Home Chef Box Review: Welcome to Sauce Town

The apocalyptic cold season of February seems to have abated. (Thank God.) I feel like I lost about 4 days, just gone, to being sick. Definitely one of those weeks where having Home Chef take care of the bulk of meal planning and shopping is ideal! I was again surprised and impressed by their predominantly meat-and-veggies options for this week’s box:

Even though everything arrived looking pretty good, I didn’t want to wait long before cooking the salmon. There’s something about fish in the air that makes me anxious. (Even though the box gets over-nighted to me.) Plus, I like to save my ~favorite~ looking dish for Thursday nights (RIVERDALE!) so figuring out the order for the week was cake.

Teriyaki Ginger-Glazed Salmon

Home Chef Teriyaki Ginger Glazed Salmon
Nom nom nom tasty teriyaki salmonnnnn

The ingredients in this box caused me to scratch my head a bit more than usual. For one, there’s zero information about the salmon. What kind is it? Where was it caught? Literally anything? I’m starting to have more :-/ feelings about Home Chef compared to Blue Apron when it comes to this. Anyway, besides that, they gave me pre-ground ginger. Okay? Like, ginger is not that hard to deal with. I would prefer getting just a little ginger nub and throwing it in the SlapChop with the garlic. But, okay, whatever. Real, raw ginger is too much for Home Chef(s), apparently. (Agree to disagree.)

Questionable ingredient formats aside, this was a yummy dish. I was worried that just the veggies and salmon would leave us hungry, but the protein portion was generous enough to not pose a problem. I loved the way they guided me through cooking the salmon. Sear, glaze with sauce, then bake. It came out moist and flaky, just perfect for fish.

I had never worked with a fresno pepper before, so that was a treat. It was pretty easy to de-core and de-seed and lit a night fire in the dish. I felt good about the calorie count for this at under 500 calories and enjoyed a cider with dinner as a treat. Overall, I’ll give this a B+ just because it felt a bit like something was missing, but that’s probably on me for not making rice to go with it. The teriyaki sauce was nice, I just wish I knew what was in it because Eric kept asking. (Hoisin? Soy sauce? Fish sauce?) More deets on what we’re eating, plz, Home Chef!!

Sirloin with Fig and Red Wine Reduction

Home Chef Sirloin with Fig and Red Wine Reduction
I KNOW IT DOESN’T LOOK GOOD. I know. But OMFG it tastes good.

COOKING WITH WINE, HELLLLL YEAH! It’s not just me. Everyone who’s anyone loves cooking with wine. Why? 1) Ya fancy! 2) The old “don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink” rule means you gotta open the bottle. 3) If you open the bottle, you have to pour a glass while you cook! Otherwise, it will go bad and that’s wasteful and we should know better than to be wasteful in 2017.

Unfortch, Home Chef sent me “cooking wine” which L O L okay, nope. I used it, but still opened a bottle of red out of solidarity with the dish. Solid choices all around.

I don’t really know how to say this so I’m just going to get it out: this is the most perfect meal any meal delivery kit has ever sent me. It couldn’t be simpler: steak, brussels sprouts, potatoes, goat cheese, rosemary, wine, fig preserves. This is peasant food. But each ingredient shouts from the rooftops with flavor, and they temper one another perfectly. It was extremely easy to compose but the taste is off the charts and the texture keeps on delighting.

I’ve never paired brussels sprouts with potatoes before, but I’m never going back. When the goat cheese from the veggies hits the fig/red wine reduction, they meld together like nothing else. We couldn’t believe how scrumptious this was, honestly. This recipe will be getting in the rotation for heavy use in the weeks and months ahead. Perfection. A+.

Bone-In Chimichurri Pork Chop

Home Chef Chimichurri Pork Chop review
Ugh it looks as uninteresting as it tastes. Sorry y’all.

I had planned on making this Friday night, but we decided to go out for a happy hour dinner instead. (This is totally a legit thing and if you haven’t figured it out yet, you’re welcome. Happy hour dinner = cheap food and drinks and it’s early enough that you can actually feel hungry for dessert later. Not to get all Maui on you, but, you’re welcome.)

So anyway, this became Saturday night dinner. I don’t know if I’m judging it more harshly because it wasn’t a weeknight dinner, or maybe because I had already put it off once… but this was a disappointment. Like, really disappointing. The last pork chop we had from Home Chef was just cooked stove-top and turned out great. It was moist and tender and everything pork chops usually aren’t. This one was seared on the stove then cooked in the over. And it was dry and tough and everything pork chops usually are. Very unimpressed with the lack of consistency across their pork chop recipes. But that’s not all…

This dish also featured chayote, which looks like something an alien is about to hatch. They are squash, apparently? Chayote (plural form?) have a very mild taste and they don’t look very pretty on a plate. I guess they were fine? But as a whole, very disappointing meal. Just extremely average to not-great. I’m going to give it a C because we’re better than this by now!

Best part of this dish was the chimichurri sauce, which is always good. I have never had it with dried herbs in it before, so that was encouraging to try. But when the sauce is the best part of a dish, that ain’t good.

So now that I’ve logged into Home Chef and canceled any deliveries with more chayote, we are taking a week off from meal kits. BACK TO MEAL PLANNING OMG SO HARD I DIE (jk you know I got this.)  The reviews will be back in 2 weeks with a return to Blue Apron!