Paella is a Good Excuse to Gather For a Satisfying Meal

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Along Spain’s Gulf of Valencia, the traditional dish called paella (pronounced “pah-YAY-uh”) was developed in the 19th century using locally-grown meats, produce and rice. Many variations have developed over the years, including the popular seafood version. Often made in large quantities in a big shallow skillet, paella gives Valencian families and friends a good excuse to gather and enjoy a large, satisfying meal together.

Using barley in place of rice adds a nice, chewy texture to this dish. Although seafood is traditional, it’s optional for those looking for a vegetarian option.

Mediterranean Barley Paella

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup pearled barley
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cups white wine
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 large pinch saffron*
1 cup 1/2-inch pieces asparagus
1/2 cup chopped roasted bell peppers
1/2 cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives
18 large peeled and deveined shrimp, tail on
12 clams
12 mussels
Chopped fresh parsley

*May substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric and 1/8 teaspoon paprika for the saffron.

Prep: 20 minutes, Cook: about 1 hour, 10 minutes, Serves: 6

1. Heat oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in barley and garlic and cook until barley is lightly toasted.

2. Add broth, wine, smoked paprika and saffron and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.

3. Nestle asparagus, roasted peppers, olives and seafood into the rice; cover loosely and cook over low heat for 10 minutes more or until shrimp is pink, clams and mussels have opened and barley has absorbed liquid. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional Information
300 calories, 16 g protein, 7 g total fat (1 g sat., 0 g trans), 36 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 48 mg cholesterol, 942 mg sodium, 8 points

Give Your Salad Some Fresh Flavor and Color



Today is Pick Strawberries Day, a great reason to stop by our stores and pick up a container of the red gems! Since fresh strawberries are juicy and sweet for only a short time after they’re picked, you’ll want to enjoy them right away. Wash and eat them one by one, or find a fresh dish to toss them into.

Here’s a spring salad with the tanginess of homemade vinaigrette, the crunch of roasted almonds and the sweetness of fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Balsamic Salad

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 cups lightly packed Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix Salad
1/3 cup chopped dry roasted almonds
2 green onions, sliced
2 cups sliced strawberries

Prep: 10 minutes, Serves: 6

Whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl until blended. Add spring mix, almonds and green onions; toss well to coat. Add strawberries and toss again lightly.

Nutritional Information
150 calories, 3 g protein, 11 g total fat (1.5 g sat., 0 g trans), 12 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium, 3 points

Find Your Favorite Food Truck This Saturday!



Have plans for Saturday, May 21? We have a tasty suggestion!

Stop by Discovery Park, 1000 Garden Highway in Sacramento, from 11 am to 7 pm on Saturday, May 21, for the 9th SactoMoFo Festival! More than 40 food trucks from Sacramento and the Bay Area will bring their best dishes to entice and excite your palate.

Flavor Face will be there Rollin’ with Raley’s and serving up creative new foods based on old favorites, like Crab Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese, an indulgent sandwich loaded with Jumbo Lump Crab and Cheddar and American cheeses. Don’t forget to say hi to Chef Brian Stansberry of Flavor Face!

Photo courtesy of SactoMoFo

Photo courtesy of SactoMoFo

SactoMoFo Festival will feature food trucks serving diverse fare, like Asian fusion, Indian, Mexican, Southern, barbecue, desserts and more. There will even be gluten-free and vegan options. Make sure you show up hungry!

See you at Discovery Park on Saturday…

Easy As… Campfire Cobbler?



Happy National Cherry Cobbler Day! This is the time when fresh, local cherries are at their best. Make the most of this year’s harvest with our easy recipe for Campfire Cobbler – it just might become your favorite late spring dessert!

Campfire Cobbler
If you want to make this cobbler out-of-season when fresh cherries aren’t available, substitute thawed Raley’s Dark Sweet Cherries.


1 (12-oz.) package frozen mixed berries, thawed
3 heaping cups fresh cherries, about 1 lb.
1/4 cup fruit juice (we like POM Wonderful)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch

3/4 cup prepared baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1/3 cup milk
2 to 3 tbsp. sugar
1 cup granola (optional)

Prep: 15 minutes  Cook: 20 minutes  Serves: 6

1. Stir together all filling ingredients in a medium-size cast iron cook pot or tall-sided saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened.

2. Stir together baking mix, milk and sugar in a medium bowl. Drop spoonfuls over hot berry mixture and sprinkle with granola. Cover pot and reduce heat to low; cook for 15 minutes or until topping is cooked through.

