Plated Subscription Box Review – September 2015
Plated delivers a weekly box of pre-portioned fresh and seasonal ingredients, everything you need to cook their chef-designed recipes at home in your own kitchen. Each week, they offer a different menu, and you can select which dishes you’d like to make, how many plates of each dish you’d like to serve, and when you’d like to receive your delivery.
Three of the dishes offered on every menu are vegetarian. Plated also regularly rotates in vegan and dairy-free options. They’re committed to using sustainably sourced seafood, seasonally fresh produce, and meat raised without antibiotics or added hormones.
Plated also makes it easy to pick recipes that best suit your culinary skill level and lifestyle. Each recipe is tagged with a difficulty level and clearly lists calorie content and prep time.
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The Subscription Box: Plated
The Cost: Recipes begin at $12 per plate. 2 recipes (4 plates)= $48 per week (+ $6 shipping). 3 recipes (6 plates)= $72 per week (with free shipping). 4 recipes (8 total plates)= $96 per week (with free shipping).
The Products: All of the pre-portioned fresh and seasonal ingredients you need to make chef-designed recipes at home in your own kitchen.
Ships to: 95% of the US. (Currently, Plated does not ship to Hawaii and Alaska, and there are also a few cities in Texas, including San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Midland, where they don’t yet ship.)
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Each week, Plated offers a different menu with 7 dishes to choose from. I selected Thai Pork Larb, Crispy Redfish Rolls, and Salmon with Long Beans.
When my box shipped, I received an email letting me know that I would need to have the following “pantry items” on hand: olive oil, black pepper, canola oil, salt, water, and an egg. The email also clearly listed the difficulty level, cooking time, and calorie information of my selected dishes.
As always, the box was packed with extreme care. Ingredients were bundled by recipe, and each item was in its own container.
The pork, fish, and salmon were sealed and packed at the bottom of the box, safely away from the produce and surrounded by cool packs.
Recipe #1- Thai Pork Larb Lettuce Wraps with Mango (Calories Per Serving: 700)
Each meal from Plated comes with its own recipe card. The recipes are well written, and I like that they provide pictures for each step.
I began by separating, cleaning, and chopping my ingredients.
Then, I fried sliced shallots in canola oil. When they became crispy, I strained them and set them aside.
Next, I browned the pork with canola oil and a little lime juice. When it was cooked through, I transferred it to a large bowl and added fish sauce, Sriracha, mango, green beans, scallions, chile, mint, basil, cilantro, minced shallot, and some additional lime juice.
Plated provided half of a head of Boston lettuce with this recipe, and the recipe instructed that 6 large lettuce leaves should be collected, cleaned, and reserved for the wraps. Unfortunately, after I removed the outer 2 leaves (they were damaged) I was only able to collect 2 large, whole leaves. Since the head was cut in half, many of the leaves came away in pieces. I was still able to enjoy this dish (I made one plate of lettuce wraps and another that was more like a salad), but 1 would have preferred an entire head of lettuce. It seemed a little cheap that Plated only included half of a small lettuce head.
Despite my issue with the lettuce, I really enjoyed this dish. The pork larb was fantastic and full of flavor. I loved the addition of fresh herbs, and the mango lent the dish a lovely sweetness.
Meal #2- Crispy Redfish Rolls with Old Bay Fries and Tartar Sauce (Calories per Seving: 780)
The following day, I made Crispy Redfish Rolls. I began by prepping my ingredients.
One of my favorite things about Plated (apart from the yummy food) is learning new cooking techniques. In this recipe, Plated introduced me to a new way to cook oven fries! They begin by steaming the fried in a sealed pouch of aluminum foil. When the potatoes soften, the top layer of foil is removed and the fries are roasted with seasoning and olive oil until they crisp up. This method resulted in fries with a soft center and crunchy outer shell- I’ll definitely be adopting this technique into my cooking repertoire!
To prepare the fish, I dredged it in seasoned flour, dipped it in egg, and coated it in breadcrumbs and oregano.
I fried the fish in a hot skillet and, when the filets were done cooking, toasted the rolls in the pan. Amusingly, the rolls were so long (and thin) that they wouldn’t fit in my skillet, so I cut them in half first.
While the fish cooked, I made tartar sauce by combining mayonnaise, lemon juice, and tarragon.
When all of the components were ready, I constructed the sandwiches and plated them alongside the Old Bay fries.
The sandwiches were delicious (and huge)! The crispy fish was fantastic, and I loved the tarragon tartar sauce. Tarragon, in my opinion, is an extremely underutilized herb. I love its fresh, anise-like flavor, and I think it added an extra something special to this dish. The fries were delicious, too, and, as I mentioned above, I’ll definitely be using the steam/roast technique again soon.
Meal #3- Salmon with Long Beans (Calories per Serving: 560)
(Note: this dish was $18 per plate, instead of $12.)
Plated recently added “Chef’s Table” recipes to their weekly offerings. These dishes are more expensive than Plated’s standard $12 plates and feature specialty cuts of meat and market priced seafood. So far, I’ve seen these recipes contain ribeye steak, scallops, poussin, shrimp, and short ribs and the prices range from $18 up to $26 per plate.
I thought this salmon recipe looked great, so I decided to give Plated’s “Chef’s Table” a try!
As always, I prepped my ingredients before I began cooking. I’d never cooked with Chinese Long Beans before- they really are quite long!
Next, I boiled the potatoes. When they softened, I removed them from the water and set them aside. I then charred the long beans over high heat. When they gained the appropriate level of color, I reduced the heat and added canola oil and garlic. I browned the garlic and then added in the long beans, potatoes, and a sauce made from oyster sauce, sugar, and soy sauce.
Lastly, I cooked the salmon in a skillet over medium heat.
When the salmon was finished cooking, I plated the bean and potato mixture and served the salmon over top with a garnish of peanuts and scallions.
I was very impressed with this dish. The salmon was clearly of very high quality, and the cooking instructions resulted in perfectly cooked, flaky fish. The portion size was generous, too. As a whole, the dish was excellent, and I thought the flavors mixed together really well. I also really enjoyed trying Chinese long beans for the first time! The $18 price point seems fair to me, considering the quantity and quality of the fish I received, and I’ll definitely consider trying other “Chef’s Table” dishes in the future. I’m pleased to see Plated expanding their selections, and I think it’s clever for them to offer more expensive dishes (featuring specialty meats and seafood). While I wouldn’t want to spend $18 per plate for every meal, It’s nice to have the option to splurge occasionally.
Verdict: This box from Plated was excellent. My favorite dishes were the Redfish Rolls and the Salmon with Long Beans, but my husband picked the Thai Pork Larb Lettuce Wraps as the standout. It’s a pretty good sign that we have a three-way tie for favorite dish this week! I love the convenience that Plated offers, and I’m consistently impressed with the quality of the ingredients they send. If you enjoy cooking at home, I would definitely recommend giving Plated a try!
Do you subscribe to Plated? If so, which meals did you pick?