I love to cook! I used to hate it because I could never think of anything new to make and always ended up cooking the same things. Its taken me years to refine my palate and discover what I like, what my family likes and what I can cook in pinch. After all these years though, I find that I've slipped back into the habit of making a lot of the same things.
When the opportunity arose for me to do a review for ChefButler I jumped at the chance! After perusing their website and seeing that they were a subscription box company that offered spices and dried goods to cook up delicious meals from around the world, I couldn't wait to get started!
I received my box from ChefButler and tore into it. Upon opening the package, I was swept away by a spectacular aroma of spices. Inside the standard brown box was a beautiful silver box from which this exotic smell emanated. I didn't even know what was inside, but I couldn't wait to get cooking.
Unfortunately, I had to wait a few days to dig in. Most nights, its only my daughter and I eating dinner and I wanted to wait for a night that my husband was home.
Inside the box was a pretty purple envelope which contained my recipes, shopping list and a welcome letter from the company. On the back of the welcome letter, I found "The Game Plan" which detailed the order in which I was to cook the dishes for them all to come out at the same time. I was particularly impressed with the shopping list. I am a list girl, so this made me very happy!
My March ChefButler box contained spices and recipes to make three Pakistani dishes; a Main Dish - Beef Qeema, a Side Dish - Vegetable Biryani and a Dessert - Coconut Ladoo. Spices included turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, chili powder and more. I've never cooked Pakistani food before, but the spices smelled like curries that I've had some experience with in the past so I knew that our family would love this.
On cooking day, I tucked the shopping list and recipes into my purse and headed to the store to pick up my produce and meat. Beef Qeema is a dish traditionally made with minced meat. My recipe called for ground beef to make things simple. There was nothing especially exotic or unusual on my shopping list so I had no problem getting everything I needed.
The Game Plan recommended making dessert first but I wasn't sure we would be eating the dessert that night so I moved to the next step.
The recipes were very easy to follow and soon my whole house smelled like an exotic spice market. I opened the windows to make my neighbors jealous.
My husband came home while I was still cooking and said that he could smell dinner down the street while he approached on his motorcycle.
Over all, I spent about 1.75 hrs prepping and cooking this meal. Prep time took a little longer because I am in a tiny, galley kitchen so I had to get creative. I enjoyed cooking this meal and I especially enjoyed eating it!
The Beef Qeema was cooked in yogurt, which imparted a sharp tang that blended particularly well with the slightly sweet spices that were involved. The Vegetable Biryani was a rice and vegetable dish that had a lovely curry flavor.
I still have my ingredients to make the Coconut Ladoo. I am sure that they will be just as delicious as the other dishes!
So, now for the details.
ChefButler is a Canadian company and they currently only ship within Canada. They made an exception for me though and I hope that soon they will expand to the U.S.!
Boxes can be purchased monthly for $35.00 per month or you can receive a box every other month. With the second option, you pay $17.50 each month. All prices include tax and shipping in Canada and are in Canadian currency. Should ChefButler change their policy and begin shipping to the U.S. I will update this review with that information. I truly hope that they are able to that because I would certainly subscribe!
Chef Butler Website
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