Friday, January 6, 2017

A bunch of organic cilantro from Whole Foods Market goes a long way

A wedge of a cilantro lover's frittata served over organic brown rice. I folded chopped fresh organic cilantro and grated cheese into a mixture of eight whole eggs and a couple of ounces of low-fat milk, and showered the finished frittata with more cilantro.


In the dead of winter, fresh herbs bring homemade dishes alive.

Last Saturday, I drove up to the new Whole Foods Market in Closter to see if I could use a coupon for $30 off on a purchase of $150 that expired that day.

As I walked around the store, I picked up a few things, including a generous bunch of organic cilantro ($1.99), one of my favorite herbs.

Cilantro is also known as Chinese parsley, and the dried seed is ground and sold as coriander.

The Closter Whole Foods doesn't sell wine, and I didn't think I could use a dozen cooked Dungeness Crabs, which were on sale for $9.99 a pound at the fish counter.

So, I ended up giving the coupon to a woman with a full shopping cart after the cashier estimated she had purchased more than $150.

We chatted briefly, and the woman said she knocks herself out buying organic food for her family, but her teenage son can't wait to go to a fast-food restaurant.

I've been using the chopped cilantro all week long, and finished it tonight, when I added it to plate of organic quinoa.

Fish from Iceland

I rely on Costco Wholesale in Teterboro for fresh wild-caught fish fillets from Iceland.

But rough winter weather has kept boats in port and disrupted the supply to retailers big and small, including The Fish Dock, a fresh-fish market in downtown Closter owned by Icelanders.

On Tuesday, the flounder I bought at Costco came from Canada, and there was no Icelandic cod or haddock in the refrigerated case.

On Wednesday night, I showered boneless-and-skinless flounder fillets with fresh chopped cilantro after poaching the fish in Roasted Salsa Verde, from Whole Foods Market; fresh lemon juice and crushed Aleppo pepper, below.

I usually use the salsa and lemon juice by themselves, but I had chopped garlic, sweet pepper and onion left over from another recipe, so I sauteed them in olive oil first. After the mixture started boiling in a covered pan, I add the translucent fillets, which turned white and plumped up in about 5 minutes after I covered the pot again, indicating they were ready.
A 16-ounce bottle of 365 Everyday Value Roasted Salsa Verde, which is free of MSG and added sugar you find in other brands, is $2.69 at Whole Foods Market. I used only half the bottle, and refrigerated the rest for adding to omelets or as a sauce over quinoa or brown rice.
On Tuesday, after I purchased 2.2 pounds of the flounder from Costco Wholesale in Teterboro ($7.99 a pound), I coated most of the fillets in Asian Indian spices and prepared a Fish & Vegetable Medley with fresh spinach, tomato slices, chopped black olives, grated cheese and fresh lemon juice, above and below.
I showered the fish and other ingredients with fresh chopped cilantro before putting the pan into a preheated 400-degree oven. The flounder was ready in 15 minutes.
I used about a half-pound of organic spinach from Costco, drizzled with olive oil, in a large rectangular pan lined with parchment paper, then added the fish and other ingredients 
Fresh cilantro accenting a plate of leftover organic quinoa, which I prepared in an electric rice cooker with chicken broth, organic diced tomatoes and chopped fresh garlic.
For the frittata, pour the mixture of eggs, low-fat milk, grated cheese and cilantro into a 10-inch non-stick pan with olive oil over a medium flame. Add slices of plum tomatoes and more grated cheese.

When the crust sets, move the pan into the oven, using a low broiler setting, above.

After about 25 minutes, the frittata was ready. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh cilantro.

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