Blue Apron and I were not off to an auspicious start. One of our dinners called for one and one half pounds of chicken wings and only one paltry nine ounce package was in the box (yes, I weighed it). When I contacted the company, they said they would credit my account. Hmmmm.
Oh well, two days of interesting dinners awaited, and a snack of chicken wings: I was left to choose between steak tacos and catfish on a bed of freekeh. Figuring the catfish was best to use first, I set to work. Instructions here are very clear, but as always, it’s a good idea to read the recipe all the way through to get a sense of the timing. I liked the way they organized the cooking so you just wipe out the pan and move on to the next step, saving my husband a pile of dishes (yup, that’s his job!). While the freekeh (a chewy, tasty whole grain) boiled away, I prepped the other ingredients and cooked up the collard greens seasoned with fresh ginger. Cut into skinny strips, collards cook fast! Next I prepared the meyer lemon glaze, an ingredient that is not so easy to get your hands on around here, but prized for its sweet/tartness. Lastly, after dredging the fish in a bit of rice flour (included, and nice for those that shy away from gluten), I sautéed it and plated the dish: freekeh mixed with the gingered collards as a base, the perfectly sautéed fresh catfish on top, and a clump of meyer lemon with the glaze drizzled over. Wow. Start to finish in about 35 minutes, it was a huge step up from my usual sear-roasted salmon and sautéed kale. A lovely combination of flavors, improved by the sweet and sour meyer lemon glaze, proved an elegant and complex dish.
Good to know: I’d recommend this service for those who like an interesting meal without planning and schlepping. You’ll likely learn a new technique or two, perhaps try a new food (freekeh anyone?) and possibly add a new recipe to your repertoire. At $9.99 per dish it’s reasonable, too. Plus you can tie one on with Blue Apron! Order the wine box at 65.99 for six sized-for-two 500 ml bottles, paired with your dishes and accompanied with wine tasting notes. Great idea!
I shared the rest of the box with e-list staffer, Laura, and she was equally pleased with the outcome of the steak tacos and chicken wings (albeit only enough for one!).
The Steak Tacos with Mole Verde were tasty and easy to follow but the watery salsa made this a messy meal. I’d suggest adding only half the water in the recipe to the tomatillos for the salsa verde as they have plenty of water on their own. The toasted pepitas provided just the right crunch and salt for the salsa, though and distracted me from the mess. I loved the cool, fresh finish of the radish, avocado and cilantro and the steak seasoning (paprika, cumin, garlic powder) was spot on. I’d make it this again with that simple adjustment.
Spicy Orange Chicken Wings
This was my favorite of the two. For the chicken wings, I followed the cooking time to the minute and kept the required temperature of the oven. They turned out with just the right crispiness and got perfectly sticky from the orange sauce when returned to the hot oven. As a spice lover, I used every scrap of Sambal Oelek provided with the orange marmalade to make the orange glaze. The rice was tender, yet fluffy. The flavor from the shitake mushrooms and texture from the sesame seeds were a perfect combination. I had just wished for more sauce from the wings to spill onto the rice. The sauce was THAT good!
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