Blue Apron – Blackened Tilapia with Pea Shoots and Cheesy GritsTilapia 6 copy

Time:  It would have been 7:00pm… if I’d actually been on time.  Getting between Manhattan and Brooklyn on a Sunday via subway is somehow never easy, C train you sometimes make me want to cry.   Actual time 7:45pm.

Location: Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Host(s):  J & J

Occassion: Hanging out with newly engaged sweethearts.

Featured Dish: Blackened Tilapia with pea shoots and cheesy grits (Recipe and ingredients by Blue Apron)

Tilapia Meal

My friends J&J are busy launching a company, filming a new project and planning their wedding this summer, so even though at least one of the J’s is really into cooking, they have been experimenting with and loving the new Blue Apron http://www.blueapron.com service.  Blue Apron, based out of Brooklyn, delivers full meals to your doorstep.  Fresh boxes of food packed on ice arrive to your home with pre-measured ingredients, down to particular vinegars, exotic spices, and garnishes, anything a specific dish might call for, along with a colorful recipe card, which includes step by step directions on how to make your meal with some light cooking.  I was a bit skeptical when I’d heard about the service, but I have to say I was impressed.  The fish was fresh and tasty, the pea shoots were crisp and the vinaigrette was just acidic enough.   I like that the recipe provided was quick to make, but definitely not boring.  J&J mentioned that they sometimes omit some included ingredients here and there if the recipe, or combination of flavors, look too busy.

The price of the service is quite reasonable, it comes out to about $10 a meal per person. If you live in New York, or just about anywhere these days, and love to shop for food you know that you can very quickly spend a lot of money on ingredients.  I am incredibly guilty of that.  I let myself get carried away by the beauty and curiosity of produce and ingredients from small producers, or far off locations from around the world that make the bill add up.  But, that’s okay, we all have areas of our lives where we splurge, and food seems like a pretty good shopping vice.  You get to enjoy and lap up every moment of your indulgence from drooling over the packaging and letting the ingredients loose in your kitchen, to sharing that special something with your family and friends.  My love of food shopping will most likely keep me hunting down my own ingredients, but I like knowing that a service like Blue Apron is out there  and I think a lot of busy New Yorkers will be eating better because of it.

J. made some extra crispy brussels sprouts with bacon to go along with the Tilapia and I made a whiskey ginger apple cake for dessert.  Sundays in winter are all about decadence and comfort food…

Whisky Ginger Apple Cake

If you’d like to make the tilapia dish, or your own variation of it, check out the recipe at http://www.blueapron.com/recipes/blackened-tilapia-with-cheddar-grits-pea-shoots