Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gourmet Three Course Meals, In Your Freezer

What's for dinner at home? Caramelized pork belly with steamed kale. Think I made it from scratch? Nope. This was frozen and delivered, by Pop Up Pantry.

There are many meal delivery services in Los Angeles, but for the most part they are too health focused (and healthy tasting ..) and expensive! Pop Up Pantry is neither. These are gourmet three-course meals, pre-prepared and shipped to you frozen for as little as $17.50 per person.

You order your meals and the date you want them delivered, and it will be shipped in a box via FedEx (they note that you have to freeze them by 8pm that day). Oh, and the good thing about using FedEx? You don't have to live in LA to order these, unlike the other meal delivery services! You can live in the middle of nowhere and still get them.
Inside the insulated box will be these frozen pouches of the prepared food.
Preparing them for the most part is easy. Most of them you just boil in water, or stick them in the oven for 30 minutes (your meals will come with detailed instructions, don't worry).
I tried out the Master Chef dinner, which was the two dinners created during the last Master Chef's finals between Christine Ha and Josh Marks.
The crab and papaya salad was as easy as thawing them.

The caramelized pork belly was a bit more involved since you also have to sear the pork belly after you boil the pouch (I did burn mine a bit, oops!) but the rest? Just boil. And this actually makes quite a good meal! I liked the kale with mushrooms especially.

Things like the cheese souffle and some other pastries are shipped to you raw, and that's why you have to freeze things before 8PM, but it also means what comes out of your oven would be a lot better than having them prepped and frozen.

OK so Josh didn't win but I actually really liked his Indian Curry Hen. There were chunks of garlic and ginger in the sauce and the hen came out moist and tender.
I tried the bastilla at their open house and it was crispy and flaky! (The bastilla comes with the Moroccan Lamb Stew dinner). I also recommend the lamb korma.
Pop Up Pantry is a subscription service (starting from a plan with 2 dinners a month) but you can put the plan on hold or cancel anytime. I didn't cook my meals right away but kept them in my freezer, and they came in real handy when I was busy! I got my first batch for free but afterwards I went ahead and ordered the Moroccan Lamb Stew and Lemongrass Salmon, which are coming next week!

They've also offered a $15 OFF code for my readers to try it out! Just enter the code GOURMETPIGS to get $15 off your first order (yes, you have to be a new customer). Certain dinners are very popular and do sell out for the month, though, so better hurry.



I burned my pork belly, too!

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