Trader Joe’s UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR CHICKEN SAUSAGE


I was pretty impressed with these new sausages, called UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR CHICKEN SAUSAGE. In fact I’m going to say these sausages are the bomb. We are talking really juicy & flavorful. The overall flavor of these sausages is terrific. Ingredients include chicken, cheese, caramelized onions and red bell peppers. Personally I really like the snap of the natural pork casing*. FYI, they didn’t drip or ooze out cheese, if that’s what you are are expecting. I guess the cheddar just melts in and gives them a lot of flavor and obviously some juiciness. They are just delicious and we both really enjoyed these when we ate them for dinner, as a dish with sautéed veggies. These can be served in so many ways. Want super easy? Just grill them up a bit and put them on a good bun (brioche?) with mustard and sauerkraut. I did a “german style” dish with sauteed potatoes. I grilled the sausages on the stove. Along-side the sausages, I made some sautéed vegetables (potatoes, onions, peppers and some cabbage). The sausages and veggie combination was really good. We ate it with TJ’s MARBLE RYE bread with some DIJON MUSTARD and some of TJ’s excellent SAUERKRAUT.

These sausages are already fully cooked however I think browning them up is a must IMO. I just learned you should not prick sausages as we’ve been taught, they stay juicier if you don’t. OK one of them burst a tiny bit but it was fine. One sausage has only 160 calories, and while they are not low in sodium, they are not super high either, these sausages have a bit less sodium compared to TJ’s Andouille Chicken Sausages.

I think these CHEDDAR CHICKEN SAUSAGES are a terrific addition to all the other chicken sausages that Trader Joe’s carries. In fact for me, these are so impressive I’d say these go right to the top of my list of all of TJ’s chicken sausages. I would buy these again. These are $4.49 a package (12 oz) PS – * I love the snap of a rea casing but if the pork casing turns you off, one reader writes he just removed the casing.

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/products/pdp/unexpected-cheddar-chicken-sausage-074048

Trader Joe’s fresh, fully cooked, ready to eat, ROASTED SALMON FILLET


This is now one of my favorite New Products at Trader Joe’s. A fully cooked, lovely fillet of Roasted Salmon. Find it in Refrigerated near the fresh fish and smoked salmon. This cooked piece of salmon is so handy and convenient, especially for hot summer days, or anytime you don’t want to cook (or smell) fish cooking. The salmon is fully cooked but just barely, it’s incredibly moist, so you can even heat it up a wee bit if you like, which I did. Now the first time I bought this I didn’t check the dates carefully, and when I opened it, I smelled the tiniest bit of a fishy smell. A sprinkle of lemon took care of that and it tasted fine. However the second time I bought it I checked a few packages and noticed some had a date maybe a day or even two older than another package. So naturally I picked out a package with the most recent date, and when I opened it that night for dinner the salmon had no smell at all. So check the packages carefully and get the latest dated ones.

For under five bucks you get a lovely fillet of farmed Atlantic salmon from Norway. No bones. Skin on. You can slip off the skin in a second. I actually enjoy salmon skin if its crispy. So I tossed the fillet into a hot pan skin side down for maybe 90 seconds to crisp up the skin. Then I flipped it and gave it about 30 seconds on the top side too to get a little sear and color (this is all completely optional of course as it is already cooked). However I did think it was slightly improved with this little searing and I was very careful not overcook the fish. Plating it up I sprinkled some TJ’s DILL SEASONING BLEND on which is a perfect match for this. I flaked up the fish with a fork, put it on a plate with a squeeze of lemon. It was delicious and a pretty good deal for $4.99 (5 oz portion) Of course the fresh Norwegian farmed Atlantic salmon TJ sells for $10/lb is an even better deal if you don’t mind cooking.

note a little color from my searing the fish briefly

To second time I tried this salmon I thought it would be perfect to make some Japanese “Nori Hand Rolls”.

Sushi Style Salmon Hand Rolls Bites

I made some Sushi Rice and served up these tasty little bites of Salmon Hand Rolls (“Temaki Sushi”) with the salmon and matchsticks of cucumbers on TJ’s SEAWEED SNACKS (nori). One piece of salmon was enough for two of us with the rice and other things. We REALLY enjoyed these sushi bites. You take a square of nori in one hand, gently spoon on a little sushi rice add some salmon and cukes, then pop the whole bite into your mouth. This is super tasty. Really, try making this, it’s fun and delicious.

Want to learn how to make sushi rice? Its not hard and TJ’s carries the rice vinegar (you have salt and sugar). Sadly I’m afraid they’ve discontinued the CALROSE RICE they had! I’m bummed about that as med/short grain rice is best for sushi rice and it was easy to get it at TJ’s while they had it. Oh well. In a pinch, Jasmine works if you can’t get short/med grain rice.

