Trader Joe’s always has an interesting selection of seasonal items throughout October, November and December. Many of these items can be incorporated into a dessert – which is always a good thing in my book – but while I tend to talk about the sweeter things, they have plenty of savory items, too. This year, they released the Trader Joe’s Turkey & Stuffing En Croute. This frozen entree is a Thanksgiving twist on a traditional beef wellington: a turkey tenderloin is packed in cornbread stuffing and wrapped in a layer of herb-topped pastry.
The dish needed to be defrosted for 24 hours in the fridge before baking, but it baked up perfectly in the time suggested on the packaging. The look of the dish – which is easily large enough to serve four or six – on the package is beautiful and I was pleased to see that mine turned out looking very similar to the one on the packaging. The outer crust was crisp and deeply golden, the stuffing was flavorful and the turkey tenderloin was moist. Everything was quite tasty and I definitely enjoyed having my turkey dinner in a different format for a change (especially since the dish came with a delicious cranberry sauce and a peppery turkey gravy).
The only problem with the dish is that when the pastry was wrapped around the turkey, it was tucked under at each end. Tucking the excess pastry under at each end put two or three times as much pastry at the ends as there was at the center, and it didn’t quite cook all the way through in those places. If they had just cut off some of the excess pastry, the turkey en croute would have come out perfectly, as the crust baked all the way through in the center. As a result, I got fewer servings than suggested on the packaging. This wasn’t a problem for me, but it is something to keep in mind if you’re planning on serving this to a crowd. Still, I liked the overall flavor and look of this dish, and would definitely give it another try this holiday season for a change of pace and an easy, yet festive, entree.