Now you can Cook Like a Chef in your own kitchen!
One of the great joys in life, is sharing food with your friends and family. And I think secretly everyone wishes they could cook like a chef in their kitchens. Although if you’re not comfortable in your kitchen do to a lack of experience, cooking just about anything can see like quite a daunting task. But now there’s a way for you to experience the joy of cooking in your own home with little or no experience thanks to a meal service I just discovered.
I was recently asked by Blue Apron to take a look at their Meal Box service and give my honest opinion from a Chef’s viewpoint. Although this is a sponsored post all of my opinions are honest and 100% my own.
My first order came very well packed with freezer packs surrounding the protein portion of the shipment, with the residual cooling sufficient to keep the produce well chilled.
I have to admit when I first heard about Blue Apron I quickly dismissed it, but when I looked into the service they provided a light bulb went off and I understood exactly what they were offering. Not only is this service perfect for the busy professional, but it’s also great for those that don’t feel comfortable in the kitchen.
Nothing can be more intimidating than trying to create a delicious meal in your own home, if you don’t have the experience and the confidence to begin. This is where Blue Apron shines. Even if you have some culinary skills Blue Apron provides a no-stress environment for busy couples, so they can enjoy their time together in the kitchen. Heating things up in the kitchen can have more than one meaning when dinner is delicious and easy to prepare!
My shipment contained three different dishes, each containing a good sized protein portion sufficient to feed two people. By simply adding a salad and a dessert you have a healthy, delicious dinner with a minimal amount of work.
What impressed me the most was the quality of the ingredients. Blue Apron works with hundreds of family-run farms and ranches to source the best and freshest ingredients available.
– Sustainably sourced seafood
– Meats naturally raised on antibiotic- and hormone-free diets
– Ingredients are perfectly pre-measured reducing food waste
The first dish I prepared was the Beef Tartines. They were very easy to prepare and the instructions were easy to follow.
The Beef Tartines also came with a side dish of zucchini that you flavored with the pistou that you created from your ingredients (which is also on the Tartines). Recommended wine paring from Blue Apron – Las Canovas Tempranillo, 2014
The next dish I sampled from my Blue Apron box were the Chicken Steam Buns. Everything was included allowing me to go outside of my comfort zone and create a dinner that I probably would have never tried at home. Who knew I could make steam buns?
Blue Apron also has Family sized meal kits that serve four. This is a fun way to get the kids involved in the kitchen. With step by step image recipe cards and ingredients that pre-measured it gives the young cook confidence in the kitchen, allowing them to have fun as they become increasingly more proficient in the kitchen. That’s a gift that lasts a lifetime and can be passed on their children.
The Chicken Steam Buns were surprisingly delicious and actually tasted better than I’ve had at local Asian eateries. The seasonings included allowed you to control the amount of heat you applied. So if you like spicy food you can crank up the heat by adding all of the seasonings included. If you’re a bit of lightweight like me use about half and enjoy the deliciousness without the heat. Recommended wine pairing via Blue Apron – Tathata Pinot Grigio, 2015
Last but not least was the Crispy Catfish with the Udon Noodles. The Blue Apron Meal included good sized American farm raised catfish and plenty of noodles.
It easily created two deliciously flavorful dinners in less time that going for takeout and at a substantially lower cost. The recommended wine pairing via Blue Apron for this dish is – Asilomar Trail Riesling, 2014
If you’ve tried these recipes or any other recipe on askchefdennis.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you enjoyed it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on Instagram @chefdenniseats and @chefdennistravels, Twitter and Facebook.
- 2 catfish fillets
- olive oil as needed
- 8 ounces fresh udon noodles
- 4 ounces snow peas
- 1 scallion
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 piece small of ginger
- 1 teaspoon Yuzo Kosho
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup Ponzu Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Togarashi Spice Blend (sweet paprika hot paprika, dried orange peel, poppy seeds, white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds)
- sea salt and black pepper as needed
- wash and dry the fresh produce
- peel and mince the ginger (use the bowl of a teaspoon to peel the ginger)
- cut off and discard the root end of the scallion, thinly slice on an angle separating the white bottom and green top.
- snap off and discard the stem ends of the snow peas, pull off and discard the tough string that runs the length of each pod. cut the snow peas in half on an angle
- in a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high heat until hot.
- add the ginger, white bottom of the scallion and as much of the yuzo kosho as you'd like depending on how spicy you like your food.
- season with salt and pepper to taste. stirring frequently, cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until softened and fragrant.
- Add noodles to the mixture along with ponzu sauce and cup of water. Re-season with salt and pepper as needed
- simmer for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until fully combined and noodles are heated thoroughly.
- While the broth simmers, place the flour on a plate.
- Pat dry the catfish with paper towels, season with salt and pepper on both sides, then dredge the catfish in the flour, fully coating both sides of the fillets
- in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and allow to get hot.
- carefully add the catfish fillets and cook for 3-5 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the second side. When both sides are lightly browned and fully cooked, remove from the heat.
- While the catfish cooks, add the snow peas to the simmering pot of noodles and broth, stirring occasionally. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until snow peas are bright green and tender. Remove from heat and check your seasonings.
- Divide the finished noodles, broth and snow peas between 2 bowls. Top with cooked catfish fillets.
- Garnish with the green tops of the scallions and as much of the spice blend as you like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be.