Sunday, February 22, 2015

Curry simmered cod, takeout tales, sweet potato frittata and more

Fresh wild Atlantic cod fillet from Costco Wholesale in Hackensack ($7.99 a pound) poaches in Curry Simmer Sauce from Trader Joe's in about seven minutes, and makes a quick, filling dinner when plated with leftover organic quinoa.


A 15-ounce jar of Trader Joe's Curry Simmer Sauce is a nice change of pace from the Mexican-style salsa I often use to poach fresh fish in less than 10 minutes.

What could be easier than emptying the bottle into a large pan, cutting fresh wild Atlantic cod into serving pieces and squeezing fresh lime juice over them.

Ground Turkish red pepper is optional. Heat the sauce to a low boil, put the fish in the pan and cover.

When the fish fillets firm up and turn snowy white, they are done (seven minutes). 

A jar of Asian Indian-style Curry Simmer Sauce is $2.49 at the Paramus Trader Joe's. I passed on a Masala Simmer Sauce, which contains cream.

Labels don't indicate whether the sauces are medium or hot. They are neither; there is only a hint of spiciness in the Curry Simmer Sauce, despite the red pepper listed among ingredients.

Use the cooking medium as a sauce for the quinoa, rice or pasta you serve with the fish.

I had leftover organic quinoa from Costco I had prepared in a large batch in an electric rice cooker with low-sodium black beans, chopped garlic and organic diced tomatoes.

A perfect, restaurant-quality takeout dinner from Jerry's Gourmet & More, 410 S. Dean St., in Englewood, was $7.99. My Meal To Go included Tilapia Marechiaro (tomatoes, garlic and parsley), Baked Cauliflower, Linguine with Shrimp Scampi and Shrimp & Broccoli Dumplings. Three other dinners included Chicken Cordon Bleu stuffed with ham and cheese or Chicken Cacciatore with mushrooms, plus pasta, vegetable and dumplings or ravioli.
Grilled Salted Codfish is smothered with onions, garlic, sweet pepper and black olives, and served with steamed broccoli and carrots at Fire Pit Barbecue, a Portuguese restaurant at 357 Essex St., Hackensack ($19). We took advantage of free delivery on Saturday night.

Snow prompts call for delivery

On Saturday night, we wanted to celebrate the Chinese New Year with a special Year of the Sheep menu at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack, but a snowstorm changed our plans.

Instead, I picked up the phone and ordered two entrees for delivery from Fire Pit Barbecue, a Portuguese restaurant in Hackensack that uses wood charcoal.

Grilled Codfish with steamed vegetables was $19. A large order of Pork Chops in Garlic Sauce (three large chops) with yellow rice and black beans was $14. Each entree serves three.

A side of Steamed Vegetables was $3, and three Cod Cakes were $1.25 each.

The nasty, subfreezing weather last week also discouraged us from going into Manhattan for the start of Restaurant Week, when hundreds of the best restaurants offer three-courses lunches for $25 and three-course dinners for $38, plus tax and tip.

The promotion ends March 6. See: NYC Restaurant Week

A 10-inch Sweet Potato and Pesto Frittata made with whole eggs, tomato slices and reduced-fat Swiss cheese provides about eight wedges that make breakfast easy to prepare, below.
A wedge of Sweet Potato Frittata served with leftover broccoli and a large baked sweet potato with Mexican-style salsa for breakfast is hearty enough to allow me to skip lunch.

An open-face omelet made with 100% egg whites, a slice of reduced-fat Swiss cheese and smoked wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, all from Costco, is another filling breakfast when served with leftover quinoa and mashed sweet potatoes.

At H Mart in Little Ferry today, a box of nine large Korean Pears -- weighing a total of more than 11 pounds -- was on sale for $17.99, a discount of $5. The crisp, juicy fruit is a cross between a pear and an apple. 

Fresh Wild Shad were only $1.99 a pound. I bought four whole Porgy for $3.99 a pound.
A whole porgy prepared escovitch-style, pan fried and dressed in a peppery vinegar sauce.

Stewed Tofu with onion, garlic and red pepper from Jinga, one of the Korean caterers that supplies the Little Ferry H Mart. A 12-ounce package is $4.29. 

Potholes and flooding in the Little Ferry H Mart parking lot may not stop shoppers, but using cardboard boxes in front of the entrance instead of a rubberized mat is a lawsuit waiting to happen.


  1. I am surprised that you would eat Tilapia.

    1. Tilapia is farmed or wild caught. Tilapia farmed in the U.S. Is OK for occasional consumption. I eat tilapia maybe once a year.

      Any piece of fish is preferable to meat or poultry.

  2. Victor, you may be a crusading journalist and culinary blogger, but you've got to be a little more careful. By posting a picture of the "douche bag" parker who takes up two spaces, and showing his license plate, let's say some whack job traces the license plate and sends the owner of the car threats, or worse, acts on them. You're opening yourself up to being an accessory to a criminal act. If I were you, I'd go in and delete that picture, or at the least edit out the license plate.

    1. Nah. I'm thinking the car owner worked there. It was parked that way for close to three hours. And I don't think civilians can trace plates.


Please try to stay on topic.