• Learning to Cook Fish That I Actually Like

    March 3, 2016

    This post is brought to you by Blue Apron.

    One of my goals for 2016 is to “learn how to cook fish that I actually like to eat,” so I was excited to see that Mexican Spiced Salmon with Black Rice, Avocado & Orange Salad was on Blue Apron’s menu for the upcoming week. Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish (hello, Salmon Caesar Salad – I’m still totally obsessed), but sometimes it tastes too “fishy” for me. The flavor, of course, depends on a number of factors—how it’s cooked, where it’s from, and whether it’s wild-caught or farm-raised—so part of my goal includes trying to find what best appeals to my palate.

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    Blue Apron’s Alaskan Sockeye Salmon comes from the icy waters of the Northern Pacific. It’s wild-caught, sustainably-sourced and has earned a “Best Choice” rating from Seafood Watch. Fun fact: The name “sockeye” has little to do with the fish’s eyes, but rather comes from its Native American name, “suk-kegh,” which means “red fish.” As you can see below, the Alaskan Sockeye Salmon has a gorgeous color. It’s also fresh and flavorful, but not super “fishy.”

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    Even in the package, I was impressed by how vibrant it looked!

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    When it comes to Blue Apron’s seafood, all of it is sourced sustainably and the majority is wild-caught. Certain species are farmed only when it’s more sustainable and higher quality. Blue Apron uses fishing methods that are minimally invasive to natural habitats, and they do not source species that are overfished. Blue Apron’s seafood has been verified by leading organizations dedicated to the stewardship of sustainable fishing practices and food safety, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, who they have partnered closely with in developing their standards. Check out their mission page to learn more.

    Just in case you’re unfamiliar with Blue Apron, here’s what it’s all about…

    Blue Apron delivers all the farm-fresh ingredients you need, right to your doorstep, in exactly the right proportions. There are no trips to the grocery store needed and no waste from unused ingredients. Basically, you order your meals online and they’re shipped for free right to your front door. Everything is delivered in a refrigerated box so ingredients stay fresh even if you’re not at home when your package arrives. Blue Apron is adding new recipes all the time, so you will always have something new and exciting to select for your delivery.

    Yay! Blue Apron is here!

    Blue Apron offer two types of plans:

    • The 2-Person Plan will set you up with one delivery a week, each with three inventive meals for two. Each week, the culinary team creates six new recipes for this plan, and you will be sent a curated menu of three recipes based on your dietary preferences.
    • The Family Plan is perfect for feeding a family of four. With this plan you can opt to receive one or two deliveries per week, each delivery consisting of two meals to be served family-style.

    Each menu is between 500-700 calories per person and all meals can be prepared in 40 minutes or less. Blue Apron now ships to most of the country and there’s no commitment—you can skip or cancel the service at any time.

    If you’re thinking about giving Blue Apron a try, here’s a little incentive! ***The first 50 readers will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order! Just click here!***

    Ok, back to the Mexican Spiced Salmon that I mentioned above. In this recipe, Blue Apron livened up pan-seared salmon with a dry rub of Mexican spices. And the crispy salmon filet was served over a salad of black rice, avocado, orange, and toasted pepitas. Mmm! It was quite the combination of flavors and textures!

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    Also on the menu was Seared Chicken & Mashed Potatoes with Maple-Glazed Carrots, which Quinn helped me make using his screwdriver. Ha!

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    We really loved this meal. I mean, pure maple syrup as a glaze for carrots? Heavenly. And combined with a little butter and lemon juice, they were the perfect balance of sweet and savory. And, of course, the maple-glazed carrots made a wonderful addition to the seared chicken, mashed potatoes, and a rich pan sauce. Mal was especially obsessed with this comfort food meal!

    SAMSUNG CSCThe final recipe, Lebanese Lamb & Beef Arayes with Roasted Broccoli & Labhen, taught me a couple of new cooking techniques that I definitely see myself using in the future. It was also a dish that I wouldn’t normally make, so it definitely expanded our usual rotation of recipes.

    We roast broccoli all the time in our house, but I usually cut the big head into smaller florets and then toss them in olive oil before cooking. The Blue Apron recipe instructed me to half the large pieces of broccoli and then just drizzle them with olive oil on the baking sheet, which made the prep so much easier. I know it’s just a little thing, but anything to speed up dinnertime is a win in my book!

