Thursday, September 2, 2010
Trader Joe's Manitaropita
Dear People of Greece: Thank you so much for continuing to create delicious dishes that consist of phyllo dough filled with amazingly good stuff.
I was kind of surprised when I realized that I hadn't reviewed these yet. I have loved the Trader Joe's manitaropita for years, and they are one of my TJ's staples, but somehow they flew under the review radar until now. And we all know how much I like appetizers or finger foods as dinner, so I figured it was high time I wrote about this.
The easiest way to explain what manitaropita is might be to tell you to think of spanakopita...except rather than the puff pastry being filled with spinach and feta cheese, it's filled with mushrooms in a white wine sauce.
Trader Joe's manitaropita needs to be baked in the oven. The package specifically says not to microwave them -- and having done that out of laziness once, I can tell you that the package's admonition is a wise one.
No worries, though, because baking them is as simple as it sounds. Just pre-heat the oven and then toss them in. They only take about 10 minutes to bake. The phyllo dough (and really, does it take much more then phyllo dough to make something good?) rises to golden, flaky happiness. The many paper-thin layers add a nice crunch and interesting texture.
Trader Joe is generous with the mushroom filling -- which is a good thing, as the filling is excellent. The mushrooms are remarkably non-rubbery and have a rich, almost beefy taste.
The mushrooms are done in a white wine sauce. The sauce itself actually has a delicate, lightly herbed taste. If I had to pick out a single spice that stands out, I would have to say it's oregano. Just think of it! Mushrooms, white wine, oregano...all stewed together and encased in flaky phyllo...if the very notion doesn't bring a smile to your face, don't complain to me: complain to a doctor!
This is truly one of my favorite Trader Joe's products. It's satisfying as a meal on its own, and I would also be very pleased to serve them to company as an appetizer.
80 calories per piece.
Made on equipment shared with eggs and tree nuts, at a facility that processes peanuts, fish and shellfish.