Full admission: I rarely cook after working all day at the office. Heat up, yes. Pour milk onto cereal, absolutely. But full-on cooking is reserved for weekends and special occasions…oh and after I’ve gone to the store with a list instead of just running in to grab a loaf or a gallon. But my stove-weary ways may change thanks to the week-old brilliance that sits inside a local market.
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If you received your Hot Off the Grill newsletter today or walked into the Dallas Central Market, you may have noticed the new Central Market Café and the sushi bar. But the real coup here is the Kit Kitchen. Sunday night, I scoped out the joint with a couple of friends.
The concept is simple: Pick a protein, sauce, veggies to go with and perhaps, a starch. Then, pay for it, put it in your canvas tote (no plastic bags, right?), go home and cook up some din-din. No prep time save for the trip time.
Kit Kitchen even provides recipe cards to guide Kit Kitchen virgins or those that are brain-worn from a hard day. And I had a tough time deciding. One pal chose the Sriracha-marinated chicken, some rice and some of a Vietnamese veggie mix. Another grabbed some mismatched items to pair with other groceries. I stood amazed at the options. Shrimp, pork Szechuan, Italian sausages…sauces ranging from Moroccan Chermoula vinaigrette to Jungle curry to pesto (with or without cream). And the vegetables—we’re not just talking salad bar standards. In pristine bins sit butternut squash cubes, Chinese broccoli stalks, fennel, baby arugula and more. All my current obsessions (well, almost) neatly knifed and placed at the ready. Not in a bag to steam, not in a freezer section and not pre-made so I can’t claim the final dish. I’ve never felt that happy at a grocery store.
I’d tell you what I bought, but I’m making dinner for someone and don’t want to spoil the surprise…or let on that someone else in a CM toque dices and juliennes a helluva lot better than me. --Merritt Martin