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Posts by Mark Maddy

Burgers, Burgers, Burgers

Burgers are one of the hallmarks of American cuisine. We have watched them progress from humble diner beginnings to elevated status in fine dining. Pretty awesome for a meal you eat with your hands
One of the great things about burgers are their inherent versatility, from the meat (or lack there  of ) to the bun to the cooking method. Some folks swear by grilling, and while I like a grilled burger, I prefer a pan cooked burger so that I can toast the bun in the cooking jus.

Wheatsville offers a variety of easy to cook burgers and patties that ready to cook straight out of the package. Poultry has become a huge alternative meat for burgers. This is most likely due to the leaness of chicken and turkey but also allows for some great flavor opportunities.

Housemade Turkey Burgers are one of our top sellers and for good reason. It is reasonably priced and is packed with flavor. A classic pairing of poultry and sage gives it a familiar punch of flavor.

Housemade Chicken Burgers offer another classic southwestern profile of chilis, lime and cilantro and the black pepper really “ties the room together”. We use Serrano chili’s in this recipe, so expect some kick in there.  Our turkey is from Norbest, a cooperative of Turkey growers who have been around since the 30’s and is about 90% lean. We use the Tecumseh Farms Smart Chicken in our chicken patties.

*Don’t forget to try out some of our other alternative burger both in the Meat Department and throughout the rest of Wheatsville.


Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage

Italian Sausage has become a staple in the American kitchen. Many stores have their own flavor profile of this sausage but stick with a few basic spices and herbs to create that familiar taste. Fennel, oregano and garlic are some of the basic building blocks in most Italian Sausage. It gets called sweet, simply because there are no chili flakes in it to make it "hot". This sausage lends itself well to meatballs or meat sauces, whether they are slow simmered red sauces or something more light like a vinegarette, it always goes well with pasta and parmesan or mozzerella stuffed into manicotti.

Another excellent way to use this sausage is in the classic Southwestern dish, Stuffed Bell Peppers. Be sure to brown the sausage and put it in a halved pepper and cover with cheese. Roast them in the oven or put them on the grill until your cheese is nice and melted. You still want some structure to the red bells and a little sweet crunch adds some great texture so try not to over cook them. Blue Cheeses would would go nicely crumbled over the sausage. The Cheese department has the Maytag Blue, a spicier fancy blue cheese that would compliment the fennel and oregano notes of the sausage and the sweetness of the Red Bell Pepper. I'm just sayin' ...


Pork on the Grill

While pork is one of the most recent additions to the world of cultivated meats, it has become a staple in world cuisine. Cultures all over the world have varying preparations of hams and bacon. Pork ribs are what most people are thinking of when you say the word ribs. Whole pigs cooked under ground are a part of celebrating family and friends all over the world.

Pork is mild enough to take on almost any flavor you would like to add, but can carry it's own with the simplicity of salt and pepper. Grilling is almost always made better on the bone. The Pork T-Bone, one part Tenderloin and two parts strip steak, is a great place to start. Let your steaks get to room temperature to ensure even cooking and liberally salt and pepper.

Pork is a great medium for marrying different flavors to create more exciting profiles like spicy and sweet, savory and sweet, coffee and orange juice, savory and fruit and I think you get the picture. Honey and mustard based marinades are great on pork. Get some of our fresh in season peaches and grill them along side your pork chops or make delicious chutneys and compotes to sauce your pork chops.

Using dried chili's in your marinades is a great way to add heat and some of the more subtle floral flavors in the chili's. A sweet component will bring these flavors out even more. This would be a great way to use the fresh turmeric in the produce department. A marinade of a modest chunk of turmeric (an inch, inch and a half)  and ginger with a few cloves of garlic, the juice of an orange, the scrapings of 3 or so tamarinds (fresh pods are in the produce department or the paste is on isle two)  and a few pinches of salt with enough oil to make a rich liquid is a fantastic mixture of sour and sweet and earthy. Use some of the marinade to reduce for a sauce when it comes time to put those chops on a plate. Pork is a pretty forgiving meat to try out your own creations and the grill is the best way to bring them to fruition.


Great for Grilling

Burgers are one of those backyard/park staples that makes it feel like summer. A grilled burger offers a different experience than a pan cooked burger. Flame licked charring adds that hint of crispy carbon. Wheatsville has several ground beef options for your summertime burgers.

  • Ground Round
    Taken from the leanest cuts and is by far our leanest ground beef.

  • Ground Chuck and Sirloin
    This burger grind runs less lean, but has all the great flavor of chuck and sirloin steaks. We grind briskets for our ground beef for the fullest flavor!

  • Premium Burger Blend
    We use Niman Ranch Ribeye, Hanger, and Beef Shortloin (NY Strip and Tenderloin) for an unbeatable flavor, mixed with the leaness of Round for structure, to offer a fantastic ground beef. The best part is that we've LOWERED THE PRICE to  $8.99lb! Yep, you save TWO BUCKS!  to get it out on the grill and in your kitchen. We offer it in patties in our Full Service Quick-to-Fix case as well as in the Self-Service case. This is a special grind that is only available here at Wheatsville.

  • Pair your Burgers with the Hops and Grains the one called Zoe.
    It's crisp and light with a little Hoppy kick. It comes in a can and would go great in the backyard next to the grill.

