Friday, June 12, 2015

Fresh wild king salmon, sweet blueberries, butter-like spreads and more

Grilled fresh wild king salmon is delicious right out of the refrigerator, above, perched on peppery arugula dressed with extra-virgin olive and balsamic vinegar, or hot right off of a stove-top grill, below.

Fresh king salmon was $16.99 a pound at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack or $2 more a pound than the wild Alaskan sockeye salmon we purchased a week earlier.


Whether king, sockeye or coho, fresh wild salmon is one of the big draws these days at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

On Tuesday, my wife found fresh king salmon for $16.99 a pound instead of Copper River sockeye, which she bought for $14.99 a pound on June 2.

That may seem pricey, but Costco still has the lowest prices on fresh wild salmon when compared to Whole Foods Market, New York-based Fairway Market and other retailers.

King are the largest salmon, and the fillets can be as thick as 2 inches. 

They're delicious, of course, but don't have the deep red-orange color of sockeye or the distinctive taste of the smaller fish.

Our skin-on king salmon fillet, weighing just under 2 pounds, yielded six serving pieces, including these three, grilled on the stove top with fresh lime juice, a little sea salt, Aleppo pepper, and chopped herbs from the garden.
Troll-caught king or chinook salmon are harvested from a boat singly by hand, using a baited hook. The Costco label identifies the salmon as "Product of USA."

On the same day my wife bought Costco's king salmon for $16.99 a pound, Whole Foods Market in Paramus was selling the same fish for $29.99.

At Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, Georgia blueberries have steadily fallen in price, from $6.99 for a 2-pound container when they first appeared about a month ago to $5.99 on Tuesday. Here, I add them to Kirkland Signature Non-Fat Greek Yogurt with a little organic agave syrup. At ShopRite in Paramus, 12-ounce containers of North Carolina blueberries are on sale this week for $2.49.

For breakfast, a simple egg-white omelet with reduced-fat cheese, salsa, and chopped garden herbs, served over organic quinoa prepared in an electric cooker with organic chicken stock and water. A 4-pound bag of organic quinoa is $16.89 at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, and no rinsing is required.

The light version of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, above, has fewer calories and saturated fat than the light version of Smart Balance with Olive Oil, another butter substitute, below, but more sodium, and both contain palm oil. 

A 15-ounce package of Smart Balance was $3.59 at ShopRite in Paramus, compared to $2.99 for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, a discount of 20 cents. Only the Smart Balance is labeled non-GMO.

A 59-ounce container of Tree Ripe Orange Juice is a better buy per ounce when on sale at the Paramus ShopRite, above, than four 59-ounce containers of Tropicana for $10.79 at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

A 3-liter tin of Pons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil from Spain, where it is made from Arbequina Olives, is $17.99 ($6 a liter) at the International Food Warehouse, 370 Essex St., Lodi.

Good buys at Lodi warehouse

One of the problems I encounter at the International Food Warehouse in Lodi is missing or inaccurate price signs and registers not programmed to reflect sale prices.

I received a sales flier with the newspaper, and stopped by today for bottled pasta sauce, extra-virgin olive, salsa and pre-washed packaged greens.

In looking over my receipt before I left store, I saw that I had been overcharged for 24-ounce jars of Naturamica Pasta Sauce from Italy.

The sale price is two jars for $3, but I was charged $1.79 each and had to ask for a refund of $2.32 on eight jars of Marinara Sauce and Garden Sauce.

I also picked up two 5-ounce packages of fresh arugula, and two more of organic baby spinach, mixed with baby kale and baby bok choy, for 99 cents each.

One non-sale item I bought is a 3-liter tin of Pons-brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil, unfiltered, made from Arbequina Olives in Spain ($17.99).

This Spanish EVOO is one of the few at the warehouse that isn't a blend of "Mediterranean" oils from several countries.

This is the first unfiltered oil I've purchased (contains tiny particles of pit and olive), and the can instructs you to shake it well before dispensing.

Sales prices are good through June 23.

A 24-ounce jar of pasta sauce from Italy, without added sugar, is a good buy at $1.50. When heating up the sauce, you can add red wine, extra-virgin olive oil, and drained and rinsed capers and anchovies for a really special taste.

The sign said "2 packs for $4.00," but 5-ounce packages of pre-washed organic and non-organic greens rang up at 99 cents each. They have short expiration dates, however, either Sunday or Monday.

At the food warehouse, pocket breads from Nouri's in Paterson were as stiff as cardboard, and may not have been fresh. They were marked $1.49.

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