Healthy cooking on a budget is hard if you don’t have the time to commit to it. So often I hear from my cooking class students that they buy all this produce, use part of it, and then leave the remaining half a head of broccoli to die a slow death in the fridge. The next time they cook, perhaps a week or two later, they’re less inclined to invest in fresh, healthy vegetables because they’re afraid, unlike those canned beans and bags of white rice, that it won’t last.
As a self-proclaimed lazy cook, I’m all for cutting corners if it allows you to spend time at the stove instead of browsing Seamless Web. And luckily for all you busy folks, there’s a new wave of meal services that take the hassle out of planning and shopping for dinner.
A few weeks ago, I finally tried Blue Apron and instead of doing my usual haul back and forth to Whole Foods, a beautifully packaged box of pre-portioned ingredients arrived on my doorstep with 3 recipes to try. Since Thanksgiving was coming up and I hate turning my crisper drawer into a vegetable cemetery, it was a relief to have exactly what I needed to make the meals and no more. My back was also grateful not to have to carry anything home, and my dignity thanked Blue Apron for delaying my inevitable granny cart purchase by one more week.
Two of the recipes sadly had gluten in them, so Charlie traded me two foot massages for an overflowing Tupperware container of yuzu-glazed chicken. But the seared hake I kept all for myself.
I love baking vegetables this time of year, so the melted leeks and potatoes that provided the bed for my fish were right up my alley. They got braised in a foil packet, which made for easy cleanup (lazy cooks hate needless dirty dishes!), though the resulting sauce of garlic, butter and lemon zest would have been reason enough to lick the pan clean myself.
Try your hand at this easy, healthy hake recipe below, or sign up for your own box of whatever seasonal ingredients and quick, tasty dishes Blue Apron is serving up this week. Feed Me Phoebe readers can get $20 off their first Blue Apron purchase here. There also offer great gift sets that you can get your loved ones this holiday season, just in case you don’t like trading meals for massages like I do.
Seared Hake Recipe with Melted Leeks and Fingerling Potatoes
- Olive oil
- 3/4 pound fingerling potatoes halved
- 2 medium leeks halved
- Sea salt
- 1 teaspoon piment d'Espelette divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 8 pitted Kalamata olives finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon parsley leaves
- Two 6-ounce skinless hake fillets
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Cover a 9x13 baking dish with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Arrange the potatoes and leeks cut-side up in the pan. Season with salt and 1/2 teaspoon piment d'espelette. Dot the veggies with the butter and sprinkle with the garlic and lemon zest. Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, olives, celery, and parsley. Season lightly with salt and toss to combine. Set aside.
- After the potatoes have cooking for 15 minutes, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil a large non-stick skillet. Season the hake on both sides with salt and the remaining piment d'Espelette. Sear the fish over high heat until nicely browned, 3 minutes.Carefully flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Divide the leeks and potatoes between two plates and top with the seared hake. Garnish with the celery salad and serve immediately.
If you can't find piment d'espelette you can substitute smoked paprika with a dash of cayenne.
Compensation for this post was provided by Blue Apron via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Blue Apron or AOL.