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/99211/perfect-sushi-rice/

I would think even though this salmon is cooked its still best to use it the day you buy it, if you can. If not, you could keep it in the coldest part of the fridge to use the next day (or in a pinch freeze the whole package and when ready to use, do an overnight defrost in fridge).

PS – If you dont like / eat salmon skin, and you have a pet, don’t throw it away; Wash it off as much as possible and give it to your cat or dog. They’ll likely go nuts getting some healthy healthy Omega-3’s and fish oil.

Trader Joe’s suggest this goes well with the new TAMARIND SAUCE (I’ve yet to try it)

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/recipes/60-second-tamarind-salmon

60 Second Tamarind Salmon
Sweet and tangy with a gentle heat, Trader Joe’s Tamarind Sauce delivers maximum flavor with no prep time required. Slather it on a Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Salmon Fillet and serve atop a bed of rice or salad greens for a protein-packed, positively satisfying meal that’s ready in about a minute. For a pleasant crunch, top with Trader Joe’s Crispy Onion Chips and fresh green onions.

Trader Joe’s MARBLE RYE BREAD


I just checked out a new product at Trader Joe’s, their sliced Marble Rye bread.

Now as a native New Yawk’r – and a member of the tribe – I grew up eating rye bread so I know what a really good rye bread should taste like. So I can’t lie and tell you this TJ’s rye bread ranks with the best NYC Jewish bakery rye bread, however this Trader Joe Marble Rye is a very decent rye bread. Opening the bag, you do get that slightly sour & wonderful Eastern European smell of that rye bread has. This is not at all like crummy tasteless supermarket commercial rye bread (think “Levy’s” – ugh!). This is a decent if not stellar rye way better than that supermarket crap with zero taste and texture. Here is the most important thing to know about TJ’s Marble Rye Bread – it is especially good when it is TOASTED and that’s the way you should eat it. Toasting this bread really improves this bread and makes it show it’s potential. Toasted up and spread with some good butter, this rye bread is delicious. I always eat it toasted, and strongly suggest you do as well, even if just a little bit. Toasting it improves it 100%. I hope that point is clear. It will make a lovely sandwich or even a great grilled cheese! This marble rye bread is $3.49 for a 20 oz loaf. A bakery rye bread here in NYC is really expensive now, likely $6-7 a loaf – so this is a decent deal for a more than decent rye bread that you don’t have to go to a bakery to get. I would buy this again. If you like rye, check out TJ’s version. It’s adds a nice Euro variety to TJ’s breads on offer.

Trader Joe’s “Azmari BUUNNI Coffee” Afro-Latin blend


This blend combines Ethiopian delicacy with Latin verve…Notes of chocolate, nougat, cherry”

A blend of African & Latin American coffees
The striking, terrific graphic design of this bag of Buunii AZMARI coffee really caught my eye when I saw it recently in Trader Joe’s NEW PRODUCTS section. Bold bright colors and stylized images that say “farm” to me. Best is that the coffee inside the bag is as good as the outside. This Azamri BUNNII blend is an excellent coffee in a whole bean medium roast. In this case, an actual light-medium roast as some people complain Trader Joe’s medium roasts are a shade darker. The coffee is from a smallish coffee outfit called BUUNNI COFFEE which I am glad to learn is being sold under it’s own brand at Trader Joe’s locations in the North East. The packaging for Trader Joe’s looks different from their other packaging so likely it was specially made for TJ’s and the graphic design really works. It certainly caught my eye. Opening the convenient air-tight zip closure on the bag (yet more good design) I got a lovely coffee smell and when I ground the coffee, the aroma was truly wonderful. It did kind of have as they say “notes of chocolate, nougat, cherry…”. This coffee has a perfect mix of the best of “African” and “South American” coffee styles, for good reason, as that is exactly what this blend is composed of: two Ethiopian single origin coffees mixed with a coffee from Honduras. It has that “winy” sharp African coffee note which that is then balanced by the Latin American smoother notes of the single origin Honduran coffee. An excellent blend, roasted perfectly to bring out the best of this coffee. Trader Joe’s is selling it for $9.99 a bag (12 oz). I would buy this again, gladly and hope you give it a try; I don’t think anyone wouldn’t like this. This is an impressive “high end” coffee for a good price, well worth checking out if you see it and are a real coffee lover!

update: i went back to buy more and couldn’t find it; I am thinking (hoping) just out of stock… we’ll see – update2 – its back in stock (jun 2022)

https://www.thespruceeats.com/ethiopian-coffee-culture-765829