Saturday, February 9, 2013

5-minute flounder, pesto frittata, breakfast favorites

Flounder fillets in La Costena-brand Green Mexican Salsa with Della-brand organic brown rice, above, and a second helping without rice, below.

Bottled green Mexican salsa is the perfect medium for cooking fresh fillets of wild-caught fish.

The salsa then doubles as a sauce for side dishes of brown rice or whole-wheat pasta, and can be used the next day to poach an egg to eat with the leftovers.

You don't have to add anything to the medium-spicy salsa -- made from tomatillo, jalapeno peppers, onion, iodized salt and coriander -- though fresh lime juice wouldn't be out of place.

Two brands of Green Mexican Salsa or Salsa Verde are available at Hackensack Market on Passaic Street. Seasoned fish fillets go into the salsa when it starts to bubble, below.


Go fish at Costco

My wife picked up flounder fillets at Costco Wholesale for $7.99 a pound.

These fillets are thinner than the wild-caught cod and haddock fillets that are also sold at my Costco in Hackensack, and that means they are ready in about 5 minutes after you put them in the bubbling hot salsa and cover the pan.

You know the fillets are ready when they firm up and turn white, and they continue cooking in the covered pan after you turn off the heat.

I served them with Della-brand Organic Brown Rice with Organic Diced Tomatoes, both available at Costco, that I made separately in an electric cooker.

This frittata is made with reduced-fat cheeses, fresh and sun-dried tomato, and Costco's Basil Pesto. I served it with Trader Joe's Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti, below.

Anytime frittata

For a pesto frittata, I mixed three whole eggs, liquid egg whites, shredded Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, low-fat milk and Costco's Organic No-Salt Seasoning.

I poured the mixture into a heated non-stick pan with olive oil and added sliced and sun-dried tomatoes, two slices of reduced-fat Jarlsberg Swiss Cheese and tablespoons of the refrigerated pesto.

I then put the pan under the broiler, on a "low" settting, for 10 minutes until the surface browned and set.  

I cut the frittata into wedges and served it with organic whole-wheat spaghetti in a sweet-pepper sauce, which I heated up in the microwave, and drizzled both with extra-virgin olive oil.

The morning after I made the flounder, I used the salsa to poach an egg in a non-stick pan and served it with leftover fish and brown rice. I ate everything with a spoon. Just wonderful, especially the taste of yolk and rice eaten together.
Leftover caramelized sweet plantains, above, went into my breakfast this morning, below, with flounder, stewed pollock, frittata and organic brown rice.

Roasted almonds dusted with tumeric, garam masala and cinnamon.

Spiced almonds

We once had a container of pistachios or other roasted nuts in our kitchen for snacks and to offer guests, but we wanted to cut down on our sodium intake.

Costco Wholesale also sells raw almonds without sodium in 3-pound bags, so I started buying them and roasting them at home (Roast/Convection Oven setting, 275 degrees, 1 hour and 15 minutes).

Now, I have started to mix the bland almonds with powdered spices, including Costco's sweet-hot Ground Saigon Cinnamon, and garam masala and tumeric from an Asian Indian grocery.

The 21-item Organic No-Salt Seasoning is coarsely ground and settles to the bottom of the almond container.

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