• John Boccellari

HOME CHEF - IS IT WORTH IT?


I have always been skeptical of these types of meal programs. I would have questions about them. How good can they actually be? How fresh is the food? We recently decided to try these meal plan packages to see if they actually make sense in terms of having a third option for busy parents who don't have time to go food shopping or want to spend a ton of money on take out. We ordered from Home Chef as one of our test companies and tried a bunch of recipes. Let's see how they turned out.


CHICKEN SCALLOPINI AND MUSHROOM GRAVY with roasted garlic and goat cheese potatoes

This dish comes off as a creamy Chicken Marsala. It was tasty and not so hard to prepare. The seasoning on the potatoes comes off as very salty. It’s a garlic salt and garlic pepper and it is a little overwhelming. Some notes on the recipe we did have to cook the chicken an extra 2 minutes per side to ensure it was cooked thoroughly. We did not have a nonstick pan and I did not want the olive oil to burn while cooking the chicken so I added some canola oil just to ensure that it did not burn. All in all this was a great recipe and I highly recommend this selection if you are to order from Home Chef.


STEAK AND BROWN BUTTER MASHED POTATOES

The Steak with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes was a delightful dish from Home Chef and not all that difficult at all. My favorite part of this dish was the brown butter. It was such a pivotal part of every component and if you mess up browning the butter, it will ruin the dish. The Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes were fantastic. You taste it throughout the entire dish except for the carrots of course. The carrots are simple. Olive oil and salt then bake for about 15 minutes. They were delicious. The sirloin was a great cut and better quality than I’ve been finding in the supermarket lately. Pricing out the meal was also less than current prices in the supermarket. There is no reason to not like this dish. Pick this meal if you order from Home Chef.


GOLD BBQ PULLED PORK TACOS

This was the simplest of the dishes that we had to prepare. The ingredients were more like pieces to a simple puzzle that just had to be put together. The pork comes precooked. All you have to do is chop it and put it in a pan with the corn. Once heated, just add a little water and the Gold BBQ sauce and your done once it hits 165 degrees. The shallots taste great once you thinly slice them, add the juice of half a lime, add water and salt. The microwave does the rest. I loved the slaw and it added great texture to the meal. My favorite part though was the crispy jalapenos. I could eat them for days and on their own. The Gold BBQ Pork Tacos are a must have from Home Chef.


SPICY CHICKEN PARMESAN

The Spicy Chicken Parmesan was another easy meal to prepare. The chicken needed very little trimming so I commend the quality that was sent to the house. I do wish there was more panko breadcrumb. I would have loved the crunchy texture on the bottom of the chicken. The zucchini was fresh and flavorful. The overall dish tasted good but my only real complaint was the marinara sauce. It had the jarred sauce taste to it and was bland. It was not a good flavor if eaten alone. If Home Chef elevates the quality of the sauce, this dish would be incredible.

MANGO SALSA VERDE SHRIMP TACOS

The Mango Salsa Verde Shrimp Tacos is another easy recipe that doesn’t take long and taste very fresh to the bite. I was happy to see tomatillos in the bag with the ingredients because they help to keep this dish authentic. I wish there was more mango chutney because it added so much to the slaw that I wish I could had added more to the top of the taco. The creme fraiche was okay but not really needed. My wife said the flavor reminded her more of creme cheese than anything. The Mango Salsa Verde Shrimp Tacos are another definite must when ordering from Home Chef.


FRIED CHICKEN WITH CHIPOTLE RANCH

The Fried Chicken with Chipotle Ranch was very delicious. This is marked as an expert level recipe that really isn’t that bad in terms of execution. The tempura batter was really a nice touch. It was crispy and the seasoning on the chicken was tasty. The potatoes need an additional 10-15 minutes than what the recipe says. the cilantro garlic dressing that you make for the potatoes is very good but if raw garlic is something that bothers your stomach, you may want to use less and keep the the cut larger than the mince that the recipe recommends. With that said, you will not regret picking this dish if you order with Home Chef. Thankfully we get to keep the recipe once ordered, we will definitely make this dish again.


FIRE ROASTED TOMATO CHICKEN

The Fire Roasted Tomato Chicken was another simple recipe to make. I loved searing the chicken and the seasoning had a fantastic aroma. The fire roasted tomatoes were a very nice touch as we enjoyed how they complimented the chicken. The cheese on the butternut squash and pablano peppers was not the same as the photo. It was more of a grated Parmesan then cheese chunks than we thought. Even though it was enjoyable you feel like you need more food. I ended up baking a potato to go with the meal still felt hungry after eating. It’s worth ordering but be prepared to make something a little extra to go with it.


LASTING IMPRESSIONS

As you can tell, we really did not have a bad meal at all when it came to Home Chef. The ingredients were fresh, the recipes were great and the final product tasted great. Sure they may have been a slight adjustment to the recipe here or there or even having to add an extra side dish like I did the with Fire Roasted Tomato Chicken, but we still have fun creative meals that my wife and I cooked together. We poured some wine or had a few margaritas in some cases and made a fun night of it. Plus you get to keep the recipe cards which I intend to make some of these recipes on my own with my own ingredients, but that is only because I truly enjoy food shopping. For those who that are unlike me and do not enjoy the journey of the supermarket aisle, this program is built for you because they send you everything that you need portioned and safely packaged with the price point much lower than take out and in some cases the supermarket itself. I loved cooking Home Chef's recipes and I do plan on purchasing from them again just to try something new. I encourage all of you to do the same and give them a shot. I know that you will be more than happy with what your purchase.


AS A SPECIAL GIFT, HERE IS A PROMO CODE FOR $35 FROM HOMECHEF.COM. JUST TYPE IN THE CODE SHARONB515.



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