Hello Fresh, Hello Wine

Last year, I was over at a friends while they wrestled with a Hello Fresh recipe for supper. I think my offering was doing something to the ginger, providing wine and talking to Millie (the dog.) However, the final result of stir-fried beef was so delicious I’ve always been curious to try the recipe boxes myself. It’s taken me a while to get involved, mainly because I often eat my parents leftovers while doing the horses because I’m an opportunist (lazy). Don’t judge too quickly, I love to cook, but only if it’s for other people.  I signed up to Hello Fresh for a three-day trial last week and seeing as I love wine, I thought I’d share the meals with you and also what I chose to drink with them.

Firstly, I’ve got to say the delivery was really impressive via DPD, especially as it was a Sunday. Secondly, the Hello Fresh box is cardboard and all of the ingredients (where possible) are in paper bags which shows they’ve really gone to lengths to make the boxes environmentally friendly. Inside the box, you’ll find a chilled sack with the items that need to be kept refrigerated and then three separate colour coded paper bags which contain the ingredient for each meal. Then there’s a card thing with all the recipes on it and easy to use instructions – you just pick what you fancy along with the corresponding paper bag and the rest is easy.

Toulouse Sausage

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So, I cooked this and then let it sit for a while before reheating and eating, just because I think lentils need that time to develop a little. That makes it sound like I know what I’m doing when, in reality, I just didn’t fancy it to begin with because I’m not a huge fan of lentils. I have to say it was delicious, the wholegrain mustard bursts out of the sauce to pair with the sausages beautifully! I also didn’t realise how easy it was to make your own garlic bread at home so now I’ll be trying to do more of that.

And the wine? That is a bottle from 3D Wines, Côte de Brouilly Des Lys, a classical Cru Beaujolais. It’s a really good red, plenty of fruit with some vanilla spice and subtle tannins. I’m quite proud of myself for this pairing – it was perfect with the sausage.

P.S I’m still terrible at taking photos of food.

Paella

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I’ve never cooked paella myself, but we have it at the farm quite often because my Dad absolutely loves cooking it, usually with rabbit! I really enjoyed learning how to cook this traditional Spanish dish and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. If I was to cook it again. I would probably add prawns and maybe top it with some calamari too.

From the wafts of the paprika I decided I needed a Chardonnay to pair with this paella. It also helped that I already had a bottle in the fridge waiting courtesy of a friend. Somehow I finished the whole bottle of Casillero del Diablo so it must have washed the paella down perfectly. It’s a smooth and thick Chardonnay, which is how I like them and at around £6, you can’t really argue.

Thai Chicken

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I’m lucky (verging on smug) to say I have spent a long time in Thailand on various trips and I will always say, street food is the best food. The coriander and coconut from this dish really sent me back to Chiang Mai, I almost got emotional, I love that place. After grating the lime, there was no other option than a refreshing gin and tonic on ice! My lovely lodger Ernest gave me this bottle of Whitley Neill for Christmas and I don’t think it gets better than Fever Tree tonic, what do you think?

Overall, I had a fantastic experience with my first Hello Fresh box and would recommend it to absolutely everyone. However, I didn’t realise I’d signed up to a rolling supply so this weekend’s box was a bit of a surprise. Saying this, the money leaving my account unexpectedly was annoying (read the small print folks) but the excitement to see what was in this week’s box far outweighed any of that annoyance. I had a delicious chilli beef stir dry this evening and I’ve got two more tasty meals to look forwards too. I feel full of energy in this cold weather and my skin definitely looks brighter. Not only that but I have learnt a few new cooking techniques, I’ll definitely be using more shallots over onions in future…amongst other things.

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