Week 2, Meal 1 (4/29/15)
Sirloin Tip Steaks with New Potato, Asparagus, & Radish Hash
My second BA box showed up. As I unpacked it, I had the following responses:
1) “Fennel!” (which I couldn’t even recognize until last week)
2) “Radishes!” (which I didn’t know could be cooked until last week)
3) “Parsley?” (which until tonight, I thought was just another disposable garnish, but approached with a freshly-opened mind based on having recently overcome my Radish bias)
The Rich-o-Meter rates this a strong 4.5 (out of 5), tied with last week’s Almond-Crusted Cod for things he’d like me to try again (from scratch !?!).
Week 2, Meal 2 (5/1/15)
Dukkah-Spiced Salmon with Spring Vegetable & Oyster Mushroom Ragout
Tonight I faced the scariest ingredient to date: Celeriac. This thing has everything going against it: I’ve never heard of it, its name sounds like a disease requiring a gluten-free diet, it’s really, really ugly, and I had no idea what tools I should use to prep it. I googled it and overcame my fear when I learned that it’s nothing more than a fancy, unfortunately-named, root-based relative of celery. I confirmed its heritage with a quick sniff check, peeled it like a potato, whacked off the nasty root end, chopped the rest into bite-sized chunks, and now I can embrace it the same way I have the radishes.
That said, tonight’s meal was by far the highest-effort and most adventurous meal so far. It got mixed reviews on the Rich-o-Meter (overall rating of 3): Plus points because he liked it in spite of the salmon (which isn’t one of our favorites), and Minus points for too much fennel (note to self: it’s OK to adjust and toss the extra if the fennel bulb in this box is significantly larger than the one you learned on in the last box). Oh, and I still need practice with the zester, although tonight’s injury was trivial compared to the first one.
On a side note, this conversation happened tonight:
Me: “I know you’re busy, but sometime after the race bikes have left on the ship for the Isle of Man, we need to take our knives to the knife-sharpening guy at the Cotati Farmer’s Market.” (The last time we did that was several years ago.)
Him: “If it’ll keep you cooking like this, I’ll take care of that next week.”
Week 2, Meal 3 (5/3/15)
Laotian Larb Gai with Sticky Rice, Peanuts & Mint
Two weeks ago, I didn’t know how to cook and I didn’t care about learning. One week ago, I was rewarded by some early successes with my Blue Apron kits, but assumed my ADD-driven curiosity would quickly wane. Tonight, I’m truly looking forward to my next delivery on Wednesday (it’s Mexican week!). I’ve no doubt that my serotonin-deficient brain chemistry will ultimately prevail, but my interest has already lasted a week longer than expected. I still don’t know HOW to cook, but thanks to pre-measured ingredients and excellent instructions, somehow I actually AM cooking (in spite of myself).
Tonight’s Laotian meal rated 4 on the Rich-o-Meter. And yes, as my friends predicted, the “how can I make it better” has kicked in: I was faced with a plateful of raw cabbage, which neither of us care for. Undaunted, I pulled out a bottle of Comfort’s Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing to salvage (well, disguise) that part of the meal – success, no cabbage went to compost!
Week 2 Wrap-up
- I cooked some more
- It was still good
- Week 3, bring it on!