Most people know the basics of cooking. But did you know that in order to make a meal truly special, you must begin by arranging all of your ingredients in pretty bowls and placing them on and around the antique kitchen scale your husband balked at? It’s true. Do not skip this step. No substitutions.
Brandon was a little confused by the scale’s arrival, seeing as how we don’t have all that much counter space in our kitchen, but I showed him, didn’t I. Everyone appoints their kitchens according to an item’s photogenic qualities, yes? (It could have been much worse.)
And it’s cast iron, which goes nicely with our cast iron stove and my new cast iron braiser. I haven’t seen Inception, so I had to ask Brandon if it was an appropriate reference for making a joke here. All I know is it’s a dream about a dream inside a dream… swap out the “dream” with “cast iron” and there’s a joke in there somewhere. No? He said no. So I challenged him to come up with something better, which he could not, because it seems I had not stumbled upon the comedic goldmine I thought I had.
I do love that new braiser though. I’ve cooked with cast iron and baked with enameled cast iron before, but I would have normally used our big stainless steel sauté pan for a dish like this (chicken bolognese & rigatoni pasta with mascarpone cheese from our latest Blue Apron delivery). The braiser is about the same size, but it regulates the heat much better on our crazy stove and it was still easy to clean. Plus, it is a lovely shade of pink.
I did not have something suitably twee for making the summer squash-arugula salad, and so I had to settle for a perfectly useful but not terribly cute stainless steel mixing bowl. My assistant made up for it with added cuteness, which was welcome — though she did keep stealing slices of the squash.
Look, the scale is useful once again!
That pasta was tasty. I don’t think I had cooked with mascarpone before, and it added a nice creaminess. That’s part of why I like Blue Apron: there’s usually an interesting ingredient or twist on a classic dish that we wouldn’t have thought of. Having the meal planning done for us is awesome too, and everything ships for free. If you want to get an idea of what you get, you can browse their recipes. Don’t the Thai-spiced salmon and hoisin-glazed chicken thighs look good?
The Family Plan with a delivery once a week works for us, but they also offer two shipments per week or a smaller 2-Person Plan, and you can skip or cancel any time. I’m always happy to share them on the blog, and Blue Apron is offering the first 100 readers that sign up here two free meals on their first Blue Apron order!
And I was close to something with the cast iron thing there, right?