Posts Tagged ‘italian’

Trader Joe’s – Asparagus Risotto – Food Review

08/11/2017

trader joes, asparagus risotto, italy, frozen entree, review, price, calories, nutritionAugust 11, 2017

On first opening the package you’ll notice two strange things, broken up sheets of frozen sauce and plain white rice.  More about these later.

When prepared according to the package directions, this risotto obtains a nice light yellow/green color from the  creamy sauce. The sauce has a wonderful flavor and texture. The rice has a nice bite to it.  It’s not overcooked.  A fair amount of thin green asparagus is distributed throughout in the form of inch long pieces.  These pieces also lend a touch of green asparagus flavor to the sauce.

Obviously this was not prepared in the traditional manner. The rice is parcooked separately from the other ingredients. The sauce also appears to have been cooked separately, flash frozen in thin sheets and then broken up in pieces. The asparagus also is likely cooked or partially cooked separately. All three components, we could guess, are then combined in a frozen state in the bag and shipped off.

trader joes, asparagus risotto, italy, frozen entree, review, price, calories, nutritionThe package will make enough for two (maybe three) portions as a side dish.  In this case, I ate the whole package as a main dish, thoroughly enjoying it all.

There may not be an army of nonnas standing over stoves, constantly stirring in broth to Arborio rice until the moment of perfection, making risotto in the traditional way. However what comes out of this package is almost as good. And by definition, it can never be as good as Nonna’s. Know what I mean?

Price $2.99

Calories  160 per serving (3 servings per package)

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Trader Joe’s – Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina – Food Review

08/06/2017

trader joe, review, calories, nutrition, price, gnocchi alla sorrentinaAug 6, 2017
This is pretty good stuff, but you might not think so as it cooks.

Straight from the freezer this is a mixture of the frozen gnocchi (small flour dumplings) and frozen flying-saucer-shaped chunks of sauce. Heating in the microwave is a two stage process. After heating for 4 minutes, the mixture needs a good stir.  At this point you’ll wonder, what have I done wrong, as the sauce and gnocchi appear very watery. After stirring, put it back in the microwave for another 3 minutes and the magic happens.  The second heating totally changes the appearance, by thickening up everything into a coherent whole.  Pan heating instructions are also provided.

Throughout the cooking process the gnocchi retain their consistency.  After heating they have a nice chewy texture in the mouth.  The sauce thickens nicely thanks to the cheese in the sauce (that’s the magic).  This allows the sauce to coat and cling to the gnocchi.  The combination of the complex, but not over the top, sauce and chewy gnocchi works extremely well.  A sprinkle of parmesan is always useful, but really not needed.

trader joe, review, calories, nutrition, price, gnocchi alla sorrentinaFor us, the package yielded two modest servings working out to around 300 calories each.  The package claims three servings.  Even though our portions were only 300 calories, the gnocchi were very filling – and tasty.

Price $2.99     Calories  200 per serving (3 servings per carton)

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Trader Joe’s – Eggplant Parmigiana w/ Grilled Eggplant – Food Review

07/04/2017

trader joes, eggplant parmiagiana, calories, price, nutrition, reviewJuly 4, 2017
This is not a great eggplant parmigiana, but a pretty good eggplant as an eggplant.

This is another one of the seemingly endless variations of Trader Joe’s “eggplant with tomato sauce and melted cheese” products.  This one features eggplant which are “grilled”.  Now I suspect the grilling was done on one of those industrial strength machines that moves a conveyor belt of eggplant slices through some kind of flame.  But the pieces had grill marks on them, so who are we to quibble about the method.

trader joes, eggplant parmiagiana, calories, price, nutrition, reviewWhile I usually have no patience for waiting on an oven to cook these kinds of entrees, this time I followed the oven directions. Instead of large slices of eggplant, these are actually smaller pieces of a slice.  That makes it somewhat easier to eat without needing a knife to cut through the usual slices.  The tomato sauce was not very flavorful.  Much of the mozzarella seemed to have melted into the sauce instead of forming a nice cover for the eggplant.  The result was a  somewhat watery tomato/cheese sauce without much flavor intermixed with a few small islands of melted cheese.  As a parmigiana, it was disappointing.

However as just eggplant, the eggplant was pretty good.  The best bits and tastiest, were those with the skin on – more flavor and more chew.  The pieces without skin we’re still tasty, but no as much.  Being grilled, there was no breading on the eggplant as is often done with fried eggplant slices.  Overall I liked this, but not because it was a good eggplant parmigiana, but because it was good eggplant.

Price ??? (lost receipt)   Calories  270 per container (1 serving)

ALDI – Priano Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce – Food Review

05/08/2017

ALDI, priano, four cheese alfredo sauce, nutrition, price, calories, reviewMay 8, 2017

The second ingredient is cream.  That’s a good sign as that’s what an Alfredo sauce is all about.  From the jar the sauce is a little watery, as water is the first ingredient.  However it thickens some when added to warm pasta.  Even better is heating the sauce either before the pasta is added or after the pasta is added.  To save a pot, and some cleaning, I added sauce straight from the jar to the cooked warm pasta and then nuked the plate in the microwave for about a minute.  That thickened up the sauce and made it stick to the pasta nicely.  There’s a suggestion on the jar which hints at the need for heating the sauce to thicken.

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Trader Joe’s – Farmhouse English Cheddar with Italian Truffles – Food Review

03/16/2017

trader joe, review, price, calories, English cheddar, Italian truffles, nutrition, cheeseMarch 16, 2017

This is another one where it would be way too easy to eat the whole package in one sitting.  A very little bit of a smokey peppery earthy taste mixed in with creamy, but not soft, English cheddar is the best description I could come up with.  That description doesn’t do it taste justice.  It may not be to everyone’s liking, but this is very good.

Of particular note are a couple of the lesser ingredients, anchovy and bamboo fiber.  What’s This For?  Well I sure don’t know, but whatever the reason the whole seems to work just fine.

At $9.99 per pound, this is in line with similar cheeses at Trader Joe’s.  The calories, at 110 per ounce (28g), are also similar to other cheeses.

ALDI – Priano Eggplant Parmigiana – Food Review

03/31/2016

ALDI_EggplantParmigiana1039It’s not homemade, but it ain’t bad either.  And unfortunately, it’s better than some we’ve had in restaurants.

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ALDI – Specially Selected Caprese Pizza – Food Review

11/20/2015
ALDI Caprese Pizza

ALDI
Caprese Pizza

This is another interesting pizza from Germany.  Yes, Germany.  That’s not an auto spelling correction gone wild.

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Santa Bachelli Chianti DOCG – 2011 – Wine Review – ALDI

02/01/2013

ALDI_SantaBachelliChianti_DOCG2011To be fair, the cork was compromised.
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Trader Joe’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena – Food Review

05/23/2012

Must.  A word signifying a degree of compulsion.  But would you be compelled to eat something called must?

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Frivolous Frittata – Recipe

04/17/2012

Another ALDI special on potatoes leaves me once again with 10 pounds looking for a recipe(s).

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