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Sep 7, 2010 03:47 PM

Frozen Mexican food at Trader Joe's

My local Trader Joe's has set up a prominent display of frozen Mexican dishes, making me realize that there are quite a few more than I previously thought. Given the unpredictable quality of Trader Joe's frozen dishes, I figured I would offer to trade recommendations.

Frozen tamales-
Beef: Probably my favorite item in the entire frozen section; they're easy to prepare and surprisingly rich and beefy.
Chicken: Also good, but I prefer the beef tamales most of the time. The flavors aren't strong enough to stand up to assertive toppings.
Green chile/cheese: These seem to exist solely to mock vegetarians. There's too much gloopy cheese and not enough textural variation.

Chile relleno: Tastes okay, but looks horrid even if you don't try to remove it from the tray.

Beef and green chile burrito: The flavors are good compliments and they don't skimp on the meat, but I've always had a hard time getting it to cook evenly.

Gorditas: The corn flavor is too strong, and the toppings are sparse. It's like they tried to turn gorditas into health food, which seems like the wrong approach.

What else is good or bad? I remember disliking the enchiladas, but it's been many years since my last experience.

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  1. The cheese enchies are meh. Been eating them for years from force of habit (and they're a bargain). The corn/black bean enchies are interesting - I suspect they're made by Amy's (whose cheese enchies are too greasy for my liking). What I *really* miss are the soy/tomatillo enchies that had been around for a while but were discontinued a few years ago.

    I find both varieties of vegetable burritos (grilled & not) to be pretty good.

    Agree with you on the gc tamales - a little too mushy & sweet. Can find better options at the supermarket (I live in AZ and Fry's carries a line made in NM).

    1. I haven't really had their frozen Mexican items in a while. I used to rather like the 99% fat free chicken burritos. The Chicken Salsa Verde enchiladas are good, as are the regular chicken and beef enchiladas (in the bright blue / bright red packaging, respectfully). They used to have frozen chicken taquitos which I'd give a pass on, at least in microwave they never came out too good. Ditto for the tray of 10 mini-chicken tacos.

      1. We like the beef taquitos and the mini beef tacos. I make them in the toaster oven though -- they get dry and chewy if you nuke them. For the mini tacos, after they are baked, I open them up and add a little shredded cheese, and then we dip them in salsa, guacamole and sour cream.

        1. I agree with you on the gorditas. They need more filling and less of the corn cake.

          1. lavaca, are you trying to cook both burritos in the packaging at the same time? If so, heat both with the plastic completely off for 2:30 on high. Chop each burrito in half, then turn them inside out so the cold middle is now facing the outside, then give it another 2:30 to 3:00 on high. It's worth the effort.