Saturday, January 31, 2015

Food shopping for the Super Bowl can have an immediate payoff

For a Super Bowl Party, I chose naturally raised Niman Ranch St. Louis-Style Pork Ribs from Whole Foods Market in Paramus over the mystery pork spare ribs sold at the nearby ShopRite.


Our son is inviting close to a dozen friends over for a Super Bowl Party, but most of the food shopping fell to me.

I tried to focus on buying food for guests who will eat just about anything, but did manage to pick up fresh fish from the Jersey shore for my dinner and a half-dozen bottles of inexpensive red wine.

Our Super Bowl menu for Sunday includes prepared pork ribs in barbecue sauce, prepared chicken wings, frozen pizzas, mac and cheese; chips, salsa and organic guacamole, fruit juice and ginger ale.

I won't be eating any of it, with the possible exception of the guac (hold the chips).

I started shopping on Thursday at ShopRite in Paramus, where I picked up two sale items, a half-dozen frozen 12-inch DiGiorno Pizzas, with and without meat, for $3.97 each, and 16-ounce jars of Ortega Salsa for $1.79 each.

Blue fish and wine, too

At Whole Foods Market in Paramus on Friday, I found a 3.95-pound package of prepared St. Louis-Style Pork Ribs from the Niman Ranch.

The fully cooked ribs are antibiotic, hormone and preservative free ($7.99 a pound).

But I also picked up locally caught Bluefish fillets that I poached for dinner in Whole Foods' Roasted Chipotle Salsa ($2.69), and served over a combination of organic brown rice, organic quinoa, organic diced tomatoes and chopped garlic.

Whole Foods offers some white and red wines for $5.99 or less per bottle.

I took four bottles of red wine to the checkout counter, only to be told that if I bought six, I would get a 10% discount on all of them.

I bought six bottles of Quail Creek Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon ($4.99 each); and Don Simon Tempranillo ($3.99 each) for $26.91 with the discount.

And Whole Foods still refunds 10 cents for each reusable bag you bring with you.

On the way to the ribs at Whole Foods, I couldn't resist asking the fishmonger to fillet a whole Bluefish from Barnegat Light, one of New Jersey's premier fishing ports. The wild-caught fish was only $3.99 a pound.

No other supermarket or private fish market in North Jersey can match the freshness or variety of seafood at Whole Foods Market in Paramus, and you can always find a few items on sale.

Costco wings, chips and more

I did the rest of my Super Bowl Party shopping on Friday afternoon at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, where we spend most of our food dollars.

In addition to such Super Bowl food as fully cooked chicken wings, I replenished our supply of Organic Eggs (24 for $6.99), 100% Egg Whites (six 16-ounce cartons for $7.49), GMO-free Nature's Bakery Fig Bars ($8.99), Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix (1 pound for $4.89) and Organic Bananas (3 pounds for $1.99), among other items. 

The only prepared Buffalo and BBQ chicken wings available at Costco are from two low-quality producers, Perdue and Tyson. 

Large bags (5 pounds) were $10.49 each with a $4 instant rebate.

I saw Coleman naturally raised breaded chicken tenders, but my son specifically asked for wings.

I couldn't find nachos or similar chips, but bought Kirkland Signature Organic Tortilla Chips ($4.99), Mateo's Gourmet Salsa (32 ounces for $6.39) and refrigerated Organic Fresh Salsa (30 ounces for $7.79).

I may not serve the organic salsa, which would be great with fresh fish or eaten with cooked organic brown rice.

Twenty-four cans of Canada Dry Ginger Ale ("Made from Real Ginger") were $5.59 with an instant $1 rebate.

Two 96-ounce bottles of V8 Splash Tropical Blend (10% juice) were $5.49.

A fresh Bluefish fillet, poached in Roasted Chipotle Salsa, with chopped callaloo and sweet peppers, and an organic brown rice-quinoa combination prepared in an electric cooker.

I cut the two wild-caught Bluefish fillets into four serving pieces and poached them in boiling salsa with added lime juice for 8 minutes in a covered pan. Each serving piece cost about $1.67, not including the salsa.

An Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix salad with Campari Tomatoes ended the meal, dressed simply in organic extra-virgin olive oil from Costco Wholesale and Ponti Balsamic Vinegar from Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood, below.


  1. Okay Victor, now you've gone and painted yourself into a proverbial corner. How do you intend to reconcile your son hosting a Super Bowl party featuring Niman Ranch ribs and ginger ale made with real ginger, with tomorrow's Eye on the Record, which no doubt will lambaste the Record for putting a silly football game on Page 1?

    1. I can hardly hear you above the noise of a dozen teens.

      Where is the conflict?


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