Fortunately it's not always that tough, thank goodness. Take these Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Battered Shrimp. On my recent one man hunt-and-gather trip, all I had to do was spot them, think how tasty they looked, figure out if the price was right ($6.99, high potential for two dinners each for the two of us, so yup), then swipe my debit card at the checkout for them. Come home, fire up the oven, slide some on a cookie tray, go annoy the wife for a bit as they bake, then whip them out of the oven. Now that's what I call easy.
And these shrimp deliver, too. I mean, usualy I hear the words "reduced fat" and think "reduced taste," but these shellfishy bites are really pretty darn good. The batter is a little thicker than I expected - it's cornmeal-based, so kinda corn-dog-like - but it's definitely good and helps add a little more to each bite. The shrimp inside is warm, fleshy, a little moist and certainly tailless, so no worries about choking on that. It's also firm and not salty or mushy, like I've had way too many times with other store brands. Altogether, each piece hits home with a little comfort food-esque vibe, and are actually filling enough that I feel like I'm satisfied after "only" a regular serving size. That's a rarity for me.
We're both fans of the shrimp and we'll be getting it again for sure. The second time we had it, as I brought out her dinner plate to her, I think Sandy said something to the general effect of "Yaaaaaaaay it's shrimp time!!!" At the very least, she said "mmm" a whole bunch and that these were "much better than those coconut guys." Yeah, I concur with that. Those were kinda weird while these reduced fat battery bites are good on their own and would go well with whatever kinda sauce you like to drench your seafood in. I don't think I could be much happier with them, except the name leaves me wondering what they're a "reduced fat" version of, as to my recollection I haven't seen just "regular" battered shrimp at TJ's, and I can't help but think those just might be a smidge or two tastier. No matter. Matching 4.5s.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Reduced Fat Battered Shrimp: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons