Your favorite recipes using Trader Joe's products
Just pulled out my trusty Cuban Mojito Chicken Chili recipe, which uses the Cuban Mojito simmer sauce from TJs, and was wondering what everyone else loves to cook with some of their unique ingredients. My two recent favorites are this recipe, and the suggestion from someone else on the board to warm the Ginger Puree and spoon it over goat cheese, which makes a fabulous and addictive cracker spread.
Cuban Mojito Chicken Chili
-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-1 cup chopped onions
-1/2 cup chopped carrots
-1 can black beans, rinsed
-1 cup corn, frozen or good canned
-1 jar TJs Cuban Mojito sauce
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 cup grated cheddar
-Butterfly chicken breasts to make them thinner, then saute them in olive oil in soup pot over med-hi heat until cooked. Remove to bowl to cool. Add onions and carrots to pan and saute til softening. Add beans, broth, corn, Mojito sauce and bring to simmer. Shred chicken into pot. Simmer on low for an hour or so. Stir in grated cheese right before serving. Serve with rice or corn tortillas. Also awesome as a nacho topping.
My simple TJ's shrimp pasta salad:
1 lb medium (51-70 size) frozen cooked shrimp
2 packages of the small fresh cheese tortellini (it's best if the shrimp and the tortellini are about the same size)
1 tub of bruschetta sauce (the fresh sauce in the deli section)
Cook the pasta, thaw and rinse the shrimp, toss shrimp and pasta with the sauce (I usually puree half of it to make it more "dressingish" and reserve a little to add just before serving if the pasta has absorbed too much and made it dry). Refrigerate for an hour or two to let the flavors meld. Makes a great entree salad for a summer brunch or light supper and is popular at potlucks
Gooey pumpkin butter cake using TJ's wonderful canned pumpkin and cheap butter and cream cheese. Another is thawing out a package of their great quality white corn then putting half the packing in a blender or a food processor with a small amount of water to get it going. Puree the corn then put it in a fine mesh sieve and push slightly to strain out the corn juice. Discard the remains and put the corn juice in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat, whisking and not letting it boil. The corn starch will thicken it, add a little butter, add the remaining corn. Heat through, salt and pepper: that's Thomas Keller's creamed corn that you can make all year.
I read this complicated recipe in a Whole Foods newsletter for a black bean and corn salad. I looked in my pantry and saw a can of TJs Cuban black beans and TJs salt free corn kernels. Drained the corn (but not the beans), mixed them together into a "salad", and it tasted great! There's more I could have added, but it was a quicky for lunch.
Would be even better warm, so I'm thinking of using this as a basis for nachos...
Try it with the TJs frozen roasted corn and it's even better.
When I'm planning ahead to make it (so I have the ingredients) I add: fresh lime juice, finely chopped onion (and/or green onions), lots of cilantro, a little cumin, and a chopped plum tomato. When they have the "salsa kit" in the produce section -- you're all set!
They carry chocolate covered sunflower seeds that my son really likes. He first discovered them at the Sweet Factory, one of those candy stores at the mall that charges (alot!) by the quarter pound. I discovered that TJ carries them by the tub for a fraction of the price. They go in his Christmas stocking every year. A friend just gave me this recipe that uses them, too:
Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate-Covered Sunflower Seeds
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chocolate-covered sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers. (Use the standard size cupcake or muffin tin, not the huge ones).
In a large bowl whisk together the flour and the next 8 ingredients (ending with the nutmeg).
In a small bowl whisk together the vegetable oil and the next 4 ingredients (ending with the pumpkin puree).
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Stir just until combined. Add in the chocolate-covered sunflower seeds.
Pour batter evenly into the muffin cups and bake for 16-19 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of the center clean and the muffin top springs back when lightly pressed. Cool muffins thoroughly and store leftovers in an airtight container.
My Appetizer Pizza (has gotten raves at parties and always disappears)
TJ's garlic and herb pizza dough (refrigerated section in a bag)
1/2 jar TJ's pesto
1 box TJ's baby peppers (red, yellow, orange), chopped
1 # hot italian sausage (I get this at an Italian deli)
1 bag TJ's shredded mozzarella cheese (used to make it with a bag of their 4 cheese blend but they don't have it anymore)
Take pizza dough out of fridge to warm up (about 10 minutes.) Open casings of sausage and saute sausage until no longer pink. Spread out dough as thin as possible on baking sheet (I spray mine with Pam spray first). Spread pesto over dough. Sprinkle bag of cheese on top, then cooked italian sausage, then chopped peppers. Follow instructions on dough bag to bake pizza (I think it's 20 minutes at 350.)
Enjoy! It's a winner.