Sunday, March 30, 2014

Favorites: Sweet potatoes and Simply Vietnamese

Boiled slices of sweet potato are the main ingredient in this frittata, which is made with whole eggs and egg whites, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced cheese and prepared pesto. Most ingredients are from Costco Wholesale.

Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto from Costco is spooned on after the frittata is finished under the broiler, above, and removed from the oven.


With Easter in mind, Costco Wholesale in Hackensack has brought back bags of sweet potatoes, which are great baked, mashed or boiled for use in frittatas.

Late last year, Market Fresh-brand sweet potatoes were available in 10-pound bags, but this month, the bags hold only 6.5 pounds ($5.99).

I usually bake a half-dozen of the smallest, reserving the bigger potatoes for slicing, boiling and using in frittatas; or for boiling with peeled California garlic and mashing with extra-virgin olive oil and seasonings.

The sweet potatoes are often bruised and don't hold up well at room temperature.  After a day or two, I refrigerate them.

Costco usually offers them around holidays.

Trident Seafoods The Ultimate Fish Stick from Costco, above, served with leftover whole-wheat pasta shells. Chopped Christopher Ranch peeled garlic, fresh tomatoes, celery, scallions, canned sardines, canned anchovies (drained and rinsed), chicken stock and red wine went into the sauce.
The organic whole wheat shells from Italy are $1.39 a pound at Whole Foods Market in Paramus.

Same sticks, lower price

Trident Seafoods' fish sticks, made with wild Alaskan Pollock, have a new panko breading.

A 4-pound bag was on sale last week at Costco Wholesale for $8.99 after $3 off.

Trident says the sticks are 65% fish, and made from fillets of pollock, a cousin of the cod.

The bag my wife brought home last week contains 60 fish sticks, as did the 4-pound bag we purchased from Costco in 2011, when the price was $12.99.

If you follow the cooking instructions for a conventional oven, the fish sticks come out crunchy on the outside.

House Noodle Soup with Ribs ($12.50) at Simply Vietnamese, a BYO with free street parking in downtown Tenafly.

The restaurant's Summer Rolls with Shrimp are stuffed with shredded vegetables and translucent noodles, and served with a small side salad and a vibrant peanut sauce ($8.50).

Simply Vietnamese

We love Asian restaurant for their abundance of seafood, tofu and vegetables, and one of our favorites is Simply Vietnamese, the only reason to dine out in downtown Tenafly.

We stopped in late Saturday afternoon during a rainstorm, and were told we could sit anywhere.

The meat eaters in the family ordered their favorite bowl of noodle soup -- each one a meal in itself -- and I tried something new, Crispy Tofu in a spicy sauce with a side of brown rice.

We also shared a favorite appetizer, Summer Rolls with Shrimp.

K.T. Tran,  the chef owner, came out of the kitchen to say hello, and we spoke to Peter the waiter about his hybrid car.

Another longtime waiter, Joe, was off.

Crispy Tofu in a highly spicy sauce is the perfect entree for non-meat eaters ($15.95). I asked for brown rice ($2). It's also available with a garlic sauce.

Pho noodle soup is the specialty of Simply Vietnamese, and the anise-flavored broth is available with seafood, beef, pork, chicken or tofu and vegetables. The Beef Combo, above, is $14, and a meal in itself.

Crispy shrimp chips with a spicy dipping sauce are complimentary.

Simply Vietnamese, 1 Highwood Ave., Tenafly; 201-568-7770. BYO, free street parking.

Web site: Great Vietnamese food, service

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