Obviously, we love to try and do it all ourselves – homemade jams and cocktails and cheese and anything else delightful and small batch. But, let’s face it, sometimes we need to ask for help. Who better to lend a hand than local Boston-area chef Ana Sortun? We’d invite her and her lovely spice blends into our home any night of the week. -Maggie
I try to avoid prepared components in my home cooked meals, but I’ve decided that when I do cheat, it will be with Ana Sortun’s Chef Sets.
The premise behind the Chef Sets meals are simple and mirror what I would usually include in my meal: a grain, a protein and a vegetable, plus lots of flavor. Ana Sortun, however, did all the hard work for me by blending spices together, choosing flavor pairings and then leaving it up to me to add three simple fresh ingredients.
I opted to used the beef set, Bulgar Pilaf with Turkish Spices and Pistachio. This was a way for me to change things up from my mostly chicken or vegetarian diet. (I was tempted to take the box suggestions and visit the website to find vegetarian options, but decided to see through my foray into beef eating.) The meal was delicious, it was fancier than what I could have prepared on my own and had an added bonus: it was done in under 30 minutes.
The process was simple: Chop up a cucumber and mix it with greek yogurt and a seasoning packet. Cook the grain packet on the stove (which takes about 10 minutes) and then add another seasoning packet to the ground beef, form meatballs, and bake them. The set was also the perfect serving portion for two people. I had my doubts while preparing dinner, but it was plenty of food to fully satisfy two of us.
After dinner, I did sneak to website to check out the vegetarian options and they all looked equally appetizing, so I’m looking forward to trying my next set with a vegetarian twist.
(Chef Sets has paid to participate in our December 9 Holiday Market, but all of the taste-testing and food opinions expressed here are those of the Eat Boutique team.)
All photos taken by Michelle Martin.
Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in our new shop. Sign up to be the first to get tickets for the Eat Boutique Holiday Market on December 9, 2012.