Editor's note: Today, I discuss Kirkland Signature Natural Peanut Butter and Egg Whites, two products that divide Costco Wholesale shoppers; Korean takeout in downtown Englewood; a combination electric kettle and glass tea pot; and shopping at Trader Joe's in Paramus and Fattal's in Paterson.
By Victor E. Sasson
You won't find sugar, hydrogenated oils or stabilizers in Kirkland Signature Natural Peanut Butter from Costco Wholesale.
Valencia Peanuts grown in the United States and sea salt are the only ingredients, and the taste is unmatched.
I often open the refrigerator for a spoonful of the thick peanut butter followed by another of fig marmalade.
Refrigerating the peanut butter as soon as you get home is the key to avoiding separation of peanut butter and oil, and keeping the peanut butter spreadable.
The first time I purchased the product, I didn't open it until a two or three weeks later, because we wanted to finish a large jar of Skippy we had purchased at Costco.
But by that time, the Kirkland Signature peanut butter had already separated, and was too dense to remix.
Thin slices of cucumber give creamy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a welcome crunch.
Our favorite jelly is Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberry Spread, also available at Costco.
Kirkland Signature Egg Whites work well in a frittata with whole eggs; fresh and sun-dried tomatoes; grated and shredded cheeses; and pesto, above and below.
Kirkland Egg Whites
Kirkland Signature Egg Whites are 100% pure egg whites, but some Costco Wholesale shoppers still aren't over the loss of Real Egg Product, the old version that contained coloring and was thickened with food gums.
It's true that the watery Egg Whites don't look very appetizing when you pour them out of the carton, but they contain naturally occurring sodium and cook quickly.
You can make a plain omelet for sandwiches or just eating on its own, but a little cheese or Aleppo pepper really dresses it up.
|Kirkland Signature Egg Whites with foam, the last couple of ounces in the carton.|
I cooked the Egg Whites in extra-virgin olive oil, and folded and flipped the omelet, above. It tasted fine on its own.
|But a little Aleppo pepper or paprika lends it color and taste.|
When we lived in Englewood, we were regular purchasers of handmade Korean mandoo or dumplings at Best Dumplings, which originally was located in an industrial area and called Mandoo Inc.
Now, Best Dumplings has expanded its takeout menu to include soft tofu stew, bibimbap, bulgogi and other traditional dishes.
On Monday night, my wife stopped at Best Dumplings for three soft tofu stews with beef ($7.50 each) and spicy spare ribs ($9).
She also purchased two bags of frozen, fully cooked dumplings (50 for $16). Seven types are available.
The soft tofu came with rice and four side dishes, and the spare ribs included two side dishes and a small green salad.
The menu lists soft tofu with seafood, but it wasn't available.
|Spicy spare ribs from Best Dumplings in downtown Englewood.|
|Kimchi and other side dishes with the the soft tofu stew were tasty, but the serving is smaller than what you'd get in a Korean restaurant, where seconds and thirds are available.|
We are fussy when it comes to soft tofu stew.
Best Dumplings version is just OK, my wife said, but doesn't match the stews served at So Gong Dong in Palisades Park ($9.99, including rice, four side dishes and a fresh egg to cook in the bubbling broth).
Best Dumplings, 16 Humphrey St., Englewood; 201-568-9337. Opened 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays.
Web site: Korean Comfort Food To Go
|Electric Kettle with Keep Warm Tea Tray from Russell Hobbs.|
More than a kettle
We replaced an electric kettle we had used to boil water for tea with an electric kettle and glass tea pot on the same base.
The glass tea pot has a filter basket for loose tea or tea bags.
Now, we can prepare a pot of tea and keep it hot instead of preparing three or four separate cups.
I purchased the kettle and tea pot from Amazon.com for $39.99.
I wanted to buy sweet potatoes on Monday from Trader Joe's in Paramus, but neither the organic or the conventionally grown looked very good.
Insects got to the smaller, conventionally grown sweet potatoes before I did or at least that's what I thought from the tiny holes I saw in some of them.
Trader Joe's is a reliable source for antibiotic-, hormone- and preservative-free bacon ($4.99) and hot dogs ($4.49), but was out of its own brand of sliced bacon on Monday.
I bought two 64-ounce bottles of juice, Green Plant ($3.99) and low-sodium Garden Patch ($3.49).
An 8-ounce glass of regular Garden Patch contains 29% of the daily recommended amount of sodium; the low-sodium version has only 6%.
Trader Joe's, 404 Route 17 north, Paramus; 1-201-265-9624. Open daily.
At Fattal's in Paterson, I picked up 24 cans of Al Shark Moroccan Sardines in Tomato Sauce for 99 cents a can.
I've been buying sardines with tomato sauce, because a serving (1 can) has less sodium (9%) than the same sardines in soya oil (12%) or vegetable oil with hot peppers (25%).
Fattal's also bakes 100% whole-wheat pocket bread. Six medium loaves are 99 cents and 12 minis are $1.39.
Six spinach pies were $8.99.
Fattal's, 975-77 Main St., Paterson; 1-973-742-7125. Open daily. Free off-street parking.