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Jun 12, 2012 10:18 PM

My favorite things from HEB

Thought I had started one of these, but it was specific to Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches.

Overall, HEB is the best 'everyday' grocery chain I've experienced, being familiar with the chains in the northeast, southeast, and northwest.

Here's what I'm lovin' now from HEB:

1) Right now, HEB's Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon is completely delicious and $9.97 / pound. Made 2 fillets today - pan fried and then finished in the toaster oven. Served with Cedar's tzatziki sauce on the side and roasted broccoli. Delicious because:
- it's still moist when I cook it to temp (165F)
- it tastes great

In other times of the year, buying sockeye salmon and then cooking it to temp means dry salmon. Unless it's sushi grade salmon or tuna, I have decided to bring it up to temp after watching those documentaries about getting worms in your brain if you eat undercooked salmon or tuna. I don't want worms in my brain :-).

2) Also right now, organic blueberries are in season and convenient to buy from HEB. (Though the real $ deal in organic blueberries is from Costco .)

3) My favorite whole grain bread these days is from HEB. It goes by something like "Whole Grain Country French" boule (it's round). It tastes of sourdough though I don't believe that word is on the label.

I've seen it the HEB on Braker and 183, and Spicewood Springs and 183. This sounds odd but the top of the boule is a light brown / grey-ish color (they should brush it with butter or something go make it a deeper brown). It's my favorite whole grain bread that doesn't taste like health food, but simply like delicious bread. Great for sandwiches.

4) Duke's Mayonnaise if your HEB has it

5) The Central Market organic arugula

Another delicious HEB bread is the rustic cranberry walnut or cranberry pistachio bread. Toasted HEB cranberry pistachio bread with cream cheese could be the perfect light breakfast before the turkey onset...

Oh, and for dessert, most HEB's carry the Central Market cookie dough near their egg section. Recently I deviated from my Chocolate Chunk cookie addiction and tried their Cranberry Walnut cookie dough Also delicious. Put it in your freezer immediately, and it lasts forever. If you break off 1 and only 1, it's only a 140 calorie debit to your daily calorie budget. I combine it with a skim milk - iced coffee combo, and it's total bliss. 10 minutes @ 350 in the toaster oven. Then wrap it loosely in a folded paper towel to let it cool for a couple minutes.

6) HEB's frozen meatballs are really convenient and the best frozen meatballs I've tried. Then when there's literally nothing in the fridge, I can always make pasta + meatballs + marinara sauce.

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  1. i can't get enough of "That Green Sauce".

    also digging the HEB brand Borracho Beans w/Shiner. I dress them up with a little water, salt, cumin and onion and let them simmer for about 20 min.

    16 Replies
    1. re: ieathereforeiam

      Try the bulk packaged Molcajete Rojas (the red chunky stuff). I can't get into "That Green Sauce" since it's not "That Green Sauce I was Hoping it Would Be".


      1. re: ieathereforeiam

        I totally agree about the borracho beans. I was very surprised at how good they were, but I'll have to try your suggested alterations next time.

        1. re: ms1195

          How/where are the borracho beans sold? Can, tray, deli?


          1. re: sqwertz

            They are sold in a can. My son thinks they are too sweet and that they need bacon.

            1. re: sqwertz

              the can is snazzy looking and stands out. it's got some silver in the label or something.

          2. re: ieathereforeiam

            Love "That Green Sauce." It's so good on breakfast tacos.
            Another HEB find is their homemade flour tortillas. They blow those preservative filled tortillas away. And thanks for the tip on the corn tortillas. I haven't tried them but will soon.

            1. re: Sweet_Cheeks

              HEB used to have a "Authentic Lard Tortilla" sold in bags of 10 but I haven't seen then for ages. I liked those. Some thing?

              1. re: sqwertz

                i think they rebranded it as "homestyle"?

                1. re: dinaofdoom

                  I'll check again, but the homestyle ones I saw were thick and yucky IIRC. It's too bad they don't carry the semi-newish El Millagro flour tortillas. You have to get those at a Mexican market.

              2. re: Sweet_Cheeks

                Hi Sweet_Cheeks - are you talking about the tortillas made in-store? If so, I agree. Really like the redish ones that have powered chilis mixed in, especially when the bag is still warm to the touch.

                1. re: Alan Sudo

                  Yep, those are the ones I'm talking about. I like how they are thinner too, unlike the big brand, packaged kind.

                  1. re: Sweet_Cheeks

                    Central Market sometimes has store-made ones that are half corn and half flour that are pretty decent. I like them, but eat them quickly as they go bad fast. They're fairly wet and need toasting on a dry pan first.

                    1. re: sqwertz

                      Love the butter tortillas at the HEB on 35 and Parmer. So far it's the only location where I can find them. If only they made a gluten free one.

                      1. re: tdombrow

                        Do they literally have the word 'butter' on the packaging label?

                        As opposed to lard tortillas?

                        1. re: tdombrow

                          YES YES YES x150 on this post. God... those butter tortillas, slathered with some refried beans and cheese.... I'm having to wipe up drool on my keyboard as I type this.

                          1. re: tdombrow

                            I saw them at CM South today. I was looking for the half corn/half flour ones, but no go.

                2. The Central Market Hatch Green Chili salsa is back and is my favorite to make homemade enchiladas. I add it to a sour cream sauce recipe and it is so delicious.

                  We also really like the premixed burgers at the meat counter. My favorite is the poblano and cheddar while the fella's favorite is the black pepper/garlic. I noticed they are also doing turkey and salmon burgers now. We haven't tried those yet.

                  Thanks for the tip on the frozen meat balls.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: missmitzi

                    all the hatch green chile stuff i've tried has been tasty.
                    the central market organic hatch green chile tortilla chips in particular. yum.

                    1. re: missmitzi

                      Yes!!! To the Hatch Green Chilli Salsa! They also have a red version that is also soooo delicious!

                    2. I'm a big fan of their homestyle meatballs too.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: verily

                        They have another line of meatballs that comes in 12 or 16 ounce packages. Plastic bags surrounded by a sleeve of cardboard. I tried the habenero-somthigng last week and they were awesome. Problem is that I can't find that at any of the HEB's I shop regularly.

                        1. re: verily

                          I bought the large 40oz bag of Italian Homestyle Meatballs the other day. Boy, those are pretty evil. I see a few meatball sandwiches in my future. They are very similar to CostCo's bags of meatballs.

                          1. re: sqwertz

                            Served those with Classico Spicy Tomato and Basil sauce, mini kaiser rolls and mozzarella cheese for a gathering last week. Tons of compliments.

                        2. I drink a gallon of their Calm Tomato Cocktail a month. It's not quite Clamato, but it's a lot cheaper. Worcestershire, sriracha, celery salt, a slice of crispy cooked bacon sticking out of the top... hold the vodka.

                          Their frozen potato wedges for frying (HCF brand, IIRC). Awesome.

                          Creamy Creations Dulce De Leche. A steal at $2.50/quart.

                          To be continued....

                          1. I love their fresh salsas (especially the green- it makes for killer enchiladas), their frozen french bread, the pre-marinated pork tenderloin, and the fresh corn tortillas (b/c they don't go bad for a while... yeah, yeah preservatives- whatever), and right now the nectarines are insanely good.