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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blue Apron Day 3

Today was probably the most challenging Blue Apron day -- which isn't saying much because Blue Apron makes things really easy -- but it was also the most delicious Blue Apron meal that I've had.

Tonight was Nepalese Chicken Tarkari, and I wasn't sure what to expect because I've never had any type of Nepalese meal before. I knew the spice blend included some curry, but aside from I had no idea what this meal would taste like.

This was the last night of my first Blue Apron week, and everything was still fresh. I was a little
In the beginning...
worried about the produce, but I just didn't have time to get to the meal before this afternoon. The produce was not bad, but it was not as fresh as it was six days ago. I was impressed by that. I also realized a few days ago that there was creme fraiche for this recipe and it was not in my fridge. I am pleased to report that the packaging kept it fresh in the knick-knack bag.

Fresh ginger and garlic!
There were a lot of firsts in this recipe. I never use fresh garlic and fresh ginger because they are a pain in the butt. I am not sure I did the world's best mincing job, but they gave the meal amazing flavor. (I did learn that I probably need to break down and get a nice knife set because I had trouble chopping up my cooked spinach too.) I also cooked rice and had it turn out, which never seems to happen in my world. I like all the little tips that Blue Apron gives me.

Speaking of the rice, it took a lot less time to cook than I thought it would and it just kind of sat there (and got a little bit sticky) while I was cooking the chicken and preparing the sauce. The chicken was a place where I went off recipe for a minute. I used the glass lid to my pan instead of tenting the pan with foil to speed up the cooking time. One of my chicken breasts was really thick and the other one was almost a cutlet. I had to remove the thinner one first and let it sit on the plate while the other finished cooking, and it took longer than planned.

The sauce was easy to make and it was great. I will probably use canned crushed tomatoes more often
So much sauce
in cooking because I really liked the flavor and consistency. The creme fraiche really helped balance out the acidity and the spices.

The smells coming out of my kitchen for this meal were probably my favorite part. Everything smelled so delicious that I was literally salivating waiting to get everything plated. It still took me more than 40 minutes. Tonight's meal came in at 55, but maybe I am just not a speedy cook. I know my kitchen has a horrible layout, and I am sure that doesn't help. This was my last free meal, but I'm going to go ahead and try another week of Blue Apron and then I may take a little break. I don't want to get burned out on it. I am just really looking forward to what I'll be getting in the package tomorrow.

The finished product
Perhaps my only complaint with this meal, which is going to sound silly because of how delicious it was, is that there was a lot of food for this one. When I looked at the recipe card I couldn't figure out how this came in at more than 600 calories. There was so much rice, and I probably had to put about one-third of a cup of the sauce down the disposal (although the sauce is so delicious that you might want extra). I just hated to waste any of it because the whole point of Blue Apron for me is to cut down on waste.

I also didn't do the wine pairing tonight because I was feeling dehydrated and stuck with water. I think if I had paired it, I probably would've gone with a Pinot Grigio because of all the spiciness that was happening.

I can't remember everything I'm getting next week, but I know there is catfish and pork chops. Stay tuned to see what else I have to say about this experiment. Today I was telling my aunts that they should try it. They have been really struggling to get dinner on the table without grandma running their kitchen as only a retired dietary manager could. They asked me a lot of questions about recipes, value, how it is delivered. I suspect at the end of the day they may be too finicky with their food preferences and they worried that they lived too far away for the deliveries, but I would love for them to try it.

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