Review: Trader Joe’s Hake En Papillote Frozen Entree

hake[As a reminder – I don’t do paid reviews for products. If I ever did, I’d let you know…]

Before we left on vacation, my wife stocked up on some frozen stuff from Trader Joe’s so that we wouldn’t come home on Christmas day to an empty fridge. On a whim, she bought this ‘Hake En Papillote’. I had no idea what the hell this was and had no plans to go near it – one of my rules of eating is: don’t eat it if a picture of the item with the words ‘serving suggestion’ appear on the box. To me, this is short-hand for ‘I contain crap’.

My wife had put in one box for me, however, and I was the guy who took them out of the oven. They were still in their boxes in the oven – which I didn’t get at first. Curious, I read the label:

“En Papillote” which translates as “in parchment,” is a microwave and oven friendly package for steaming foods but can sometimes be unwieldy to open once cooked. Trader Joe’s Hake en Papillote is presented in a slick little parchment origami box which steams the fish and vegetables and is easy to open: just remove the paper lid. Hake is a mild white fish with a solid texture which we’ve combined with grilled zucchini, cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce for a super easy and flavorful entrée.

Hmmm…interesting. Not your usual ‘nuke in plastic tray’ stuff here. I figured that they had to screw it up some other way so I checked the ingredients:

grilled zucchini(zucchini, sunflower oil), hake, cherry tomatoes, basil sauce (sunflower oil, basil, cheese [cultured cows milk], salt, lemon juice concentrate, garlic), extra virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley, basil, parmesan cheese [cows milk, salt, rennet], pine nuts, pea extract (pea fiber, pea starch, pea protein), salt, and spices(black, white, green, and pink peppercorns, and chili powder).

OK…I try to avoid seed oils as much as I can, so I’m not particularly thrilled about the sunflower oil, but a little won’t kill you. The ‘pea extract’ is a new one on me – I wonder what it’s supposed to do in the dish? Other than those qualms, it seemed like something I might eat.

The last check was the carbs. Net carbs for one serving: 6 grams. That is pretty darn good considering that with no added sugar they must be coming mostly from the vegetables.

So I tried the darn thing.

My verdict: pretty darn good for a $3.99 frozen entrée. I could picture someone at a restaurant buying these, plating them on fine dinnerware and charging you $20.

This is not a ‘supersized’ meal – it totals 8.1 ounces, but the fish was not rubbery but flaky, the vegetables tasty, with the ingredients packed separately and actually looking somewhat like the picture on the box – perhaps a first – and looked attractive as it came out of the oven, and the paper box actually did what it was supposed to do – steamed the ingredients – and did so without some plastic leaching God-knows-what into the food.

We went to Trader Joe’s again and I grabbed a few more – I definitely think I’ll be having this again.

I’d say this is Atkins-friendly and induction friendly to boot.

5 thoughts on “Review: Trader Joe’s Hake En Papillote Frozen Entree

    1. Are you from the company that makes it? 2 comments from France makes me suspicious.

      Really – I agree with you – but I’d appreciate it more if you told us something more about the product instead of spammy promotional comments.

  1. Very high oil content —They could easily make it lower fat. Only less than 2 oz fish. 6 points WW and that’s without brown rice or other filling carb

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