When you frequent the same locally owned merchants or grocers in your town where the owners are often on hand to say hi to you, you see the difference in shopping there versus a chain or big box type place where they'll never know your name, or even pronounce it correctly, in my case.
Two of my favorite places lately to distribute my dollars are Stratton's Market and Hillcrest Artisan Meats in Little Rock. Reason number one: they offer samples. I shouldn't give all my secrets away, but offer me a sample and if I like it, I'll usually buy! Reason number two: sometimes I get leftover scraps, like the meat that got stuck at the bottom of the sausage maker thing. I'm always so appreciative for any lagniappe I receive from the food industry, a term I learned as "something extra" when I was a server in the restaurant world...and I rarely forget when I'm offered that something extra. Meaning I continue to shop with you and buy more from you!
So the sausage is the Toulouse, described by owner and maker Brandon B. of H.A.M. as made with lots of white wine and garlic. Two of my favorite things! Then the pesto was made by J.J. at Stratton's Market. We also recently bought some of J.J.'s hand made mozzarella cheese. My daughter Gianna noticed a difference in the cheese without me telling her it was house made, asking where it came from because she could tell it was better than any she'd had before. I never solicit her opinion, I'm always intrigued when she offers it on her own. My little Sicilian Portuguese Vietnamese melting pot girl with the old soul. She knows good food.
Thanks to everyone for the lagniappe. See you again soon! Now, it's been a while. How do I post a recipe...
- Toulouse sausage from Hillcrest Artisan Meats, about 4 links for a family of 4
- 1 Container of pesto from Stratton's Market
- Pasta for 4 (I used Rotelle from Terry's Finer Foods)
- Prepare pasta per package instructions. Drain.
- Cook the sausage, removed from the casings, over medium high heat, stirring often until done, about 10 minutes total.
- Combine the pasta, sausage, and pesto. Garnish with extra shredded cheese, such as asiago.