Trader Joe’s DILL PICKLE SEASONING BLEND


NEW ITEM
Trader Joe’s “Seasoning in a Pickle” Dill Pickle Seasoning Blend.

Another of those products Trader Joe’s comes up with, that until you tried it, you had no idea you needed, then having tasted it you realize you need this in your life, now and always. How do they do that?!

Here’s yet another good addition to Trader Joe’s ever growing seasoning blends. I really like this DILL SEASONING BLEND . Basically if you like pickles and dill you will like this. It’s loaded with dill and yes, tastes like a dill pickle with bit of pucker, the tang coming from vinegar powder.

So what can you do with this seasoning? For one thing, it’s absolutely great with potatoes. I sprinkled quite a bit on some mashed potatoes and it made them taste really special. It will be great with potato salad. Boiled or roasted potatoes. I even tried it on cottage cheese and I liked that too. Eggs? For sure. Salmon? Perfect. Dips: mix it with Greek Yogurt or sour cream. Coleslaw for sure! Basically I will be expermenting with this in the near future and try it on everything I think it might work with. Give it a try. $2.49 a jar. I would buy it again.

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/products/pdp/seasoning-in-a-pickle-seasoning-blend-072778

“Made from a mix of alluringly aromatic spices, including garlic and dried dill, plus bright & zippy powdered vinegar, this stupendous Seasoning lends its tangy, salty, and delightfully dilly pickle profile anywhere it’s used. Sprinkle it generously onto roasted veggies or baked potatoes straight out of the oven, shake it over freshly scrambled eggs or Ground Beef Patties just before cooking, or make a dill-licious dip by mixing a few heaping tablespoons into a tub of sour cream or Greek yogurt.”

For those of you into the BUTTERMILK BRINED CHICKEN I have a feeling this will turn it into a way tastier bird.

DIY Shawarma Chicken (Recipe)


The other day, I wanted SHAWARMA CHICKEN but I was a bit resentful at the current price of a package of TJ’s Shawarma Chicken. It now costs about $11-12 ($6.50/lb. currently) way up from what it orginally cost. I knew I had some boneless chicken thighs in my freezer, and I have spices of course and Greek yogurt. Why not just do a DIY SHAWARMA style chicken on my own and save some dough!? So I did just that. How did it turn out? Delicious! You can easily do a DIY Shawarma Chicken if you want to save some money, and who doesn’t these days with the constant inflation and sticker shock when you go shopping?

I used Trader Joe’s boneless skinless chicken thighs that I had in my freezer (I defrosted the chicken overnight in the fridge) Or buy fresh boneless skinless thighs; they will easily be about $2 cheaper per pound (if not more) Vs. TJ’s Shawarma Chicken which has crept up in price a few times from the original $3.99/lb to $6.49/lb as of this post.

DIY Shawarma Chicken Recipe: Put chicken in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of Greek Yogurt. Add a few teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Crush 4 cloves of garlic with a little salt and mix into chicken. Add a few spoons (to taste) of ZHOUG Yemeni spicy green sauce. Mix. Even this very simple version will work fine, however to make this better we should add ground spices with “Middle Eastern” flavors. Here’s some ideas for Trader Joe’s spices you can add :

Trader Joe’s EVERYDAY SEASONING (grinder), Onion Salt, Ground Turmeric, Ground Cumin, TJ’s AJIKA blend, TJ Smoked Spanish Paprika, TJ Zaatar spice blend, Black pepper, PINK SEA SALT. A pinch of cinnamon. A small glug of olive oil. MIX everything well so all the spices are mixed in. Let it marinate in fridge for 2-6 hours or overnight or up to 2-3 days. When ready to cook, just make it as you normally grill TJ’s Shawarma chicken thighs. You can of course also make this instead with CHICKEN BREASTS if you prefer white meat but just be very careful about not overcooking them. I like to cook a sliced onion in the same pan as I grill the chicken.

Trader Joe’s ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS


Of all the different kinds of hummus Trader Joe’s sells, I wanted to try this one for awhile. When I finally tasted it, I was very pleasantly surprised at how good it is. In fact the ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS just became my new favorite of all the hummus I tried. It just has that little extra something from the roasted garlic which makes this a standout for me. It’s delicious and has just the right amount of the mellow roasted garlic flavor that blends perfectly with but does not overpower the overall flavor of the hummus. It was $1.99 for years but has gone up to $2.29 (8 oz) Yes, all of TJ’s hummus has gone up, sigh! Try this with TJ’s PITA CHIPS which are go great with hummus or eat the hummus with your favorite chip, crackers, or warm naan or pita bread.

NEED SOME SERVING IDEAS….?

Trader Joe’s BLUEBERRY FIELDS CHEESE


TERRIFIC NEW TRADER JOE’S ITEM!

