Thursday, November 17, 2016

Julia Learns to Cook With Blue Apron: Seared Chicken and Fregola Sarda

I have a confession to make. I’ve been alive a bazillion years at this point and can’t cook. I am awful at it. I measure recipes by how many times I have to open a window to let out the smoke. Thus I eat out or eat terribly and I wanted to change that.

One day I was browsing through Facebook and I got an ad for Blue Apron. It was $30 off my first order, so I decided why not? I’ve cooked four meals with them now and so far have really enjoyed it!

The first meal I cooked was Seared Chicken and Fregola Sarda with Salsa Verde, corn and tomato. I figured that these were ingredients at least that I had heard of, chicken, corn and the like, so let’s start with something easy.

What I learned from this experience was to read the steps before I wanted to start cooking. I added an hour onto my time by just being stumped by things. For instance – step one was preparing the ingredients. Awesome. Wash produce. Check. Heat some water. Got it. Chop the capers… wait what? Chop the capers? They are like the size of my pink nail, but round. Ok I can figure this out. Five confused minutes later I had chopped capers. Then things got really interested.

Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems. Okay. I don’t think I have ever used fresh herbs. So this was scary. I just knife them? With a big knife? Okay. Peel and mince the garlic. This one required a YouTube search. I stared at the garlic confused about how to get cloves out of it. But helpful video was helpful and I ended up with a garlic paste at the end (which was intended). The same sort of shenanigans followed with cutting corn off a cob and dicing a tomato.

Now it’s time to actually cook. Boiling pasta? Finally, something I am a master at. Throwing things in a pan and stirring until it looks cooked? Got that! Searing chicken… well. That was at least entertaining. And I didn’t completely dry out the chicken.

The dish was delicious in the end and I had enough for the next day’s lunch. I felt like a freaking goddess thinking that I had cooked such an awesome dish. It was so nice to have everything I needed in just the right portion sizes. The only downside is you have such a small window to cook everything in since it’s all pretty much thawed when it arrives in your box.

I was actually really surprised how much I liked the capers Salsa Verde. Also how delicious it tasted as leftovers.

I am excited for the next couple of recipes that are currently being shipped for me next week. Stayed tuned for more when I talk about the salmon disaster and the lick the plate good chicken.

Have any of you used Blue Apron or the like? What do you think of it? 


  1. I am a terrible cook. I mean, usually stuff ends up edible, but I hate planning, hate cooking, and despise clean up. Unfortunately I've been the main cook for my family for about 20 years (now I'm 1/3 of the cook, which I can almost handle).

    I loved various options that do the planning for me. Currently I'm using a web app called GatheredTable where they mail me recipes for a week (I tell them I cook more than I do so I can pick the easiest ones) and then they send me the grocery list. If I lived somewhere hip they connect to online delivery places, but sadly I'm in the boonies. All the recipes are written simply (although you sound even more clueless than me -- I do know how to peel garlic. Hooray -- I've learned something over the decades!). I like how they divide instructions into prep work and cooking, so it doesn't say "now chop the onion in 30 seconds while stirring something" because that never turns out well for me.

    I also like how when I show up at the grocery store and realize I forgot the list I can just pull out my phone and get another copy. And if I decide to screw it and order out I can delete the meal I didn't cook and then generate a new list that automatically takes out those ingredients. Anyway, they don't pay me, but I really like how they've simplfied things in my kitchen. It's like Blue Apron except that they don't send to food, which is sometimes more of a commitment than I want to make.

    1. That sounds amazing! I am definitely going to check them out. Thanks for the suggestion. Also since I have done three or four of these now, I am a master at peeling and mincing garlic :)

  2. The meal services can quickly become addictive. But soon you realize how much money it costs to keep up with them and you begin to wonder about their food sourcing. I saved some of the recipes I got and hope that I can reproduce the results at home. I would say that each of the services I have tried has virtues but also it is worth perusing the menus and perhaps using a delivery per month.

  3. I personally not only can't cook, but somewhat loathe having to do so. Blue Apron, however, I do enjoy! My family purchased a box a few months back as a birthday present for my mother, who loves cooking, and we've been getting them ever since because we have yet to get a meal we haven't enjoyed. We keep the recipes to remake them again later (which is all we ever do, because we have so many now; I take some of the quickest ones myself to make). We've tried a few other similar boxes, such as Hello Fresh, and all agree Blue Apron is the winner among them.

  4. I hardly cook beyond simple spaghetti and bbq chicken in a pan so we eat out a lot or eat frozen things too. I want to be better! My sister has used Blue Apron and similar services and it looks like I should try it based on your experience too. Omg garlic. I had no idea that one of the mini bits was a clove; I thought the whole bulb was a clove so I spent like 20 minutes dicing 10 cloves instead of one!!! It was awful! And made my pasta so garlicky hahah. I think my main reservation is that I'm a picky eater so I don't know if I'd like all the food but maybe I'll try it anyway :)


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