We’re a household that enjoys cooking, but the trouble during the week boils down to logistics. After a long day of work, it’s time to wrangle the kiddo through the nightly gauntlet of dinner, bath, and bed. By the time you head into the kitchen at 8:30pm, the amount of creative energy left is more along the lines of ordering take-out than slapping together a Stroganoff. Fresh Direct is a great concept that we rely upon, in that the groceries magically appear. But Fresh Direct doesn’t help you plan the meal…or you end up with a pound of parsley when all you wanted was a pinch, or discover that dammit, I thought we had eggs and we don’t. I know, I know, these are not real problems! But it’s the shit that happens every night and occasionally it’s demoralizing. When a friend told me about her love of Blue Apron, we thought it sounded worth a try.Blue Apron sends you groceries for three meals written by chefs every week. In the box is every item you need for that dish, all fresh food, and measured out to the exact quantities necessary for those recipes. A minimum of waste. You still have to prep and peel, you still have to actually cook, so it’s not anything like a pre-made meal. But where it really wins is that you don’t need to think about stuff. Go ahead and follow the recipe, and don’t sweat it because they included exactly the right amount of fresh dill. Just give it a rough chop and toss it in, Batali.And if last week is any indication, the food is great. This week they’re sending Steak Fajitas with Guacamole, Blood Orange Roasted Salmon with Chickpea & Cucumber Salad & Oregano Chicken Thighs with Squash Ribbons & Quinoa. Sure, why not? Oh, and the price is fair: $10/person, per meal. So three nights a week we can have delicious home cooked meals with no planning and no waste? No brainer! That’s why I had to tell you about it.
We are what I would call a condiment household. Ketchup. Dijon. Soy Sauce. Sriracha. Spicy Brown. Mayo. For these essential spreads, generic brands will suffice. But not for barbecue sauce, friends! The barbecue sauce in our fridge goes by a proper name: Old Mule. If that seems like a strange thing to be so particular about, I’d just like to stress you need to try this stuff. Thick, tangy, sweet and spicy. It’s got zip and some heat, but not the overwhelming sort. It’s spoon-licking good sauce.We especially love it because it takes a half-assed dinner like broiled chicken or burgers and makes it seem like you really made something happen. You should taste what a layer of the donkey sauce does on the top of some pedestrian baked meatloaf. You can dip fries in this stuff, put it in baked beans, slather on a pork sandwich. I have considered brushing my teeth with it. The only catch is, no one sells it in the stores up here because it’s made by a tiny family business. You need to order it online direct from the Blueridge mountains of North Carolina. I appreciate that you’re rolling your eyes, saying, “dude, I’m not mail-ordering barbecue sauce from North Carolina. Stop it.” Now imagine I am shaking you by the shoulders. Do we ever mess around about food on this site?! Take a leap of faith. And now in closing, we’d like to present you with this handsome picture of an old mule. Order the sauce!
Yep, that’s not a typo. This weekend instead of music, we’re going to talk about food. Specifically, about an easy and delicious roast recipe that even a work-week harried and slightly hungover dad can slap together on late Saturday afternoon for dinner. The keys are ingredients – get the freshest you can find for the marinade, and be sure to get a really terrific hunk of meat. At my favorite butcher the best rib roasts are not exactly cheap at like $19/lb, but they look like something Fred Flintstone would eat and feed an army.
Standing Rib Roast with Fig-Port Glaze
Trust me – it practically makes itself. Just marinade for a few hours, and you’ll need about two and a half hours to cook the sucker. Recipe info is on the link above. Make sure to pick up a bottle of something to drink as you cook because cooking is thirsty work. Mangia.