Tuesday, November 8, 2016

'Eat fish and live longer' is a year-round mantra, not just for my birthday

A hearty frittata layers slices of fresh tomato, boiled organic sweet potato and Costco Wholesale's wild Alaskan smoked sockeye salmon in a seasoned egg-white mixture. I added roasted green salsa in the last few minutes of cooking under the broiler.

My pasta-and-eggs breakfast on Saturday included a thick wedge of wild-salmon frittata and leftover organic whole wheat pasta with anchovies, sardines and sliced garlic.


Thanks to an abundance of wild-caught seafood -- fresh, smoked, salted and frozen -- I've been able to completely avoid eating meat and poultry for more than 6 years.

I rely mostly on fresh skinless-and-boneless fillets from Iceland sold at Costco Wholesale for $7.99 or $8.99 a pound, fresh whole fish at H Mart that sell for as little as $1.99 and $2.99 a pound, and wild-caught Gulf Shrimp from Whole Foods Market.

Don't overlook canned seafood, such as sardines and anchovies, those mighty little fish that can turn a simple bottled marinara into a heart-healthy dressing for organic whole-wheat pasta.

For dinner on Monday night, I enjoyed a handmade Maryland-style lump-meat crab cake from Phillips Seafood Restaurants, sold frozen at Costco Wholesale (six 3-ounce crab cakes were $16.99).

Costco also sells frozen fillets, including wild sockeye salmon from Alaska and mahi-mahi.

If you buy wild-caught seafood, you won't have to be concerned about the antibiotics, growth hormones and low-quality feed used to raise animals on the factory farms that supply the vast majority of the nation's supermarkets and restaurants.

The Jamaican national dish, Ackee & Saltfish, is made with salted cod, a fruit called ackee, and sweet and hot peppers, here served with a non-traditional side dish, sweet potatoes mashed with extra-virgin olive oil.

At Seafood Gourmet in Maywood on Saturday night, I splurged on a 2.5 pound lobster to celebrate my birthday ($48.40). I asked for it steamed, but the blackened shells at the claws suggest the crustacean was broiled, and it was overcooked.

Birthday dinner

If you love fresh, wild-caught seafood, no local restaurant can match Seafood Gourmet in Maywood, which is both a fresh-fish market with lots of prepared food to go and a restaurant.

But when the 38-seat dining room is nearly full, as it was Saturday night, there can be a long wait for your entree, and the kitchen may overcook your favorite seafood.

That's what happened with the 2.5-pound lobster I ordered steamed; the blackened shell looked like the crustacean was left under a broiler too long.

My wife complained the kitchen also overcooked the shrimp in the dinner special both she and my mother-in-law ordered:

Seafood Festival -- wild shrimp, lobster meat and crab meat tossed in a sherry wine cream sauce served over imported fettuccine noodles ($26 each with a cup of soup or salad).

A half-dozen oysters were the perfect appetizer ($14), above. Below, the salad that came with the lobster.

I also received this side dish of sauteed spinach.

My son ordered Seafood Gourmet's Catch of the Day, Red Snapper and Manila Clams over very thin spaghetti in an Amatriciana Sauce, a spicy dressing usually made with cured pork jowl or pancetta ($25).

We drank a bottle of Kirkland Signature Asolo Prosecco, a sparkling white wine from Italy ($6.99 at Costco Wholesale in Wayne).

Seafood Gourmet is at 103 W. Pleasant Ave., Maywood; 201-843-8558. BYO, closed Sundays, free street parking. Reservations recommended, especially for dinner. Website: Fish Market-Restaurant

Most of the fish you see in the market is served in the restaurant. 

On Friday morning, my wife took me to The Golden Grill, a family restaurant in Teaneck that serves breakfast and lunch 7 days. My favorite is a $7 Egg Special with broiled whiting fillet and home fries (hold the toast), above.

My wife's Spanish Omelette with toast and potatoes was $7.95.

Everything tastes better with this Mexican hot sauce.

The Golden Grill is at 1379 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck; 201-837-1078. Open 7 days, 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free parking on street or in rear lot.
Most seating at The Golden Grill is in booths.

On the way home Friday morning, we stopped at Annapurna Indian Grocery, 561 Cedar Lane in Teaneck, for spice mixtures used to prepare fish, called Fish Masala ($2.49 each), above and below.

A few doors away we picked up a menu for an Indian restaurant that serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, above.
Our Sunday dinner was pan-fried whole wild-caught Porgy from H Mart, 260 Bergen Turnpike in Little Ferry ($1.99 a pound). Four porgies (averaging more than 1 pound each) were $8.84.

I was tempted to ask the fish monger to fillet wild-caught Albacore Tuna ($2.99 a pound), but didn't think other members of the family would go for them. Large Bluefish also were $2.99 a pound.

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