Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shopping and tasting notes

Costco continues to be the source of great food, despite the frustrations of shopping there and dealing with the crowds at the Hackensack store near my home. The cash rebates with the Costco American Express card more than pay for my annual membership fee.

On Monday, I picked up Legal Seafoods Alaskan king crab and sweet corn chowder, two containers totaling 40 ounces for $9.99. Two pounds of the reddest strawberries I have ever seen were $6.99. And, of course, I couldn't leave without a one-pound tub of Earthbound Farm organic spring mix for $4.49, the lowest price around. It's prewashed, so you just grab some for sandwiches or a dinner salad.

Tilapia as a food fish.

At H Mart, the Korean supermarket on Bergen Turnpike in Little Ferry, I bought two fresh, wild-caught whole tilapia at $2.99 a pound. The store also sells farmed whole tilapia, but these fish were red (photo), not the dark green of the farmed variety. I poached them Tuesday night in cheap sake, soy and fish sauce, and sweet rice wine for about 20 minutes and served them with yellow rice and leftover canned black beans combined with canned diced tomato.

We had free-range shoulder lamb chops from Australia tonight with potato fritters -- or rosti -- I bought in IKEA, Paramus, and stored in the freezer. Produced in Poland, they made a fine, non-greasy substitute for potato latkes. All we needed was a salad of organic spring mix to complete the meal.

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