The freezer aisle has gotten a bad rap for being a hub for overly processed TV dinners. But when Ina Garten starts to carve out territory there, it’s time to take notice of it as a legit area to source your dinner from. So when I was approached to try the new Bumble Bee SuperFresh™ line of frozen seafood products, I didn’t say no.
If you’ve been coming here for a while, you know that I only write product reviews once in a blue moon. But I was curious to try out some of these frozen items that seem to be shaping the way most Americans are cooking on a daily basis. And seafood, that’s not available fresh in many areas of the country, seemed to be the perfect place to start.
One of the things I liked initially about Bumble Bee SuperFresh™ is that the seafood is all cleaned, cut and fresh-frozen within hours. The ingredients are also all real and natural, i.e. use no chemicals or preservatives – and every recipe is gluten-free! (Holler).
I decided to give one of the shrimp recipes a go, as it’s a frozen item I have already been converted to. I get asked all the time about the best way to buy shrimp. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten it “fresh” at the fish counter, only to come home and realize that it smelled a little off. After this happened before one too many catering events, I started only buying frozen. It’s actually a more reliable way of eating seafood. Some of the “fresh” fish available in markets has actually been frozen, then thawed, then displayed on ice where it can sit for days.
I’ll admit I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the shrimp in my Bumble Bee SuperFresh™ package—which is nicely done, by the way. (And I’m a sucker for good packaging). I usually defrost my shrimp before adding them to the skillet. But following the directions and adding the shrimp directly from the bag yielded great results. I also liked that the flavorings didn’t come from a packet, but rather from pre-portioned compound butter pats. I only added two out of the four, and found that it was enough to fully coat the shrimp. This is a nice option for those of you watching your butter intake. I served the finished dish over some quinoa. The shrimp had great color – something I always looks for – and was generally delicious. It also left my apartment smelling pretty darn amazing.
One of the reasons I do what I do is that I genuinely believe that home cooking is the ticket to a happier, healthier life. And my goal on the blog, and throughout my recipe and food writing, is to help people find easier, better ways to make it a part of their daily routine.
Earlier this year, I did a talk at Wharton and put together 10 tips for how to cook smarter, not harder. One of the things I focused on was the difference between “gateway” store-bought foods and no-skill quick fixes.
Like going to the gym, cooking is habit-forming activity. Your body may not atrophy over-time if you don’t do it often enough, but it is equally important to try and carve out time a few days a week to prepare a meal. Any product that gets you involved—even if it’s only by way of heating up a pot of water for pasta or, in the case of the Bumble Bee SuperFresh™ shrimp, spending 5 minutes at the stove—is better than picking up the phone to order takeout. There’s just no substitute for the smell of fresh garlic and butter hitting your skillet. No steam from a pre-made container comes close to that kind of sensory satisfaction.
For those of you just getting started in the kitchen, or even old hats like me who often find themselves too harried to focus on what’s for dinner, the Bumble Bee SuperFresh™ shrimp with garlic and herbs is a great option to have on hand in your freezer.
Do you have any favorite frozen foods or “gateway” cooking products? Let me know in the comments!
Bumble Bee SuperFresh™ gave me free product and said they’d pay me to blog about it IF I liked it. I do! This is a sponsored post, and I received compensation for my endorsement of Bumble Bee SuperFresh™. Products featured on Feed Me Phoebe are few and far between, and I only give my endorsement when genuine.