• Warming Winter Seafood Soup Recipes

    In the winter, there’s nothing quite as comforting as a warm bowl of soup. From thick chowders, rich and creamy, to stews and soups from every culture and cuisine, there are seafood soups to please any palate. The following list is just a sample of what you can make with fresh seafood and other high-quality ingredients.

    • Slow cooker shrimp and crab bisque is a miracle of slow cooker simplicity. Not only is it delicious, but this soup is made unique by a topping of lightly dressed crab salad, making it a real showstopper as well as a comfort food.
    • Seafood Gumbo is perfect if you like a little spice to heat up your soup. This is Martha Stewart’s take on a classic, so you know it’s going to be perfect.
    • Mixed Seafood Chowder is a Scottish-style dish, made with clams and smoked fish. This recipe uses salmon, but you can experiment with your favorites, like trout and haddock.
    • Bouillabaisse with Lobster is a sophisticated dish that’s as beautiful and fragrant as it is delicious. Flavored with saffron, this hearty meal is packed with fresh vegetables and seafood.
    • Easy Thai Shrimp Soup lives up to its name, going from ingredients to a meal in a mere 30 minutes. Made with coconut milk, fragrant spices, and fresh shrimp, this soup is so good it may displace your favorite takeout restaurant.
    • Italian Seafood Stew is lighter than most winter seafood soups. Try serving this savory mix of seasonings, tomatoes, fish, and clams with crusty sourdough bread, for a perfect winter meal.
    • Fish Chowder is a rich and hearty dish, to warm the coldest day. The smooth cream and tasty fish is perfectly complemented by the warm flavor of bacon.
    • Cioppino is an Italian-American stew that originated in San Francisco. Easy to make and delightful to eat, it’s on the lighter side of the season’s soups, and features crab, fish, and shrimp, in a tomato-based broth.
    • Brazilian Whitefish Stew is simple to make, yet unique and delicious. With a coconut milk based broth is surprisingly light and refreshing, featuring tomatoes, lime juice, paprika, and cumin. A traditional Brazilian dish, this can be made with fish, or as a seafood stew that features prawns and calamari.

    R&R Quality Meats has always offered top quality and wide variety; with our newest venture, R&R Quality Seafood, we’ve brought our high standards of quality to another level. Committed to customer service, we offer seafood that’s never frozen, and work hard to give you what you want, when you want it. If you’re looking for the highest quality seafood, we have everything from Alaskan salmon, Pacific cod, and Hawaiian mahi-mahi, to a variety of shrimp and prawns, and plenty of live shellfish including clams, oysters, and mussels. To learn more about all that R&R Quality Seafood has to offer, visit our website or call (530) 241-7770 today.

  • Benefits of Better Beef: Explaining USDA Rankings and More

    Not all beef was created equal. When it comes to choosing the best cuts, the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) has a system in place to help you identify exactly what you’re getting. There are a number of terms that might be confusing for those unfamiliar with the system. Our team at R&R Quality Meats is here to help explain what this system means, as well as identify a few other terms to look for to ensure that you’re buying the best bang for your buck.

    Of course, one of the best ways to buy the best meat is to shop at a trusted market, and R&R Quality Meats is regarded as one of Redding, CA’s top meat markets. We choose all-natural, 100% organic beef and the choicest cuts at affordable prices. Our weekly meat specials go even further in giving you value as well as big flavors. On top of our extensive beef selection, we also offer pork, chicken, and some of the best seafood around.

    If you’re here for a piece of beef, you will see particular words that you should pay attention to. USDA ranks beef according to a number of factors. Primarily, USDA looks at the age of the beef and the marbling. As you probably know, marbled beef has a ton of flavor. Age also factors in the taste and quality of the beef. The youngest, most marbled cuts of beef are considered “prime.” Yes, this is not just a descriptor or ad language; it is a rank on the USDA’s scale.

    Prime beef has marbling throughout and comes from young cattle. These cattle were particularly well-fed, which encourages the marbling. Prime cuts are usually what you’ll be ordering at upscale steakhouses. “Choice” beef is still high-quality beef but has less marbling. These cuts are still packed in flavor and will satisfy your taste buds. Finally, “Select” beef is typically leaner and has very little marbling throughout. While it may not pack the flavor or juiciness of the higher grades, it still has its uses in cooking.

