Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aldi Challenge: Bits and Bobs

We did all of our grocery shopping at Aldi, and that includes more than the dinners I have been featuring here, so here is my evaluation of a couple of the other products we tried out.  Overall, my sister felt that every one of the Aldi products was too salty, but I didn't think so.  I was pretty satisfied with everything except the granola and the turkey tenderloin when eaten by itself.

These were actually quite good, the Savoritz crackers, I would get them again.

They were quite good with the havarti cheese we got, they made a lovely little appetizer to have during our nightly wine time.  I don't know that I have had havarti from a different store, but I feel that the cheeses at Aldi are more mild than their full price counterparts.

Last but not least, the worlds worst granola.  This had such a strange flavor that I was never able to conclusively identify.  My sister said it tasted stale.  I would not buy it again.

 Ok, so this is not exactly a bit or a bob, but a meal we had; it is just not super interesting.  Meals like these are why I don't blog about every single thing I cook, it was decent just nothing spectacular, just a pre-marinated, grilled pork tenderloin.  It tasted just like the ones we get at Safeway.  Boring, but tasty.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Aldi Challenge: Chorizo Scramble

I have wanted to cook with chorizo for a long time, and so when I saw the chorizo at Aldi I snapped it up and concocted a grand dish around it.  Ok, ok, so it's just fancy scrambled eggs but still.... I'm warning you now that this is not a very photogenic meal, but it makes up for its lack of looks with an incredible flavor.  Next time I make it I would tweak this recipe a bit, instead of mixing the chorizo and peppers in with the eggs, which managed to make them entirely invisible (you could barely tell there were eggs in there) I would make the scrambled eggs separately and top them with the chorizo mixture, or it would be delicious to top the chorizo with poached or fried eggs (love those runny yolks...).  This is a simple weekday dinner to throw together, and everything came from Aldi, including the eggs.

Begin by taking the chorizo out of its casing and sauteing it until it is cooked through.  Add half a chopped red pepper and half a chopped yellow pepper and a bit of chopped red onion and cook until tender.  Crack about 6 eggs into a bowl, and whisk together with a splash of milk and some salt and pepper.  Pour the eggs into the chorizo pan and cook, stirring gently until almost set.  Just before the eggs are done to your liking add a generous handful of shredded pepper jack cheese (if you are sensitive to spicy foods, you can substitute plain jack cheese if you wish).

See, told you, it is not very attractive, but it is quite tasty.

Chorizo Scramble
1 package chorizo, mild or hot depending on your spice preference
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
6 eggs
splash of milk
salt and pepper
3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Remove chorizo from casing and brown in a skillet over medium high heat.  When cooked through, add the peppers and onion and cook until tender.  Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl to have ready to pour into the skillet once the veggies are almost done.  Once you add the eggs, stir gently until they are set to your liking.  Stir in the cheese in the last minute of cooking so that it melts.  Serves 2 generously.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Aldi Challenge: Turkey Tenderloin Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

Before I tell you about the salad I made with the leftover turkey, I have to share something I learned about Aldi last night that surprised me greatly.  Aldi is owned by the same people who own Trader Joe's.  Actually, it is a bit more complicated than that, as wikipedia told me, there were two brothers who owned Aldi in Germany and one had the north and one had the south and they split the international business, the brother who doesn't own all the Aldi's in America owns Trader Joe's.  Probably more information than you really wanted, but there it is, and in my Lifetime addled mind, it's all very dramatic with corporate espionage and affairs and sinister plots for world domination.  Anyways, back to the salad.  I was a bit nervous about it due to the fact that I didn't like the turkey and it is a key component to the salad.  BUT, when you combine it with homemade blue cheese dressing and tons of fresh veggies, it was so so much better, the strange flavor of the marinade and the dressing worked together somehow.  Also, the Aldi blue cheese crumbles are not very strongly flavored, just a heads up, they are a more mild blue cheese than I am used to.

Star by making your blue cheese dressing.  My dad made this and didn't measure anything, so the recipe is approximate, just taste as you go and adjust as needed.  Combine mayo, blue cheese crumbles, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in varying proportions until it tastes good.  

As for the salad just chop up whatever veggies you have on hand, the more the better.  We had a mix of lettuces, peppers, and cucumbers, all from Aldi.  Since this was all we ate for dinner, we made the salad nice and big.

Top the salad with the leftover turkey that has been shredded, the blue cheese dressing and some blue cheese crumbles.  In my family we all dress our salads ourselves as some people claim that others are chronic overdressers, but you could dress it and toss it before serving if that floats your boat.  And if you forget that the dressing is mayo based, it feels like an incredibly healthy yet satisfying meal.

Turkey Tenderloin Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
So I am not actually going to give you a recipe for this, make the salad with whatever veggies float your boat, top with the leftover turkey or any turkey or chicken you may have on hand.  Add your favorite blue cheese dressing, or make one, this, this or this are all good looking recipes.  Enjoy.