Wednesday, June 17, 2015

California peaches, Costco rebates, cooking bargain dishes at home

Large California peaches from Costco Wholesale in Hackensack and smaller ones from ShopRite in Paramus, upper right, never ripened after we brought them home.
Grilled fresh Wild Copper River Sockeye Salmon from Alaska with Pesto and a side of Organic Whole Wheat Shells, but no grilled peaches. The skin-on fillets were $14.99 a pound on Tuesday at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

The Costco Wholesale cash rebate I received this week is about $245, more than double the $110 I pay for an annual executive membership. This check is in addition to several hundred dollars in rebates from American Express, which issues the Costco credit card.


We had our hearts set on preparing grilled Fresh Wild Salmon with Pesto and Ripe Peaches, but fruit from drought-stricken California didn't cooperate.

Today, my wife got a full refund of $9.99 for a 5-pound box of large California Peaches she purchased at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack on June 9.

Two of the four smaller California Peaches I bought at ShopRite in Paramus for $1.69 a pound are on my kitchen counter and look like they'll rot before they ripen.

I sprayed oil on a grill pan that covers two burners of my stove, and allowed it to warm up over medium heat before adding the salmon skin side down, above, covered with fresh lime juice and a little sea salt. Total cooking time was 10 minutes, the same amount it took to cook the organic whole wheat shells in boiling, unsalted water.

When the fillets firmed up, I flipped them.

Aleppo pepper, fresh herbs from the garden and Costco's Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto were added at the end.
I finished my dinner with a salad of green-leaf lettuce from the garden.

Local and not so local

I'm all in favor of eating local, but my salmon dinner tonight brought together ingredients from Alaska (the fish), California (the red wine I drank), Italy (basil in the prepared pesto and organic whole wheat pasta), Spain (extra-virgin olive oil for my salad), and Syria or Turkey (ground Aleppo red pepper).

For the pasta dressed in Costco's Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto with added pine nuts, I used Whole Foods Market's 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Shells from Italy ($1.49), but ignored the listed cooking time of 14-15 minutes.

They were al dente in 10 minutes.

My salad contained green-leaf lettuce from our garden, dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and I also accented the fish with chopped oregano, mint and parsley we grew.

An egg-white omelet stuffed with smoked wild Alaskan salmon, shredded cheese and pesto.

Costco's 100% egg whites, basil pesto and smoked wild salmon are all sold under the Kirkland Signature label, the house brand, which usually signals premium quality.

Sockeye two ways

On Tuesday, along with a fresh sockeye fillet, my wife picked up a pound of Costco's wonderful smoked wild Alaskan salmon, sliced in two half-pound pouches ($15.99).

Even though it is previously frozen, this fish is silken when eaten out of hand or rolled up with a slice of reduced-fat Swiss cheese, dipped in Dijon mustard if you like or stuffed with salad greens.

I also use it to fill egg-white omelets, adding pesto and fresh herbs from the garden.

Costco cash rebates

The 2% cash rebate check I received this week from Costco Wholesale ($244.99) was the third this year.

Two checks containing several hundred dollars came from American Express' True Earnings credit card for purchases at Costco, restaurants, gas stations and other stores.

My executive membership costs $110 annually.

Fresh whole red snapper were on sale for $4.99 a pound on Sunday at H Mart in Englewood, a discount of $3 a pound. Mustard greens also were on sale for 99 cents a pound.

My wife cut up two wild red snappers weighing a total of more than 5 pounds, and seasoned and pan-fried them before pouring hot vinegar, sweet pepper, onions, garlic and pimento berries or allspice over the fish.

I sauteed two 5-ounce packages of triple-washed Organic Baby Spinach, Bok Choy and Kale on their expiration date with olive oil and sake, then used them as a side dish or to stuff an egg-white omelet, above. The packages were on sale for 99 cents each at the International Food Warehouse in Lodi.

Greens and sweets for breakfast: Leftover mustard greens with chopped fresh garlic, fresh callaloo with sweet peppers, and sauteed arugula, all served with mashed and baked sweet potatoes. A 5-ounce package of pre-washed arugula was on sale last week for 99 cents at the International Food Warehouse.

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