Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday's Tasting - Trader Joe's Eggplant Cutlets

Faithful readers, Tuesday's Tasting is back!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that J can not have cheese or milk made from cow's milk. Sheep and goat's milk cheese are perfectly fine though. So when I picked up a box of Trader Joe's Eggplant Cutlets, I knew exactly what I was going to make, Eggplant Manchego! Well, that's what J and I are calling it. It is our version of Eggplant Parmigiana in which we substitute the parmigiana reggiano and mozzarella cheeses with manchego cheese, made from sheep's milk.

J helped out with this dinner by baking off the eggplant cutlets at 425 for about 15 minutes. I then layered the baked eggplant in a 9x9 Pyrex baking dish with Rao's Homemade Arrabbiata (Fra Diavlo) sauce and a mix of shredded manchego and midnight moon goat's milk cheese. I also sprinkled on some additional seasonings like oregano, crushed red pepper and garlic powder even though the sauce and eggplant cutlets were already nicely seasoned.

While I assembled the dish, I put on a pot of salted water for the pasta, Whole Food's 365 Organic Whole Wheat Linguine. Once the eggplant manchego was assembled, I baked it in the oven at 375 for about the time it took to cook the pasta, 12 minutes, just enough to melt the cheese and marry all the flavors together. I plated a nice helping of the eggplant manchego right on top of a nice sized portion of linguine and topped everything with some extra sauce. I also baked some homemade garlic bread in the oven along with the eggplant.

If you are looking for a quick and easy meal on a week night, I highly suggest you try out Trader Joe's Eggplant Cutlets. Whether you make eggplant manchego like me or want to make an eggplant parm sandwich, these eggplant cutlets are great. They cook up fast in the oven and come with 4-5 servings in the box. On your next trip to Trader Joe's you should pick up a box of these eggplant cutlets.


  1. I've seen these eggplant patties before, but have never picked them up.

    Sure beats draining a real eggplant.

  2. Yay, Tuesday's Tastings are back!
    These are great, definitely better than the stuff sub shops dunk into the frialator. There really is no shame in buying these instead of cutting, soaking, dipping and breading eggplant.

  3. Hey Jon, if you like eggplant you should give these a try. They are very good no matter how you prepare them.

    Hi Snackgirl, we'll see how long I can keep Tuesday's Tastings back, hopefully at least two weeks in a row. And I agree, these are great and it definitely beats cutting, soaking, dipping, breading, and repeating the process until your hands are more like a paper mache project than those of a home cook!

  4. Haven't tasted those eggplant patties yet, but you could put Rao's on cardboard and I'd eat it.

  5. Hey food guy, these eggplant cutlets sound like a great time saver. I make something similar but your version with manchego sounds great. I love that cheese. Gotta try it.

  6. Hm, this looks really good! I have thus far been unsuccessful at cooking eggplant but I love it...I'll have to check this out!

    Also, tried the mango/blueberry idea you had last night. It was really good but pretty tart. If you want to make it sweeter, make it 1/2 mango 1/2 apple or else add honey or something to it.

    I also cooked the mangos with cinnamon before putting them in the pie - good idea.

  7. I just tried these eggplants few days ago but unfortunately i made the mistake of frying them...I should have baked them. Next time. have a great week end

  8. Hey mf, I couldn't agree with you more! Rao's sauce is definitely worth the price tag.

    Hey chef, they really are a time saver, and a mess saver; no more dipping. I'd like to see your version if you write about it.

    Hi Jennifer, these eggplant cutlets are easy in the oven.

    Hi lilipoot, I have never tried frying them, but I know they come out nice in the oven. Give them another try and let me know what you think.

  9. just went to TJ in framingham yest to get these and they were out. so bummed.

  10. Hi bethgrd, check back soon. I know their warehouse recently had a fire wiping out much of their inventory. They should be back on the shelves soon!