Trader Joe’s Chile Relleno – Food Review

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This won’t put my local Mexican restaurant out of business, but for a change of pace, it’s not bad.

From the number of different ingredients listed on the box,  I was hoping this would be especially good.  While it never came near the “especially” level of goodness, it wasn’t bad either.  My first concern was, how would the breading hold up to freezing and then a dip in the microwave.  I could imagine the breading turning into a soggy mass of dough after this trip.  However, it did not.  On the other hand, it certainly wasn’t as noticeable or as good as the breading when freshly cooked at a restaurant. 

The cheese filling was a little on the mild side for my taste.  I’m not sure if this was because these poblano peppers had been cleaned very well, removing all the seeds and other interior bits that add a little hotness, or this particular pepper was just very mild, or my local restaurant spikes their cheese filling with a little extra heat.  I suspect spiking is the basic difference between the two.

The peppers themselves were a tad on the tough side.  They weren’t tough enough to complain about, but it seems they could’ve been cooked a little longer.

All in all, this is possibly a difficult dish to prepare in quantity, freeze, ship, store and reheat.   To compare it to a freshly made restaurant chile relleno might be a little unfair.  While it doesn’t hold up to restaurant expectations, it is still good.  For a quick “something different” for lunch at work or a midnight hunger attack, it offers more than most of its everyday frozen competition.  It will also add a touch of taste to a vegetarian diet.  Not that this is something I watch closely, but this meal has a whopping 48% of our daily requirement of salt (1160 mg).

Calories: 350,  Serving Size: 1 container

Price: $ 2.99

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