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You don't have to go to a seafood restaurant to dine on premium lobster ravioli, crab cakes, lobster bisque and other briny delights. All are available at Costco Wholesale, along with fresh, wild-caught fish and farmed prawns, and frozen sockeye salmon and mahi-mahi.
The wide selection at the Hackensack, N.J., warehouse store has helped me stick with a non-meat diet for the past eight months.
The lobster ravioli with parmesan and ricotta cheese from Pasta Prima are outstanding ($11.99). They actually taste of lobster, which is the first ingredient listed.
When thawed, they take only five minutes to prepare and need only a drizzle of olive oil, cracked black pepper and grated cheese. You get two portions, each enough for three people.
The Maryland-style crab cakes from Phillips Seafood Restaurants list crab as the first ingredient and contain no breadcrumbs. You get six crab cakes for $13.69 at Costco, and $11.99 at BJ's Wholesale Club.
Blount Lobster Bisque ($10.89) and Legal Sea Foods Sweet Corn and Crab Chowder ($9.79) are two of the great seafood soups available.
Four pounds of prawns from Vietnam were $37.99 (U-15 or 15 to the pound).
They have been cleaned, so all you have to do is shell them, marinate them in the juice of two or three lemons, along with dried or powdered garlic, red-pepper flakes and other seasoning, then sautee them in olive oil until they turn pink and curl up.
Between the bread
Besides giving up meat, I am trying to cut down on pizza and bread -- one of my favorite foods -- to lose weight, and it seems to be working. I lost weight in Italy and I've lost more weight since I returned Sept. 20.
So, it isn't unusual for me to have salad with reduced-fat cheese and smoked wild salmon or enjoy leftover ravioli or fried fish for breakfast.
This morning, I ate leftover haddock from Costco that my wife fried for dinner last night, along with cabbage and salted cod, and boiled green banana -- all doused with Valentina hot sauce.
Yesterday, I had leftover lobster ravioli and spinach and cheese ravioli, both from Costco.
Leftover spaghetti with sardines made a good side dish for the fried haddock we had for dinner the following night.
-- VICTOR E. SASSON