More Good Food

Happy new year to you and all the best for 2018!

We had a quiet weekend, partly because it was snowing like mad and partly because putting the books in the book tree away tempted me to reorganize all the bookshelves. I even moved some bookcases, and rearranged the view.

We also had the second and third nights with GoodFood over the weekend and both meals were a success.

Our second night with the program was BBQ-Rubbed Steaks with Sweet Potato and Zucchini Hash. I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients, but here’s dinner:

BBQ Steak and Vegetable Hash

Once again, Mr. Math decided to barbeque the meat rather than cooking it inside. Their spice mixture made a kind of a crust that was really good. The vegetable mix was delicious, although there was a lot of it. I kept about a third of it for lunch the next day.

Finally, we had a brunchy dish, a Two-Cheese Vegetarian Strata. This had kale and spinach in it, with mozzarella and parmesan – and chunks of ciabatta bread.

Two Cheese Vegetable StrataMr. Math called it a savoury bread pudding, and it certainly was made the same way. We liked this, but when I make it again, I’ll leave out the nutmeg. This was the only meal to which I added anything—it came with a parsley and almond salad, but I cut up a couple of oranges for the salad. We had about a third of it left for the next morning, too.

All in all, we really liked this service and the recipes. The proportion of vegetables was consistent with how we eat and the mix of flavors was new. I feel like I learned some new tricks! I’ll make that vegetable hash again and the strata, too. So, we’re counting this experiment as a success and have ordered again from GoodFood.

First Night with GoodFood

I’m trying another meal kit delivery service this week called GoodFood. This one offers seven choices each week and is priced pretty much the same as Chefs Table, which we tried last week. (Here are the posts about night #1, night #2, and night #3 with that delivery service.) Three dinners per week for two people from GoodFood costs $65.00 CA

I liked these people quickly. Their newsletter is about ingredients – the first one I received was about lemongrass (how to choose it, how to prepare it, what it tastes like) which was featured in one of last week’s recipes. This week’s was about Romanesco sauce, which is featured next week in one of their selections. They also emailed me recipes I hadn’t chosen, in case I wanted to try them out. The assumption here seems to be that you like food. We do!

Our box came yesterday and was very similar to the Chefs Table box – except that this one was not just insulated but lined with foil. The fish was frozen. I’ll guess that it was shipped that way and, given that it’s 30 degrees below zero here, it stayed that way en route. We always eat the fish first from such services, just to make sure it’s fresh, so I had to thaw it out. I immediately noticed that the bags were bigger. They were filled with more vegetables. Yay! Also the fish was very similar to the vacuum-packed and frozen-at-source halibut fillets that I buy at our favorite fishmonger.

Last night’s dinner was Pistachio-crusted Haddock & Clementine Relish. It was served with fennel and red onions, as well as Jerusalem couscous with arugula and orange. Here are the ingredients:

Goodfood Haddock 1

Everything was in really good shape. The fennel had frozen, probably en route, but I freeze fennel all the time. Since it was going to be cooked, I knew it would be fine. The mint and the arugula were very fresh and the oranges were lovely.

I don’t eat nuts, so I dredged my fish in just the olive oil, spice mixture and panko crumbs. I then added the pistachios to the panko, and Mr. Math got them all. There were no complaints. I also cheated on cutting the orange free of the membrane, since I still have trauma from Miss Connor’s Grade 7 Home Economics class, in which we had to remove the membranes from one grapefruit and one orange each to make a fruit salad. I removed the pith of the orange last night and chopped up the fruit along with its membrane. We survived just fine.

Here’s Mr. Math’s dinner:

Good Food Haddock 2

I decided not to mix all the vegetables and couscous together, but to arrange them as fish, veg and carb. The clementine and mint relish is piled in the middle. The incredible thing about this meal was that there was So. Much. Food. My plating had smaller servings and there was 1/4 of the fennel/onion and probably 1/3 of the couscous left. We ate the extra vegetables and some of the extra couscous, but there was just too much. This is astonishing, considering that Mr. Math is shoveling snow right now, but there it is.

The meal was delicious. The mix of savory and the sweetness of the oranges was just awesome. I loved it. This was my favorite of the meals so far. Tonight, we’ll try another from this company, then we have a brunchy egg thing for New Year’s Day.

Night #2 with Chef’s Plate

The experiment continues with our menu delivery service. This week, we’re trying Chef’s Plate. Yesterday, I posted about our first meal, Spicy Pork Ragu, and today I’ll be talking about meal #2, Saffron Chicken Paella.

First off, several people yesterday wanted to know what was in the bag. Here’s a picture of what was included and how it was packaged—this is after I took it out of the big box with the cooler packs:
Chef's Table, ingredients

So, there was the recipe card (far right) along with all of the ingredients. The recipe card has illustrated instructions on the back:
recipe card, back

Once again, I thought this meal called for a salad. The interesting thing is that I think most meals call for a salad, but when I’m planning the main dish, I don’t get around to making the salad. Using a service like this means that I DO make the salad. Yesterday, I bought a box of mixed greens and while the paella was simmering, I made two salads. Mr. Math even got some red onion, which he loves.

Then there was the paella. This was a very good meal. There was a lot of chicken. (I actually nicked a piece of chicken for the New Girl when it was browned, as she gets a bit of lean protein on her dinner.) I did cut the chicken filets into smaller pieces and I did remove the tendons from them. As always, I was worried about there being enough for Mr. Math (Viking and snow shoveller) but I split the two servings so that he had 2/3 and I had 1/3—we both were happy. (I don’t think I could have eaten another bite.)

Here’s his dinner:
Spanish Paella from Chef's Table made by Deborah Cooke

As a bonus, he told me about his visit to Spain while we ate, which happened before we met (all those years ago). It’s interesting—I always thought arborio rice (which is the rice used in risotto) took ages to cook and had to be cooked very slowly, but this was cooked in just 15 minutes.  Another bonus of this is that we’re learning new cooking skills and a little bit more about food!

I have next week booked. I like the idea of knowing what’s for dinner on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and that it’ll take less than an hour to prepare. (Most of the recipes take 20 to 30 minutes.) Chef’s Plate isn’t delivering the week of Christmas, so I’m going to try another service that week. Although we will have the turkey leftovers, I’m thinking we’ll also be glad of a break from them.

If you’d like to give Chef’s Plate a try, use this referral link to get three plates free in your first week. If it doesn’t work, enter #3platesFromDebC at checkout for the discount.