For where I am with my cooking abilities, I saved the best for last. Not only were these recipes both simple and complicated, they were also delicious.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with when it came to my door — unannounced and left sitting in the heat for a few hours because the UPS guys in my neighborhood are allergic to the door bell. Conspiracy theorists say they are working with the porch pirates, but one can only speculate.
Even though this last round of meal deliveries got to sit outside for a long time, everything was still cold and well packaged. Home Chef uses what I can only describe as U-Haul moving blanket material wrapped in a thin plastic for its insulator. It may or may not be more environmentally friendly than thick dense styrofoam or bubble wrap, but it sure feels like it. And if we are getting down to the nitty gritty, the ice packs were nicer too. I saved a few of those for packed lunches.
A neat thing Home Chef did that the others did not was include a binder to hold the recipes that come with your deliveries. I thought that was a nice touch and would make me consider getting more sent. Like the other services, most, if not all, the recipes can be found at www.homechef.com/our-menu. All of the delivery services websites follow a common theme and are easy enough to navigate.
The meals that were randomly selected for me were very good. While not as diverse as the others, they seemed to do a nice job masking the fact it was a beef fest. The first meal I made was creamy parmesan steak penne, and it turned out to be one of the best meals in the whole series. Ingredients were fresh, it wasn’t overly complicated to make but you weren’t going to fall asleep making it, and there was plenty to go around. It was actually the first meal we had delivered that ended up with leftovers despite being so good.
I actually stretched the second meal a few days in the fridge this time. I like to think that was on purpose, but to be honest my cooking bone was so far in need of repair, so I settled on takeout for a few days. Surprisingly, everything was still fresh. The only things that took a hit were the green onions, but those are hit or miss anyway. Pulling the limp onion out, the second meal was steak marsala and, as expected, was yummy.
This recipe was particularly exciting because I didn’t get it perfect like everything before it. I broke the sauce like a kid with two arm casts playing around in an antique store. It was a separated mess. Not having any sort of backup ingredients, like marsala wine, I trucked on.
I suppose that’s a big idea of meal delivery services, to get you out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Breaking that sauce was probably what they have in mind in the first place. It won’t be picture perfect, but it still tasted great and was my wife’s all-around favorite meal of the delivery services.
Next week I will wrap up the series and compare the three services. Hopefully you come to the same conclusion I do, and we will crown an overall winner — Even though I’m pretty sure I already gave it away.