Trader Joe's perfect meal
So Wednesday is my birthday but I'm in class all morning then have to drive an hour and a half each way for a dr appt for my daughter. I figure by dinnertime I'll be too exhausted to even go eat out. I LOVE trader joe's and thought it would be fun to go pick up a bunch of yummy food for dinner. This is where I'd like some ideas. I've seen tons of posts about best products at Trader Joe's but have never seen the best meal.
This is my challenge to you. If you could create the perfect meal from Trader Joe's what would it consist of?
Bonus points if you include an appetizer and dessert which don't need to be related to the main course. All components of the main course should work together though. No restrictions on the type of food, whatever you think is best!
wine - stonehedge cabernet (or your favorite)
appetizer - toasted baguette slices with [jarred] olive tapenade
salad - [bagged, pre-washed] arugula with [pre-cooked] baby beets, goat cheese crumbles,
balsamic vinegar, olive oil, s&p
main - [frozen] gorgonzola gnocchi
side - prosciutto-wrapped asparagus
dessert - greek yogurt with mesquite honey and cracked pepper
Wow, I feel like I just had a "Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee" moment.
I'm going to have to go soup and sandwich, as this is my favorite meal utilizing all TJ ingredients:
Soup- frozen gyoza, frozen spinach, vegetable ginger broth
Sandwich- chicken sausage with sundried tomato (raw, not pre-cooked), tri colored peppers, provolone cheese, parmesan asagio baguette
Dessert- I wish I could put the frozen chocolate truffle bites on here, but sadly, they have been discontinued. Lately, I have been hooked on the Pinachios (pistachio/white chocolate cookies). Serve with vanilla ice cream.
I love their pre-cut/packaged ready to cook meats such as Carne Asada & Beef sirloin tips. For the latter, stir fry them on med/hi heat until water evaporates & nicely browned (doesn't take long at all!). When almost finished, I add some bottled mandarin orange "chef sauce", just enough to coat the meat & heat through (I discovered this through their demo). Serve this with jasmine rice & stir fried broccolini. Voila!
For appetizer, gyoza as mentioned above or spring roll like apps lemongrass chicken stix or coconut curry chicken stix. I am not sure about the stix varieties but they are something like that.
For dessert fit for a birthday...raspberry creme brulee. It's better than the one available at my local gourmet bakery! Hurry, I don't know how long this will last! My previous favorite, creme puffs with Belgian choc. sauce lasted a year or less:-(
*For food that's just ready to heat, we love the frozen eggplant parmagian.
This suggestion came to mind: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/422765
It's all about availability at your local store, so it's hard to plan out a complete meal. Their tapioca pudding is great, and available everywhere, so I guess you could try that for dessert.
Appetizer: how about some asiago cheese on trader giotto's crostini?
Tarte d'Alsace ,or the puff pastry bites with ham and cheese would be a great app.
Depending on your location there are so many prepared entrees, stuffed pork chops, marinated fish fillets, etc.
Salad, either in the bag with one of their bottled dressings, or if you are just sevring one or two, get something from the refrigerated case (blue cheese and endive is nice)
Desserts, just get what you like, there are so many. Get some gelato or ice cream too.
It's kind of hard to go wrong if you just follow what you like.
Oh yeah, get a bottle of bubbly, I'm in Calfornia and they recently had some decent cava for about $5.99, of course there are many other choices if your budget allows.
i used to make the following for my ex... saute some chopped garlic (from the freezer section) in olive oil, then add in some of the precooked salmon (fridge section); cook some cheese tortellini, then drain and stir into salmon; add in some of the jarred Vegetable Tapenade; heat through, serve sprinkled with grated parmesan.
when in season, love sliced heirloom tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and sea salt.
if i had to pick a dessert to choose, right now it would be the Caneles in the freezer section.