BLUEBERRY FIELDS is a really good, new cheese on offer from Trader Joe’s. I was pretty impressed when I first tasted this. First off while BLUEBERRY FIELDS may have a cute name I call this is a “serious” cheese. Not a “cheese with fruit” like the goat cheese logs coated with blueberries or cranberries (and don’t get me wrong I do like those fruit coated goat cheeses on occasion). BLUEBERRY FIELDS cheese is nothing like those cheeses . Here there is only the barest hint of a blueberry taste.

BLUEBERRY FIELDS is a very tasty cow’s milk semi-hard cheese made with “raw milk” (you don’t see to many raw milk cheeses here in the US). It has only a barest subtle hints of “blueberry” from the edible rind which has been washed with some kind of blueberry essence. I’d say a millimeter of the rind has been imbued with the blue coating which is not sweet and matches perfectly with the flavor profile of the cheese. The rind is very much part of the cheese (just in case you are one of those people who always cuts off rinds from cheese, like my wife). You want to eat this rind. Tasting notes: Tastes like a high end Euro farm cheese. It’s excellent with a subtle nuttiness with a complex “Euro” taste to it. I believe it’s produced right here in the good old USA. My wife told me, “I don’t even taste blueberry”. Yes, its very subtle but its there. I think this would be scarfed up on a cheese board served to guests. This is delicious on a cracker, bread, and especially with apples, grapes or other fruits. This is well worth trying especially if you are a cheese freak like yours truly. An 8 oz piece sells for $4.99. I would buy it again.

Trader Joe’s LIGHTLY SMOKED SALMON (can)


THIS IS A TERRIFIC NEW ITEM – “Boneless, skinless salmon that has been gently smoked with Applewood”

(One portion contains a whopping 21 grams of protein!)

RAVE

Trader Joe’s recently came out with this item they call “Lightly Smoked Salmon“. Find it with the cans of tuna, sardines, and at least two other types of canned salmon they sell. I was intrigued when I first saw it, even a bit confused by the name. Huh? “Lightly Smoked Salmon”? In a can!? Having tried it, all I can say is it’s a terrific new product. I think Trader Joe’s has a major hit with this. However the name is a bit off. Tasting it I didn’t think “lightly smoked salmon” at all, and it doesn’t taste like what you and I think of when we see “smoked salmon”. Tasting it for the first time I simply thought: “this must be the best canned salmon I’ve ever tasted”. Like some GOURMET STUFF! In fact it made me think of those deluxe gourmet tins of fish like high end canned tuna from Spain (Ortiz for example) which can sell for $15.

To me, this Lightly Smoked Salmon is “salmon poached in extra virgin olive oil” (You know, like lobster poached in butter?) When you open the can you find an appetizing hunk of pure center cut salmon without skin or bones (so zero waste). It’s swimming in an orangish olive oil (the color came from the salmon). Because of this, the salmon is so moist and flaky! It’s got a delicious flavor and texture from being cooked in some decent extra virgin olive oil. As far as the “Applewood smoke flavor” well, I would say that is so “light” as to be just at most an under-note? Frankly I barely taste that. First and foremost I taste really tasty salmon. It was so tasty frankly I couldn’t stop trying it. I kept saying to myself, “just one more little taste” and shortly noticed the can was nearly empty. It’s that good, people. That golden EVOO it’s packed in? I tell you, do not get rid of this golden juice the way one pours off the oil in tuna. Here the liquid juices plus the EVOO together make for a delicious yummy sauce. Its decent Extra Virgin Olive Oil imbued with salmon flavor as it was the poaching liquid. I just spooned it over the fish with a squeeze of lemon and voila, a delicious sauce for this lovely fish.

You can use this salmon exactly like a piece of poached salmon. You could just open up the can and put the salmon on a plate – or on top of a salad or greens, or to top a protein bowl, or into an avocado or what have you – and have a lovely, delicious (and healthy) dinner or lunch with almost no effort. This salmon is wonderful as-is right out of the can. Try it on a toasted bagel, on toast, or on crackers. Or on CRISPBREAD for a Scandinavian open faced sandwich (very good match).

On Trader Joe’s Norwegian Crispbread with cream cheese and cucumbers

Mix a bit of mayo and lemon juice into the salmon and have great salmon salad in a minute. This salmon is perfect, especially for summer and/or whenever you don’t feel like cooking. The other night I didn’t feel like cooking anything but I found I had a nice ripe avocado I needed to use. I mixed a can of this salmon with a little mayo, lemon juice and some Peri-Peri sauce …. voila! I ate this lovely avocado stuffed with salmon salad for dinner, which took me less than 5 minutes.

One serving contains 190 calories plus you get a whopping 21 grams of protein. Product of Chile. The 5 oz can has about 3.5 oz of drained salmon and sells for $3.69. This is a great pantry item. I would gladly buy it again.

RECIPE IDEA – Japanese Salmon Rice Bowl: Put warm fresh rice in a bowl. Top with this salmon flaked up. Sprinkle on a nice amount of Furikake seaweed blend and chopped scallion. Optional: a sprinkle of Soy Sauce with a sprinkle of Toasted Sesame Oil. Mix gently. YUM.

One might even get extra cans of this salmon and put it away for a year or two to improve with age like wine*….

