“It’s child’s play” is the expression friends have used when describing how easy it is to throw a meal together with Simply Cook. So, burdened with tight deadlines at work, eldest son’s birthday and a whole heap of admin to tackle (not to mention the ironing pile), I decided to test drive Simply Cook (click here). Within a day or two of ordering, two simple but stylish slim boxes landed through my letter box and instantly I was intrigued as to what lay inside.
For those of you not familiar with this whole concept let me enlighten you. Simply Cook is not meals on wheels! Nothing is pre-cooked and your main ingredients aren’t supplied either – yes, I hear you, what’s the point then? Very simply, they say it’s ‘Good Food, Made Easy’. You are presented with four recipe cards and their ‘Little pots of Big Flavours’ which is essentially a little pack with all the unusual cupboard ingredients you need to cook the recipe for two. The thought behind this is that it saves you time stumbling around your local supermarkets seeking out ingredients that you won’t use again for six months (or six years) and which usually cost the earth. So, to sum up, you get the opportunity to serve up delicious meals that aren’t usually part of your culinary repertoire and its saves you hunting down ingredients such as Gochujang or Doenjang – see what I mean!
On Tuesday night I put it to the test and made the Thai Red Prawn Curry. The only items I needed to pick up on my way home were; cherry tomatoes, a red pepper, coconut milk and prawns. Easy. Now I’ll be completely honest with you, I saw how easy this was going to be, so much so, I could have done it in my sleep. So to challenge Simply Cook I handed the culinary reigns over to my other half. This is the man that burns baked beans, so if he can do it, anyone one can! With a glass of wine in hand I watched over him (like a hawk) every step of the recipe and I am happy to say that not only did he not burn the house down but he also enjoyed making it. The fact that there wasn’t a long list of ingredients to juggle, chop, simmer or steam didn’t means he wasn’t intimidated so he was able to relax and enjoy cooking! The recipe was a 5 step process with very simple instructions. I timed him (cruel but true) and he went from raw ingredients to a served meal in 35 minutes. I could knock 10 mins off his time as I know where to find the pots and pans and I know how to cook rice! But it certainly wasn’t a bad effort. As for flavour, it hit all the right notes that a Thai curry should. I was impressed that those little packs can deliver such a punch of flavour. The sauce was a good creamy consistency and the final touches of the Thai Red Garnish at the end really did make a difference to the dish.
So, what’s my conclusion? These are great tricks to keep up your sleeve for when you want to throw together something a bit different but pushed for time without the compromise of flavour. I love cooking from scratch but I will be keeping a good supply of these in my cupboard to encourage me go off my usual repertoire. The ingredient packs have a really good shelf life so these are worth investing in for those days when you’re not sure what to cook…..or like a single friend of mine, she lives off these two or three times a week and never gets bored! She is all synced up on her iPhone with the app and has the recipes and shopping lists to hand… literally! Delve in and Bon Appetit!
And yes, he will now be cooking more often!
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