It is beginning to look at lot like Fall here in London. And that means that Costco is starting to get things for Christmas already. It seems that Christmas creep gets earlier and earlier every year, doesn’t it? This week I’ve been busy starting my own Christmas planning, trying to get plane tickets for my mom to come visit in December and figure out what fun things we can do around London and Europe while she is here. So, I’ve got my own Christmas thing going. I’ve actually felt like a travel agent this week booking flights for Dave and I to visit the US and then buying tickets for my mom to come to London, plus I’ve been planning our own little holiday in Bavaria and Austria for this weekend. Julie the Cruise Director, at your service!
If you’re in the UK, don’t forget that this is the last weekend for the current coupon book. I’m going to be a bit late getting the new UK coupon book posted because I’ll be out of town this weekend. But I’m positive that the new set of coupons will be starting on Monday. I’ll be sure to post them when I get back though!
Kirkland Signature Tilapia Loins – Normally, we always get the KS Salmon Fillets, but this time I thought I’d change it up with a white fish instead. I know, I’m crazy! Tilapia has a nice tender white flesh with a nice flavour. The fillets aren’t very thick but if you bake them they can take up to 30 minutes to cook. We often sauté ours instead because they cook more quickly, about 15 minutes, and you can also impart a bit of additional flavour during the cooking process. I like to cook them with a touch of lemon juice, minced shallots, and capers because that is a combination that works really well for tilapia. Much like the salmon, the tilapia loins are also individually vacuum packed and flash frozen so they maintain a fresh taste and don’t get freezer burn or stuck to the other pieces of fish in the package. The loins are also skinless and boneless, so you don’t even have to mess with that when you are preparing them. It is best if you thaw them in the fridge for several hours or overnight but you can quick thaw them. I’ve thawed them both ways and haven’t seen too much of a difference in texture. Tilapia is a really lean fish that is low in fat and calories, so they’re a great protein source. They also contain the nutrients phosphorus, niacin, selenium, vitamin B12, and potassium. Also, because they have a vegetarian diet primarily and are a fast growing fish, they don’t have a problem with high levels of mercury. All of which makes tilapia a great choice of fish. The loins aren’t huge but if you combine them with a decent amount of vegetables and something starchy like potatoes, they make for a nice dinner. We’ve tried these for fish tacos too and they work really well like that because they flake up really nicely after they’ve been cooked. My only problem with the package at Costco is that there are nine loins in the bag and I wish there were either ten or eight for an even number for my family of two. But that is a pretty minor complaint since the fish is high quality and tasty and that is all that matters really. 2.5 pounds for £9.99. Item #: 0534441.
The Fresh Olive Company Hot Chilli Stuffed Olives -I love olives with some fresh bread and a nice cheese, but we’ve had a bit of bad luck sometimes with the olives at Costco. They used to have a brand that consistently overdid it with the vinegar in the liquid that the olives are come in, so it made the olives taste bad. I was really reluctant to try these but we thought we’d give them a try since it’s been a while since we have bought olives at Costco. I couldn’t remember the “bad” brand, so we took the gamble. Plus, these are stuffed with hot chillies and we both liked the sound of that. The olives are all green and they are stuffed with whole red and green chillies. The whole red chillies have a powerful kick to them but the greens ones aren’t as hot. I love hot foods, but even some of the big red chillies made me reach for something to stop the burn on my tongue. The good news is that the liquid didn’t taste like straight vinegar so the olives still had a nice flavour. There are a lot of olives in this big tub at Costco, which means that you are going to be stuck with a lot of olives if you don’t like them. On the flip side, that also means that you’ll have a lot of really yummy olives when you discover that you love them. We ended up finding them really tasty, but have discovered that because of the hot chillies you can’t eat as many of these at one time as you can with regular olives. So, just keep that in mind. Generally, I would say that Costco offers better prices on their olives than you will find at the regular bunch of supermarkets, but I couldn’t find these same ones anywhere else for a direct comparison. 600 grams for £4.99. Item #: 0154261.
Ermes Fontana Italian Antipasto Selection – I think I’ve probably talked about my love of the Italian meats and salamis enough that everyone here probably knows I’m a big fan. I love it just about as much as I love cheese. So anytime I see a new selection of Italian meats in any format, I’m going to have to give it a try. Also, the prices are so much better at Costco than any other supermarket, it is impossible for me to pass them up. This week’s package is a selection of four different choices: Prosciutto di Culatello, Lonza Stagionata di Parma, Salami Milano, and Salami di Parma. Prosciutto is pretty much always my favourite in selections like this, however, the lonza was excellent this time. Lonza is the pork version of bresaola, which is beef, the slices are a little thicker than something as delicate as prosciutto and more full flavoured as a result. For us, this is part of the perfect light summer meal, preferably on a picnic blanket in the park if the weather is cooperative. If you combine this with some fresh bread, the hot olives (above), and a cheese or two of your choice, you can’t go wrong. The only issue I have with this selection was that it seemed to have much more salami than prosciutto or lonza, which is a shame since those are my favourites. In any case, the whole selection was good, though because of the salami situation, it isn’t my favourite Italian meat selection I’ve picked up at Costco. This package though would be a nice size for a pre-dinner item if you’re having friends around for dinner, or doing it like we did, I think you could probably serve three or four people without anyone feeling like they were getting the short end of the deal. 360 grams for £6.99. Item #: 0159553.
Green Farm Roast Chicken Breast Slices – This is one of those items that Costco had on demonstration that once we tasted, we had to get. This definitely is the best sliced chicken lunch meat I’ve ever had. Ever. The chicken slices are really nice and thick and you can tell they actually came from a real chicken breast, not chicken breast press board type of concoction. As a result of this the slices in the package do vary in size, as you would expect since the breast is smaller at the sides than in the middle. However, the slices are evenly done with regards to thickness. The chicken is tender and moist still and has lots of nice chickeny flavour. Like real flavour, from a real chicken. Delicious! As a result of the nice thick slices you can make an outstanding sandwich, with just a couple of slices even. Honestly, I made sandwiches that looked like they were going to a photo shoot! And they tasted even better. The chicken is low in fat, sugar and salt, as well as calories too, so it is a really healthy choice for your lunchtime sandwich. And it is really reasonably priced too. I paid almost this much for some sliced chicken from Ocado, and it wasn’t even as good frankly, plus it was a paltry 100 grams. That’s a fifth of the size of the package a Costco and all you were saving was £0.80. This is like the chicken you might make at home if you were enterprising enough to cook up a whole chicken and slice the breast into nice thick slices. Of course, that is if you can keep your chicken juicy and flavourful while cooking it, which isn’t always a guaranteed thing. I’m so glad that we tried this and that Costco was giving out the free samples. And I definitely hope this is something that they keep carrying. Just writing about this has made me wish I had another package of it now. 500 grams for £3.99. Item #: 0120381.