Goodfood Recap #39

goodfood

Welcome to the next Goodfood. Its been probably about a month. This is definitely back to a monthly basis at this point. This time’s picks are fairly summery in my opinion, at least getting into the more warm weather foods that we tend to learn towards. There are some repeats and some that feel like a little twist added to something we’ve done before.

Let’s check it out!

Shrimp Boil
with Summer Corn, Roasted Potatoes & Green Salad

shrimp boil

As always, seafood meals kick off the Goodfood meals. This time, we start with our repeat meal. The last time we had this, I believe my husband made it so it was a new experience for myself. Other than the fact that I’d love to know how you break corn into 3 parts (my husband says the cleaver is how to do it) by hand, this meal was pretty good. The shrimp was nice and its pretty simple to put together. It has a few steps to it like boiling the corn and potato first before putting it in the oven with the shrimp. The sauce that they say to make with a butter base (which I replaced with margarine since we don’t have butter at home) was really delicious. The green salad also had a good oil-based dressing to it and was a refreshing side.

Glazed Korean Chicken Lettuce Cups
with Sticky Rice & Carrot Salad

glazed korean chicken lettuce cups

My favorite meal of this meal kit goes to this recipe. I’m always a big fan of the Asian foods here. They usually are pretty decent. Its been a while since I’ve tried some lettuce cups and such although I did end up eating it all separately in the end. However, the chicken is really good although it takes some attention. At the same time, the carrot salad is a bit like preserved style so has this sour flavor to it but it matches really well to balance out the flavors here. Plus, the sticky rice is one of the fave parts of these meals whenever it appears since I don’t buy Calrose rice but I definitely should just to be able to eat more sticky rice, not to mention the sauce the blends in with it from the chicken is just delicious.

Curried Tofu
with Coconut Rice, Roasted Vegetables & Thai Basil Salsa Verde

Curried Tofu

Tofu meals are usually hit and miss for us however we keep trying them out because its a good source of meatless protein and its always nice to add a vegetarian option every once in a while when we get a chance. While I can’t say the tofu itself was anything great (I’m not a fan of the extra firm tofu), the curried sauce was pretty good. The roasted vegetables are also pretty good and the thai basil salsa verde was also surprisingly a good addition to add some different flavors to the meal.

Beef & Shiitake Burgers
with Miso Mayonnaise & Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

beef & shiitake Burgers

Burger choices are normally for my husband because he likes trying now types of burgers. This menu feels familiar and yet also feels like a past one we have had but maybe with changes. I can’t quite remember right now. It was a pretty good one although, I have never had uncooked bok choy so was a bit skeptical and after this, learned that I prefer it cooked. It is somewhat of a messy burger so I ate it all separately. Everyrhing was alright except note to self, with miso based sauces, it already starts off quite salty.

Thats it for this Goodfood recap!
Any meals that peak your interest?

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Goodfood Recap #37

It sure feels like a while since the last Goodfood recap. We’re back to monthly instalments of these. To be fair, we only get the ones that we think we have time to cook and also the meals work to our liking. This week has two repeats and two new ones so it’ll be interesting to see. However, we took this box mostly because it was the week after some crazy work schedule and just needed time to not think about groceries and the like.

Let’s check it out!

Seared Steaks
with Lemon-Oregano Potatoes & Roasted Zucchini

seared steaks goodfood

A word of the wise to fellow cooks, at least for myself, I’ve learned that any meal with zucchini (or other leafy vegetables) should be the first to go in regardless of when the meat expires. I’ve experienced too many times of bad zucchinis due to my not getting to it quick enough. With that said, its why the random time that steaks got put forward. This meal is actually pretty good. The roasted zucchini is nice and I’d definitely try to do that again. The potatoes were a nice blend. We don’t like eating seared anything and like this cooked completely so the husband, who is almost always responsible for cooking meat, made sure to have it well done. That’s our personal preference, of course.

Chicken Yakitori
with Roasted Carrots, Chinese Broccoli & Miso Butter

chicken yakitori goodfood

The first repeat meal is Chicken Yakitori. I’m going to say right now that starting from this meal, the husband took care of most of 90% of the cooking and I only helped with small prep work and stuff due to work and whatnot. His first attempt at Chicken Yakitori and it still tastes fantastic. I love all the elements of this meal from the sauce to the chicken and the spices and the miso butter on the roasted veggies. I would redo this one on the grill any day in the summer. Works well because its one I’ll consider for the next Battle which is coming up in just a few weeks.

