Costco is famous because of a lot of things, but one of my favorites is the joke, “Where else can you go, spend $400 on food, and still have nothing to eat for dinner?”
It’s funny because it’s true.
BUT! This can be not true if you pay attention. In this case, I’m going to introduce you to the Costco deli. In the back of the store, where the meat counter, $4.99 rotisserie chickens, and baked goods are. There’s a case full of take-and-bake items. Pizzas, chicken salad, pork tenderloins, and so forth. These items are sold by weight, and look wonderful, if not sometimes a tad expensive.
But you can work with them. In this case, the “Salmon Milano with Basil Pesto Butter”. It usually sells at or below the per-pound cost of their plain salmon, but includes this yummy pesto butter. Too much butter, in fact. Three ice-cream scoops of it on top of salmon filet that’s been cut in three.
So here’s where it becomes a meal. You buy the dish and get it home. While the oven is pre-heating, you open up the dish and cut those balls of butter in half, and take half of it out and set it aside.
Once the oven is at temp, put the fish in and set some water boiling. Six quarts. Add some salt to it. If you time it right, halfway through the 25 minute salmon cook, the water boils and you drop a pound of pasta in. Ten minutes later, the pasta is done, drain it.
Then throw the butter you scavenged from the salmon into the pasta and toss it until everything’s covered. Right about that time, the salmon will be done. If you’re really clever, you’ll have steamed some vegetables alongside the cooking pasta.
Bingo! A meal. Big one. You’ll have leftovers. And it’s kid-tested. They’ll eat it. It’s basically fancy buttered noodles, after all.