You know how you are always getting those offers of a “free” trial to those meal delivery kit services? Well a friend of mine was going on and on about how she loved her HelloFresh membership and asked if anyone wanted a free box. So of course, I bit. I didn’t know what to expect but was really pleasantly surprised with the freshness of the ingredients and the convenience of it all. I don’t know how others work but, with HelloFresh, you get a big very insulated box with a giant ice pack or two inside (we’ve kept a couple to use in our cooler). The box is packed with three meal kits that include all of the ingredients preportioned for the exact recipe. Each one is in its own little box or bag so you just pull one out of the fridge and get to work.
I actually think this is a great idea for a new cook as there are very detailed directions on chopping and cooking. The Boy helps me cook at least one of the meals with me. I pull out two cutting boards and two knives and we dice and chop together so I can teach him basic knife skills. Plus he EATS what he cooks – things I would never have eaten at his age. But because he has made it, he’s proud to gobble it up. HelloFresh even recommends wine pairings on the recipe cards. It’s actually a pretty cool thing.
Of course, as with most things “free,” when my trial membership ended, I was shipped my second box the next week. Yikes! It was a bit of a surprise but I figured out how to “snooze” my membership so that I wasn’t getting one every week. I still get them but choose them very carefully now and generally only do so about every five or six weeks. But we always love it and, so far, haven’t repeated a meal. And, frankly, the portions for two people feed my family of three pretty comfortably; I’ll sometimes just add some warm bread or a salad or something to stretch it a bit. So, although maybe a little more expensive than buying everything yourself at the grocery store, there is no waste and we get to try crazy new ingredients that maybe we wouldn’t have tried before. I’ve learned about zaa’tar and sumac and bought a big bag of gochugaro (Korean chile flakes) based on HelloFresh recipes. And I’ve kept some of those cards to make the meals again on my own.
One of our favorite recipes was a Thai inspired turkey skewer with lemongrass. It was delicious! Chef J, however, isn’t a big fan of ground turkey and lemongrass is not easy to come by in my area. I bought a lemongrass plant last year but a freak winter storm killed it so I’ve adapted the recipe a bit to things that are more readily available and pleasing to my family.
I made this on a school night last week and we absolutely devoured it. This would be equally great on skewers on the grill if you want a great summertime dinner option. I serve mine with coconut rice and a green vegetable for a simple and delicious meal!
Thai Chicken Patties with Coconut Rice adapted from Sriracha Turkey Lemongrass Skewers by Hello Fresh) – Serves 3-4
- 1 T sesame oil
- 1 1/2 C jasmine rice
- 1/2 t minced ginger
- 1 t salt
- 1 Can coconut milk, divided (you’ll use some in your meatballs)
- 2 C water or chicken stock
Thai Chicken Patties
- 4 T sesame oil, divided
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1/4 C coconut milk
- 4 scallions, chopped, white and green parts separated
- 1 T minced ginger (I’ve recently starting buying the tubes in the produce section, fresh is fine as well. I just tend to let it go bad before I can use it all)
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 T Sriracha (available with hot sauces or with the Asian foods at your supermarket)
- 1/4 – 1/3 C chopped cilantro (reserving a little for garnish)
- 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 t ground coriander
- 1/2 t fish sauce (optional – but it gives so much depth of flavor!)
- salt and pepper
Before you make your patties, start the rice. In a large pot with a lid, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add in rice and stir to coat well. Toast for a minute or so then add ginger and salt. When rice is beginning to glisten, add water or stock and stir well. Then add 1 C coconut milk and stir again. Bring to a boil. Stir very well so that it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cover and remove from heat (I usually just push the pot to the back of the stove to a burner set on warm). Normally, I tell you to let your rice stand without messing with it. But this stuff burns and sticks so check it every 5-10 minutes, scraping the bottom and GENTLY stiring. Add more water if it seems to be absorbing too much moisture. Let this go for about 20 minutes or until your meatballs are done. Remove lid and fluff with fork before serving. Season with additional salt if needed.
While rice is cooking, start the patties. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 T sesame oil over medium heat. Add white parts of scallions, garlic and half of the ginger. Saute until softened and fragrant. Remove to a large bowl and wipe down the pan.
Add chicken, scallion greens, remaining ginger, Sriracha, cilantro (reserve a little for garnish), breadcrumbs, lime juice, coriander, fish sauce and remaining coconut milk to the bowl with sauteed aromatic veggies and some salt and pepper (maybe 1/2 t of each). Mix with a fork (or your hands) just until all the ingredients come together. Set bowl aside while you heat your skillet again.
Add remaining 2 T sesame oil to skillet over medium high heat. With wet hands, form chicken mixture into slightly oblong meatballs and place in hot oil. Press down slightly to flatten. Brown on first side about 3-4 minutes. Carefully turn and cook through, about 4 more minutes. Take one out and cut it in half to be sure there is no pink left at all.
Garnish with some extra Sriracha, the reserved cilantro and maybe a lime wedge. Serve with coconut rice and a green veggie.