Fried Eggplant Sabich
with Mango Chopped Salad & Red Cabbage

Fried Eggplant Sabich Goodfood

Every box has a meal that we just add in to try out and this time its the eggplant sabich. The husband isn’t a big fan of eggplant to start and I’m not a big fan of this type of eggplant but I’m hoping to find an eggplant recipe which I can like and eat more of because eggplant is a healthy addition to our diet. This is supposed to be put into the pita as a pouch sort of meal but the pitas turned out to be too crispy so we just put everything on top of it. I think the meal still works because its like pita chips with hummus and then the freshness of the mango chopped salad meshes well with the flavorful fried eggplant slices. This was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Pork Chops
with Honey-Glazed Cipollini Onions & Shaved Asparagus Salad

pork chops goodfood

Last meal of the box is also a repeat, one that I was a bit more than lukewarm towards and the reason why it made it in. Under the helm of the husband, I actually think it tastes better than the first time. It could be the potatoes are seasoned really well and finally not burnt as it usually turned out for me when I put it in the oven. The sauce is done really well and I liked it so much that I ended up making some toast to eat the rest up. It all goes well with the pork chops.

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!

TV Binge: The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Season 2, 2018)

You can find the TV Binge for previous season below:

Season 1

The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Season 2, 2018)

the big family cooking showdown s2

Judges: Tommy Banks & Angellica Bell

If you had been following The Big Family Cooking Showdown, you would already know that they had announced a lot of changes in Season 2 prior to its airing. I’m not quite sure if it aired before it became a Netflix Original or not, but I believe its a BBC 2 show. Either way, other than just having the judges change, the show took away its hosts and let the judges take over that job as well. The structure of the competition has also changed. It still has some of the same challenges. This season, it separates into two parts essentially. The first 5 episodes is for two group of 4 families, where they end up having 2 families going into the play-offs, then the next 5 episodes is the second two groups of 4 families to fight for the two spots to the play-offs. Then the remaining is playoffs for the 4 families with 1 family eliminated, 1 family getting fast-track to the finals and the next last two fighting for the last finals spot.

big family cooking showdown s2

In terms of challenge, the 10 pound challenge remains as the kick-off challenge but with the added surprise element of doing the shopping on the spot and having to do their calculations and then if over, to give up whichever items. The first day wraps up with a known challenge of national dishes with a twist. After that, one family is eliminated. Day 2 has the 3 families in their next challenge where they choose one member to bake a dessert that they can choose the difficulty level which leads to a second challenge pre-known to make a two course meal (main dish and dessert). The playoffs are also structured over 2 days with the first having one spontaneous challenge called the pick ‘n mix challenge where the judges have one set ingredient and one member of each family chooses an ingredient from what is provided and they have to incorporate all the  ingredients into their dish with a minimal selection of spices, etc and wraps up the day with an indulgent treat meal (known in advance). There are following challenges of zero-waste (or as close to it as possible) meals and then the finale is essentially the same challenges as season one with a cooking spontaneous challenge followed by a 3 course meal.

After a huge description, we can go and break it down a little. Let’s start with the host/judges. Tommy Banks and Angellica Bell are really fun to watch. They work together well to create a nice dynamic. They have some puns and in general are a warmer experience and share a good knowledge of food and cooking throughout. They add in little discussions between and it makes for a nice idea of where they stand. As for the candidates, this is where the colors are. Its in the families that join who bring in the playfulness and spontaneous elements. Each of the families of 3 bring a different style and cooking mentality and its because of this and it brings in a lot of fun little moments. What works better in Season 2 is making it more focused on 4 families each time instead of doing them 2 families at a time like in the first season.

