Monday, January 3, 2011

A good week for food shopping

Romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. longifolia).Image via Wikipedia
I substituted fresh spinach for romaine lettuce when I made Cesar's salad pasta.

Any week I visit Costco in Hackensack is a good one for food shopping, but today I'm referring to the 40th anniversary Can Can Sale at ShopRite.

The supermarket chain's fliers have been previewing the sale, which starts Wednesday (Jan. 5). It looks like a number of items will be sold for 40 cents. I don't know whether canned Alaskan red salmon will be part of the sale.

The wild-caught red salmon, with some skin and bones, once went on sale for $2.99 a can, compared to the regular price of $4.99. However, for more than a year now, it rarely goes below $5 a can, and it's usually priced at $5.49 (Bumble Bee).

From seaweed to salmon

At Costco today, I picked up a box of roasted and seasoned seaweed from South Korea -- another item the warehouse store is offering in a direct appeal to its Korean-American customers. Twenty-seven packages cost $10.49, or 38 cents a package.

Along with items that appeal to Korean and other Asian customers, Costco has beefed up its kosher food line in the past year. 
I also picked up cans of Genova-brand light yellow fin tuna in olive oil ($6.95 for four 7-ounce cans); canned pink salmon ($10.85 for six 6-ounce cans), farmed U-15 prawns ($9.99 a pound) and Kirkland-brand frozen sockeye salmon fillets from Alaska ($27.89 for three pounds).

The price of Earthbound Farm organic spring mix rose to $4.79 a pound, but two pounds of  herbicide-free Campari tomatoes eased a bit to $5.59. Nine large mangoes from Ecuador were $8.49.

Salad-like pasta

On one of those morning TV cooking segments, I saw a cook from a restaurant in Manhattan make a pasta dish from the ingredients for Caesar's salad -- including romaine lettuce. (The salad was invented in Tijuana, Mexico.)

You'll need:

  • Fresh, sliced garlic to taste
  • Romaine lettuce or fresh spinach
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Can of anchovies, with or without capers
  • Chicken broth
  • Red-pepper flakes 
  • Grated cheese 
  • Any kind of pasta


Sautee the sliced garlic and anchovies, with its oil, mashing the fish with a wooden spoon. When the garlic is fragrant, add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the mixture. Use about a cup of broth for a half-pound of pasta, two cups for a pound.

Wash romaine or fresh spinach well, and chop roughly. Cook pasta until al dente (I used thick spaghetti, but you can use penne or another type). 

Add cooked pasta to sauce, coating it well, then lots of grated cheese, then romaine or spinach, then turn off the heat to combine. 

Add more cheese before serving. The anchovies and garlic give the sauce a robust flavor, without being at all fishy.

The recipe doesn't use egg yolk, another ingredient in Caesar's salad, but I can see frying an egg sunny side up and serving it on top of the pasta.

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  1. There's a new Korean supermarket called Han Nam in Fort Lee's Plaza West Shopping Center right off Rt. 46. It's open now, but the official opening is later this month. It's worth checking out


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