Cooking with Gousto1/20/2015
Disclaimer: Gousto sent me a box to review but have not paid me to give my opinion or to write this post. Rest assured, the words, pictur...
Disclaimer: Gousto sent me a box to review but have not paid me to give my opinion or to write this post. Rest assured, the words, pictures and awesomeness to follow is all my own. I could literally write anything here. The power is intense. I might even make up words or talk about how I named all the vegetables they sent me.
When a large box arrived at my desk last week, I let out a bit of an excited gasp. "PERISHABLE GOODS INSIDE," was slapped across the front, and I knew that inside lay an abundant plethora of tasty ingredients for me. #ThesaurusLife
So what the hell is Gousto? It's pretty simple, they are a company that send you a box of 3 recipes a week, and the exact ingredients to make them. I decided to make the Cheaty Chicken Kiev for this review.
As a person that shops locally for the nicest ingredients, and then just makes whatever I fancy until all the food is gone, this whole "menu planning" thing was a bit lost on me to start with. But I rolled with it. The little recipe cards were quite well laid out (little bit of recipe layout jealousy from me over here) but they were easy to follow, and illustrated with step-by-step pictures. Which I forgot to take a picture of. Ah well. Here's the front.
They had sent me everything for the recipe, right down to the one egg (sat in a little container.) All I had to provide was stuff I already had in my fridge, like butter & milk. Or things I already had in my pantry, like plain flour and olive oil.
One good thing to come out of it was a new method of making mash. This one has broccoli in it. Thought it would taste a bit vegetabley, but actually, no. It was darn tasty.
That's me. Chopping up potatoes. Ready to go on the boil. They were lovely potatoes. Needed a good scrub, but I think that added to the appeal.
There is no way to take a picture of raw meat and have it look appetising, so I'm sorry. But this is the chicken. My little leaflet tells me it came from a farm with the highest animal welfare standards. I like this bit of information.
I butterfly slice the breasts, then cut that in half to make two thin slices whilst my potatoes are bubbling away.
then my little recipe card tells me to crack and whisk my egg, and lay it out, along with my flour and bread crumbs onto three separate plates.
A part of me groans because that sounds like a lot of washing up, but you can't make a masterpiece without making a little mess.
So there you have it. Egg, flour and breadcrumbs, all laid out ready to coat my breasts.
My chicken breasts. BOOYAH.
The chicken goes into the flour first, then into the egg and then into my seasoned breadcrumbs. You know the the drill.
After 4 times of doing this, I had serious breadcrumb build up on my fingers. It's messy business. But then the proof is in the pudding.
I dunno. I'm running out of cooking sayings.
At this point I made the garlic sauce. I forgot to take pictures again. BAD FOOD BLOGGER.
My only annoyance at this point was it called for a pestle and mortar to make a garlic paste.
Now, I'd love one of these, but I don't have one yet. I only buy things for my kitchen that I think I'd use at least twice a week. I have limited space.
So I'm struggling to think of anyone (who would use a service that measures out and sources your ingredients for you) that would have a pestle and mortar lying around.
This is where I input my wee little suggestion.
A little info-graphic telling us what equipment we would need on the recipe card would be amazing for people learning to cook (who I think this service would benefit most). Also, substitute equipment (For instance, if you don't have a pestle & mortar, chop it up or use a garlic press)
Just my two pennies worth. Maybe they already do and I missed it, but I didn't see it.
BACK TO COOKING.
In goes the chicken into the hot frying pan. With two tablespoons of oil (okay, I didn't measure it out, but all this following recipes to an exact measurement was jamming my care free vibe.)
It was then I threw some broccoli in with my cooking potatoes.
Chicken was cooked five minutes each side, and then left to drain on a kitchen towel.
Whilst that was doing that, I drained my potato-broccoli pot and mashed it up (with a bit of butter, because HELL YEAH) and set it onto a plate. Chicken was then artfully placed along side it with my wee pot of garlic butter.
We took some very quick shots of the finished product and then guzzled it down. There was no time for food styling. Hungry.
I put green beans on it too because I'm a badass.
So how would I rate this service?
It got me making something new, without the hassle of popping to the market to get specific ingredients. It was tasty too. I had no complaints about the finished product. I shall keep broccoli mash in my recipe index, because that was gorgeous.
Five years ago, this service would have been my lifesaver as I was learning to cook. It provided every herb and extra ingredient that I would have been scared to buy myself, back then.
Now, as someone that creates recipes and love to experiment, I found it very restrictive. I kept wanting to add different things to it, or cook it a different way. So whilst I loved this service as a freebie - it is not aimed at people like me.
However, if you are a busy person, learning to cook and you don't want to venture out to find random vinegars or spices needed to certain recipes, then this is a brilliant idea. They are like ready meals, dissembled and not rubbish. Plus there is a distinct lack of food waste, everything that comes in your box gets used.
I'll end on my pros and cons:
- A little restrictive if you're used to creating your own meals
- You might not own some of the equipment used to make the recipes
- Unfortunately organic veg and strict welfare meat doesn't come cheap. (You could say that about anywhere though I suppose)
- Good way to prevent food waste
- You can pick the meals from a weekly menu (love a bit of variety)
- A pretty good way to learn new recipes and techniques
- Caters for vegetarians too
- Strict animal welfare policies
- Organic / locally sourced veg
- The recipes are pretty bangin'
If you wanna check them out - their website is here. They're offering £15 off your first box at the moment.