    Beyond the USDA rankings, you will also see things like “grass fed” and “100% organic.” These terms describe how the cattle lived. “All natural” beef comes from cattle who were grass-fed, grain finished beef. This beef is free of hormones and have tons of flavor. The cattle lived on pastures for the majority of its life, promoting healthy muscles and great flavor. You will also see “100% organic,” which means the beef has passed a USDA certification process. This beef is grass fed and grass finished, and the grass was never treated with pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. On top of that, the beef itself was never treated with growth hormones or antibiotics.

    We hope that this explains some of the terms you’ll see as you shop our store. If you want to learn more about the beef that we offer, contact us by calling (530) 241-7770 or contact us online.

  • Choosing the Right Cut: Which Cut for Which Meal?

    Sirloin, London broil, top round steak, ground—they all come from the same animal, but they are all used in a variety of different ways. This trend continues for all major types of meat. Do you want to cook a chicken breast, a wing, a thigh, or the whole bird? Different recipes call for different types of meat usually, but what do you do if the recipe doesn’t specify what cut of meat? How do you decide on which cut of meat for a particular recipe? While there might be variations and preference, in general certain cuts of meat just make more sense in a certain recipe.

    Selecting the finest, all-natural, grass-fed beef also makes sense, which is why so many people turn to R&R Quality Meats. R&R Quality Meats knows a thing or two about choosing the right cut of meat for a particular recipe, just like we know how to prepare and offer only the finest meat around. Whatever recipe you decide to make, your first step should be to come to R&R Quality Meats.

    A common question amateur cooks have is what type of ground beef to get. After all, there’s ground beef, lean ground beef, and extra-lean (not to mention ground turkey). The designation between the types of ground beef have to do with the fat content. The leaner the ground beef, the less fat you’ll need to drain off. Oftentimes, extra-lean ground beef is used in meatloaf, medium fat content ground beef is used in burgers, and regular ground beef is best in dishes where you drain the meat before continuing to cook, like casseroles.

    If you’re craving a steak, R&R Quality Meats offers a ton of options, but do you know the difference between them? When people think of traditional steak, they are probably thinking of a New York strip, ribeye, top sirloin, or T-bone. These are all cooked relatively similarly: seared in a skillet or on the grill. For thicker cuts, like the T-bone, continue cooking it by moving the steak post-sear into the oven. A special treat is the filet mignon, which is often served on the rare-side and should be in the pan for just a moment.

    Two other common cuts of meat get a quick mention: tri-tip and chuck steaks. Tri-tip is great for barbeque. The cut, which has a bit more muscle and less fat, has tons of flavor that can be unlocked with low-and-slow heat. Use plenty of seasoning with big flavors, like cumin, chili powder, garlic, and/or paprika. Chuck, on the other hand, is great in stews and similar slow-cooked recipes. Again, the low, constant heat breaks down the meat and turns what would be something tough into something perfect.

    Find the right cut of meat at R&R Quality Meats tonight and make your next meal delicious! Find out more about our cuts by calling us at (530) 241-7770 or contact us online.

  • Drink & Meal Pairings: Sip and Sizzle

    Apple pie and ice cream. French fries and ketchup. Steak and red wine. Some things just go together. While we can’t speak for two out of the three of those combinations, R&R Quality Meats does have a few thoughts about drinks that pair with meat. If you’re ready to enjoy a refreshing beverage and high-quality meat, look no further! We can provide the meat, you pour the drinks, and let’s get ready to have a great meal.

    As we mentioned, steak and red wine go together, but it turns out there’s actually science behind this common combo. The tannins in red wine help break down the protein in steak. The steak also helps the wine: the fat in the steak cuts down the wine’s acidity. This synergy makes steak and wine lovers equally happy. If you are a fan, pairing a steak with a dark red can be an ideal culinary experience. Not a fan of wine but still love your steak? If you’re still looking for an alcoholic option, whiskey is also a great companion to steak, as the caramel, earthy notes of whiskey will bring out the flavor of the meat in different ways. If you want something non-alcoholic, give cranberry or pomegranate juice a try. These juices both contain tannins, and if you find them too sweet or tart, cut it with water or add some carbonation with club soda.

    Chicken often gets paired with lighter drinks. Citrusy or fruity beverages typically balance and enhance the flavor of chicken. In terms of wine, chicken has some versatility and can be enjoyed with red or white, although typically for reds, you will want to head towards a nice Syrah to add an earthy flavor. Because chicken itself is a very versatile meat, your drink will change accordingly. The best advice is to decide whether or not you want your beverage to enhance the flavor of your meat or contrast it. Enhancing, or mirroring, a dish usually involves picking a beverage with similar flavors; lemon chicken piccata would be refreshing with Italian lemonade. Contrasting, on the other hand, can highlight flavors by making them distinct.

