern Living, July 2008

Yield: Makes 8 servings


1 cup chopped pecans

8 bacon slices

1 pound thin fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half

1 (8-oz.) package penne pasta

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups seedless red grapes, cut in half

1/3 cup diced red onion

Salt to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant.

2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon.

3. Cook beans in boiling salted water to cover 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process.

4. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.

5. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; add pecans, green beans, pasta, grapes, and onion, stirring to coat. Season with salt to taste. Cover and chill 3 hours; stir in bacon just before serving.

Slow-Braised Pork with Black Grapes and Balsamic


Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1 3 1/4-pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed, cut into 3 equal pieces

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

8 large shallots, halved, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)

3 cups seedless black grapes (about 1 pound)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 cups low-salt chicken broth

2 large fresh sage sprigs

4 large fresh thyme sprigs

2 large fresh rosemary sprigs


Preheat oven to 325°F. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add pork to pot and cook until browned on all sides, about 13 minutes total. Transfer pork to plate; discard fat in pot.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium heat. Add shallots and grapes; sauté until shallots are golden, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add sugar; sauté 30 seconds. Add vinegar; bring mixture to boil and cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add broth, all herb sprigs, and pork with juices from plate. Bring to boil. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise pork 1 hour. Using tongs, turn pork over and continue braising until meat is very tender, about 45 minutes longer. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to platter; tent with foil.

Remove herb sprigs from pot and skim fat from surface of cooking liquid. Boil cooking liquid over high heat until thickened, about 7 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour over pork and serve.

Sauted Spinach with Almonds and Red Grapes


Servings: 4


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup blanched whole almonds, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup seedless red grapes

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Two 10-ounce packages of spinach, large stems discarded

2 tablespoons dry white wine, preferably Rioja

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground white pepper


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the almonds and onion and cook over moderate heat until the almonds are golden, about 4 minutes. Add the grapes and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach in handfuls, adding more as the leaves wilt. When all of the spinach has been added, stir in the wine and butter. Season with salt and white pepper and serve at once.

Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Grapes


Serves 4 to 6


2 cups diced chicken

1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup seedless green grapes, sliced

3 green onions, with some green, thinly sliced

1 rib celery, thinly sliced

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/4 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey, or to taste

Salad greens, optional

Shredded raddiccio, optional

Sliced avocado, optional


Combine the diced chicken with 1/3 cup mayonnaise, sour cream, sliced grapes, sliced green onions, sliced celery, walnuts, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Stir in the honey and more mayonnaise, if needed. Serve the chicken salad mixture on salad greens and raddiccio and garnish with sliced avocado. For sandwiches, line sandwich rolls with lettuce leaves and fill with chicken salad.

Garlic Mushroom Risotto


Serves 6


1 lb mushrooms, sliced

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup arborio rice (or medium grain)

3 cups hot chicken stock (or bouillon)

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup romano cheese, shredded

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper


Saute mushrooms in butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a deep skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until soft.

Stir in the rice and cook 1 minute, coating rice with the oil.

Stir in 1 cup of the hot broth and let simmer until the liquid is mostly absorbed, stirring frequently.

Repeat with the remaining broth and hot water.

Taste for doneness: the rice should be creamy and slightly chewy in the center, not dry.

Add more hot liquid if necessary to cook longer.

Total cooking time should be 20-25 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms, cheese and parsley and season to taste.

Cook till warmed through.

Fresh Mushroom Fettuccine


Makes 4 servings


8 ounces uncooked fettuccine

3 cups sliced mushrooms (1/2 pound)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, finely chopped


1. Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on package; return to pan.

2. Add remaining ingredients; toss until fettuccine is coated with oil.

Simply Marinated Mushrooms


Servings: 6


1 cup water

1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, stems removed

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons dried parsley

1/8 teaspoon onion powder


In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, thyme, salt, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, parsley and onion powder. Add mushrooms and toss until coated. Chill in marinade overnight, and reheat to serve.

Easy Baked Eggplant Parmesan


Serves 4


1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about eight)

2 eggs, beaten with a fork

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (sun-dried tomato or plain)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce (roasted vegetable or any variety)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese


Preheat oven with a baking sheet inside to 375°F. Coat eggplant slices with beaten egg, then bread with panko crumbs. Spread oil on hot baking sheet and place eggplant slices on it in a single layer. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 475°F. In an 8 x 10-inch oven proof dish, layer pasta sauce, then eggplant, and top with cheeses. Repeat, finishing with cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden in spots, about 15 minutes.

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta


From EatingWell: July/August 2009

Yield: 6 servings


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium eggplant, (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 plum tomatoes, diced

1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

4 teaspoons capers, rinsed

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)

12 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, or basil


Put a pot of water on to boil.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add tomatoes, olives, vinegar, capers, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper (if using) and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to break down, 5 to 7 minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until just tender, about 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and divide the pasta among 6 shallow bowls. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle parsley (or basil) on top.

Mediterranean Eggplant Dip


Makes 1 3/4 cups


1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained

1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves

1 clove garlic

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup grilled or roasted eggplant

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil and fresh mint

Walnuts, toasted

Grilled pita wedges or focaccia


In food processor finely chop chickpeas, mint, and garlic. Add lemon juice, salt, and eggplant. With processor running, add olive oil in a steady stream; process until smooth. Transfer to serving dish; drizzle olive oil, sprinkle fresh mint, and walnuts. Serve with grilled pita.

Grilled Eggplant: spray grill with olive oil. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Grill on uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender, turning once. Cool slightly; process in food processor until slightly chunky.

Rotisserie Chicken


Yield: 6 servings


1 (3 pound) whole chicken

1 pinch salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon paprika

1/4 tablespoon ground black pepper


Season the inside of the chicken with a pinch of salt. Place the chicken onto a rotisserie and set the grill on high. Cook for 10 minutes.

During that time, quickly mix together the butter, 1 tablespoon of salt, paprika and pepper. Turn the grill down to medium and baste the chicken with the butter mixture. Close the lid and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally, until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (83 degrees C) when taken in the thigh with a meat thermometer.

Remove from the rotisserie and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving.


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About Shop Cheap

Pam Dinsmore is The Bee's Community Affairs Director. When she's not working, she's shopping. The goal of this blog is to help you save time and money at the grocery store. She's pretty good at it but she can't do it alone. That's where you come in, sharing your tips and secret methods for saving money. You can either respond to the blog or email her at

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