Friday, November 28, 2014

Giving thanks for crab cakes, red snapper, steak and tacos

My Thanksgiving appetizer of handmade Phillips Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes from Costco Wholesale with Whole Foods Market's Roasted Salsa Verde and a side of organic purple sweet potatoes, which I mashed with extra-virgin olive oil, cinnamon and other seasonings.


I happily celebrated another turkey-free Thanksgiving this week, filling up instead on great seafood dishes, mashed purple sweet potatoes and an organic spring mix salad with crunchy pomegranate seeds.

And as we did before I stopped eating meat and poultry nearly five years ago, we don't have leftovers from a whole bird, because my wife roasts only the most flavorful dark-meat parts.

I started my feast on Tuesday night with a takeout order of fish tacos from Taqueria Los Gueros in Englewood.

On Wednesday night, I threw together a dish of pasta with sardines, using leftover bottled sauce in the refrigerator and a few ounces of organic whole-wheat capellini, which are just a little thicker than angel hair and cook in three to four minutes in a shallow pan (no need to salt the water).

And for breakfast on Thursday morning, I prepared a 10-inch egg-white frittata with smoked wild salmon and Roasted Salsa Verde from Whole Foods Market.

My Thanksgiving entree was a whole red snapper prepared by a family friend and leftover wild-caught U-12 shrimp from H Mart in Englewood that my wife marinated in fresh lime juice and chopped garlic.

Pre-Thanksgiving takeout

At Taqueria Los Gueros, 48 W. Palisade Ave. in Englewood, we took advantage of Taco Tuesday, when 5 Pastor, Carnitas or Pollo tacos are only $4.99.

But my wife, who ordered the takeout, said the server wouldn't give her any fresh pineapple, an essential ingredient in a Taco el Pastor, and the way it comes when you eat it there.

The Taco Tuesday price is $1 less than what Pastor tacos cost the rest of the time.

She brought me an order of four fish tacos topped with avocado slices, what the taqueria calls Mexican Tacos ($8), but the portion was noticeably smaller than what I was served at Los Gueros in March.

I was in Englewood late Wednesday afternoon and stopped at Balthazar Bakery, 214 S. Dean St., for two $2 baguettes, waiting on line behind six or seven other customers.

Then, I stopped at Jerry's Gourmet & More at 410 S. Dean St., where I was surprised the hordes of pre-holiday shoppers left behind three Meals To Go, those complete restaurant-quality takeout dinners that are cut to $5.99 after 4 p.m.

Organic purple sweet potatoes from Whole Foods Market with conventional sweet potatoes from Trader Joe's. I mashed about 2 pounds of each with extra-virgin olive oil after boiling the skin-on sections together for about 45 minutes. The water turned purple.


For breakfast, I prepared a 10-inch frittata with Costco Wholesale's smoked wild salmon. 

This week, my wife paid $15.99 for a 1-pound package of Kirkland Signature Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon, close to the $15.59 the sliced salmon cost in March 2013. This year, the price had suddenly risen to $18.89.

For our Thanksgiving dinner, I started with two wonderful Phillips Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, also from Costco, and delicious mashed organic purple sweet potatoes.

For $21.99, you get six frozen 3-ounce crab cakes (about $4 each). The first ingredient listed is crab meat.

My entree was a whole fish and wild-caught shrimp with chopped garlic and lime juice.

A few hours later, I had a simple salad of organic spring mix and pomegranate seeds, both from Costco.

The meat eaters in the family really went to town, preparing naturally raised turkey drumsticks from Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff, heating up a fully cooked naturally raised ham from Wellshire, and cooking oxtails and rice with pigeon peas.

I drank a red wine from Siciliy.

A wedge of smoked wild salmon frittata with roasted green salsa I made for my Thanksgiving morning breakfast and served over organic quinoa.
This morning, I had pasta and eggs -- a wedge of frittata with leftover organic whole-wheat capellini and sardines.
I used a 16-ounce carton of the 100% Egg Whites from Costco Wholesale with chopped garlic, scallions, grated sheep-milk's Pecorino Romano cheese and a little low-fat milk before I poured it into a preheated 10-inch pan with olive oil on the stove, below.
As the crust set, I added a half-pound of sliced Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon from Costco Wholesale, where a 1-pound package was nearly $3 less last week. 
The frittata finished cooking under the broiler. I spooned on Whole Foods' Roasted Salsa Verde in the last few minutes.
A takeout order of Mexican Tacos from Taqueria Los Gueros in Englewood. Two corn tortillas are used for each taco. The green salsa that comes with them is hot and the red salsa is really hot. You also get marinated onions and jalapeno peppers.
A complete Grilled Hanger Steak takeout dinner from Jerry's in Englewood includes bowtie pasta with pesto, broccoli with garlic and steamed vegetables. Two other dinners contained roasted pork chops.
The price for a Meal To Go is cut to $5.99 after 4 p.m.
I ignored the many temptations at Balthazar Bakery, ordering my usual, two crusty baguettes, still only $2 each 12 years after the retail store opened.

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