    Seafood is a similar story to chicken: because it can be prepared in a number of different ways, you have tons of options. With seafood, however, consider picking a beverage that does not have a super strong flavor, as many seafood dishes are already rich in flavors. Citrus and crisp beverages are great with most seafoods, like white wine, sparkling water with lemon or lime, but feel free to drink whatever your taste buds want.

    We’ve talked about drinks that go with foods, but here’s a bonus: the next time you make a Bloody Mary, fry up some bacon from R&R Quality Meats, dry excess grease and cool, and use it as a garnish. The smoky meat and spicy tomato flavors of Bloody Mary mix is a great combination for brunches.

     

  • Health Benefits of Different Meats & Seafoods: The Power of Good Protein

    Despite the ever-changing landscape of fad diets and scientific studies, one thing has remained constant: eating good protein is a key part of a healthy diet. The American Heart Association recommends a daily portion of meat, but the type of meat depends on you and your preference. Different types of meat offer different health benefits, and our team at R&R Quality Meats is here to provide you with the rundown of what kind of meat to prepare for your next meal.

    Different types of meat offer different health benefits. One thing almost all meat offers, however, is a high concentration of protein. Protein is important, as your body uses it to repair itself, promote lean muscle mass, and provide energy. For these reasons, it’s not uncommon for individuals going to the gym to have a diet high in protein, although almost everyone can benefit from healthy, premium protein.

    A good piece of quality, unprocessed red meat, like our all-natural, grass-fed top sirloin, packs in several important vitamins along with plenty of protein. There are also two important vitamins and minerals that beef provides: vitamin B12 and iron. Particularly, the iron offered in beef is absorbed into your body much easier than alternative sources. Beef also offers a significant amount of vitamins B3 and B6, as well as zinc and selenium.

    Chicken has grown in popularity over the years, and part of the reason is its nutritional value. Leaner than red meat, chicken is still packed with protein while also offering vitamins B3, B6 and zinc. Vitamin B3 in particular, also called niacin, can improve cholesterol levels and lower your risk of cardiovascular problems. For those looking to watch their cholesterol and fat intake, buying skinless chicken breasts is the way to go. Pork is another good choice for lean protein. Pork is high in vitamin B1, which helps muscle and tissue repair. Pork also has riboflavin, which maintains skin health.

    Finally, there is seafood. Seafood is a broad category, but certain pieces of seafood in particular like salmon offer important Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has been shown to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and even help visual and neurological development of infants.

    If this has made you hungry, head to R&R Quality Meats and cook something delicious tonight for dinner! Regardless of what kind of meat you decide to eat, the first choice is to decide where to get your meat. At R&R Quality Meats, we offer a wide selection of beef, pork, and chicken cuts, as well as some of the best seafood in Redding, CA. Furthermore, we sell premium meat: USDA choice, grass fed, all-natural beef; organic, local chicken; and 100% natural pork cuts. If you are going to eat meat, it makes sense to eat the best, and you can find the best at R&R Quality Meats. Find out more by calling us at (530) 241-7770 or contact us online.

     

  • Try This Great Dinner Recipe for Steak and Brassicas with Red Wine Sauce

    If you’re looking for a hearty and delicious dinner recipe that will be a big hit, this pairing of steak and brassicas with a red wine sauce is the perfect choice. If you aren’t familiar with brassicas, they are cruciferous vegetables and include baby cauliflower. This recipe takes about 45 minutes and serves four to six.

    Ingredients Needed:

    • Two 1-pound hanger steaks
    • 1 ½ pounds multicolored cut into 1-inch florets
    • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 4 thyme sprigs
    • 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 small shallots, minced
    • ½ cup chicken stock
    • ½ cup red wine
    • Pepper
    • Kosher salt

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss brassicas and thyme with ¼ cup olive oil in large rimmed baking sheet and generously season with salt and pepper. Spread into a layer and scatter 2 tablespoons of butter on top. Roast in oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and tender.
    2. Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in large cast-iron skillet. Season steaks with salt and pepper all over. Cook steaks in skillet over moderately high heat. Turn often until thermometer reads 120 degrees in thickest part, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer steaks to carving board and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
    3. Do not wipe out skillet and use to cook shallots and garlic. Cook over moderate heat and stir until softened for 2 minutes. Add wine and cook for 3 minutes, scraping up any browned bits until wine almost evaporates. Add in stock and cook for about 2 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and add remaining butter, whisking gradually until emulsified, and season with salt and pepper. Carve steaks against the grain and serve with brassicas and sauce.

