Wondering about having meal fixin’s delivered to your home? You’ve come to the right place to learn more about it. Or, at least you’ve come to A place where a woman who is tired of cooking is looking for ways to exert as little effort as possible to eat a tasty, healthy dinner – as opposed to settling for popcorn or a couple of bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios for supper.
I’m trying out Blue Apron, as suggested by my good friend Cindy who LOVES this service. I have one week of free (FREE!) dinners to see if Blue Apron and I are a fit. In my last post, I explained that the minimum order I could place would be three meals for two people. Also, all three meals arrive together in one box on whatever day of the week you choose.
That seems like a lot of pressure to me. But, here’s where we are at the beginning of day three (the box arrived on Wednesday).
Wednesday evening I decided to cook what I believed might be the most perishable item in the box, the Nashville-Style Hot Catfish. I put the ingredients for the other two meals in the refrigerator to prepare on successive days.
First, let me briefly describe the box. It was smaller than I expected, first of all, but the ingredients for all three meals were carefully blanketed inside a silver, quilted, insulated pouch with two layers of frozen slabs to keep the cold stuff nice and chilly. In fact, my fish was still frozen when I pulled it out to make dinner, so you might want to check on your protein before you’re ready to toss it in a pan. Screwed up my timing a little bit. Anyhoo . . . .
In addition to the proteins – I have catfish, chicken breasts, and pork tenderloin – there are cunning little containers with JUST the right amount of Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, etc. Veggies and fresh herbs come in small plastic baggies, ready to be rinsed and chopped, as directed. And small brown paper bags sealed with a sticker that says “Nashville-Style Hot Catfish knick knacks” (for example) have teensy bags of spices measured out perfectly for that particular dish.
A colorful and very easy-to-follow work sheet shows how the dish should look when finished, what ingredients are included, and step-by-step (idiot-proof) instructions on how and when to create each element of the meal. I would recommend reading the directions through once before jumping in. Blue Apron recommends that, too, which I ignored. But I thought, damn — I know how to make coleslaw! So I dumped everything together, rather than prettily sprinkling the chopped pecans on top at the end. No biggie, but it was kind of hard to find them.
I also used the olive oil mixed with spices to grill the fish, instead of starting out with plain olive oil in the pan, then adding the spicy oil on top later. That worked out fine, too, but – I should have paid attention. It could have been a mess, I suppose.
The only ingredients I had to supply of my own, by the way, were the olive oil and salt and pepper.
The Nashville-Style Hot Catfish was . . . delicious! The fish was fresh and the spicy oil added some heat, but wasn’t overpowering. The apple and red cabbage slaw was, as promised, a cool, crispy accompaniment to the zesty fish. The only thing I’d add would be some sort of starch – either a piece of crusty bread or maybe toss a potato in the oven to bake before you start the Blue Apron dinner prep.
Now, I had mentioned in my previous post that I was concerned about having two servings for every meal while living alone. Well, the catfish was so good, I heated up the second piece for lunch the next day, serving it on a bun to make a spicy catfish sandwich, and ate a little more of the slaw on the side.
But, here comes the issue . . . I planned to make the Tandoori Chicken last night, but it was kind of a busy day, and I had a bad case of the I don’t wanna’s. This happens to me regularly. I rarely cook two nights in a row because, as I said earlier, I’m just tired of cooking. I’ve been doing it for a gazillion years now (I’m old, dammit) and living alone, there’s no one around saying, “What’s for dinner, honey/mom/asshole?” I love that about my life. It’s not very healthy, food-wise, but I’d be willing to bet that practically every woman I know who is still feeding a husband and/or family on a regular basis is jealous as hell that no one EVER asks me what’s for dinner.
That shit gets old. Seriously.
So, should I stick with Blue Apron, or not? I have every intention of making the Chicken Tandoori tonight, so stay tuned. By the way, I have never in my life had Indian food that I liked. I am, nevertheless, very excited about trying this meal. It most likely will be a kind of “Indian Lite” and will be fresh, unlike the sad, lukewarm Indian buffet I tried in England that was thoroughly revolting.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll let you know how things are progressing soon in To Blue Apron or not to Blue Apron – Part Three.