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Home Cooking 11

Convenience Foods Vastly Improved with Home Cook Tweaking

opinionatedchef | Dec 27, 201001:32 PM

Trader Joe's sells many products that, w/ a little tweaking, can be vastly improved and made quite delicious (and still, primarily time-saving). Though not as easy for those using the products away from a home kitchen (hot work lunches, etc.) I hope these suggestions may prove useful to some of you.Please feel free to add your own to this thread.

Vegetarian Pad Thai- frozen
In microwave dish, sprinkle water on a handful of fresh snow peas. Cover and nuke 30 seconds .
Let cool and julienne on the diagonal. With a fork, mix 1T. tamari and 2T. crunchy peanut butter (Arrowhead is much better than TrJ.) Toss w/ cooked hot pad thai. Add snow peas. Top w/1-2 T. lime juice. Optional additions: shredded cooked chicken, cubed tofu, roasted peanuts, slivered red peppers and carrots.

Tarte d’Alsace- frozen
Over the Tarte surface, spread about 1/4-1/3 c. sour cream. Sprinkle all over w/ cayenne, then
2 ou. slivered Jones Canadian Bacon (from slices) and 1/2 c. grated TrJ cave-aged, paper-wrapped gruyere, making sure that both cover the outer Tarte edges. Bake at 475 degrees about 12-14 min. til browned/bubbly.

Ham and Cheese Croissants- frozen
Bake according to instructions, but remove from oven a few minutes before finished baking. Remove flavorless interior Swiss cheese gook, replace w/ 2 slices canadian bacon and 1/3 c. grated gruyere. Bake 5-7 min. at 350 degrees til gruyere melts.

Steak Burritos- frozen
Cover loosely and nuke full power 1.5 min on each side.Cut in half and, with a fork, stuff into each half some frozen carne asado or pork asado, or some leftover home cooked beef or pork . Bake in 350 degrees toaster oven for 5-10 minutes for crunchy exterior.

Serve with Chipotle Sour Cream:
8 ou. Sour Cream
2-3T. Hellman’s Mayo – optional
1-3 T.pureed canned Chipotles in Adobo**
1-2T. Frozen OJ concentrate
2 tsp.Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
Kosher Salt to taste

Mix together thoroughly , starting with the smaller
amounts of chipotle and O.J.
Adjust to taste.

** frozen pureed chipotles keep well. Scrape out amount w/ fork tines
as needed. this is also delicious w/ the tasty TrJ tamales and Beef Taquitos.
Chicken Chilaquiles - frozen
Nuke or bake until a few minutes before done. place some frozen TJ Pork Asado as a center layer and finish by baking 5-10 minutes at 400-450 degrees to heat the added meat and brown/crunch the top.

Grilled SW Chicken Patties- frozen
Grill them over charcoal and serve on TJ toasted curry naan with TJ cilantro yoghurt sauce
and quartered grape tomatoes.

Lentil Ancient Grain Soup- refrig.
Add 2-4T. tamari, 1/4- 1/2 c. tomato juices or sauce, or some tomato paste mixed w/ water,and some kosher salt. For other variation, add more tomato paste and 1-2T.Madras style curry powder.

Chicken Tika Masala- frozen
Not tweaked, really, just supplemented for a more interesting meal:
Serve the chicken dish with TrJ frozen masala dal . Supplement with these excellent frozen products from an Indian foods market: mini potato samosas, Woodland brand Medu Wada, Deep brand Onion Kulcha, and frozen-in-cups cilantro mixture added to your own plain yoghurt.

Norwegian Pancakes: - frozen
Bake, split, fill w/ TrJ pumpkin cream cheese. Toss w/ confectioners sugar mixed w/ cinnamon or cardamom,or drizzle w/ TJ caramel sauce, or serve w/ chocolate fondue.

Fondue- refrigerated in tub, Made in France
Heat in fondue pot, continually stirring. Cook down 1/2 c.- 1 c. white wine (buy little 6-pack bottles for cooking) to about 1/3 c., add to fondue with 1/2 c. grated gruyere tossed w/ 1 T. flour, 3 good pinches of cayenne and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir w/ wooden spoon til smooth. Add 1/4 c. kirsch, stir and serve.

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