    R&R Quality Meats & Seafood has the best cuts of steak for all your recipes. Check out our weekly specials or give us a call at 530-241-7770.

  • Tips for Cooking: Meat and Beyond

    Have you ever bought a piece of meat and then got home and stared at it because you’re unsure how to cook it? Sure, most of us know what temperature to cook various types of meat to make it safe to eat, but there’s a difference between safety and imbuing meat with big flavor. On top of being the best place to buy meat in Redding, CA, R&R Quality Meats also wants to teach you how to get the most out of your purchases.

    Depending on your experience in the kitchen (or using a grill), you will feel more comfortable using different cooking techniques. One of the easiest methods to bring out flavors is to braise meat. To braise any piece of meat, brown the meat in oil. After all sides of the meat are browned, you add a small amount of liquid to a pan or Dutch oven and cover for a long period of time. Typically, the liquid will be broth, but sometimes recipes will call for wine. Braising is great for certain cuts of beef, pork, and chicken.

    Another common method of cooking meat is to pan sear. A trick to searing meat is to use high heat. Too often, especially during the browning process, amateur cooks will use a low temperature. When searing meat, you also want to be sure to not crowd the pan. Make sure to pre-heat the fat or oil in the pan before adding the meat. You can tell that the oil or fat is about ready when it starts to shimmer and almost smoke.

    If you poll professional cooks about common mistakes people make when cooking meat, one of the top items on that list would be forgetting about cooking carryover. Almost every piece of meat continues to cook even after you take it off the grill, out of the oven, or off the stove. This can exasperate another common problem of overcooking meat: you heat the meat too long, and then the meat gets even dryer when you remove it from heat.

    Finally, it is also extremely important you let your meat rest after you take it off the heating element. So much of the flavor from meat comes from its juices. While it cooks, the juices move to the center of the piece of meat. After you take the meat off the heating element, they will redistribute evenly. Resting a meat before cutting into it will prevent the meat from shooting out as soon as the meat’s surface is cut. Consider resting your meat for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on its thickness and the type of meat.

    Still have questions? Talk to the experts at R&R Quality Meats the next time you come into our store. When you buy from R&R Quality Meats, you know that you’re getting the best cut; it’s up to you to bring out the best flavor! With these tips you’ll be serving up greatness for dinner.

  • Delicious Wine & Meat Pairings

    When you’re planning a meal, choosing the perfect recipes and carefully shopping for the just the right cut of meat, don’t forget to think about wine. The right wine and meat pairing can enhance a meal, taking it to the next level. While many people just choose the same red or white each time, this is a mistake, because when it comes to wine selection, a little thought can make a big difference.

    • The standard wisdom is to pair beef with red wine. This is true, but the variety of red depends on the way the meat is prepared. Barbecued beef, for instance, goes well with full-flavored wines like Zinfandel or Shiraz, while a grilled steak might call for a Merlot, an Argentinian Malbec or a Spanish Rioja. For meatloaf, pick a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlo, but for hamburger, consider a red Zinfandel. A good red Burgundy, a Pinot Noir, or a Shiraz go well with roast.
    • Lamb goes with a variety of wines. Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja, Zinfandel, Merlo, Shiraz, and Chiantis are all good choices. Be cautious of using the traditional mint sauce if you’re serving wine with your lamb- the flavors can work against each other.
    • Chicken and poultry can go with either white or red wine. Duck and quail both work well with Merlot, but wild duck also goes well with Syrah, and quail can be well suited by a Chardonnay. Chicken is better off with a white wine when it’s seasoned simply, but a bird seasoned with rosemary and garlic can stand up to a Merlot or Shiraz. Turkey goes so well with Zinfandel that many people consider it to be the perfect Thanksgiving wine.
    • Pork’s pairing depends on preparation. Baked ham pairs well with Riesling or a young Merlot, while chops are better suited by a Pinot Noir or Shiraz. An herbed pork dish is perfectly complemented by a creamy Chardonnay. Riesling, Syrah, or Shiraz all go well with barbecue pork.