Sockeye Season is right around the corner. That means fresh Sockeye Salmon from the clean and clear waters of Alaska. The Copper River is the the most challenging river for Salmon to climb and it is believed that this makes these Salmon heartier and gives them a richer flavor. No wonder folks from the Northwest eagerly anticipate Copper River season!

Sustainability FYI: The state of Alaska lets enough Sockeye pass to secure next year’s crop and then lets the fisherman go in. When the state determines that the Copper River is done for the year, the other Sockeye waters are opened up and we can enjoy fresh, beautiful Sockeye until the season ends. Look for these delicious fish to arrive at Wheatsville very soon.


Grilling Seafood

Seafood Grilling Tips

Whenever possible, keep the skin on.
Not only does it help keep structure but it also adds flavor to your seafood. For a skinless fillet, just slide your fish right off the cooked skin and onto your plate. It's just that easy! And remember, keep your grill and seafood well lubricated to prevent sticking.

Large Shrimp are a great item to grill with.
They cook fast and can take on just about any rub or marinade that you would like to put on them. Wheatsville offers a previously frozen 16/20 Texas Gulf Shrimp. That's 16 to 20 shrimp per pound. To make peeling easier, drop your shrimp into boiling water for about thirty seconds. They won't peel them selves, but it is pretty close.

Salmon is always a good choice for grilling.
It is a succulent fish and the Alaskan Coho Salmon from Trollerpoint Fisheries is a perfect companion to your grill. 

Lingcod is great on the grill!
This fish is unique to North America but is similar in flavor and texture to Halibut while being considerably less expensive.

Trollerpoint Black Cod is my favorite fish for grilling.
This high oil fish is rich and moist and has a great texture with a buttery flavor. I like to keep it simple with salt, pepper and lemon. Pestos would also be a great flavor to compliment this fish.


Pair your grilled fish with a light refreshing salad. This Co+op Kitchen recipe for Orange Wakame Salad adds great crunch, lots of flavor and maximum nutrition!


Great for Grilling

One of the great things about grilling is its simplicity. Fire meets food. You can have virtually any level of involvement and still create a fantastic meal especially with marinades and rubs.  Fajitas are a perfect example of an easy grill meal that and can be made with a variety of meat or veg.

Our Fajita Picks
Beef, Chicken or Portobello Mushrooms

A simple mixture of lime juice, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, pepper and oil is all you need. Marinate up to 3 hours.

We Recommend

  • Smart Chicken Boneless Skinless Thighs
  • Local Windy Bar Inside or Outside Skirt Steak
  • Sirloin Flap Meat (we'll even tenderize it for you, just ask!)
  • Sirloin, Chuck or Ranch Steaks

Grill the steak in one piece, let it rest for at least 5 minutes and then slice thinly across the grain. Since that fire is already going, just grill those veggies at the same time. I like to carry at least some part if not all of the marinade through out the rest of the meal. It is helpful to keep your veggies in a cast iron skillet or on aluminum foil to keep them from falling through the grate. Bell peppers, onions and mushrooms are the traditional veggies of choice, but grilled corn(on the cob) and cherry tomatoes are nice additions to your fajitas.

From our Co+op Kitchen Video Series
How to Cook a Great Steak with Johnny Livesay from Black Star Co-op!

Grilling Seafood

Fish tacos are a great meal to grill and Wheatsville has some awesome grilling fish. We recommend a sturdy white fish like a traditional Southern Catfish. If you are looking for a mild fish or one that takes on the flavor of your marinades and rubs, then Tilapia is would be a perfect choice.

If you are looking for something with a light flavor to pair well with your other ingredients then try the Lingcod. Very similar to Halibut in texture and taste, this high oil fish with a firm flake would be perfect for a fish taco with a crisp slaw and a spicy avocado sauce. Rehydrate some smoky chilies and dice them up into some sour cream and avocado.

Enjoy this grilling season with good food, family and friends.


Tecumseh Farms Smart Chicken

There's a new chicken in town! We looked high and low to find a chicken grower that met our volume needs and high standards and we found one - Smart Chicken from Tecumseh Farms! Here's why we love it:

  • These chickens are humanely raised on family farms.
  • Organic Chicken is third party certified humane.
  • They lower feed cost by locating farms in the grain belt of Kansas, Nebraska & Iowa.
  • Reduce carbon footprint & shipping costs by locating farms in major shipping corridors.
  • Humane Harvesting Practices In 2005, Smart Chicken introduced Controlled Atmospheric Stunning to the U.S.. A practice that was already in place in Europe, the atmosphere is altered to comfortably put the chickens to sleep. Smart Chicken is one the few U.S. chicken producers that engage in this humane practice.
  • Air Chilled Most chicken processors chill their chickens in a communal bleach bath. This process adds this "brine" as well as water weight to the chickens. Air Chilled chickens are cooled by a cold air bath without adding any moisture.
  • Boneless Smart Chicken is hand separated and trayed. This means more jobs as well as keeping families on their land.

These high standards are exactly what Wheatsville is looking for in the meat and seafood we offer to you.  We in the Meat Department look forward to working with Tecumseh Farms. Take a look at their on line magazine for recipe ideas, info and interviews.

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