I’ve been having a weird week. I hurt my knee recently and have had to take it super easy and not exercise or walk too much. All of which has somehow made me more tired than normal, I swear. I’m getting too old to injure myself I guess. Thursday kicked off a run of six new locations opening in just seven days, mostly these new stores are in Asia but the new UK store is opening next week too on August 26. If you’re in the US or UK, don’t forget that you’ve only got about a week left to shop any of the deals in the current coupon books.
Natco Coconut Milk – I’m sure this isn’t a staple item in everyone’s home, but if you like to make Thai or Indian food, like we do, you will appreciate that you can buy this at Costco in a six pack. We do sometimes use coconut milk for other things, but mostly it’s Thai or Indian dishes. Dave makes excellent Thai food and I like to make Indian food too when I’ve got the time. It is not too hard to find all of the other necessary items at Ocado or other supermarkets stores. However, if I have to walk, I certainly don’t want to be dragging heavy cans of coconut milk very far in a weak plastic bag that will most assuredly break as I am halfway home. Not to mention, we are always amazed by the really high prices that we’ve seen for a can of coconut milk at the Waitrose that we shop at for sure, but it’s even pretty pricey at the various Asian markets. So for us getting this six pack at Costco for a good price is brilliant. The price at other supermarkets is someplace between £1.50 and £2.15 but the price at Costco is just £0.73 per can. Which means that you are pretty much getting two cans for less than a single can at some other store. Even the stuff we buy at our preferred Asian grocer is more expensive than at Costco because it is somewhere between £1.30 – £1.75 per can. The coconut milk at Costco is a good quality coconut milk too with a thick, creamy texture. We can go through a couple of these cans quite easily by making some Thom Kah Gai (coconut chicken) soup, Panang curry, coconut rice, or sweet rice with mango. And those are all some of our favourite Thai things to make at home. And then of course there are the really delicious Indian items that we like to make that also require coconut milk; I have a lentil dish that I love to make because it is easy but delicious. So, needless to say we are big fans of the bulk coconut milk buying at Costco. This is one of the things we pretty much only buy at Costco now, unless we are in a pinch and have run out but still crave Thai food before our next Costco trip. Mostly though we plan ahead and never run out anymore. I’ve noticed that the price of coconut milk has ticked up a bit at Costco, and everywhere else, over the last year or so, but it is still a good deal at Costco. 6, 400 ml/14 oz cans for £4.39. Item #: 0102730.
Ermes Fontana Bresaola – Bresaola is an air dried, salted beef cut from top round that is aged for a couple of months. It is the beef equivalent of prosciutto, with a tender texture and a deep red colour. It’s a delicious cured Italian meat that is certainly one of my favourites. They do a lot of trimming so the meat isn’t fatty at all, and is really just meat. Traditionally they cure it with a rub of salt, and various spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and juniper. After it is cured for a few days, the meat is aged for two to three months during which it loses nearly half of its weight and develops the characteristic taste and texture. It is sliced very thinly, though a bit thicker than prosciutto, and is best served at room temperature. You really need to let it come to room temperature I think to get the most out of the flavour, much like cheese. It makes a perfect antipasto component and is delicious with olives and a strong cheese like Parmesan. I’ve also used it in place of prosciutto to wrap around figs, which was delicious. I like the cured Italian meats and buy some every time we go to Costco. The prices are so good at Costco, especially when you compare them to the prices at regular supermarkets which are enough to make you think you should be getting much more than you ever do. Bresaola is no different with 100 grams at Costco being less expensive than smaller quantities of 60 or 80 grams at regular supermarkets. And I think the products at Costco are a better quality too. 100 grams for £2.29. Item #: 0189137.
Uprena Spanish Tortilla with Onion – Well, this is imported from Spain, so I’m sure they know how to make it properly. For those of you not up to speed on what a Spanish tortilla is, it is pretty much the Spanish version of a very thick omelet with lots of potato and diced onions. I’ve had other Spanish tortillas, from Costco as well as other supermarkets that were heavy and bland which made them rather unappetising after about two bites. I have always though that these were a perfect idea for lunch alongside a salad. In the package at Costco there are two, individually wrapped tortillas and they are quite dense with all that egg and potato. If I am by myself I can eat a third to a half of one of these with a salad for lunch. I find these incredibly filling so I sort of wish that they had packaged them as four smaller versions. These have a nice taste but do need a bit of salt and pepper since they are made of egg and potato, which always needs salt to taste good. These can be served hot or cold, though I prefer to heat it up. These would be great for a picnic though paired with some really flavourful cheese, Serrano ham, and olives. I have gotten these before at Costco and really didn’t like them at all, so I don’t know if this is a different recipe or a different company, but whatever the difference I found these much more enjoyable this time around. I mean, it’s egg and potato with a bit of onion, so you don’t really expect a taste sensation, but I know at least one of the times I’ve tried these they were so dry and overcooked (and it wasn’t due to my bit of heating) that it was a bit like eating a piece of felt. So, I was glad that these were more pleasant to eat this time around. These are a nice deal at Costco too. At the other supermarkets, a 500 gram tortilla is at least £2.00, and usually more like £2.50, so paying just £1.86 per tortilla is a nice deal. 2, 500 grams for £3.75. Item #: 0128599.
Kirkland Signature Smoked Wild Sockeye Salmon – I used to love the KS smoked salmon that was imported from Norway, but this wild Alaskan salmon is every bit as delicious and maybe even a bit better. Much like the other, this is truly outstanding smoked salmon. It has a nice, delicate smoky flavour that enhances the taste of the fish but doesn’t overwhelm it. There’s a tiny bit of the brown flesh that is right around the bone, but it doesn’t have that unpleasant taste that you get in a lot of lesser quality smoked salmon. The salmon that they use is wild sockeye salmon caught off the coast of Alaska and then immediately frozen to keep it fresh. The salmon is cold smoked and uses very few ingredients – just salt, brown sugar, and natural wood smoke. You look at the vibrant colour and you really do think they’ve maybe done a little something to help it along, in fact there are no artificial colourants, it is just the normal red Sockeye colour. And there are no suspect preservatives either. The other KS smoked salmon always came in a single giant package which always made me feel in a rush to finish it, but they’ve gotten considerate and split this into two smaller, individually sealed packages now. I love that I can work my way through one package and the other is still all sealed up and staying fresh. The salmon is pre-sliced and comes apart pretty easily with a little bit of coaxing, so you don’t end up looking like you went at it with an ice pick to get it apart. The slices are a nice thickness too, which I think is what makes them easier to separate than the stuff you get at the supermarket that is practically transparent. I like smoked salmon on bagels with cream cheese, with eggs that are scrambled or made into an omelette, made into a delicate mousse served on little toasts for a fancy appetizer, wrapped around asparagus, by itself with diced shallot, capers and sour cream, or any other way you could serve it. It even makes a nice quick breakfast with some fresh berries and yogurt (obviously, not mixed all together). If you like smoked salmon, you should most certainly try the KS version because it delicious. You can certainly find less expensive smoked salmon, but honestly, it is nowhere near the same quality. You can tell from the first delicious bite that this is not the average smoked salmon. There’s not a hint of that not so fresh fishiness that you get in a lot of the supermarket stuff; even the “good” stuff at Waitrose doesn’t hold a candle to the KS smoked salmon. 2, 8 oz/227 g packages; 1 pound/454 grams total for £12.99. Item #: 0576304.