Friday, August 14, 2015

Blue Apron Experiment

I saw several commercials for Blue Apron and was intrigued.Then a friend from the dog park mentioned that she and her boyfriend have it and like it. She also offered us a referral which gave us three complimentary meals.

One of the first things Jeff noticed was that the packaging wasn't environmentally friendly: lots of little plastic bottles and baggies of knickknacks: flour, spices, tomato paste, etc. Each package of six meals (three meals for two people) comes with two large "ice" packs.

I was underwhelmed with the first meal: cod and soba noodles with eggplant. When I was away for a few days, Jeff enjoyed the Chicken Milanese and Vadouvan-Spiced Lamb Burgers. We skipped the following week. Up next: Steaks & Roasted Potatoes: good but simple. The first meal I cooked was Mexican-Style Chicken Tortas. They are basically upscale sandwiches: good but a bit too complicated. I ended up with several dirty prep dishes and feeling a little frazzled.

I reviewed the six recipe cards we'd received. The recipes feature lots of eggplant, squash and zucchini. I get it; they're in season, but we're not fans. Three recipes required breading: too time-consuming and messy for me on a normal basis. I need more prep time than the cards indicated. I figured Blue Apron wasn't right for me.

Then I made the Crispy Catfish. I prepped the fish as instructed. The side dish is a Sicilian Eggplant Caponata. I made variations: more pepper and much less eggplant. I added a side salad of romaine and kale. It was delicious--why hadn't I tried catfish before?

That reminded me of one of the reasons we were intrigued by Blue Apron: an easy way to try new foods and recipes. We'll probably go to a delivery every two or three weeks based  on our plans and Blue Apron's menus. I'd prefer to get two meals for two instead of three for two, but that's not an option.

Tomorrow I plan to make the Chicken Milanese (saved the recipe card) but with my own sides.

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