If you’re in the US, don’t forget that Monday is Memorial Day and that means that Costco will be CLOSED. So adjust your shopping schedule accordingly! The new Costco UK coupon book started on Monday and you might want to check it out before your next shopping trip. I’m not that thrilled by the recent bunch of coupons, but there were still some good things in there. For me it is a good weekend for a trip to Costco. The weather is going to be really lovely and my Zipcar is back in its normal place around the corner from my flat. Of course, we’ll probably have to have a freak thunderstorm tomorrow morning just for our trip to Costco.
Thistle Chunky Breaded Cod – Dave and I both have a bit of a weakness for fish and chips. It’s a little embarrassing, but there it is. While it is much easier to feed this habit now that we are in the UK, we don’t always feel like going someplace to get our breaded cod fix. Though if we are, we almost always go to Seashell here in London, it’s right by where Dave works and you can get different fish, with or without the skin, plus it is the best fish and chips around. So, that’s my London eating tip. Anyway. We usually do a pretty good job of resisting the breaded cod when we are shopping at Costco, but this week we both had a moment of weakness and bought it. You know it isn’t healthy, so I’m not even going to try to act like it is, not in any way. However, it is really good! It gets really nice and crunchy just baking it in the oven. With just 25-30 minutes of cooking at 220 C and you have something that is delicious. It’s almost as good as going to Seashell. It manages to get a good amount of crunchiness to the coating and for me that makes all the difference between good breaded cod and stuff that should just not be eaten. It has a nice texture that is crisp and crunchy but the cod stays tender and moist still. You can easily tell it is an actual piece of cod and not fish press board. It’s certainly better than what I’ve had at some restaurants here in London. There isn’t that watery yucky thing going on that ruins the crust; I don’t know what causes that but it’s gross. With a few dashes of malted vinegar and a spritz of lemon, it’s almost perfect. We pretty much always eat ours with vegetables and not chips, so we don’t have to feel as guilty. 1.25 kg for £6.99 (US: $10.96). Item #: 0053880.
Virgilio Mascarpone Cheese – I bought this so that I could make tiramisu, which honestly, I have not gotten around to making. I like to keep some around because I use it in place of cream cheese sometimes, but I also think it makes a great pasta sauce. It’s actually pretty useful to make all kinds of sauces for various things, not just pasta even, or to use in place of sour cream (if you don’t have any on hand) for nice jacket potato topping. I know a lot of people use mascarpone for their cannoli filling but I really prefer ricotta for that. I had heard that you could use mascarpone in risotto to give it an extra creamy texture , so I finally tried it that way. It worked really quite well and did give my risotto a lovely creamy texture and a bit more complexity of flavour. This is a very nice mascarpone from Italy that has that very luxurious creamy texture that all good mascarpone should possess. Aside from the fact that this is a very high quality mascarpone, the price at Costco is really amazing. For 500 grams from my regular supermarkets, I would pay from £3.48 to £6.60, depending on the quality. So, even at the low end of that comparison, the Costco price is £0.59 cheaper. That’s a fairly not insignificant amount for something that is just a couple of pounds. Woot, Costco! 500 grams for £2.89 (US: $4.53). Item #: 0056097.
Mission Flour Tortillas – If I were still in Austin, or anywhere in the US probably, I would not think of buying the Mission tortillas. There are just so many other option in Austin at all of the supermarkets. However, since Costco carries the very awesome Tortillaland ones (and if you are in the US you really should get these), I never bought anything else. But, we’re in the UK and Mexican foods aren’t really as plentiful here so we have to make due with what we can get. I refuse to get Old El Paso anything and that is the big Mexican brand at the supermarkets, so Mission tortillas it is. The Mission tortillas are okay, but not great. They don’t have a spectacular taste but it’s satisfactory. The real problem I have with these tortillas is that they are a bit fragile. Pretty much no matter what filling I use or how gentle I am when rolling them, they seem to tear and if the filling is at all moist you’ll certainly get tearing and seeping. I made chicken burritos with them and they kept splitting, which was really annoying. I’d say of the packages we have used so far 75% of them split when we filled them with stuff. So, yeah, that’s not great in a tortilla. Once they split, you just have a huge mess too. After using these, it really made me miss the nice variety of tortillas, both corn and flour, that we could find in our Austin Costco location. Luckily, they are cheap and I’m used to the splitting now so I make my burritos a little less moist now and never overfill. 2, 8 tortilla packs for £1.49 (US: $2.34). Item #: 0093293.
[I just want to be honest and say that this is a re-post of this review from 10 December 2012. I figured it was about time that I repeat this review because these are so awesome. Plus, you can get the rotisserie chickens at all of the Costco locations.]
Kirkland Signature British Rotisserie Chicken – Just like in the US, the Costco rotisserie chicken rocks! There is nothing better than sitting down to lunch with one of these after putting in some shopping time at Costco. I’m not sure exactly how large the chickens here are, though they seem to be about the same size as those in the US, so somewhere around 4 pounds. And of course, in the UK it is a British chicken that they roast. But man, these chickens are so juicy and delicious. Dave and I just absolutely love them. I know my mom gets one every time she goes shopping at Costco. You can eat them just as they are and they are wonderful. However, you can also use them to make your own chicken salad, or add some to pasta, or make a killer sandwich, or throw some in with a salad. I’ll be honest and admit that ours rarely makes it to leftover status. But if yours does, they do nicely tell you how to handle reheating it with either the microwave or oven. I want to know how they manage to keep them so juicy? I’ve had rotisserie chickens from other places that were nowhere near as juicy, some of them were flat out dry. I’m guessing that they brine them before putting them on the rotisserie, but whatever it is, I’m glad that they know the special secret to making them. And really, where else can you get such a great deal on an entire chicken of a good size? £3.99. Item #: 10533. The US rotisserie chicken is $4.99.