Nutritional Information
199 calories, 3 g protein, 3 g total fat (1 g sat.), 44 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 26 g sugar, 1 mg cholesterol, 194 mg sodium, 5 points

Eat Like You Live On a Mediterranean Island


Grilled Swordfish with Italian Salsa Verde

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 11.27.40 AMMay is National Mediterranean Diet Month, so we’re celebrating foods of the Mediterranean in our Spring 2016 issue of Something Extra magazine, now in our stores.

What is the Mediterranean diet? It’s not actually pasta and tomato sauce – it’s a fresh food diet that originated on islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Residents of small islands don’t have access to all the convenience foods we usually enjoy; instead, they make the most of what’s available to them. In the Mediterranean, it’s locally-grown grains, vegetables and fruits, seafood and very little red meat.

So what’s the big deal about the Mediterranean diet? Researchers have found that residents of the sun-splashed islands live longer and healthier lives overall than Americans, and they believe some of the longevity can be attributed to their diet.

In this Mediterranean-inspired dish, the Italian “salsa” is similar to pesto but it gets its bright fresh flavor from parsley and lemon. You can add an anchovy for more pungent flavor.

Grilled Swordfish with Italian Salsa Verde


Salsa Verde:
2 cloves garlic
1½ cups lightly packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
3 tbsp. packed fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp. capers
2 tsp. lemon juice
1½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste

4 swordfish steaks (about 1½ lbs.)
8 oz. DeCecco Spaghetti No. 12 with Spinach, cooked according to package directions
Chicken stock (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional)

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 10 minutes Serves: 4

1. Chop garlic in a small food processor. Add parsley, basil, capers, juice and zest and pulse to finely chop herbs and capers. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil, mixing just until blended. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Season swordfish with salt and pepper and grill over medium-high heat for 3 minutes on each side or until nicely charred. Brush lightly with salsa mixture and grill until cooked through. Spread about 2 tsp. of salsa over the top of each steak.

3. Toss remaining salsa with hot cooked pasta, thinning with a little chicken stock if desired. Place on 4 plates and top each with a swordfish steak and lemon wedges.

Nutritional Information
617 calories, 37 g protein, 32 g total fat (5 g sat., 0 g trans), 44 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 97 mg cholesterol, 292 mg sodium, 18 points

Get These Blushing Beauties Before They’re Gone

Don’t blink or you might miss apricot season! From now until early July you can find fresh, juicy Blossom Hill apricots in our stores. Grown near Modesto, they’re picked, packed and shipped the same day so you get the best-tasting local apricots. Their flavor is sweet and slightly tart and they have a tender consistency that melts in your mouth. Because they have a delicate skin, you can easily eat them without peeling.

How do I choose the freshest apricots?
Look for pale to deep orange-colored fruits with a lovely scent and a little “give” when you apply gentle pressure. Avoid bruises or overly soft fruits. If they’re slightly firm, you can put them in a paper bag for a day or two and they’ll ripen quickly.

Have too many ripe apricots at home? Refrigerate them for a few days or cut them in half, remove the seed and freeze them for future use.

You can find dried and canned apricots year-round, so use this opportunity to enjoy the fruit when it’s freshest. Here are just a few delicious ideas:

  • Sprinkle chopped fresh apricot, sliced almonds and chunks of goat cheese over green salad and serve alongside grilled chicken breast.
  • Seed a few apricots and drop them into a blender with your favorite milk or yogurt for a summery smoothie.
  • Toss chopped apricot with cooked quinoa, chopped cucumber, a splash of olive oil and apple cider vinegar to taste.
  • Create a cheese-tasting board with slices of apricot and d’Affinois or Gruyère for a sophisticated gathering.


Cook Up Some Good Fortune for Friday the 13th

Superstitious about Friday the 13th? Here are some ideas for “lucky” foods you can eat to boost your good fortune.

Black Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas are thought to bring good luck because they helped southerners survive hard times after the Civil War. When paired with rice, black-eyed peas make an inexpensive complete protein and they go well with pork, another staple of the South, and collard greens. Try our recipe for Creole Black-Eyed Peas.

A variety of greens are considered lucky in different cultures because they’re the color of money. For German immigrants, fermented cabbage or sauerkraut was the preferred green; in the South, it was collard greens, chard or mustard greens because they were cheap and abundant. For a lucky side dish, try our recipe for Wilted Greens with Bacon.

Lentils have been a “lucky” food for millennia. They were an affordable source of nutrition for the ancient Greeks and Romans, who also thought lentils resembled coins. The tradition has been passed down to modern Italians, who eat lentils in the New Year to welcome luck and prosperity. Fire up the grill and try our recipe for Curried Lentil Turkey Burgers.

Because pigs root forward in the ground in search of food, pork is considered a symbol of good fortune and progress by several cultures, including Germans, Chinese, Danish, Italians and the American South. Try our quick and easy recipe for Grilled Pineapple Pork Chops.

