You may have noticed that I quite like to cook. I’m not really the target audience for an organisation like Hello Fresh, whose MO is to deliver precisely-portioned ingredients and instructions for people who don’t want to buy a bunch of coriander and see half of it go slimy.
I am quite in favour of this sort of thing actually – just because I find something easy and enjoyable doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate that others may find it dull or difficult or scary (that’s how I feel about driving after all, and yet Top Gear still exists). I suspect 3 main target markets exist:
1 – Lazy people
2 – People who cook rarely and so won’t ever use up a whole bunch of coriander or a whole bag of potatoes
3 – People who are nervous about cooking new things and find it helpful to be shown exactly what is meant when a recipe book says “a thumb-sized piece of ginger” or similar
Technically I fall into #2, since I’m mostly cooking for one these days, but I was only really interested when a colleague had a voucher thingy for me to get my first box for £1. I do love a bargain.
The first recipe I cooked from the box was a chicken and mushroom thing.
Everything is measured out for you, and you have only exactly the “right” amount. I was determined to approach this as if I did not know what I was doing and follow the instructions completely, or else I’d be “cheating” on the Hello Fresh experience.
I made notes as I went, so here are a few thoughts on the process.
- Good sized chicken breasts
- Nice note on the chicken breast packaging that basically said “there might be a slightly odd smell for a few seconds when you open this, don’t panic”
- Telling you not to wash up the pan you fried the chicken in, sensible!
- Useful to tell you to properly BOIL the rice because it’s brown rice and needs boiling harshly
- Does expect you to have oil and salt (fine in itself) but specifies olive oil without telling you that it would actually be 99% fine if you used sunflower oil or vegetable oi, or any oil at a really
- Putting the fried chicken straight onto the baking tray could stick if your tray was not non-stick
- How do I tell if my mushrooms have gone soft?
- No mention of draining the rice at all – I would have hoped for a tip on how to do it well, but you get to the end of the recipe and it just says “serve with the rice”
The recipe was tasty, of a good size, and satisfying. If I were using my own judgement I might have sightly less rice (175g of dry brown rice for 2 is on the larger side), more mushrooms, and more creme fraiche in less stock to make a thicker sauce. The thyme was very nice, and the addition of the little sachet of mustard to the sauce didn’t make it “taste of mustard”, it just tasted nice.