The laws of cooking

Roast Beef with Treviso-Pear Salad & Horseradish Sour Cream and Chopped Chicken & Brussels Sprout Salad with Blue Cheese, Currants, and Crispy Shallots

This break felt both long and short for me. Long, because a lot happened and I got a lot accomplished during it; short, because it wasn’t enough time for me to complete everything that I needed to do. Related to this column two things happened: first, I ordered the book Hungry Students, a cookbook that focuses on college students, working within the typical college student budget… low… and the typical college student timeframe to cook dinner… almost non-existent…and delivers some great fast and easy recipes; second, and this goes hand-in-hand with our subscription box review column Battle of the Boxes, I decided to start subscribing to some of the food subscription boxes that send you fresh ingredients already portioned out along with the recipe card and you just go to town cooking the meal.

So, this month I bring you the latter, two recipes from Blue Apron, the first of the three companies I plan to try. Next month I will bring you two recipes from Hello Fresh, and the following month two from Plated. This way, you get a review and recipes and you can decide for yourselves which you like best.

The great thing about these subscriptions is that they send you recipes with the actual proportions that you would need to recreate the meal again in the future as opposed to just sending you the properly portioned ingredients and claiming trade secrets or proprietary information!

Specifically with Blue Apron, you choose between their Omnivore and Vegetarian option. If you choose their Omnivore option, they will send you three meals (for two people each) that include a mix of meat and seafood and occasionally, a vegetarian one. They provide you with the recipes for the week in advance so that you can skip it, if you wish, and the cost is low, starting at $8.74 per plate for their family plan (four meals for four people; a total of $139.84) or $9.99 per plate for their two person plan (three meals a week; a total of $59.94). The second option is the one that I have; although I’m one person, their portion sizes are such that I have found that I not only end up having an extra serving for lunch the next day, sometimes I get a third or a fourth serving out of it too!

This month, I made Blue Apron’s Roast Beef with Treviso-Pear Salad & Horseradish Sour Cream as well as their Chopped Chicken & Brussels Sprout Salad with Blue Cheese, Currants, and Crispy Shallots. The roast beef was fantastic and I expected to not like the horseradish sour cream as I don’t like spicy foods and horseradish tends to make the list of dislikes, but I absolutely loved their portions and found that it gave the sour cream just the perfect amount of tang and bite. Unfortunately, I did not like the treviso of the Treviso-Pear Salad— it was too bitter, although the pear sweetened it up a bit, combined with the vinaigrette, it was just too far- leaning toward the bitter spectrum for me. I found myself eating the pears and shallot vinaigrette and leaving the treviso.

The Brussels sprout salad was incredible. I would not change one thing. I was surprised that the Brussels sprouts were completely raw, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the recipe.

All in all, I’d say the recipes were wins, although in the future, I would definitely substitute the treviso for a different type of lettuce. I hope you enjoy as much as I did. Bon Appetit!

Roast Beef with Treviso-Pear Salad & Horseradish Sour Cream

Makes 3 servings
Roughly 560 calories per serving

Ingredients

• 1 eye round roast, tied • 1 Anjou pear
• 1 head treviso
• 1 bunch tarragon

• 1 shallot
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

• 1⁄4 cup sour cream • 1⁄4 cup walnuts

Method

Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove the beef from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Core and thinly slice the pear. Halve the treviso lengthwise, leaving the core intact. Pick the tarragon leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Roughly chop the walnuts. Peel and mince the shallot to get 2 tablespoons of minced shallot (you may have extra shallot); place in a bowl with the vinegar.

Roast the beef:

Place the beef on a sheet pan; drizzle with olive oil and thoroughly season on all sides with salt and pepper. Roast 22 to 24 minutes, or until the beef has reached your desired degree of doneness. (An instant-read thermometer should register 130°F for medium.) Transfer to a cutting board and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Rest for at least 10 minutes.

Make the vinaigrette & horseradish sour cream:

Chopped Chicken & Brussels Sprout Salad with Blue Cheese, Currants, and Crispy Shallots

Makes 2 Servings (actually made a lot more for me)

About 575 calories per serving

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 ounces Brussels sprouts
  • 1⁄2 head escarole
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons pecans
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1⁄2 cup crumbled blue cheese

 

1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

Method

Prepare the Ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve and thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. Chop the escarole into bite-sized pieces. Place the currants in a bowl of warm water. Roughly chop the pecans. Peel the shallots. Mince 1 shallot; place in a heat- proof bowl with the vinegar. Thinly slice the remaining shallot; place in a medium bowl and toss with the flour, separating the sliced shallot into rings. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Toast the pecans:

Heat a medium, dry pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium-high until hot. Add the pecans and toast, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the chicken:

Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In the same pan used to toast the pecans, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the seasoned chicken breasts; cook 4 to 6 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any drippings in the pan. When cool enough to handle, chop the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.

Deglaze the pan:

Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan of reserved drippings. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly reduced in volume. Transfer to the bowl of shallot and vinegar; stir to combine and set aside. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the shallots:

In the same pan, heat a thin layer of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated shallots (shaking off any excess flour); cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt.

A finished version of the salad.

A finished version of the salad.

Finish & plate your dish:

Season the shallot-vinegar-drippings mixture with salt and pepper to taste; slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. In a large bowl, combine the chopped chicken, escarole, blue cheese, Brussels sprouts, toasted pecans, parsley and currants (draining before adding). Season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the dressing to coat the greens (you may have extra dressing); toss to thoroughly coat. Divide the salad between 2 dishes. Garnish with the crispy shallots.

While the beef roasts, season the shallot-vinegar mixture with salt and pepper to taste; slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and horseradish; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the walnuts:

While the beef continues to roast, heat a large, dry pan on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped walnuts and toast, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned. Transfer to a small bowl. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the treviso & warm the pear:

While the beef rests, drizzle the treviso with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. In the same pan used to toast the walnuts, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on high until hot, but not smoking. Add the treviso halves, cut side down; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until browned. Transfer to a large bowl. Remove the pan from heat. Off the heat (but while the pan is still hot), add a drizzle of olive oil and the pear; season with salt and pepper. Toss the pear to coat it in the oil, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until warmed through and slightly softened. Transfer to a plate.

Finish & plate your dish:

The finished dish.

The finished dish.

To the bowl of cooked treviso, add the toasted walnuts, warmed pear, half the tarragon and as much of the vinaigrette as you’d like (you may have extra vinaigrette). Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the beef has rested, cut off and discard the string. Find the lines of muscle (or grain) of the beef; thinly slice the beef crosswise against the grain. Divide the sliced beef and treviso-pear salad between plates. Garnish with the remaining tarragon and serve with the horseradish sour cream on the side.

All photos courtesy of Jessica Greenstein

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