Thursday, September 20, 2012

My wild salmon swims in a sea of green

Frozen wild salmon fillets cook quickly in bottled Mexican salsa verde.

Wild salmon with collard greens and leftover organic brown rice.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss preparing frozen and fresh wild salmon, using a no-calorie cooking spray instead of oil, and pass along a a couple of bargains I found at Costco Wholesale and H Mart.

If past years are any guide, fresh wild salmon will be available at Costco Wholesale for only a couple of more weeks.

But frozen Alaskan wild sockeye salmon fillets are sold year-round, and we made a quick dinner the other night with four pieces we found in the freezer.

We used a 16.7-ounce bottle of La Costena Green Mexican Salsa (medium spicy), a preservative-free combination of tomatillo, jalapeno pepper, iodized salt, corn starch and spices.

I partially thawed the fillets, seasoned them with lime juice and Aleppo red pepper; put them in the pre-heated sauce, and covered the pan.

They were ready in 10 minutes; from frozen, they usually cook in about 20 minutes.

I also blanched fresh collard greens from the Englewood H Mart (68 cents a pound), drained them and seasoned them with a little soy sauce and sesame oil. 

Fresh wild king salmon from Costco is veined with heart-healthy fat.

Ready for the oven with Aleppo pepper, lime juice and chopped fresh herbs.

On Tuesday, I found fresh wild king salmon at the Hackensack Costco for $12.99 a pound -- a dollar more than when it first appeared a few weeks ago.

At home, I chopped fresh oregano, basil and mint; sprinkled the fillets with a little salt, Aleppo red pepper and lime juice, and cooked them at 400 degrees (roast/convection oven setting).
I had placed the salmon in a pan with aluminum foil and cooking spray.

For medium rare, the inch-thick fillets cooked in about 10-12 minutes; they cooked through in about 15 minutes, but stayed moist.

The high heat setting toasted the fresh herbs.

I also picked up a 2-pound package of those incomparable Campari tomatoes for $3.49 after an instant $1 coupon (through Sept. 23).

Two organic eggs prepared with no-calorie cooking spray.

No-calorie cooking spray

We've been using the Kirkland Signature Canola Oil Cooking Spray I bought at Costco to cook eggs, sautee vegetables and prepare Jamaican ackee and saltfish.

We substitute the spray for extra-virgin or canola oil.

The Kirkland Signature top is on the left.

A better bottle top

Both Costco and Trader Joe's have terrific 100% Spanish extra-virgin olive oils, and they are about the same price.

But the slit in the top of Costco's Kirkland Signature oil is ideal for drizzling, while the round hole in the Trader Joe's top requires more attention to avoid using too much oil.

Kimbap rolls, foreground, were 50% off at the Englewood H Mart.

Surprising bargain

On Wednesdays, I usually stop at Jerry's Gourmet and More in Englewood to pick up restaurant-quality takeout dinners, which are reduced to $5.99 from $7.99 after 4 p.m.

But this week, I went to H Mart in Englewood for prepared Korean food, and found a bargain on kimbap -- those addictive seaweed-wrapped rolls with egg, vegetables and fish.

The large package of Jinga kimbap was 50% off after 4 p.m. -- $2.49 instead of $4.99. 

The new awning and sign on Main Street in Fort Lee.

Here we are

Ramen Setagaya in Fort Lee is easier to find now that it has a new awning and sign.

The ramen restaurant opened several months ago on Main Street near Center Avenue.

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