Throw a Graduation Party With Class

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Got a grad? Then there’s a celebration in your future. Make it a gathering to remember with delicious deli platters and a photogenic cake.

Get the party started with our tantalizing new Charcuterie Platter – it’s loaded with thinly-sliced prosciutto, hot dry coppa, Felino Salame, marinated artichoke hearts, mixed olives, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, wedges of provolone and ciliegine mozzarella tossed with cherry tomatoes and olive oil, all garnished with sweet gherkins and delicate Spanish Marcona almonds. Have you tried Marcona almonds yet? Their tender, toasty flavor is sublime.

Prefer a platter with cheeses only? Try the Happy Cows and Goats Platter with mild goat gouda, Point Reyes Blue, Yancey’s Steakhouse Onion Cheddar, smoked mozzarella, wine-soaked Fiscalini Purple Moon Cheddar and unbelievably creamy d’Affinois, a French cheese that’s reminiscent of Brie. The platter is generously garnished with those amazing Marcona almonds, roasted California almonds, dried apricots and fresh strawberries.

When you have so many delicious bites to try, you need bread and crackers to pair them with. Our Sliced Baguette and Cracker Platter is full of fresh slices of Nob Hill Trading Co. sour French baguette and rustic Lesley Stowe Fig & Olive Raincoast Crisps. These small-batch crisps have a complex yet delicate flavor that’s a perfect match for artisan cheeses.

And celebrate your grad’s accomplishment with his photo on a cake! We have custom cakes in all sizes to entertain any number of guests. Order yours early for pickup on the big day.

We have many more entertaining ideas for your get-together – visit our Party Planner page for all the ways we can help make it a memorable event!

A Plate of Irish-Inspired Tacos Has Gone Missing…

It’s Taco Tuesday! Let’s mix it up with something different. You might not think “tacos” when you see potatoes, bacon, leeks and Irish cheese on a corn tortilla, but your taste buds won’t complain! These tacos might be magical, too – we left a plate of them in the Something Extra office and they disappeared without a trace…

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 11.27.40 AMFor more out-of-the ordinary tacos, check out the Spring 2016 issue of Something Extra, now in our stores.

Dubliner Potato Leek Tacos

12 oz. Yukon gold potatoes
6 strips thick cut bacon, coarsely chopped
1 large or 2 small leeks, sliced (pale green and white parts only)
1/4 tsp. dried dill
8 small handmade-style yellow corn tortillas
4 oz. Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese (in our Deli)
Thinly sliced cabbage or Raley’s Tri Color Slaw
Thinly sliced red onion
Diced tomato

Add more bacon and cheese for extra indulgent tacos.

Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 20 minutes, Serves: 4

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork and place on a microwave-safe plate; microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes or until almost cooked through. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels.
3. Add potatoes to skillet and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add leeks and dill and cook for 5 minutes more. Add bacon back to skillet.

4. While vegetables are cooking, place equal amounts of cheese in the center of each tortilla. Cook in a large skillet over medium heat until cheese is melted, or cook on a lightly oiled baking sheet at 400°F for 5 minutes. Top with vegetable mixture, cabbage or slaw, onion and tomatoes.

Nutritional Information:
533 calories, 18 g protein, 33 g total fat (8 g sat., 0 g trans), 41 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 63 mg cholesterol, 628 mg sodium, 17 points

Keepin’ It Short and Sweet With Balsamic & Berries



Did you know May is both National Strawberry Month and National Vinegar Month? We’re celebrating with a scrumptious recipe that features both!

You might not associate vinegar with dessert, but balsamic vinegar in particular makes a lovely accompaniment for sweet dishes. When you reduce balsamic vinegar with a little sugar, you get a tangy-sweet syrup that balances the citrus flavor of the shortcakes and the sweetness of the fresh fruit. It’s delightful!

Balsamic Citrus Shortcakes with Mixed Berries

1 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp. sugar, divided
2-1/3 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
Whipped cream

Prep: 20 minutes, Cook: 35 minutes, Serves: 6

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp. sugar in a small pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Stir together Bisquick, milk, 3 tbsp. sugar, unsalted butter, lemon zest and orange zest in a large mixing bowl until a soft dough forms.

3. Drop 6 spoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Place berries in a medium bowl. Cut shortcakes in half and spoon berries on bottom half. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and top with remaining shortcake. Garnish with whipped cream and additional balsamic reduction, if you like.

Nutritional Information:
366 calories, 5 g protein, 14 g total fat (6 g sat., 0 g trans), 58 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 23 g sugar, 17 mg cholesterol, 597 mg sodium, 15 points