*Spain and Portugal have places which specialize serving tinned fish and seafood, aged for a year or two or three… Believe it or not the canned fish actually improves as it ages just like wine. Here’s a video of the late great Tony Bourdain visiting one of these bodegas in Spain, eating from cans of seafood and loving every bite…. EL ESPINALER

Trader Joe’s ROLLED OATS (recipe: overnight oats)


All Natural. WHOLE GRAIN. GLUTEN FREE. Loaded with fiber. What’s not to like?

Trader Joe’s ROLLED OATS are good. Among other uses, I use these to make OVERNIGHT OATS which make a terrific breakfast. Need a no-recipe recipe? Here you go: Put some rolled oats into a container and cover them with your favorite ‘milk’ (I use TJ’s Oat Milk) and add some Kefir or yogurt. Stir, cover and leave the the container in the fridge overnight. Options? Maybe add a hint of a little natural sugar, some dried fruits: raisins or cranberries. The next morning you will have yummy but not mushy Overnight Oats ready and waiting for breakfast. These DIY ones are better (and way cheaper) than the prepared overnight oats TJ sells already made in the refrigerator, which for me are way too mushy from having sit “overnight” for a few weeks (!) To Serve: top your Overnight Oats with some fruit, sliced bananas perhaps, and maybe something crunchy, like cereal or Granola. Maybe some chia seeds too! I tried TJ’s “toasted rolled oats” but I didn’t taste any toasted notes any different from these oats (those say organic and cost more of course. So I stick with buying the bag of these rolled oats. This large bag of Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats is $3.99 (for 2 lbs, or $2 per pound). Of course you can cook these oats up for hot oatmeal. Personally I do prefer the texture of TJ’s Steel Cut oats for oatmeal and buy those as well. Use these oats for baking, and cooking too. I mix these into meatloaf for the binder.

GLUTEN FREE of course.

Trader Joe’s DILL PICKLE MUSTARD


NEW PRODUCT: Trader Joe’s DILL PICKLE MUSTARD. This is one of those Trader Joe’s products which once you try, you say to yourself “This is something I didn’t even know I needed but now that I know how good this is, I want this in my life from now on”. I saw this the other day in the NEW PRODUCTS section. Like so many Trader Joe items, you see it and are instantly curious to try it and see if it’s any good. Well guess what? TJ’s DILL PICKLE MUSTARD is really good. It tastes exactly what the name says it is, mustard with dill pickles. It’s a very good classic American yellow mustard with dill pickles in it and a lot of dill flavor. Hitting two good tastes combinations at the same time. If you like dill pickles you will probably love this as much as I did. I put it on a hot dog and it was so yummy. What if I put this on a cheese sandwich? What about on a melted cheese sandwich? I can even see mixing a little bit of this into mashed potatoes too…?

$1.99 (9 oz bottle) I would buy this again.

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 ORGANIC BUCATINI PASTA


Trader Joe’s Organic Bucatini Pasta

Trader Joe’s new imported Organic BUCATINI has pretty much become my favorite pasta that Trader Joe’s has. This is a high quality organic artisanal pasta in a shape called bucatini, which is a long pasta like spaghetti but with a little hole (buca) in the middle.

The hole really helps this pasta to absorb sauce way more than spaghetti does (twice as much). Bucatini can be really a good match also with hearty sauces such as a Bolognese sauce or ragu. This pasta is excellent obviously for most Italian pasta dishes, and a few even specify this shape, (recipe idea links below).

In the picture is a simple pasta dish I made with this bucatini pasta and just a basic marinara tomato sauce. Even with just marinara and cheese it made a delicious pasta.

Cooking tip: This says cook for 8-10 minutes. I would suggest pulling it from the water under al dente – say around the 7 minute mark THEN FINISHING it in a pan with sauce for a minute or two so it can absorb the sauce and flavor a bit. So pull the slightly undercooked pasta, toss it into a pan with maybe 1/2 the sauce you are serving it with, and finish cooking the pasta with the sauce adding 1-2 tablespoons of the cooking water as needed. (watch Vincenzo do this in the video below) Always save a 1/2 cup of your pasta cooking water. Starchy pasta cooking water is the magic “secret” ingredient to cooking pasta the way Italians do. Finish cooking the pasta for a minute or two until it’s al dente or to your desired degree of done-ness. Plate it up and serve with a bit of extra sauce on top. Garnish with a little grated cheese and chopped parsley. The Bucantini swells up a bit with the sauce giving it a delicious texture and taste. You can even try this Bucantini pasta to make Asian noodle dishes! No really. It works pretty well as an Asian noodle in a pinch.

TJ’s Organic Bucatini pasta is selling for $1.49 for a 1 lb. package. Ingredients: Organic Durum Semolina. PRODUCT OF ITALY. Here’s a few recipe ideas for bucatini too….

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a34922698/bucatini-pasta-recipe/

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/bucatini-pecorino-and-coarse-pepper

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/bucatini-best-long-pasta

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

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