Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Trader Joe's Salmon & Vegetable Croquettes

When I was a little kid, my dad brought home some croquettes from the supermarket once. They weren't salmon and vegetable...they were potato and something I think. But anyway, that doesn't matter. And honestly, I don't even remember what they tasted like, but I must have liked them because I remember asking for them more than once. 

I had never heard of a croquette before, but the way I remembered the name was that it was similar to the sound a toad makes: "croak." So the next day I used my (faulty) memory device and asked my dad for another "ribbit."

Silly the things you remember and the things you don't. And one thing I'm not soon to forget is the fishiness of the last salmon product I reviewed or that of the worst salmon product I've ever had. But fortunately for me, this salmon dish is the exact opposite of those fishy salmon dishes. It still tastes like salmon, but with virtually none of the bad kind of fishiness. That is to say, it was quite tasty.

I pan fried mine on the stove top with some coconut spray until they were golden brown on the top and bottom. As per the instructions, I thawed them in the microwave for about 45 seconds prior to the actual cooking. I still think they needed a couple extra minutes in the pan—maybe because my microwave is old and weak. But I trusted my eye instead of following the instructions to the letter, and I wasn't disappointed.

They were slightly crispy on the outside and all the ingredients were nice and soft—almost like crab cakes—in the middle. Flavor-wise, everything was well balanced and delicate. There was a good bit of that high-quality salmon, and it was definitely the main attraction, although the edamame, kale, broccoli, and chia seeds gave it a nice veggie base, with subtle notes of nuttiness.
At first, I thought $5.49 was a bit steep, but if you compare this product to an appetizer at a restaurant, it's not a bad deal. And yes, these croquettes are indeed restaurant-quality, if you ask Sonia or me. The wifey was just as impressed as I was. She really enjoyed this salmon, but also really loved this particular medley of veggies. Double fours here.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

4 comments:

  1. $5.49 for two? Try this...the legendary "Morrison's Cafeteria" version
    Morrison's Salmon Patties


    Salmon Patties Recipe
    by Morrison's Cafeteria


    Ingredients:
    2 - 14 3/4 oz. cans Salmon (chilled)
    2 oz salad oil
    2 oz onions, finely minced
    2 fresh eggs
    1 tablespoon flour
    2 oz. crushed crackers
    Dash of salt
    Dash of black pepper
    1/2 oz shortening for pan frying

    Directions:
    Open 2 cans salmon and place in mixing bowl.
    Sauté onion in oil until tender. Add to salmon and mix.
    Add eggs, flour, crushed crackers, salt and pepper and thoroughly mix.
    Weigh patties into 5 oz portions and shape like a hamburger.
    Place patties on medium heat flat grill or skillet with just enough oil to cover the surface.
    Cook approximately 3 minutes on each side until done and golden brown.

    Yields 7 patties.
    Egg Sauce for Salmon Patties (From the Morrison's Institutional Recipes) Yield One Gallon (64 - 2 oz portions) 1/2 lb margarine 1/2 lb flour 1/2 gallon milk 1 tbs mustard 6 had boiled eggs place margarine in sauce pan over medium heat and melt. add flour to make a smooth rough, stirring constantly. do not brown. Add milk to roux and stir until smooth. Coarsely chop eggs and add to sauce with mustard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One would have to add the edamame, kale, broccoli, and chia seeds to make these even comparable to the TJ's product.

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    2. A package has 4 croquettes. 2 oz each. 2 per serving, 2 servings per box. And much easier to prepare than the homemade veggie-less recipe. (Salmon loaf?)

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  2. " it was similar to the sound a toad makes: "croak." So the next day I used my (faulty) memory device and asked my dad for another "ribbit." "
    --Did NOT see that coming! Actual LOL and a hearty SMH! Now I'll go back and read the rest of the post....

    ReplyDelete