Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bad weather can mean pleasant shopping at Costco Wholesale

Some Costco Wholesale members expend so much energy pushing carts overflowing with food and other merchandise they don't bother returning unwanted items to where they found them, such as this gallon of milk left opposite the registers in Hackensack. In other words, they're just lazy.

Media warnings of icy roads apparently kept many shoppers away from the Hackensack warehouse store on Tuesday afternoon.


When you're a member of Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, you hope for bad weather to thin the bargain-hunting crowd inside the cavernous warehouse store.

On Tuesday afternoon, I walked casually through the aisles looking for items on my list, and didn't have to fight others for free food samples.

I liked one of them enough -- prepared Organic Quinoa &Kale with seasonings, rosemary, lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil -- to purchase it.

In the freezer, I found a package containing four 10-ounce pouches -- a total of 2.5 pounds -- for $9.99.

I also purchased a 6.5-pound net bag of large sweet potatoes for $5.79, three half-gallons of low-fat Organic Milk for $10.99 and six 32-ounce cartons of Organic Chicken Broth for $11.59 -- not four liters, as I wrote earlier.

Also, 3 pounds of raw, salt-free U.S. almonds for roasting at home were $15.99 and a wedge of aged Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese from Italy was $10.59 a pound.

Honeycrisp Apples from Washington State were $13.99 for 5.5 pounds, compared to $10.99 in early December and less for the same apples from New York State.

Organic Quinoa & Kale is made with the elusive red quinoa.

I passed on Olive Garden Italian Dressing after I saw that the second ingredient listed is high-fructose corn syrup. Yuck.

In the Hackensack store's Kosher aisle, I found Mon Cuisine Turkey Breasts stuffed with quinoa, pine nuts and carrots in mushroom gravy. The poultry is naturally raised and free of antibiotics. 

Some of the kosher offerings in Hackensack.

Cello-brand Grated Pecorino Romano, a sheep's milk cheese imported from Italy, is wonderful sprinkled over pasta, soup or salads, and it adds a distinctive flavor to egg-white omelets. The cheese also is available in wedges, but the Hackensack store has stopped carrying wedges of Grana Padano, a cow's milk cheese from Italy.

An omelet with grated Pecorino Romano and Aleppo pepper made with Kirkland Signature 100% Egg Whites from Costco. I served it with a homemade combination of organic quinoa and organic brown rice, and Sunbelt Organic Fresh Salsa, which I picked up last week when I shopped at Costco for a Super Bowl Party.

Grated Pecorino Romano over two organic brown eggs from Costco.

Five 3.75-ounce cans of Season-brand Skinless and Boneless Sardines were $5.99 at Costco on Tuesday with an instant $2.50 rebate, available through Feb. 22. At home, I prepared 1 pound of organic 100% whole wheat linguine in Victoria Vodka Sauce, one of the few made without heavy cream. To the 40 ounces of sauce, I added red wine, drained anchovies, three cans of sardines, extra-virgin olive oil, red-pepper flakes and other seasonings.

An oval pan accommodates the full length of the linguine and allows me to use less water. I never add salt to the water; there is plenty of sodium in the sauce, sardines and so forth. The linguine was cooked al dente in 7 minutes.

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