Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Trader Joe's Tuesday -- Barbecuing is ALWAYS Lazy!

What could be lazier than grilling? No heating up the kitchen, no pre-heating ovens, no messing up a bunch o' pans! And, phooey on "grilling weather!" Even if you have to put on a jacket to go throw the food on the grill and put the jacket back on to go flip it, etc. it's not that big a deal. I know some of you live in bitter cold, so I don't expect you to grill then, but even when the stores stop setting up their BBQ fixins' in aisle end displays, you can remember this easy solution for great taste. (By the way for those of you who really don't WANT to grill outdoors due to weather constraints, I HIGHLY recommend the George Foreman grills...they come in many sizes and they are cheap...and worth their weight in gold because you need no butter or oil...they are stick-free and really stuff tastes BBQ'd when you grill it on there!)

Traders Joe's is BBQ heaven. They have tons of marinades (and even dressings that aren't touted as marinades) in their salad dressing section, as well as littering the displays above the frozen meats and fishes. Just look at the ingredients and see if it strikes your fancy, and marinate your meat either an hour or two -- or overnight, if you are thinking ahead. Fish doesn't need to marinate as long. An hour will do it for fish. And, watch for citrus ingredients which will actually cook the fish, so those you don't need to marinate in anything citrus-y, just brush on prior to cooking.

Now, as a more-than-half-my-life fishetarian (eat fish sometimes, but mostly a veggie) I still LOVE grilling real honest to god red meat for my friends. There is literally nothing better than that smell. I love marinating tri-tip and I can often find pre-marinated tri-tip at my TJs. I love grilling chicken too for my friends.

My boyfriend is a genius barbecuer, so he grills and I do the sauces. This weekend, we made Grilled Chicken with Lemon Caper Butter.

Ingredients for the Lemon Caper Butter sauce for about 6 people -- spooned onto the grilled boneless chicken (pounded thin if you can -- it's fun to get your aggressions out, eh?) are all found in the TJ aisles:

1/2 cup butter (I use salted because I like my salt)
3 to 5 tablespoons of capers (to your taste)
juice of one large lemon
A couple splashes of white wine (any white wine)
A couple pinches of salt

It's delicious! I promise!

But for those of you who are veggies like me, check out the Tofurkey Italian Sausage and the new Gourmet White Hot Dog Buns. Who knew there were great hot dog buns? I always use pane rustica cut up into the right size for my buns, or unique sourdough rolls, etc. because I think most buns are tasteless and/or never fresh enough. But the Trader Joe's Gourmet White Hot Dog Buns are fabulous.

And, unequivocally, their Tofurkey Italian Sausages are the best most satisfying deliciousest veggie dogs in the world! I split them down the middle and throw them on the grill face down and then flip just a couple/few minutes later. I thought they must have turkey in them because the taste is so robust, and checked the label three or four times. They are completely veggie. I think it must be the sun dried tomatoes (which I usually don't like) and basil that make the difference. If you have a veggie in your family, throw these on the grill for him/her, and they'll probably ask for the package label too!

Buon Barbecuing Appetito!

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