Friday, October 30, 2009

Tasting and shopping notes

Queso manchego, Manchego cheese.Image via Wikipedia

The block of smoked-mackerel sushi from Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater didn't disappoint. (See previous post.)  In fact, my wife, who squirms at the the thought of eating raw fish, loved the slices she tried. I ate mine without wasabi or soy sauce and they nicely set up our dinner of frozen wild sockeye salmon in a light Asian sauce.

I placed the frozen salmon (from Costco) in a glass plate set atop my steamer (it didn't fit inside), in a shallow pool of olive and sesame oils, fish sauce and cheap sake. I sprinkled salt on the fillets, rubbed them with coarse red Aleppo pepper and steamed them about 20 minutes for medium, serving the fish with leftover rice and peas, salad and pita bread.

The latest batch of Aleppo pepper I purchased from Fattal's on Main Street in Paterson is noticeably darker than what I had and noticeably spicier, a good thing. I keep it in a plastic container in the freezer and sprinkle it over eggs, fish and chicken, but wonder if the intensity fades over time.

I forgot to mention I bought aged Manchego sheep-milk's cheese from Spain at Costco the other day. The price, $8.29 a pound, is 70 cents less than the sale price at Fairway Market in Paramus and several dollars less than the regular price. Storage tip: Trim off the inedible rind, slice the wedge into three pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap before placing them in a freezer bag in the fridge. This also works with a large wedge of Reggiano Parmigiano.

North Jersey markets are running some good sales, starting today.  

Fairway Market has three pounds of herbicide-free Campari tomatoes for $5, three heads of organic romaine for $2.99 and Columbia supremo coffee for $4.99 a pound. Stop & Shop is reprising its sale on drug-free Australian shoulder lamb chops, $3.69 a pound for three pounds or more. And two markets on Railway Avenue in Paterson, El Campesino and El Rancho, are selling limes or lemons at 10 for 99 cents, 20 pounds of Canilla rice for $3.99, three cups of La Yogurt (6 ounces) for 99 cents, Lactaid milk for $4.99 (96 ounces) and Hass avocados, 2 for 99 cents.

If you think Paterson is going too far for food, stop first at Aleppo Restaurant, at Main and Thomas streets, or Hummus Restaurant across the street for a nice lunch, pick up Syrian bread and spices at Fattal's down the strteet, then go food shopping. Hungry food shoppers spend more, research has shown.

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  1. Was your Aleppo pepper Al Amin brand from Syria? In a little plastic container? I purchased that two weeks ago, the color was fairly light but the flavor was all there.

  2. No, it wasn't. It came from behind the counter at Fattal's, which has a number of items loose in bins. I also buy cardamom, cumin and sometimes brown za'atar from the bins. I didn't know it is available in containers. Depsite all the years I have been shopping there, I guess I just go to my favorite items on the shelves and ignore everything else. But now I'll take more time loking around.

  3. I'll be "looking" not "loking" around more.

  4. The Al Amin Aleppo pepper is at the very end of the store, so if you walked down the first aisle and take it all the way to the end (the aisle with the refrigerators on one side), it was on an end cap. I really love the taste of that pepper.


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