Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Add a little sweetness to your fresh wild-caught sockeye salmon

AlaskaImage by drurydrama (Len Radin) via Flickr
Wild-caught pollock  is a cheaper alternative to cod.


The culinary fireworks didn't go off in my kitchen until after the long July Fourth weekend was over.

On Tuesday, I made an early trip to Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, picking up boxes of peaches and beefsteak tomatoes, organic spring mix and another fillet of fresh, wild sockeye salmon ($7.99 a pound).

I can't get enough of this wonderfully oily fish. Except for a 10-day break, I've eaten a pound or more weekly since it first appeared at Costco in late May.

For dinner Tuesday, I went out to my garden for rosemary, oregano, mint and basil, and washed and chopped them coarsely. From the refrigerator, I took a lemon and a container of Aleppo red pepper.

Fish with peaches

The fillet weighed under 1.5 pounds, so I cut it into seven small portions, squeezing on some lemon juice and then adding ground Aleppo pepper and herbs.

The large peaches were on the counter, and a light went off. The peaches were ripe and had a nice aroma, so I sliced one and put the pieces here and there in the roasting pan with the salmon.

I cooked the fillets in a pre-heated, 350-degree oven for 15 minutes, longer than usual, because my wife likes her salmon cooked through. 

I took out one portion after 10 minutes for my dinner, along with two peach slices, which were hot and had softened further in the oven. I had a second portion, with more peach slices and a salad. Delicious.

The fruit and the fish -- sweet and savory -- are nice foils for each other.

For breakfast this morning, I had another portion of fish and two peach slices right out of the fridge, over red-leaf lettuce from my garden, tomato, cucumber and olives.

Kosher Costco

From the refrigerated case in Costco's kosher section, I bought Meal Mart Hungarian-style Beef Stuffed Cabbage for my wife. 

Four large rolls with beef and mashed potatoes in sweetened tomato sauce weigh 2.5 pounds.

They are fully cooked and not just kosher, but Glatt kosher. Don't ask. The price, $8.99, seems a lot, because there's nothing on the package about how the beef was raised. 

It probably was raised conventionally with antibiotics and growth hormones.

Salt fish

At Costco last week, I bought more salted, wild-caught pollock from Canada -- 2 pounds for $7.29, up from $6.39. That's still a couple of dollars less than a single pound of salted cod at ShopRite, Fairway Market in Paramus and other stores.

On Tuesday, I picked up more Pasta Prima lobster ravioli -- 30 ounces for $11.99 -- but couldn't find lobster bisque, corn-and-chicken chowder, and other  refrigerated soups.

I was told they've been discontinued for the summer.

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  1. Hi. I'm 100% Hungarian, 2nd generation and those "Hungarian Style" stuffed cabbage rolls are NO WAY NEAR our Hungarian traditional style of cooking. My dad and I bought them for the heck of it when they were on sale and I nearly vomited. They were all flushed right down the toilet where they belong. I actually told the customer service representative at the returns desk, when I was returning something else and she actually refunded me for them even though I disposed of them. I told her it was no way near Hungarian style and that it definitely did not measure up to Costco's standards. My dad makes the best authentic Hungarian stuffed cabbage.

    1. Thanks. We tried them only once. My mother, who was from Syria, stuffed cabbage, tomatoes, green pepper, potatoes, squash and eggplant, all with rice and ground meat.

    2. Not being Hungarian, I wouldn't know but we actually enjoyed them.

  2. Because I am trying to cut back on cooking everyday (after 60 years!) my husband and I tried the Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage from Costco and we LOVE them. Sorry to find out they stop carrying them after Passover. We will miss them till next year.

  3. It's 5 years since your comment, but the Meal Mart "Beef stuffed cabbage in sweet tomato sauce" is still in Costco. Served it last night and it was disgusting. The beef is almost a paste, reminded me of the pink-slime episode a few years back. The cabbage was overcooked even before heating up the dish. And: the sugar replaced the natural sweetness you expect from cooked cabbage. Featured as "Hungarian" and kosher, it tried to satisfy every taste, but failed on all marks in my opinion. I'm curious, honestly, have to ever eaten this again in the 5 years since?

    1. No. I haven't tried it again. For one thing, I stopped eating meat more than 5 years ago, and my wife hasn't asked me about it. Thanks for your comment.

      I have found tasty rice-filled grape leaves at local Middle Eastern places, but not at Costco.


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