    You may need to put some thought into your wine and meat pairings, but knowing where to buy the meat is simple. R&R Quality meats has always offered the best meats in a wide variety, and today we have the finest selection of beef, pork, lamb, poultry, seafood, deli meats, cheeses, and more. Committed to customer service, we offer meat cut fresh throughout the day, and work hard to give you what you want, when you want it. To learn more about all that R&R Meats has to offer, visit our website or call 530-241-7770 today.

  • What You Need for the Perfect Backyard BBQ

    Summer is time to enjoy the outdoors, the warm weather, and longer days. When you’re outside, there’s one thing that meat lovers want to do more than anything else: grill. Grilling brings friends and family together to enjoy some good times and good food. If you want to host the perfect backyard BBQ, R&R Quality Meats can make your event an unforgettable success. As a go-to market for quality meats of virtually any cut and type, we should be your first stop for whenever you are planning an event.

    Planning the perfect backyard BBQ does not have to be stressful; after all, this should be an event for relaxing with friends and family. First and foremost, you should pick out the perfect piece of meat. You should buy the appropriate amount of meat for the number of people attending your event. Getting a variety of meat is also a good choice. Your guests will appreciate options, just like you will appreciate the wide variety of choices you’ll have at R&R Quality Meats. For a traditional backyard BBQ, our all-natural burger patties and ground beef are great, classic choices. Chicken is also a good choice, as it is easy to cook and can grill quickly. For smaller affairs, you can consider picking up some steaks.

    After you figure out what meat to get, it’s time to start thinking about sides. If you’re already planning on grilling, you can pick some sides that will complement the flavors. With the grill hot, you can throw on some corn on the cob. Leave the outer husk on but pull it down to one end so you can remove the silk. Then butter the cob and pull the husk back over. Another great vegetable to consider grilling is a portobello mushroom. The hearty fungus can withstand the temperatures of the grill and are a good choice in case you have any vegan or vegetarian friends coming to your event. Non-grilled items are also a good choice, like potato salad, pasta salad, actual salad, chips, or whatever you want.

    Food is only half the planning. It’s also a great idea to have some drinks ready. You know your friends better than we do, but if you’re thinking about matching your drinks to the meat you’re serving, consider checking out our guide [link to blog post about drinks and meat]. Summertime deserves a good, cold beverage. If you are planning on serving alcohol, create a fun signature cocktail or grab a couple of beers to go along with your burgers.

    Finally, make sure you secure a proper location. If you own a home with a backyard that you can grill in, you’re pretty much all set, but if you need to go somewhere to grill, consider making a reservation. A number of parks will allow you to reserve gazebos and other shaded structures to give your guests a comfortable place to relax.

    Make your next event a delicious success. Find out more by calling us at (530) 241-7770 or contact us online.

  • The Nutritional Benefits of Eating Grass-Fed Beef

    You might be wondering what all the fuss about grass-fed beef is, and what makes it better than regular beef. Many of us don’t think about what the animals we’re eating today were fed yesterday, but it’s worth considering.

    Most of the beef you find in grocery stores today is from cows who were fed a grain diet. That means they mostly eat corn and soy, but the truth is that many cows are fed whatever is cheapest that can cause them to gain weight.

    According to USDA standards, grass-fed animals must have continuous access to pasture and not be fed grain or grain-based products. Grass-fed beef has several nutritional benefits including containing significantly more omega-3 fatty acids, higher amounts of vitamins A and E, and cancer-fighting antioxidants.

    • Potentially Fights Cancer – Several animal studies have found that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has the ability to fight cancer. This powerful polyunsaturated fatty acid is much more prevalent in grass-fed beef than grain-fed beef.
    • Reduced Risk of Heart Disease – Grass-fed beef has less overall fat and unhealthy fat than grain-fed beef. It also has lower levels of cholesterol and higher levels of omega-3s and vitamins that fight heart disease.
    • Improved Blood Sugar – The healthy fats contained in grass-fed beef are essential to keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level. CLA has been proven to improve insulin sensitivity and can help ward off diabetes in both adults and children.
    • Fewer Hormones and Antibiotics – Grass-fed beef is more likely to be free of hormones and antibiotics. Grain-fed cows are given hormones to increase their size to produce more meat. This has contributed to antibiotic resistance in humans and promotes the growth of bacteria such as E. coli.
    • Safety Concerns – Consumer Reports conducted research showing that grass-fed meat is safer than grain-fed beef and has lowered risks of food poisoning in addition to fewer antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    R&R Quality Meats & Seafood features organic 100% grass-fed, grass finished beef as well as all natural grass-fed, grain finished beef. Give us a call at 530-241-7770 for more information.