Thursday, April 10, 2014

Plating favorites from Costco and Jerry's Gourmet

A no-mayo salad uses canned Genova-brand Yellowfin Tuna from Costco Wholesale. Two other Costco items, Campari Tomatoes and Earthbound Farm Orgnaic Spring Mix, and Italian olives from Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood complete the plate.

Chopped sweet peppers, carrot and onion, and a can of drained and rinsed anchovies, in bottled Kirkland Signature Marinara from Costco add up to a tasty dressing for imported organic whole-wheat spaghetti ($1.39 a pound at Whole Foods Market in Paramus).


Canned-fish salad makes a great sandwich or cold plate for breakfast or lunch.

I use Genova-brand Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil, Bear & Wolf Pink Salmon and Season-brand Skinless & Boneless Sardines, all from Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

For a crunchy salad, I mix the fish and their liquid with lots of chopped sweet peppers, onion and celery, and dress everything with Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice and ground cumin to taste.

Six cans of the solid light tuna were $11.89, six cans of the wild Alaskan salmon were $12.99, and five 3.75-ounce cans of the Moroccan sardines were $6.19 after an instant $2.25 coupon.

The Moroccan sardines (with skin and bones) I buy at Fattal's in Paterson are only 99 cents, and the can is larger, but the Season sardines have less sodium and the container is BPA free.

Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood has an unusually large selection of cheese, with many free samples (410 S. Dean St., 201-871-7108). If you think the streets are choked with traffic, the aisles at Jerry's often are jammed with people grazing on free cheese, bread, olive-oil and other samples, as they were at mid-afternoon on Tuesday.

A complete dinner from Jerry's: Chicken alla Milanese, Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Artichoke, Zucchini Flower, and Shrimp and Broccoli Dumplings ($7.99 or $5.99 after 4 p.m.). Plate the food before reheating in the microwave, and finish the meal with a salad.

Grazing at Jerry's

At Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood, you'll find containers of mixed Italian olives with whole garlic cloves for a low $3.99 a pound.

Jerry's Meals To Go are complete, restaurant-quality dinners for $7.99 or $5.99 after 4 p.m., if there are any left.

At mid-afternoon on Tuesday, I picked up three dinners: Chicken alla Milanese, Monkfish Ossobucco and Fillet of Sole Francese, but the last one contained chicken, not fish.

That's the first time I've encountered a mislabeling in the years I've been buying Jerry's Meals To Go.

I also picked up a 2.2-pound bag of Lavazza Crema e Aroma Coffee Beans from Italy for $19.99, and a 1-pound bag of Garofalo Whole Wheat Pappardelle for $2.59.

A 20-ounce jar of Bella Rosa aged Asiago, a shredded cow's milk cheese, was only $6.99.

Add to egg whites for a simple omelet or elaborate frittata, as well as to pasta, soup or salads.

Something new at Jerry's are larger, more readable receipts that are a welcome change to shoppers who have spent years squinting at narrow strips of paper with hard-to-read print.

Imported egg noodles, Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto and pre-washed organic baby spinach -- all from Costco -- made a terrific one-dish dinner tonight.

Pesto and spinach

In my cupboard this afternoon, I found 4 ounces of dried egg tagliatelle, which are handmade noodles imported from Italy by Costco.

They cook up al dente in just four minutes, and I added a big handful of organic baby spinach to the boiling water in the last minute of cooking.

I drained the pasta and spinach, returned them to the pot, now off of the heat, and added about three tablespoons of prepared pesto.

Far from authentic, but delicious just the same, especially when washed down with a glass of red wine.

A pound of the organic baby spinach was $4.49 last week at my Hackensack Costco, Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix was $4.79 and 5 pounds of sweet potatoes were $5.99.

A 70-ounce jar of Half Sour Pickles were $5.89, and two 96-ounce bottles of Kirkland Signature Organic Lemonade (18% juice) were $5.99.

Crisp Pink Lady Apples from Washington State were $9.99 for 5.5 pounds, and Made in Nature Organic Calimyrna Figs -- they are non-GMO, sun dried and unsulphured -- were $10.99 for a 40-ounce bag.

These Turkish figs are soft and sweet, quite a contrast to the jawbreakers I've bought in supermarkets, and they can be stuffed easily with a cinnamon-dusted roasted almond or two for a great snack or paired with cheese for dessert.

A 3-pound bag of sodium-free almonds are $14.99 at Costco, which also sells Ground Saigon Cinnamon from Vietnam.

I roast the almonds in the oven at 275 degrees for 1 hour and 2o minutes, let them cool and liberally shake the cinnamon container over them.

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