My cousin had a free week of Blue Apron meals and gifted them to us to try. I have not tried any of these pre-set at-home cooking services yet but thought “why not?” The wife wasn’t all that excited about any of the recipes. I settled on the Albondigas, catfish, and chicken biscuit sandwiches.
I scheduled the arrival on a day I was off (I know they say you can let it sit out most of the day without issues). Nevertheless it is good I did schedule it this way because we’ve had triple digit temperatures all week (108 yesterday, 106 today).
The package came in a deceptively hefty cardboard box. Upon opening the box, I found what looked like space age saran wrap with reflective coating.
The 3 separate meals came all jumbled up. The protein was nice sandwiched at the very bottom between 2 very large ice packs. Above that (as seen in the photo below) was a mixture of the produce as well as grains. There was a “knick knacks” bag for each meal that housed smaller things like bread crumbs, soy sauce, etc depending on the meal.
I know that many people praise these types of services for their fresh food and quality. I was a bit disappointed by the two squashes that were in the box. The zucchini was markedly bruised and slightly soft to the touch (the ones we are growing in our produce boxes are definitely better). The yellow squash also was bruised up and softer than I would have expected.
I elected to try making the Albondigas for dinner. Normally when I think of Albondigas, I think of a meatball soup of Mexican origin. However, this “Albondigas” recipe wasn’t what we expected.
I liked that the recipe directions are printed on one side of the cardboard recipe sheet. I wasn’t a huge fan that they basically have you do all the mise en place before starting any cooking.
I feel like as someone who has a decent amount of experience cooking, it made me feel less efficient. Usually I’m doing multiple things at once. It was nice however that once I was done with that, you can just grab what you need and toss it in. This was a fairly straightforward recipe. You saute some onions with garlic and pre-packaged seasoning and use this to mix with the ground beef, bread crumbs, and raisins to create the meatballs. The seasoning felt more like a middle-eastern taste than Mexican. While creating the meatballs you also then saute the yellow squash. I had to find a way to keep the squash warm while I was cooking the meatballs and the sauce (I ended up pre-heating my oven to 170 F as a warming area).
The sauce was created with diced tomatoes and tomato paste and then adding in the browned meatballs. To go along with the meatballs and squash, they provided a small baguette that was halved and toasted. Then, following the Castilian tapas, rubbed garlic and tomato on the toasted bread.
Overall I felt the meal wasn’t too bad. Was it my favorite? No. Would I make it again? I don’t know. But it was decent. I liked dipping the toasted tomato/garlic bread into the tomato sauce with the meatballs.
We shall have to see how the 2 other meals go. Currently I don’t have plans to continue Blue Apron after these 3 meals but we shall see.