Monday, April 12, 2010

Trader Joe's Raviolone in Brodo, 03/09/10

Soup for breakfast?... Why not, when it's ready to cook in a sealed plastic bag after I return famished and impatient from the gym... I had shunned Trader Joe's frozen Raviolone in Brodo for months because although it reminded me of the tortellini soup with braised beef and spinach at Pasta Pomodoro, it checked in at a daunting 340 calories for a serving... Which for me - especially after a good workout - might be doubled by consuming the entire two-serving bag... But I decided that having comforting starchy pillows of ravioli and hearty beef broth would be a good way to refuel so I took the plunge...



The directions on the bag instruct one to time it according to the microwave's wattage... Since I have no idea what that was on the family Samsung, I based it on the one setting that I had a lot of experience with: immolation... Jolene's microwave furiously nukes half-drunk cups of coffee and leftovers with a fury comparable only to the surface of Venus, so I figured the five minutes and 30 seconds for an 800 watt appliance would be just right...

Alice and I had been emailing about the fear of cooking in plastic bags that could be leaching dangerous toxins into our conveniently radiated food... She bemoaned the contents of her freezer, "a random assortment: fish sticks, bean burritos, pot stickers, a garden burger, blueberries, a couple steam-in-bag veggies and two bags of frozen chicken parts that i never plan ahead enough to thaw and cook" while waxing nostalgic about shopping at Trader Joe's, which in her current home of Wichita is a long-ago memory...

I didn't think that the contents of our freezer were any better... Proximity to Trader Joe's simply means that you are still a lazy cook, just one who can stash away more foreign sounding items like palak paneer (TJ's version smells like Thanksgiving dinner with its spicy sweet aroma)and chocolate caneles (these are actually very, very, very good... Did I leave out a "very"?)...

But I digress... When the microwave pinged hopefully at me, I opened the door and pulled the bag out carefully and fearfully with both hands as directed, heeding the firm warnings on the bag about the dangers of contained steam...

I cut it open gingerly... Oddly, it did smell a bit like ginger, although among the 30-plus ingredients listed, ginger was not one of them... I held my breath and waited for a moist cloud of steam to waft out and burn my fingers as I clipped the top of the bag with a scissors, but nothing happened...



I peered into the plastic bag in disbelief and timidly poked a buttery yellow raviolone with my finger only to find that it was barely warm although the broth had melted and the solids had been partially cooked... So I ladled half a serving into a bowl and put it back in the microwave for about a minute-and-a-half: during which it was of course, almost overcooked....



But it was great... The raviolone, which with my amateur understanding of Italian sounded like it would be a miniaturized version of basic ravioli were gigantic (I should have been thinking in terms of "calzone" or "Zamboni") cushions of pasta dough with a creamy mushroom filling... The broth, which to me is the big deal in any soup, only comprised about a third of the volume of the dish, but it was very flavorful and satisfying... I was satisfied with my one 340 calorie serving and put the leftovers away with nary a glance... Until I enhaled the remainder the next day at lunch...

2 comments:

  1. Great review! But this dish is not a soup.

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  2. This is absolutely delicious. Thanks Trader Joe's

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