A lot of you asked questions (and made comments) about last Friday's post about the Roasted Pork dish from Hello Fresh. So instead of just moving forward, I thought I should respond to some of those, first.
1) The cutting board (given to Christopher by his sister, Mae - whom I'm naming because she commented on the last post with her name attached) came from a company called "Fred." You can find the "Obsessive Chef" cutting board here (along with a whole lot of other really random stuff on their website: www.fredandfriends.com.)
2) I was told by one of my friends that she always did the full mise en
place prep in advance, and that really seemed to help with the prep/organization. You'll see in my next post about this that I did do that for both meal #2 and meal #3. I definitely think it helped me keep everything in order - though in one of those it took a lot longer than the listed prep time.
3) A very good point was made about the fact that this is actually a great plan for a single person (or couple or family or roommates) with a busy life and job, who likes good food and is not afraid of doing dishes but simply doesn't have time for the grocery store. And, so far, it seems like these meals would do fine with a night in the fridge for leftovers the next day (for dinner or for lunch) - and the portions certainly seem big enough for some of these to stretch to a third meal, even.
4) Because of my comments about the pork sauce being overwhelmed by the amount of shallot, there was also a question
as to whether or not the ingredient list (above the recipe in the photos) didn't list
the amounts of ingredients to use (to avoid our over-shallot-ed sauce,
for instance). Here's the thing: the recipe pages don't really explain all of what is on the top (for instance, it took me ages to figure out that the green numbers referred to the possible allergens listed in the right-hand margin). But, after some study, I realized that the ingredient list actually only mirrors what is in the box -
not how much to use of each item.
5) Yes, I'm being very literal with the instructions this week - at least in part to put them to the test. Next week, I'm sure I'll use the recipes as more of a starting point and avoid shallot overload.
6) One thing that - spoiler alert - drove me crazy by meal #3 is that the recipe constantly talks about "a drizzle of olive oil." But that's basically like saying "a pouring of water" or "a rain of milk." Tell me to drizzle some olive oil into a pan, and I can do that. Give me a recipe step that says "drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil into the hot pan" and I'm with you. By recipe three, even Christopher was mocking the number of steps that refer to "drizzles" of oil - and he wasn't in the kitchen with me.
7) Why did I choose Hello Fresh, instead of one of the competitors (or, you know, a CSA from my local farmer's market)? I could probably say that it was due to the fact that Jamie Oliver is connected to the company and he's big into healthy eating, but the honest answer is price. I found a really great half-price offer online through one of those deal sites (I'd tell you which one, but I honestly don't remember - it was either Groupon or Living Social), and so for 12 meals (3 meals - 2 weeks - 2 people), we're only paying about $60. Plus, I originally had planned to do these meals in the weeks leading up to our wedding, so I wouldn't have to do real meal planning. That plan went out the window due to the scheduling of the first week of food (it took longer for it to kick in than I thought it would), so we postponed until now.
But - based on the questions, I went ahead and also ordered a week's worth of Blue Apron, which should start just after the second week of Hello Fresh ends. (Again - I had a great deal, so for one week it's going to be about $30 - assuming I remember to cancel it in time and not get billed for multiple weeks.) In looking over the recipes (or at least the recipe names and short descriptions), it seems that Hello Fresh might be a little more mainstream, and Blue Apron might lean a little more into the foodie realm. But time will tell whether that's how the recipes play out. You'll find out how they compare along with me in a couple of weeks!