Can you believe we are already in the month of April? Also our next holiday is at hand - Easter. With that for this month's edition of Costco Food Finds I wanted to take a look at your meat options for Easter dinner (or brunch). Also featured is my cheese of the month, a basic tip that every home cook should follow, and a new segment on my recommended cookbooks to pick up at Costco. Not much this month in the way of produce. I call April the worst month in produce. It's the end of the cold winter months but before we starting seeing more crops come into season. At least we got mangos! Without further ado, let's get to Costco Food Finds for April 2017.
Choices for Easter Dinner
There are two main meats that are popular at Easter - ham and lamb (hey, they rhyme!)
Kirkland Spiral Half Ham with Natural Juices | $1.99/lb
Personally I am not a big fan of a spiral ham. The reason being that it is already cut for you. Ok so what's wrong with that you ask. Are they saving me time? My issue with them is that they tend to dry out more easily than hams that have not been sprialized. But if you really want to cook one, I would recommend using a probe thermometer so that you don't overcook it.
Kirkland Master Carve Half Ham | $2.59/lb | Read my full review
This is the ham that I have been using lately. I like it because, first it tastes good. It is truly easy to carve. You come away with 100% usable meat. And unlike a traditional boneless ham, you are not getting a ham that has been rolled into an unnatural log shape. Check out my recipe for a glaze perfect for this ham.
Kirkland Boneless Ham Steaks | $3.69/lb
Maybe you aren't having a big get together and but still want ham. You could still cook a big ham and freeze some of it for later use. Or you could opt for ham steak. They are more expensive per pound thought.
Jones Dairy Farm Canadian Bacon | $12.89 for 24oz package ($8.59/lb)
Another smaller option for you would be to buy some Canadian bacon, which it more ham-like, than bacon-like. It would be a good choice for a Easter brunch. The Canadian bacon from Jones Dairy Farm is cherrywood smoked - which I am a big fan of, way more so than hickory smoked meats - it's all about the flavor! The ingredient list I like as well - pork, water, sugar, vinegar and lemon juice concentrate, sea salt, seasonings (natural flavorings, sea salt). I can easily pronounce everyone of those ingredients.
Kirkland Boneless Lamb Leg Roast | $4.99/lb
I admit I haven't done a lot of with lamb. They are just so cute! So I don't have much expertise in cooking them. So here is a recipe from Food52 on how to cook a leg of lamb with a garlic sauce.
Kirkland Lamb Loin Chops | $6.99/lb
I have had lamb chops before. I actually wrote a post back in 2013 on the different type of lamb chops. If you want a good recipe I recommend this one from Food 52 - Lamb Loin Chops with Lemon Mint Salsa Verde and Flageolets
Kirkland Lamb Rib Roast Rack | $9.99/lb
Let's cut to the chase, here is another Food52 recipe for Herb and Mustard-Crusted Rack of Lamb
Atfulo Mangos | $5.99 for 6
As I mentioned at the start, April is not a good month for produce. But at least we have atfulo mangos. These mangos are mostly yellow when ripe. They are more creamy than your standard red-green mango. Atfulos aren't available year round like the red mangos. Now is the time to buy. Around $1 a piece is the standard price you see in most places. Whole Foods has been selling them for 5 for $5 and then giving you a 10% case discount for buying a case worth (16-20 manogos). So the Costco price is nothing special, but if you already there, not a bad idea to grab some.
Earthbound Power Greens | $5.49 for 1.5 lb bag ($3.66/lb)
I like this salad mix. It's a way to get kale without being overwhelmed with in. The mix also contains baby spinach and baby swiss chard. It works really well in smoothies. I like it in lasgana over using just spinach - it is just more interesting that way.
Cookbook of the Month
Food 52 Mighty Salad Book | $13.99
More ideas for Earthbound Power Greens can surely be found in the Food52 Mighty Salad cookbook. I don't own the book myself but I look through it and was impressed. The purpose of the book is to show you how to turn salads into a whole meal for dinner as well as make ahead lunches. I love that concept and they seem to have executed it well. You can learn more about the book on Amazon's website and buy it there as well (this is an affiliate link, so I do get a portion of the sales if anyone buys the book, but I am recommending it on my own).
Cheese of the Month
Edelweiss Creamery Muenster Cheese Slice | $7.99 for 24oz package ($5.33/lb)
I personally don't think muenster gets enough credit. It is a wonderful melter. You haven't had grilled cheese until you have had with muenster. This cheese comes sliced for quick, easy lunches. The cost is around $5.33 a pound, which is a reasonable price. The cheese is made at Edelweiss Creamy in Monroe, Wisconsin. Edelwiss has been around since 1873, so they have had plenty of time to know what they are doing!
Tip of the Month
You see this picture above. Alright, now never look at this stuff again. Already ground pepper does not belong in your shopping cart, at the checkout line, in your home, on your food, none of those things. I cannot express that enough. When pepper is already ground you can kiss the flavor goodbye. I always shake my head when I see a restaurant with it on the table. Their food and your food will be so much better with pepper you crack yourself. The flavor is violate. Once it is cracked the flavor begins to fade. Who knows how long the ground pepper has been sitting in that container at the store. And by the time you use that much pepper, opening and closing the container, it will have even less punch.
Kirkland Tellicherry Black Pepper Grinder | $5.69 for 6.93oz (.903/oz)
The first time a friend tried pepper freshly ground, she was impressed and she isn't a foodie at all. You can buy the pepper inside a grinder so that you can grind it yourself when needed. A better option is below.
Kirkland Tellicherry Black Pepper | $7.79 for 14.1oz (.552/oz)
It is a better deal to buy a container full of pepper that doesn't have a grinder and then purchase your own pepper grinder. Your cost will be more up front however you will save in the long run. Grinders or pepper mills, whatever term you prefer are under $20. You can get a much better grinder. These store plastic ones are pretty cheaply made and don't do as well of a job. They usually aren't adjustable either, so you can't change whether you want a coarse grind or a find one. Here is a pepper mill that I recommend.
In case you were wondering what Tellicherry means, this is the region that these peppercorns are grown. This region is the city of Tellicherry on the coast in India. They are known for having the finest peppercorns in the world.
Want to learn more about the types of pepper? Check out my post - The King of Spices - the Peppercorn