Saturday, December 19, 2015

Still missing at Costco Wholesale; comforting dim sum on a rainy day

MORE SMOKED WILD FISH: Now you can get Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon two ways at Costco Wholesale in Teterboro. I found this 1.5-pound package of fully cooked salmon fillet among the cans of tuna, pink salmon and sardines.


Kirkland Signature 100% Egg Whites still are missing in action at Costco Wholesale, and shoppers hoping to cut down on cholesterol have to settle for less product at a higher price.

We haven't seen the house brand of liquid Egg Whites since July, when we were first forced to settle for Egg Beaters 100% Egg Whites.

With Egg Beaters, you get four 16-ounce cartons for $8.99, compared to six 16-ounce cartons of Kirkland Signature 100% Egg Whites for $9.99.

In response to a previous post on the absence of Kirkland Signature 2% Lactose-Free Milk, Costco said on Facebook the product still is available at "select locations," including the Clifton warehouse store.

If I were to drive out to Clifton, I would be saving 33 cents per half-gallon on lactose-free milk, compared to ShopRite.

But the Costco in Clifton is indistinguishable from the new Teterboro warehouse, so that would be a waste of time.

Smoked salmon

I'm a big fan of Kirkland Signature Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon, a refrigerated product that is great stuffed in omelets or eaten out of hand rolled with cheese and greens and dipped in Dijon mustard.

On Thursday, I found the 1-pound package at a lower price, $14.89. Try to beat that at another store.

Now, Costco has a new smoked wild salmon product, a thicker fillet that is fully cooked, but doesn't need refrigeration until it is opened.

The 1.5 pound package was $15.97. 

Besides salmon, ingredients include salt, brown sugar and natural wood smoke, and the best-by date on my package is June 23, 2021.

The refrigerated smoked salmon lists the same ingredients, but a 2-ounce serving of the new product contains less sodium.

All of the other smoked salmon at Costco is farmed, artificially colored fish.

Wild Atlantic cod

Costco is a reliable source for wild-caught skinless-and-boneless fish fillets, but I'm partial to thick, meaty Atlantic Cod, which was only $7.99 a pound.

On Friday night, I heated up a jar of Roasted Salsa Verde from Whole Foods Market, added the juice of two limes, and when it started to boil, placed serving pieces of seasoned cod into the large pan and covered it.

The fish was ready in about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, I heated up 2 cups of Kirkland Signature Organic Chicken Stock, filled the pot with triple-washed Kale, adding sea salt and other seasonings, and covered the pot.

Following a simple recipe on the bag, I stirred the chopped kale once or twice until it cooked down and turned a bright green.

After 5 minutes, the tough stems were tender, and I turned off the fire, leaving it covered until the fish was ready.

A 2-pound bag from Nature's Greens was only $3.79 at Costco.

Compared to the old Hackensack warehouse, Teterboro has a much larger refrigerated room for bags of kale, organic spring mix, berries, sweet corn, mushrooms and  other produce.

But fresh herbs are conspicuously absent.

This week, I chopped up a bunch of fresh coriander from ShopRite, and used it to garnish omelets and the salsa-simmered cod I made on Friday night.

FAR FROM A GRIND: Kirkland Signature Himalayan Pink Salt, called "the purest salt in the world," reappeared at Costco Wholesale in Teterboro. The 13-ounce container with a grinder was $3.99.

CAN'T BEAT BREAKFAST: A simple Egg Beaters omelet, stuffed with grated cheese and organic Mexican-style salsa, is part of a hearty breakfast that substitutes organic brown rice and mashed organic sweet potatoes for bread. The side dish is sauteed baby spinach.

FISH AND KALE: Fresh wild Atlantic cod cooks quickly in Roasted Salsa Verde from Whole Foods Market in Paramus, and fresh chopped kale is a great side dish.

SKIMPING ON FISH EGGS: Super Har Gow Jumbo Shrimp Dumplings are one of the many dim sum available at Lan Garden on Route 46 in Ridgefield. The centerpiece of fish eggs is much smaller than in the past.

Dim sum on 46

Thursday was one of those miserable days when heavy rain made driving anywhere a chore, especially on hated Route 46 in northern New Jersey.

Before going to Costco, which is just off the highway in Teterboro, I decided to stop for some comforting dim sum at Lan Garden, a Chinese restaurant at 88 Route 46 west in Ridgefield.

With the closing of Silver Pond Seafood Restaurant in Fort Lee, Lan Garden is the only reliable place near my home for Hong Kong-style dim sum.

The last time I had dim sum at Silver Pond, in July 2012, we were charged 95 cents a person for tea.

At Lan Garden, dim sum is available all day and into the night, not just at lunch, and tea is free.

Prices have stayed the same since my last dim-sum meal in April, but one of my favorites, four Super Har Gow Jumbo Shrimp Dumplings, came with a much smaller serving of fish eggs ($6.95).

The dim-sum menu offers about 50 items, including congee, listed as Small ($3.50), Medium ($4.95), Large ($5.95), X-Large ($6.95) and Super ($8.95).

A meal of four dim-sum selections runs about $30 for two, including tip and tax. 

I ate the shrimp dumplings in the dining room, watching speeding cars splash past the restaurant, and ordered three other items to go to share with my wife at home.

The manager blamed the rain for why he had only a few customers at midday Thursday.

A Lan Garden menu offers lunch specials for $8.95 to $11.95 with soup, rice and tea on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., except holidays.

Seafood Dumpling with Spinach (three for $5.95) was one of the dim sum I ordered to go.

Pan Fried Chive Cake (three for $4.95).

Pan Fried Shrimp Bean Curd Roll ($5.95).


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