big family cooking showdown s2

In any cooking competition, its all about the challenges and the food. Its a good idea to put each day of the challenge with two of them where one is spontaneous and one is known before. Its a good bit to see which family works well even without practice and shows off some true creativity and skill. The spontaneous challenges are the ones that bring a lot more interesting elements to the competition. Its the ones that truly have that surprise factor also and have more issues that come up and chaos. Let’s be honest that perfect shows aren’t fun to watch and instead the chaos and overcoming those obstacles in whatever way is usually an enjoyable bit to see. Nothing works like a little bit of drama, right? In that sense, I think that might be where I’ve pinpointed the bits that don’t work so well here as the show at times feels a little bland. It might have to be that some parts, go by too long and then some go too fast and then there is a balance that sometimes isn’t balanced properly to make the show completely bingeworthy. Why I say that is that some food competitions like Zumbo’s Just Desserts, I can go back and watch it over and over again knowing the results but for The Big Family Cooking Showdown, I was lukewarm with Season 1 and didn’t rewatch it and then this Season 2 although I have some families that I really liked and the elements technically all work together, something never made me want to watch more than an episode or two and stop, nor do I have that urge to go back and watch it again. There’s something missing and I can’t quite pinpoint what it is. Perhaps its the same home footages of the families that repeat itself over and over again as well. Its definitely heading in the right direction though. If Season 3 happens, I’m hoping that there are some additional changes to make it even better.

Have you seen The Big Family Cooking Showdown?

TV Binge: Nailed It! Mexico (Season 1, 2019)

If you’ve missed my reviews of the original American Netflix version, here are my reviews:

Nailed It! (Season 1)
Nailed It! (Season 2)
Nailed It! Holidays

Nailed It! Mexico (Season 1, 2019)

Nailed It Mexico

Hosts: Omar Chappuro & Anna Ruiz

Hosted by Omar Chaparro and head judge Anna Ruiz, home bakers in Mexico with a terrible track record take a shot at recreating edible masterpieces for a $10,000 prize. It’s part competition, part hot mess. – IMDB

After the massive success of Nailed It! on Netflix Original series that has gone through 2 seasons, brought in a special Queer Eye episode and then a holidays version, it has now expanded internationally with its first stop with Nailed It! Mexico. I’m always a big supporter of Netflix working around its own Netflix’s international grab and expanding its show, just like how it did the international cooking show, The Final Table or obstacles competition, Ultimate Beastmaster, which proves that its a foundation that has endless possibilities and a way to truly expose the world to different cultures and well, just each other. Plus, Nailed It! is a great idea because it breaks out from the professional version of things and takes a more relaxed and amateur approach to things while still keeping itself educational.

nailed it mexico

Nailed It! Mexico honestly was a lot of the same as Nailed It! for USA. That is a good and bad thing. The good is that it keeps a certain type of humor and joke that runs throughout. It makes it more united and keeps it fun to watch. It uses Nailed It! signatures, like the golden hat for the winner of the first round or the same trophy design. However, going international as I mentioned gives a look at culture and while pop culture and its guests go hand in hand to expose some of their talents there in the baking and celebrity and/or foodie world, the baking designs are also with Mexican culture and themes for example something as simple as incorporation a pinata or the quinceanera. What also works here is that the first episode sets up the Mexican version to be on a higher baking knowledge especially looking at the same structure but more seemingly complicated desserts and designs.

nailed it mexico

There are a few “bad” things here. The bad is that it lacks a uniqueness other than location and language to give Mexico’s version its own distinction. Its something that is important to for someone like myself who watches all of it.  It likes reusing the bits like having those funky buttons like having Omar Chaparro take over the nagging duties and inviting Sylvia Weinstock as a foreign guest to link the two together while doing her little “stealing” things from the pantry bit and her witty remarks; also the trophy never being there for the announcement and reappearing from weird spots, etc. This all works well enough except when doing something like that, it becomes Nailed It signatures and yet, its easily going to be compared with its US original, which has an upperhand (in my opinion, because of Nicole Byers having that charisma she brings to the show).

With all that said, looking at both sides, Nailed It Mexico is a lot of the same, but that isn’t a bad thing because I had the same criticism about the second one going into an odd direction which didn’t work. In comparison, the complexity and different humor might sometimes get lost in translation however, the entertainment of Nailed It has always been looking at the funny failures (and learning from them) and with that, the Mexican version still delivers in spades.

Goodfood Recap #33

goodfood

After an over-extended break from Goodfood, we finally got back to one of these boxes. It was a huge help to get back to cooking some Goodfood meals especially with some cool new recipes to try out. They all looked very delicious so I was excited to give all of these a go.

Let’s check it out!