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    Making the arayes was also a new-to-me technique as well as a fast and effective way to cook meat in a flatbread sandwich. The recipe used ground lamb, but now that I know this cooking method, the options are endless. Ground turkey with Swiss and caramelized onions? Ground beef with cheeseburger ingredients? Oh, yes, there are lots of tasty options!

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    Another winning meal! The arayes were baked to perfection and the blend of spices was interesting and quite mouthwatering!

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    Questions of the Day

    What’s your favorite type of fish? How do you typically prepare it?

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    { 30 comments… read them below or add one }

    Olivia March 3, 2016 at 1:37 am

    I would love to try Blue Apron, but they don’t ship to my state… Alaska. Obviously they have cold-chain capabilities if they are getting the salmon to wherever they assemble the meals.

    Oh well. At least I can dipnet every summer and fill the freezer!

    Reply

    Shel@PeachyPalate March 3, 2016 at 3:23 am

    We can’t get sockeye salmon here, only canned…it’s my favourite!! Most salmon we get is farmed so the best we can do is Organic farmed but the salmon you guys have is INCREDIBLE! So jealous! 🙂

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    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious March 3, 2016 at 6:07 am

    I love salmon on the grill! I haven’t made it in forever and indict know why because it’s super simple.

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    Linz @ Itz Linz March 3, 2016 at 7:22 am

    i love fish, but i don’t love cooking it! i need blue apron with step by step directions!

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    SS March 3, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Love the ease and variety with Foil packets of citrus fish. Sounds time consuming, but really quick and easy, including the clean up!
    Thinly Slice any veg of choosing…..peppers, green beans , carrots etc. place about 6 veg pieces along with a white fish filet, ex cod or tilapia. A couple of cherry tomatoes are also good and add lots of flavor.In a foil packet with drizzle of o.o., squeeze of lemon and splash of orange juice (if you have). Season with salt, pepper, and we like tjoes everyday seasoning. Fold up foil with room for air, and bake on baking pan for 15-20 min at about 425. It makes a little sauce, and we have it over couscous or any other grain. Super easy, and can use whatever veg that are in fridge. I am sure it could be grilled this way too!

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    Tina March 3, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Thank you!!

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    Christine March 3, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I just developed a crush on Salmon – I made it last night with an asian apricot glaze served with honey sesame asparagus and fried cauli rice – heaven! You just reminded me of your love for the salmon caesar salad so I’ll have to look that one up and try it!

    I can’t say I have a favorite fish – I love all seafood, just depends on my mood. Some days I want sushi, another day I’ll want fried whole clams, etc.

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    Tina March 3, 2016 at 8:56 am

    That sounds delicious!

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    Taylor March 3, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I love salmon! That salmon recipe looks delish! I usually grill my salmon and put it on a salad!

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    Maggie March 3, 2016 at 9:16 am

    We just got our first Blue Apron delivery, and I’m really surprised by the calorie counts in each meal. You say they’re 500-700 calories, but our three were all 670 to 700 calories. That is too much for one dinner. I know most of the ingredients are healthy, but one dish told us to flour the fish and cook the two fillets in four tablespoons of butter. I don’t think I’ll be ordering again for that reason.

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    Kate | HappyForks.com March 3, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    @Maggie: I agree that 670-700 kcal it’s quite a lot, especially for a late afternoon/evening meal. Luckily, to lower the number of calories, you can modify most of the recipes easily. It is good to know that each gram of fat provides 9 kcal, carbohydrates provides 4 kcal per 1g and protein also provides 4 calories per gram. In your case using half of butter (2tbsp total) will reduce number of calories by 102/each fish fillets.

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    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday March 3, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Pinch of Yum has the easiest caramelized salmon recipe (http://pinchofyum.com/caramelized-salmon) and it is so good! I also love mixing up a little honey, spicy/dijon mustard, and salt and pepper, brushing it on a fillet, and pan-searing in a little olive oil. 🙂

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    Tina March 3, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Yum! Thank you!

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    Ellen Renee March 3, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I just took a look at the caramelized salmon…oh my goodness…does that look good. I found all kind of recipes on her blog…creamy cauliflower sauce looks especially yummy…she had another recipe where she made a creamy rice casserole using the cauliflower sauce…WANT! (With a piece of this salmon on the side!)

