Meal Kit Review: Home Chef’s Texas-Style Steak on Toast with smashed red potatoes and red onion gravy + recipes

Ratings: 8/10

Last week, it was my time to sample Home Chef meals, and all in all, they did pretty well.   This kit for Texas-Style Steak on Toast with smashed red potatoes and red onion gravy not only produced a very tasty meal, but it taught me recipes/techniques that I didn’t know and would use in the future.

First of all, who would have guessed that white bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with a tiny bit of salt before baking in the oven would be so tasty?  Of course, I’ve made crostini plenty of times, but the white bread seems to incorporate the flavor of the oil and remain soft inside in a way that crostini doesn’t.

The steak itself was better than I would have thought, and I enjoyed the onion sauce very much.  Once again, demi-glace showed its power.

I usually make mashed potatoes with large russet potatoes that I peel before boiling.  I really enjoyed the convenience of making it out of small red potatoes that I only needed to half before cooking.  It was a much faster approach (plus I hate peeling!) and the resulting mashed potatoes were very good.  The peel actually included some festive color to them.  I’m considering using this recipe to make mashed potatoes for my Christmas Eve dinner, but I’m not sure they’ll keep as well as my regular mashed potatoes.

The meal was simple to cook and the portion was adequate – in particular because mashed potatoes are filling.

I got my first week of Home Chef at a discount, so I paid only about $10 for this meal.  Regular price would be $20 – which is a better deal than other home meal kits.

Smashed Red Potatoes

serves 2

  • 12 oz small red potatoes
  • 2 oz sour cream
  • 1 oz butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Wash potatoes and then cut in half.  Place potatoes in a cooking pot and cover with about 1″ of water.  Add salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.  Mashed them with a potato masher, then add sour cream, butter and salt to taste and mix well.  Serve, garnished with the sliced green onions.

I got my first week of Home Chef at a discount, so I paid only about $8 for this meal.  Regular price would be $20 – which is a better deal than other home meal kits.

Red Onion Sauce

serves 2

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprila
  • 2 oz red wine
  • 2 tsp beef demi-glace

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until it starts to caramelize, 6-8 minutes.  Add paprika and red wine and continue cooking until the red wine has almost evaporated, 2-3 minutes.  Mix together the demi-glace and 1/4 cup of water and add to the pan.  Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, 2-3 minute. Serve over steak.


Meal Kit Hacks: HelloFresh Oven-Baked Apricot Chicken Legs with Roasted Potato Wedges and Lemony Broccoli

Rating: 6.5/10

I was inspired to make this recipe for Oven-Baked Apricot Chicken Legs with Roasted Potato Wedges and Lemony Broccoli by actually seeing a similar Plated meal kit on Safeway delivery.  While I’ve been cooking for many years, the idea of using jam as a glaze or sauce for meats is actually very new to me.  I tried it recently in the HelloFresh Pork Chops with Cherry meal kit and I was both impressed and intrigued.

I figured I’d try the  HelloFresh version in order to get a more thorough view at the offerings from this company before moving on to the next.

All in all, this meal was perfectly fine but not particularly exciting.  I did use orange jam instead of apricot, as I prefer that flavor myself, but that’s the only change I made from the kit.  The chicken was pretty good, it was perfectly cooked and moist and I liked the flavor of the skin.  However, it was not spectacular – a home meal, rather than a restaurant quality one.  The potatoes were good but not remarkable, and the lemony broccoli was not a great hit for the family.  Still, they ate it.  In all, it was a perfectly all right family meal which I don’t think I’d make again.

I made a bit more chicken and potatoes that the 2-person recipe called for so I’d have enough for 3 people (one doesn’t eat broccoli so I didn’t increase that amount).  In all, I spent $18.50 out of pocket for this meal for three, instead of the $20-$24 this would have cost me from HelloFresh, though I saved a bit by not having to buy potatoes as I already had them at home.

HelloFresh Ingredients My Ingredients Cost
32 oz chicken legs 3 lbs organic chicken thighs and drumsticks $9
1 tsp paprika 1 tsp paprika $1 for jar
24 oz Yukon Gold Potatoes 3 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes pantry
1 Tbsp fry seasoning* 1 Tbsp Homemade fry seasoning pantry
1 lemon 1 lemon $2.50 for bag of lemons
2 oz Apricot jam 4 oz orange jam pantry
2 tsp Dijon mustard 4 tsp Dijon mustard $5 for jar
16 oz broccoli florets 1 lb broccoli $1
1 tsp chili flakes forgot to use pantry

If you’d like to subscribe to HelloFresh use this link to save $40 off your first box, and I’ll get a $30 credit – which I probably won’t use as I’ll be unsubscribing form HelloFresh shortly to try a different company.


Roasted Red Rosemary Potatoes

This is a super easy and great way to make roasted potatoes. I particularly like it because I have a lot of rosemary growing by the side of my house.  I cooked the potatoes at 425F, as I was cooking them with another dish that required that temperature, but the original recipe has them cooking at 400F.  I think the added temperature had them dry out on the outside, and steam in the inside – something which my guests liked.  I prepared the potatoes about an our before roasting without them turning brown.

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • sprinkle black pepper
  • 6 red potatoes, quartered
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oil, rosemary, salt and black pepper.  Add the quartered potatoes and coat well.  Transfer to a roasting pan or baking sheet.  Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender.

Based on Robin Miller’s recipe at the Food Network.

Marga’s 2013 Xmas Eve Menu
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Mashed Potatoes

A couple of days ago I made mashed potatoes to go with the short ribs I was serving for dinners (you have to have mashed potatoes if you serve short ribs!). Usually, I follow a very good recipe for buttermilk mashed potatoes from the The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. This time, however, I didn’t have either buttermilk or cream, so I had to use regular 1% milk and butter. No matter, the mashed potatoes were phenomenal. The kids couldn’t eat them fast enough. And really, given how much fat they had, no wonder! Still, if what you want are really good mashed potatoes, this is the way to do it. Now, don’t forget to warm up the milk and butter!

  • 2 or 3 large russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 4 Tbsp. semi-melted butter
  • more salt

Put salted water to boil.  Wash and peel the potatoes.  Cut them into large chunks.  Drop into boiling water and cook until very soft.  Drain and put in a large bowl.  Mash with a potato masher. Add milk, butter and salt to taste (taste first!).  Whip on the lowest setting of an electric mixer until they’re as fluffy as you like them, be careful to not overmix.  Taste again and serve.
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