Shrimp Ramen
with Quick-Pickled Ginger, Spinach & Mushrooms

Shrimp Ramen

Seafood meals are always the first to be done. Its been a while we’ve done anything with shrimp. Its winter and ramen is a great option as a nice cozy food to warm up. Another really great about both shrimp and ramen and spinach because these foods all cook very quick so its a nice efficient meal. The only thing here that needed a different pot was to make the pickled ginger which is also a fairly easy thing to do also. In terms of taste, the broth here is what stands out. The pickled ginger has always been the portion of these meals that I don’t quite care for. Everything else from the fresh ramen to all the flavors here is pretty good.

Polenta-Crusted Chicken Breasts
with Endive-Spinach Salad & Honey-Herb Dressing

polenta-crusted chicken

I don’t normally make food thats heavy on the crusting and stuff. So, its a nice little change in pace to do this one. What really adds to this is that its actually pretty easy to put together. Plus for something with both the oven roasted and frying in pan, everything times together really well to do simultaneously and not feel too rushed. However, I didn’t actually try the salad on the side. It does look fresh and good, plus it uses endives which I’ve only ever cooked with once and still wondering how to incorporate it into other meals when possible.

Agedashi Tofu & Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce
Garlic-Furikake Green Beans, Daikon & Rice

Agedashi Tofu

I’ve only had Agedashi Tofu in restaurants. In my memory, it uses the softer tofu than the one used in this recipe. However, it is a fun little one to put together as well. On top of that, I’m a big fan of daikon but never know how to make it so this is a lovely way to do it especially since the seasoning in the rice as well also makes it mega delicious. I really liked this one a lot. Agedash Tofu’s magic is also in the sauce and this one is very similar to the Japanese restaurant around my area. Not my habit to cook a lot of Japanese food at home except with these boxes, however, its a nice change in pace from the normal. I’m probably going to make the rice, daikon and green beans outside of the box and make the fried tofu instead of the agedashi one though.

Spiced Pork Bowl
with Blistered Cherry Tomato & Pepita Salsa over Red & White Quinoa

Spiced Pork Bowl

The last meal we made was this bowl. We always love to make bowls because they are so convenient to put together. Credit goes to my husband for putting this together on the weekend when I had to go to work for some overtime and it turned out to be the star of the box for myself. The pork had delicious seasoning. The crunchiness of the lettuce and the acidity of the cherry tomatoes plus the quinoa blend all matched together so awesomely. I ended up eating both of the meals for dinner and lunch the next day. That is how good it is. Definitely one that I’m going to try to make on my own time.

Overall…this week was pretty good.
It had a lot of fun meals with all kinds of different spices and meats. 
Also, all the meals were within the 30 minutes cooking mark so efficiency also gets it some points.
My favorite goes to the Spiced Pork Bowl but everything was really good this time. 

TV Binge: The Final Table (Season 1, 2018)

The Final Table (Season 1, 2018)

The Final Table

Host: Andrew Knowlton

Global competitions should be the hook for Netflix in all kinds of competition simply because they have the opportunity and the resource to make them. It is why I was so excited to stary watching The Final Table. Well, and because I’m a foodie and love watching food related shows (which reminds me that I need to get back to Chef’s Table). The Final Table is just the debut season so there are some imperfections in execution overall but the concept itself is a good one. If there is enough popularity, it would be interesting to see how they can make certain changes to make it more polished to watch. Since I probably won’t find another place to write this, I think the host Andrew Knowlton does a great job and is a good fit for the show because he has the knowledge for it and the charisma to carry the show.

Just for a little basics, The Final Table starts off with teams of two cooks paired up by the chefs own choosing. They are all professional chefs in their own specialities and their different origins and backgrounds. Each episode is themed around one country. The first round consists of a national dish from said country set by the three ambassador judges, which usually includes two celebrities/public figures and one known critic from the specific country. The bottom three teams (until they reach the ending episodes) go into a final dish round where a legendary chef from the specified country will choose an ingredient known in that country to be the star of their next dish and the team considered the less refined for whatever reason will depart the competition. In the last finale, the Top 2 teams break up into individual competition again and the 4 competitors go head to head for the two rounds for the big finale.

