Saturday, August 31, 2013

Costco Wholesale's fish buyer is casting a wider net

Costco Wholesale's frozen hake fillet prepared with organic diced tomatoes, sake and fresh lime juice. I served the wild-caught fish with Korean white-fleshed sweet potatoes that I boiled and then mashed with extra-virgin olive oil.
Also at Costco, whole farm-raised branzino from Greece.

Editor's note: Today's buffet includes the wonderful wild-caught fish available at Costco Wholesale, and other products that help you prepare healthy home-cooked meals.


I buy a lot of wild-caught fish at Costco Wholesale, and I'm accustomed to seeing flounder from Canada, cod from the Pacific and fresh Icelandic haddock.

But I did a double-take when whole, farm-raised branzino from Greece appeared in the seafood case at my Hackensack warehouse store a couple of weeks ago.

I passed, not sure the fish was scaled, recalling my surprise at bringing home a whole red snapper from Costco a couple of years ago and having to remove the scales, one of the messiest jobs imaginable.

Hake from Africa

Another surprise was frozen hake fillets sold under the Kirkland Signature label -- joining frozen cod, wild salmon and other fish. 

When I got them home, I looked on the back of the bag and saw "Product of Namibia." Costco calls them "Hake Loins."

I prepared four hake fillets the other night, steaming them in two parchment-paper packages in a 375-dregree oven.

I added the fish, fresh lime juice, sake, a little salt and spooned on organic diced tomatoes before making two packages and baking them in the oven for about 30 minutes.

The fish was good, but didn't approach the fresh hake fillet from Europe I found on sale in March 2012 at Whole Foods Market in Paramus.

I may have overcooked Costco's frozen hake, and next time, I will reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes in the oven.

Above and below, a wild-caught coho salmon fillet from Alaska topped with organic diced tomatoes and pesto, and served with a wild rice blend, all from Costco Wholesale.

Pesto requires no cooking. Add it after you take the fish out of the oven. I cooked the fillets for 13 minutes in a 375-degree oven. The meal ended with a salad of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix dressed simply in extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Coho from Alaska

On Thursday, the fresh wild salmon in the seafood case at my Hackensack Costco were labeled "Coho from Alaska," in contrast to the sockeye salmon from Alaska and elsewhere in the Northwest I have been buying for the last few months.

The skin-on coho fillets were $10.99 a pound. The coho fillets tasted as good as the sockeye.

A 64-ounce carton of Organic Pineapple, Orange and Banana Juice from Whole Foods Market was $1.99 with a coupon I obtained in the Paramus store. I blended it with Costco's non-fat Greek Yogurt and Frozen Strawberries into a thick smoothie (a 6-pound bag of Grade A California strawberries is $8.99 at Costco).

This morning, I made another smoothie with the frozen strawberries, above, and the last of frozen Maine wild blueberries I bought at Costco.

Pesto is going fast

A jar of refrigerated Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto can be used in many ways -- as a sandwich spread, on top of fresh or cooked tofu, as a pasta sauce, and added to cooked fish, frittatas and fried eggs.

A light, fluffy pesto-smoked wild salmon frittata oozing with Jarlsberg reduced-fat Swiss Cheese. The egg mixture included 4 whole organic eggs, liquid egg whites and shredded Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, all sold at Costco under the Kirkland Signature label; shredded sun-dried tomato, and a little low-fat milk. This morning, I ate a wedge with a prepared sweet-potato salad from Costco and mashed Korean sweet potatoes.

The egg mixture is poured into a hot, non-stick, 10-inch pan with oil. Add sliced cheese, smoked wild salmon from Costco, and Aleppo or another ground red pepper as the crust sets, then finish the frittata under the broiler in the oven until the top is brown, above. Add the pesto after you remove the frittata from the oven.
Pesto with two organic brown eggs from Costco.


  1. Oh my lord! All of your dishes looked AMAZING! Also easy to make. I am trying to get my family to eat more fish. They say they only like sweet, mild, white fish. I say gimme a big piece of Coho or Sockeye, buttery salmon. I need to check out costco's fish prices! May be worth the extra 20 minute drive. Just yum��

    1. Thanks. Costco also sells fresh Atlantic Cod, one of the best eating fishes around. Yes. It's mild and flakes beautifully. You can poach it in salsa in minutes.



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