This week I’ve been cooking from a recipe box from Marley Spoon, including a recipe by Olia Hercules for Tender Lamb Steaks with Mint Ajika Sauce and Grilled Potatoes. Recipe below.
Recipe boxes are soaring in popularity at the moment and there are now plenty of choices and options available to suit all our ‘at-home’ cooking needs. The concept is fairly straight forward – you chose the recipes you like online or via an app, place an order (one week in advance) and your fresh food arrives in an insulated box on a nominated day ready for you to unpack. Fresh food delivery boxes have many plus-points – they remove some of the pressure of week-night cooking when time is usually tight, they can lighten the load of the weekly shop and – big bonus here – you don’t have to think too long hard about what to cook. Overall, there is less waste because you use all the ingredients delivered to you in each recipe you may spend less on food shopping as some of your meals will already be planned and budgeted for. This week, after a manic half-term break, I was especially keen to try a box from Marley Spoon, who currently have a month-long collaboration with Ukrainian-born chef and award-winning author, Olia Hercules. Since I love anything that Olia does (I have cooked most of the recipes in Mamushka!) I knew these recipes would be super-tasty.
Seasonality & Influence
Olia chose to create some exclusive recipes for Marley Spoon because she loved their ‘excellent produce and the importance of seasonality in all of their recipes’ and I agree, this is a really strong feature of the Marley Spoon boxes. I even found some hand-picked salad leaves with pretty edible flowers in my box, delivered to customers who chose the Smoked Mackerel & Orange Salad with Mixed Grains & Roast Fennel.
Having had a look through some of the other recipes on offer in coming weeks, I like the fact that Marley Spoon recipes include lots of global-inspired dishes because this means that you get to try a range of different recipes and flavours within the context of quick and simple week-night cooking – a bit like having a few pages from lots of different and inspiring cookbooks.
Packaging & Delivery
I liked the fact that each meal was individually bagged in a brown paper bag. This made grabbing the ingredients together even easier (other food box companies pack all the ingredients in one big box which means there is a bit more sorting to do).
As is common to most fresh food delivery boxes – meat, fish or dairy products are kept chilled and insulated inside a separate bag containing upcycled sheep’s wool which is renewable and biodegradable. The system Marley Spoon uses holds food at 2-4°C for up to 36 hours.
If you are out, you can nominate a designated safe place and your box can be left there – any chilled stuff stays cold into the evening so you can unpack your box and get cooking in your own time. Marley Spoon say that their ingredients should stay fresh (once stored correctly) for up to four days after you have received them. Deliveries take place on Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays – though you can set or move your day once you have registered.
You have to chose your order the week before it gets dispatched which allows the company to bulk order items, thus passing on a competitive rate per recipe. Marley Spoon have a comparison page here so that you can see how much the ingredients would have cost if you were to buy them at the supermarket. You can view the recipes up to two weeks in advance and there are usually around 7 recipes to chose from in the 2-person box and 5 recipes to chose from in the family box.
The recipes cards within the Marley Spoon boxes are larger than most too and can be stored in an A4 wallet or folder. I found the recipe cards easy to read and follow – there are also step by step photos if you’re more of a visual cook!
Back to Olia’s beautiful recipes…
I made the Lamb Steaks with Mint Ajika and New Potatoes today. Our meal was ready in under 20 minutes and I loved the ‘mint ajika’ twist – a fresh mint sauce but with the added punch of fresh garlic and chilli. This would be a great recipe to scale up too for a BBQ or for guests over the summer.
Next week, I’ll be making the most of a discount that Marley Spoon have offered (you can use the discount code too to get £20 off your first box, simply type in Ren&MarleySpoon into the voucher code box) which will be valid until the end of June. Look out for Marley Spoon ‘Global Barbecue’ boxes coming soon too.
To try Olia’s recipes next week, select Tamarind and Ginger Trout with Bok Choi and Crispy Garlic (week commencing 13th June) and Georgian Pork Lavash with Pickled Spiced Carrots – (week commencing 20th June). Both recipes are options in the ‘2 People’ box in the Weekly Menu section of the site.
More posts you may like:
Emily wrote a Marley Spoon Review Post here.
Kate Hilpern round up 10 Best recipe Boxes for The Independent
Also linking this up to Simple and in Season hosted by Katie Bryson – new pots and radishes.
With thanks to Marley Spoon UK for sending me a recipe box to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.