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    Valerie March 3, 2016 at 11:32 am

    I love salmon, but I’ve only really cooked it once or twice myself. I buy the wild caught mahi-mahi, cod, or halibut from Costco and usually just sear it with a little olive oil and some spices. And I know it’s not a fish…but scallops are hands down my favorite seafood!

    Reply

    Katrina March 3, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Since you’re all tight with blue apron and all, will you tell them to come to Europe, PLEASE?! 😀 This service looks amazing and the food you post makes my mouth water!

    My absolute favorite way to eat fish is in the form of cured salmon. But a big raw salmon (skin on!!). Sprinkle one tablespoon of salt and sugar for each pound of fish. So for a 5lb salmon, 5 tablespoons of sugar and 5 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the entire fish. Add a few tablespoons of vodka (yup!) or lemon juice evenly over the flesh. Then a bunch of whole peppercorns and fresh dill!

    Now that both halves of the fish are seasoned, put one half on top of the other and put something heavy (like a bottle of wine) on top of the fish. After 24 hours, flip the fish upside down. After 24 hours (so 48h of ‘curing’) later, you have the BEST lox!

    This recipe NEVER ever disappoints. It’s a no fail even for amateurs! (trust me 😉 ) You’ll have to experiment a little with how much sugar and salt you prefer, but the rough estimates get you started pretty well 😉

    We eat this as sushi 🙂 Yum yum yum!

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    Kaitlyn March 3, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    We’ve been on a big salmon kick lately! This is my go-to recipe:
    Maple Glazed Salmon
    • 2, 6 – 8 oz. wild salmon fillet
    • 2 Tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard
    • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (can also use a sugar free jam as an alternative)
    • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • Coconut oil
    • Sea salt and pepper
    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Season the salmon with sea salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick sauté pan over high heat for a few minutes. Add in the coconut oil and the salmon, skin side up. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until browned. Remove the sauté pan from the heat, flip the salmon over and top with mustard glaze. Place the pan in the over and cook for 6 – 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Test the salmon by flaking with a fork.

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    Tina March 3, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    That sounds great! Thank you for the recipe!!

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    Katherine @ A (Fit) Girl and Her Dog March 3, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    @Kaitlyn: OMG such a great idea! Gotta try it.

    Reply

    Colleen March 3, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Salmon is usually my go to since we buy the big frozen bag from Costco and just have to remember to thaw it out. Sauteed in a bit of coconut oil with s&p is perfect. Nothing like crunchy fish skin!
    My absolute favorite is whole snapper caribbean style…fried whole fins, eyes and all. It’s delicious, but best when eaten in the caribbean after a long day on the beach. Feel me?? ha! A little harder to do, but worth it!

    Reply

    Tina March 3, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Totally!!

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    Dana Lucia March 3, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Tina, so sorry to go off on such a tangent here, but I was just scrolling through this buzzfeed article [http://www.buzzfeed.com/spenceralthouse/stupidly-hot-grandparents#.kepRVDVY5] and thought the guy in #20 looked like your vintage dude twin! You’re gorgeous, and not dudely, I just love doppelgangers, so I had to share!

    Reply

    Tina March 3, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Haha! That is amazing! I think it’s the smile maybe?

    Reply

    Delaney March 3, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    We have been doing Blue Apron for two months now and that Salmon and Chicken was the best ones we had. Most are good, but I have to say some are not good too. I like Blue Apron because I cook stuff I dont usually make and branch out : )

    Reply

    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner March 3, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I love salmon! My favorite way to enjoy it is grilled with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. That’s it. I also like broiling it with a mixture of soy sauce and maple syrup glazed over it. Mmm.

    Reply

    Rachel @ Simply Rachel Nicole March 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    That last meal looks delicious!! I’ve never made arayes but now I really want to! 🙂

    Reply

    Amanda @ Cheers to the Weekends March 3, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    The chicken and mashed potatoes looks delicious! I think I will have to make that one tonight!

    Reply

    Amanda March 3, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    I wish we could get Blue Apron here just to try all the recipes. They all look so tasty! Luckily, I’m in Alaska and get to enjoy the salmon though!

    Reply

    Samantha March 3, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    I have wanted to try blue apron but they do not have a single gal package yet. It would totally be something I am into and if it would be able to be dropped off outside my house without being signed for!

    Reply

    Katherine @ A (Fit) Girl and Her Dog March 3, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I’m with you! I hate cooking fish but especially during Lent, good recipes are always needed!

    Reply

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