Today I ended up with some extra top sirloin. This meant I had to figure out what to do with it and I had so much fun making hacking the Plated recipe for French onion soup burgers, that I decided to hack something from Hello Fresh this time, as I’ve started trying their kits. I decided on this recipe for “Balsamic Rosemary Skirt Steak with Garlic Herb Toasts and a Roasted Pear Salad” because I had most of the ingredients at home and it was one of their “premium” recipes, which cost an additional $12 per 2-person meal. There is no way that I’m going to spend $36 on a meal for two without leftovers that I have to cook myself, unless a rack of lamb or some prime beef is involved, so I can only try these recipes by making them with my own ingredients.
Once again, I shopped at my neighborhood grocery store so I had to make some drastic substitutions:
|Hello Fresh Recipe||My Version||My cost|
|1 pear||1 bag Bosc pears||$3|
|1 demi-baguette||1 loaf sourdough bread||$2|
|2 shallots||1 large shallot||Pantry|
|1/4 oz rosemary||2 tsp chopped rosemary||homegrown|
|2 Tbsp. garlic herbed butter||4 Tbsp. garlic herbed butter||pantry/homemade|
|12 oz skirt steak||12 oz top sirloin||$6.50|
|3 tsp balsamic vinegar||3 tsp red wine vinegar||pantry|
|chicken demi glace||1 tsp. beef base||pantry|
|2 oz arugula||2 oz mixed greens||leftover|
|2 oz Ricotta salata||4 oz blueberry goat cheese||$3|
In all, I spent $15.50 on the meal, less than half of what I would have spent if I’d bought the kit. I was lucky that all the substitutions worked great. Bosc pears are actually preferable for baking as they keep their shape. Sourdough bread (which I’d bought the day before and not used) is tastier than the plain baguettes and the croutons came out great. While I, myself, prefer skirt take, the top sirloin worked just as well and it was more tender than skirt steak would have been. And the blueberry goat cheese on the salad (for which I used the mixed greens I bought for my last hacked recipe) was a revelation. I did have to make the herbed butter myself, but it wasn’t too hard. I simply chopped a few fresh herbs I had around the house (rosemary from the side yard, basil and some of the living herbs thyme I bought for my last recipe) in addition to a couple garlic cloves and mixed it with softened butter.
The overall meal was very good, and I loved that it had three elements: steak with a sauce, a grown up salad and herbed garlic bread – but it was a pretty laborious meal to make for that reason. Still, we both enjoyed the steak and the sauce certainly added flavor to a cut that I think usually needs it (as opposed to NY steak or rib eye which just need salt to be great). The herbed garlic bread was quite good and I very much enjoyed the salad. The blueberry goat cheese, in particular, was a revelation. I’d never had thought of putting it on salad otherwise, but it worked perfectly well.
But hacking this meal also had me make a mistake: instead of using balsamic vinegar, which I did have in my pantry, I just used regular red wine vinegar for both the steak and the salad. If I had been using Hello Fresh’s own ingredients I wouldn’t have been able to make the mistake. I’m sure the balsamic vinegar would have improved the flavor of both.
Below is my recipe for the salad. If you want to try this kit without having to make it yourself, you can use this link to get $40 off your delivery of Hello Fresh (it’s a referral link that will also give me credit towards a future purchase).
Roasted Pear Salad with Blueberry Goat Cheese
- 2 Bosc pears
- 1/3 French or sourdough baguette or 1/4 bread loaf
- 1 Tbsp olive oil + more for drizzling
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 oz mixed greens, washed and dried
- 2 tsp red or balsamic vinegar
- 2 oz blueberry goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
Cut off ends from the pears, cut them in half and core them; then cut the pairs into 1/2″ wedges.
Cube the bread into 1/2″ cubes.
Place pears on one side of the prepared baking sheet and bread cubes in the other. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the bread is toasted, about 8 minutes. Remove the bread cubes to a salad bowl. Turn the pear slices and continue cooking until soft, about 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven.
Add the mixed greens to the bowl with the croutons. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss. Top with pears and crumble the goat cheese over the salad. Serve.