The Final Table

Right away, the pros of this one is the country by country theme per episode. It helps people learn about other countries and their dishes and cultures as well as shows off some of their known celebrities. It seems like a pretty win win situation. At the same time, a few (if not more) of the chefs were on Chef’s Table so already associated with the show or known before so makes it more fun to watch in that regard. Some of the national dish choices are pretty surprising so its always nice for the unexpected and mystery element. That part of the structure works well and is well put together. Themed like that gives it a chance to hit a lot of other countries even after they get through all the countries associated with Netflix.

If we look at teams of two, that works pretty well also. It gives them a chance to learn from each other and encourages team work and adds the drama element. At the same time, it gives the chefs a chance to make a more elaborate dish and be strong in certain segments because of each of their different knowledge lending a hand to creating their version of the traditional dish or their knowledge of the ingredient and how to use it in their interpretation as well. If we look at the ambassadors and critics, I don’t have a lot of knowledge of a lot of foreign movies and such so obviously, I knew the USA celebrities the most and then some of them looked familiar and I knew some of the chefs because of Chef’s Table. I think that is part of the fun also as long as the judges themselves have knowledge in food and give constructive criticism.

So far, I’ve said a lot of pros of the show and it is a pretty good structure in its heart. However, I have this issue with how it changes from the teams to the individuals. Personally, if the final challenge was just the last team standing, that might be a little more reasonable. Or commit to it completely and do a half point of top 5 where we get to see the abilities of the individual chef for a few rounds to make it more engaging. At this point, its like a sudden drop to finish the show in a set amount of episodes where they drop a few teams in one shot to force a top 2 which gets siphoned into the finale which just automatically has three chefs removed. That part of the structure needs some work to see what sort of transition works better. If its too little episodes for the amount of teams, then cut 2 teams or something to make it work out. Whatever it is, that needs some work to not feel like the change comes and leaves too abruptly.

Overall, its a good idea and things work for the most part. There probably will be more polish to this if it gains its popularity. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing another season of The Final Table.

Goodfood Recap #30

goodfood recap

And we’re back to business with the recap image sorted out!

In general, we’re doing the monthly boxes so I actually forgot to post up the last one. Its been a bit crazy on my end. So I actually have another post coming up soon. First, lets get this overdue Goodfood recap up from 2 weeks ago!

Soy-Steamed Cod
with Sesame-Ginger Kuri Squash and Baby Bok Choy

soy-steamed cod

My husband was the one who cooked this meal. I always say that we try to pick up some fish meals. This one is really good. I’ve never had kuri squash before and it tastes delicious, especially with the spices used here. It had a little kick but still was really lovely.

Citrus-Miso Udon
with Sesame-Ginger Tofu Orange Segments & Bell Peppers

citrus-miso udon

One of the two vegetarian dishes in this box. I’m a big fan of udon noodles. My husband is not so while I love to get them, its always a struggle to see whether he will like it. This one is mostly uncooked except for the tofu. I can’t say this is my favorite dish both in terms of how the tofu is done or how the whole dish comes together but I like the tofu with ginger and sesame bit, I guess and udon in general is a noodle texture that I personally enjoy so it worked in that sense.

Malabar Curry
with Chickpeas & Sugar Snap Peas, Basmati Rice & Roasted Cashews

malabar curry

The surprise of our box is this second vegetarian dish. After our experience with the Miss Fresh boxes and their love for curries and such, we took a huge break from it once we started Goodfood boxes because the variety here is fantastic in comparison. After 29 boxes, we finally decided to go for a curry meal in the Goodfood boxes and let me tell you, this dish was a highlight. My husband loved it. I thought it was immensely delicious. We’re putting some serious reconsideration on getting some more curry meals now.

Portuguese Chicken
with Crispy Potato Rounds, Romaine-Carrot Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette

portuguese chicken

The last meal of the box goes to this portuguese chicken. We do use piri piri spice when we make our own chicken here. This one is not bad. Its actually quite tasty. My only issue all the time with these recipes is how long it asks us to make the potatoes in the oven. I don’t know if I cut it too thin or the time is not correct but that is the only thing that didn’t quite work out. The start of the show, the chicken itself didn’t disappoint and that has to go to my husband for making it.

That’s it for this overdue Goodfood recap!
Another recap coming next week for last week’s menu and then we’ll be back on track!

What did you think of this Goodfood box?