I tend to be an early adapter. When I heard of Plated, I was all over it. What is Plated? Basically, plated is a subscription recipe service. You sign up and they send you two recipes with pre-measured ingredients per week. Their slogan:
You pick a gourmet recipe, we send ingredients.
Fresh to your door, guaranteed.
You be the chef.
I ordered plated as soon as I heard of them, and stuff did not go so well…at first. One of the meals was never logged in by my building, so by the time I got it…it was spoiled (ugh – not plated’s fault). The second box was their Cubano Chicken Cutlets with Black Beans, Rice and Marinated Avocado. The issue? I’m Latina and I lived amongst Cubanos for quite a bit of my youth. I know a good Cubano. You can find them in any and all areas of Union City and North Bergen in NJ for close to nothing. This was a loser…I mean a big fat loser. The ingredients were great, but the dish came out bland. I knew it as I was making it, but I figured….first time, I’ll follow directions. BIG MISTAKE.
I received a Klout Perk for 2 free Plated dishes. I figured I’d give them another chance since only got to try one of their recipes. I am thrilled to say that both were a WIN! The breakdown follows:
Roasted Sword Fish with Meyer Lemon Risotto
Plated sends super fresh, very high quality ingredients. The instructions are easy to follow and the work is minimum…but know there is work. This time, I made a few changes and the dish came out superb. Here’s the ingredients & recipe along with my notes:
What you Need at Home
2 tbsp olive oil
*Food processor – not mentioned, but will make your life easier
1 shallot – (which you need to mince – so keep your food processor handy)
1 clove of garlic – (same as above)
1 cup of risotto rice
2 tbsp white wine – (I substituted with a Chassagne Montrachet – I am picky about my cooking wine)
1 Meyer Lemon – (You will need to zest it)
1 cup rapini – (you will be doing some chopping)
2 swordfish steaks
1/2 bunch of chives – (again, get ready to chop)
I make risotto…often…I knew it would not be ready in the time specified in the recipe, so I adjusted for this.
Their recipe also called for water which I subbed with chicken stock. This made the risotto much more flavorful. It was nice that they included the wine, but I’m kinda picky, so I used my own. My rule, if you would not drink it, why the hell would you cook with it.
For novice cooks (who I think is the perfect market for Plated, a few explanations may be nice…like “do I use the stems in the rapini).
Other than the cooking time on the risotto, the instructions were super easy to follow and even Antonio (who is not a fan of fish) loved the end result. I would gladly make this again.
This one gets a thumbs up.
Farfalle with Sausage & Peas
What you Need at Home
slotted spoon or colander
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbs butter
8 ounces of farfalle
10 oz fresh sausage – (be prepared to remove casings and break down)
1 shallot – diced **
12 oz English Peas – (be prepared to shuck)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Parmesan
This was my favorite. A very simple dish which I’ve almost made before, but the addition of the lemon was lovely.
I froze the sausage, much easier to remove the casing. I defrosted it for ten minutes and then followed the cooking directions.
Shucking peas sucks. I used to do it as a little girl in Colombia on weekends and my hands would end up red and simply “ouchy”. I cringed when I saw the bag of peas waiting to be shucked, but these were quite gentle on the hands. Some of the peas were tiny, but not a huge issue.
I’m not a fan of chopping, so I always keep a food processor handy – you should too
I followed the instructions to a “T” and had no issues. This recipe was easy to make and seriously delicious.
The end result was fresh, tasty, delicious. I am a convert.
Who is Plated For?
***Lazy People – like me – None of the dishes I made were super complex. I’ve done way more complex stuff in the past If you are a seasoned cook, this may not be for you. That being said, I love that I get exact portions and that I don’t end up wasting food. I also like that I didn’t have to go to the market. In NYC kitchens are small and I love the convenience and ease of use for this. Nice for days when you’re just feeling a little lazy.
***Someone just getting into cooking – Plated offers instructional videos, tips and lots more fun stuff on their website. I would have loved this when I moved into my first apartment. The dishes ARE NOT EXPENSIVE, so you could purchase this for a year for someone who say…just got out of college.
What Would Make Plated Better?
Calorie Count – I’d love to have a calorie count. I keep track of everything I eat on my fitbit, and while I can estimate, I like to be as exact as possible. They could also give you alternatives…example…to reduce calories by 100, skip the butter.
More Complex Recipes – This would appeal to me. I’ve been cooking for years and I got the basics set. I’d be willing to pay a premium for a recipe by say…Thomas Keller. Heck, I’ve got a sous vide supreme…send me all the ingredients for an awesome Sous Vide recipe and I’d be all over this.
Should I Try Plated
YES! If the “Chefs” on the recipe look douchy (check out the chefs on the Cubano chicken and you’ll see what I mean….) skip them. Other than that, yes! Awesome service, great ingredients, great pricing, easy execution. I’m eagerly awaiting my meals for next week.