Editor's note: Today, I discuss a Black Friday food sale I always shop, whole wheat pastas and a spicier stew at my favorite Korean tofu house.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
I had to make two trips to Whole Foods Market in Paramus before I found a parking space in a lot that was packed with Black Friday shoppers besieging other mall stores.
On the second trip, after 7 on Friday evening, I found several empty spaces not far from the entrance, and only a handful of shoppers inside the organic supermarket.
I picked up two packages of naturally raised turkey drumsticks for 99 cents a pound, and another two packages of turkey backs and necks for $1.99 a pound.
I couldn't find any 16-ounce boxes of organic whole wheat pasta shells sold under the store's 365 Everyday Value label for $1.39.
So, I bought two 16-ounce packages or 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti.
Whole Foods sells organic whole wheat pasta made in Italy -- linguine, spaghetti, shells and other shapes -- for $1.39 a pound, but Italian brands of organic whole wheat pasta on the same shelf go for more than $5 or $6 a pound.
Turning up the heat
I found a new ingredient in the Oyster Soft Tofu I ordered on Saturday evening at So Gong Dong in Palisades Park, our favorite Korean tofu house in North Jersey.
I asked for my soft-tofu stew "more spicy," as usual, and when it came to the table, I noticed chopped green chilies sprinkled on top.
They added a new level of heat to the stew I hadn't encountered before at the second-floor soft tofu parlor, which also serves an array of other traditional Korean dishes, including barbecue and bibimbap.
Soft tofu is comforting and a bargain, and it's not uncommon to see three generations happily enjoying the meal, including infants that have to be fed by their parents.
For $9.99, a complete soft-tofu meal includes the stew, a second stone bowl of steamed white rice and four side dishes, including bean sprouts, two kimchis and a fiery preparation of raw squid.
We asked for and received a second set of side dishes, and a third portion of the wonderful cucumber kimchi.
As a comfort food, soft tofu is especially good in the chilly months of winter. It's also available "no spicy," "little spicy" and "medium spicy."
I love poaching the fresh egg that is provided, breaking the soft yoke over the rice and eating them together.
We also ordered pajun, a seafood-and-scallion pancake that serves four ($11.99).
On the bill, prices are rounded up a penny and include tax ($10 and $12).
So Gong Dong, 118 Broad Ave., Second Floor, Palisades Park; 201-313-5550. Open 7 days. BYO. Free parking on side streets.
Two organic brown eggs sprinkled with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese from Costco Wholesale and served with Thanksgiving leftovers.