Just to state the obvious here, but this is a food blog. So if you’re reading this, I imagine you’re either (a) a blood relative of mine, or (b) at least mildly interested in cooking and eating food. So, relatives and fans of cooking, what do you think of this? Apparently there is this European trend that is (maybe?) starting to catch on in America where companies will send you a recipe and all the ingredients — down to “two tablespoons of olive oil” and “six sprigs of cilantro” — for you to cook in your own kitchen.
What do we think of this? On the plus side, you don’t have to spend time meal planning, grocery shopping, measuring olive oil or cutting up vegetables, and you still get a homecooked meal out of the deal. But, as someone who enjoys meal planning, grocery shopping, measuring olive oil and cutting vegetables, this is not a great benefit to me. It’s also expensive (supposedly $7 – $17 per serving) and seems to be weirdly wasteful — while you’re buying exactly the ingredients you need and no more, you’re also getting olive oil in two-tablespoon cups and packaging for individual sprigs of herbs, etc. So. Kindof on the fence about that.
At the end of the day, this seems like an OK option for young, single, busy, urban people who WANT to cook but don’t have time to meal plan and don’t have convenient access to a grocery store. But to me, it ultimately feels just a little “icky,” in a way that grabbing takeout or popping in a Tombstone pizza just don’t. Like this quote: “Food is one of the last pieces of daily life that is still analog. We want to bring it into the digital space.” I sortof LIKE that food is analog and that cooking dinner is the part of my day when I’m not pushing buttons or swiping or staring at a screen. Sometimes it’s the ONLY part of my day like that. And I think that’s kindof valuable.
Anyway, I would love to hear what you think of all this in the comments. And if this article didn’t convince you to start buying pre-proportioned olive oil and pre-chopped herbs for your recipes, maybe you should think about making this. You’ve gotta do some chopping and some measuring, sure. But is that really all that bad?
3 slices high quality white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1 cup plain potato chips, crushed
6 tbsp chopped fresh dill
4 salmon filets, about 6 oz each, skin removed
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1. Heat oven to 400. Pulse bread in a food processor to fairly even 1/4 inch pieces (about the size of Grape Nuts cereal), about 10 pulses. Spread crumbs evenly on rimmed baking sheet, and toast in oven, shaking pan once or twice, until golden brown and crisp, 5-6 minutes.
2. Toss toasted bread crumbs, crushed potato chips, and dill together in small bowl; set aside.
3. Change oven setting to broil. Place salmon filets on foil-lined baking sheet coated with olive oil/olive oil spray. Rub filets evenly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil salmon on upper rack of oven until the surface is spotty brown and outer 1/2 inch of the thick end is opaque when gently flaked with a paring knife, about 8 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven, spread fish evenly with mustard, and press bread crumb mixture onto fish. Return baking sheet to lower oven rack and continue broiling until crust is deep golden brown, about 1 minute longer. Serve immediately.
See, that’s not so hard, right? I loved the crispy-crunchy topping — potato chips, fresh toasted bread crumbs, dill, and Dijon, deliciousdelicious. Even though it looks like a lot of work (toasting bread crumbs! getting out the food processor! ugh!), I promise it isn’t. If you’re looking for a new fish recipe for this Lenten season, this is a good one!