that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘salmon’

Hello Fresh: We’ve got a first timer here

Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 9, 2015

Hello Fresh salmon ingredientsI am now obsessed with Hello Fresh, the weekly food box delivery service. My first order arrived last night, and I couldn’t wait to get cooking. This is the first time I’ve used a service like this, and I was super impressed. The Hello Fresh website was easy to use, and the meal selections were available a few weeks in advance, allowing me to order based on my tastes and my schedule. The giant box showed up on my doorstep on time, full of ice packs and fresh ingredients. Also, props to the the packaging designers, because everything was straight up adorable. (The soy sauce packets were little fish!)

I chose to make the fish meal first, assuming it would not stay fresh in my fridge as long as the others. (You can obviously freeze the ingredients upon receipt if your original cooking plans go awry.) I think I’ve come a long way in my culinary pursuits over the years, and I’ve cranked out some pretty good food (alongside some very sad, traumatic missteps), but the end result of this box was as close to “restaurant” as I’ve come. The fish was cooked to perfection with a nice crispy skin, and it paired nicely with the earthy beets. (Not to mention purple is my favorite color — and rarely present in my meals — so I got some food nerd fun plating the beets and the red onions.) I was a big fan of the “salsa” of beets, red onion, fresh dill and horseradish, and the side of farro added a nutty crunch.

Hello Fresh pan-seard salmon beets herbed salsa

Because I spend hours scanning circulars, scrolling through Pinterest and writing meal plans in my ladybug notebook, I wasn’t sure a meal delivery service like this would be “my thing,” but I really enjoyed this experience. Financially, it equates to a week of groceries for meals of this quality, but it also cuts down on waste. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lifted an unidentifiable baggie of vegetables from my crisper drawer, and thought, “Well there goes $3…” or let a $6-jar of something grow mold because I broke the seal to use 2 tablespoons of whatever it contained and let it sit on my refrigerator door for two years.) The weekly menu-selection process allows you to be adventurous, opting for dishes and/or ingredients you wouldn’t otherwise pick. It also makes a great date night activity that your culinarily challenged significant other pretty much can’t screw up.

If you are interested in trying out Hello Fresh, let me know and I can send you an invite email that will get you $40 off your first box (which means you’re getting six meals for $20-something — it’s a steal!), or use my referral code 7Y9WGA.

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not falling flat

Posted by culinaryneophyte on August 23, 2011

Up until this summer, I had never worked at a full-time job closer than 45 miles away. I was either planning ‘leftoverable’ meals for dinner so I’d have lunch for the following day, or I’d drop at least $5 a day to get a somewhat satisfying midday meal. Having a job is awesome, but having a job where you can come home on your lunch break is even better. Now that I’m home during lunch, though, I’m faced with a new challenge: What can I make, eat and enjoy in 40 minutes?

My favorite answer so far: mini pizzas, more specifically buffalo chicken flatbread and “loxish” flatbread. These personal-sized pizzas are filling enough for lunch or dinner, but you can get a week’s worth of them for what you’d spend on one meal out.

Buffalo chicken flatbread
♦1 slice flatbread or pocketless pita
1 chicken tenderloin, cooked and shredded
4 tbs. hot sauce
Squirt of lemon juice (official measurement)
1 tsp. oregano (or more, if you’d like)
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese (fresh is best, but shredded works, too)
Olive oil

Combine shredded chicken, hot sauce 1/2 tsp. oregano and lemon juice in bowl. Let sit while oven preheats to 350. Drizzle flatbread with olive oil. Add 1/4 c. mozzarella, then entire contents of bowl (chicken + sauce), additional oregano and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until crust is golden.

“Loxish” flatbread
♦1 slice of flatbread (or pocketless pita)
4 oz. neufchatel (fewer calories than cream cheese)
2 oz. smoked salmon/lox 1 tbs. green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 c. cheddar cheese
Sprinkle of garlic powder 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Warm neufchatel in microwave for 5-10 seconds. Mash green onions into neufchatel, and spead mixture on flatbread. Top with smoked salmon, cheddar and garlic powder. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Total time? 15 for each.
Cost? (To make a work week’s worth) For buffalo chicken: $2.50 package of six flatbreads, $3.50 fresh mozzarella, $3 chicken tenderloins, $1.25 hot sauce. For “loxish”: $2.50 package of six flatbreads, $3 smoked salmon, $1.88 cheddar cheese, $1 green onions, $1 cream cheese.
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out 10. If you’re a thin crust hater, these aren’t for you; otherwise, give them a try. I could eat these every day. So easy. So fast. So good.

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