Saturday, January 16, 2010

For the Love of Joe: Product Spotlight

I recently posted a promise to do a Trader Joe's product highlight every week.

That was over a month ago.


When I said "weekly," I meant it in a more symbolic sense. You knew that, right?

Anyway, the important thing is I'm here now... and I'm highlighting a doozer of a TJ's product:

Trader Giotto's Italian Tomato Starter Sauce.

[Insert loving adoration here.]

Side note: I feel the need to mention that I just LOVE the way Trader Joe changes his name depending on the ethnicity of food he's packaging up and selling. Trader Giotto, Trader Jose, Trader Ming... it just makes me happy. It's the stuff dreams are made of. Anyway...

I use this stuff ALL the time. It's super versatile. Use it for pasta sauces, lasagna, soups, taco meat, enchiladas... the sky's the limit! The back of the box even has a simple recipe to make your own salsa. Oh, and speaking of the clever box-packaging... it's a much-better-than-a-can option for exactly three reasons:

1. The box doesn't hurt nearly as much as a can when you drop it on your foot.

2. The box doesn't leave your tomatoes tasting like metal.

3. The box doesn't dent/crack/break your floor when your three year old says, "Was'this, Mama?" and throws it to the floor with all his might. A can does.

One of my favorite recipes to make with this sauce is my easy Chicken Parmesan.

Here's the recipe:

4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
olive oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
2 boxes Trader Giotto's Italian Tomato Starter Sauce
1.5 cups (approx) grated mozzarella cheese
1 lb corkscrew pasta

1. Bread chicken: mix Parmesan cheese with breadcrumbs. Place eggs
in shallow bowl and breadcrumb mixture in another bowl. Dip chicken
in eggs and then breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with all chicken breasts.
Put on a plate in the fridge to set for 20 minutes.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add a little
olive oil.

3. In a skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in olive oil on both
sides until golden (Chicken will just be browned, not cooked through
yet). Add the boxes of sauce to the pan and turn heat to low. Cover the pan
and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until chicken is cooked. Remove lid, add
grated cheese on top of each piece of chicken and put a lid on it
again until cheese is melted, another 2 minutes or so. Serve over
noodles, with plenty of sauce. Enjoy!

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