Alaskan RED

A lifelong Alaskan learning about the world one backroad at a time

Housesitter Perk – Blue Apron Meal Kit Day One

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As promised in my last post, here’s a review of our first meal kit from Blue Apron, a generous gift from one of our homeowners.  For the first meal we are making Fennel Spiced Pork Chops with Fig Compote.

We started by pulling out the recipe card for the pork chops and read through it.  The instructions are very detailed with every step laid out, all the ingredients listed, and pictures.

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We grabbed the meal kit dish and found all the items we needed.  Then we were cooking.  I handled the pork chops and fig compote and hubby handled the side dish – farro with kale “salad”.  There seems to be a lot of kale and other greens used in the kits, at least in the ones we had to choose from, so even though he’s not a big fan, we chose this kit, in large part because of the pork chops and knowing we like fennel.

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The recipe was pretty straightforward.  You start the farro first  as it needs to cook for a bit.  We’d never made farro before and it was interesting that it didn’t say how much water to boil it in so we just made sure the grains were well covered.

Next up, coat the chops with a spice mixture that was in a pouch in the Knick Knack bag, Fry quickly (note that you provide the oil for cooking), remove to a plate and keep warm.  Honestly, I didn’t think the amount of time they allow for cooking the chops – 3 to 4 minutes a side – was sufficient for the center cut thicker chops so I gave them an extra minute or two and used tongs to hold them to brown the edges too.

Making the compote with included figs, vinegar, and sugar was pretty easy – just chopping the figs and letting everything simmer until a bit thick.

Then you add the kale to the pan you cooked the chops in and cook til wilted, then add some water to finish cooking and loosen the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.  Here’s where I took some liberty – rather than adding water, we added white wine because….well….we had some and that’s how we roll.

You finish up by stirring the kale into the farro and adding some creme fraiche, tarragon and vinegar into the farro.  Then you plate and serve.  I really did plate it rather than just having serving it family style, just so we could have the complete experience and so I could take this picture for you.

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We really did enjoy this meal.  I would likely never have used the spice combo they came up with. I’m sure I have the ingredients at home so I will try it again.  As I said, we’ve never had farro and while I liked it because I like hearty grains like barley and such, hubby was not a big fan so I likely won’t go out of my way to make it again.  It also didn’t really seem like a salad – more like a side dish.  Not a big deal for some but we are used to having some sort of salad or a straight vegetable side with our meals so it was different. The fig compote was a big hit.  I make these kinds of things a lot – some fruit, sugar and vinegar and you’re good to go – but figs in Alaska are very seasonal and expensive so this was a treat.  And it wasn’t unreasonable in the calorie and fat counts.

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Oh yes….there were no leftovers.  Good that it’s portion controlled….bad if you want something for lunch the next day as we usually did when we were working full time.

Next up – an Asian styled meatball dish!

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