Baby's sister-in-law recently introduced us to Blue Apron, a wonderful, purposeful, hands-on food delivery service. First person to comment in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a week's selection of three meals
for two--free! This does of course depend on whether they deliver or not to your area--but I do believe they are slowly taking over the country. Check out blueapron.com to find out more about them and where they deliver.
Here's what's great about Blue Apron:
Three meals for two are about $60 and there are usually leftovers--and you don't have to think about what to make for dinner every night because colorful recipe cards arrive in a box filled with fresh, insulated, refrigerated measured-out produce such as snap peas, shrimp, ground lamb and beef mixtures, chicken thighs and herbs such as tarragon, cilantro or parsley to suit the recipes. There is also a charming bag of Knick Knacks included with perhaps two tablespoons of sesame oil, soy sauce or butter for example, or a 1/4 cup of flour depending on the week's recipes. I love this because you don't have to try to locate a bottle of oyster sauce and then stare at it wondering what to do with the rest--or deal with the tedium of measuring out everything.
The way the recipe cards are configured, it also teaches a good method of cooking, such as preparing your ingredients first in ramekins, to set up your mise en place and have the chopped goods at the ready for more efficient cooking. The recipes take less than an hour from preparation to table.
If you can't attend to Blue Apron's weekly visits right away, throw the meat and fish in the freezer! Put the produce in the crisper and try to use within the week! Improvise! You don't need to follow the recipes exactly and you will have staples on hand for other uses.
A calorie count is listed (this shrimp and soba recipe is about 560 calories per serving) and you may cancel from week to week by going online or calling them about six days in advance before your next delivery.
Prepare your ingredients:
Heat a large pot of water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Chop the Chinese broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Slice the scallions. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Cut off the ends of the lemongrass stalks, then peel away the fibrous outer layers until you reach the white, pliable cores. Mince the lemongrass cores.
Cook the soba noodles:
Add the soba noodles to the boiling water. Cook about 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly.
Cook the shrimp:
While the soba noodles cook, heat some oil in a large pan on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic, lemongrass, ginger, shrimp, and half the scallions. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until the shrimp are pink.
Add the Chinese broccoli:
Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until bright green. Remove from the heat.
Add the soba noodles:
Add the drained soba noodles, oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, and the juice of half the lime. Stir about 1 minute to coat everything in the sauce.
Plate your dish:
Divide the noodles with shrimp and vegetables between 2 bowls. Garnish each with the remaining scallions. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!
After weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox