11 Chicken Dinners Perfect for Any Weeknight 

You can always count on chicken. It’s widely available, packed with protein, and can fit in almost any type of cuisine. Even in a house filled with picky eaters, a chicken dinner is sure to satisfy everyone. 

Chicken is a versatile lean protein. We love it as the center of everything from Asian-inspired noodle dishes so spicy tacos. No matter what flavors you’re in the mood for, you’ll love one of these chicken dinners. 

11 Chicken Dinner Ideas

Seared Chicken & Pan Sauce with Apple, Kale & Potato Hash

Seared Chicken & Pan Sauce with Apple, Kale & Potato Hash

Verjus blanc, the tart, fresh juice of young wine grapes, is the key to our rich pan sauce’s pleasant tanginess—making it the perfect complement to the savory chicken and sweet sautéed apple in our veggie hash.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken with Jasmine Rice & Snow Peas

Sweet & Spicy Chicken with Jasmine Rice & Snow Peas

To give tender chicken a delicately crispy exterior and deliciously bold flavor, we’re lightly dusting it with cornstarch just before it hits the pan, then finishing it with a sweet and spicy sauce of sambal oelek, sesame oil, honey, and more.

Lemon-Dijon Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Roasted Carrots

Lemon-Dijon Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Roasted Carrots

Seared chicken gets an easy, flavorful lift from a sauce of sharp dijon mustard, bright lemon, and smooth fromage blanc—a type of French fresh cheese. Simple sides of garlic mashed potatoes and roasted carrots bring it all together for a well-rounded meal.

Chicken & Poblano Tacos with White Cheddar Cheese

Chicken & Poblano Tacos with White Cheddar Cheese

In this recipe, soft flour tortillas are toasted with a layer of melty cheddar cheese, then filled with a duo of sautéed chicken and poblano pepper. They’re perfectly matched by a side of fiery chipotle-roasted sweet potatoes and a bright, cooling lime mayo for dipping.

Sesame Chicken with Bok Choy & Jasmine Rice

Sesame Chicken with Bok Choy & Jasmine Rice

To give the chicken its characteristic flavor, we’re employing sesame two ways. Nutty sesame oil adds depth to our savory sauce, while black and white sesame seeds bring pleasant crunch (and make for an elegant garnish). Sautéed bok choy and a bed of fluffy jasmine rice and round out this satisfying dinner.

Hot Honey Chicken with Rosemary & Cipolline Onion Panzanella

Hot Honey Chicken with Rosemary & Cipolline Onion Panzanella

For our take on panzanella (or Italian bread salad), you’ll make your own golden brown croutons to toss with fresh tomatoes, spinach, and cipolline onions—small, delicately sweet onions marinated in balsamic vinegar for delightful, tangy flavor. It’s the perfect savory complement to seared chicken finished with a creamy hot honey sauce.

Seared Chicken & Potato Salad with Maple-Glazed Green Beans

Seared Chicken & Potato Salad with Maple-Glazed Green Beans

This classic dish gets a few flavorful twists thanks to the spicy maple syrup that we’re using to glaze crisp, seasonal green beans and provide a finishing drizzle for our spiced chicken. It’s all complete with a hearty potato and pickled pepper salad.

Soy & Butter-Glazed Chicken with Sesame Vegetables & White Rice

Soy & Butter-Glazed Chicken with Sesame Vegetables & White Rice

This vibrant dish features bites of tender chicken coated with rice flour before searing to create a delightfully crispy crust—perfect for soaking up a rich, sweet combo of soy glaze, vinegar, and butter. For a hearty accompaniment, we’re serving it over a bed of rice studded with bok choy and mushrooms.

Za’atar-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Warm Farro Salad & Creamy Feta Dressing

Za’atar-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Warm Farro Salad & Creamy Feta Dressing

 In this flavorful Middle Eastern-inspired recipe, za’atar-coated chicken roasts alongside a trio of carrots, green beans, and red onion. You’ll then toss the vegetables with warm farro to make a hearty grain salad, and finish the dish with a drizzle of creamy labneh mixed with feta cheese.

Oven-Baked Chicken Marbella with Potatoes & Arugula Salad

Oven-Baked Chicken dinner with Potatoes & Arugula Salad

To achieve the same irresistible flavors of slow-cooked chicken Marbella, we’re making our take on the classic sweet and savory sauce by marinating our chicken breasts in a punchy mix of prunes, olives, capers, and garlic, then sprinkling it all with a bit of brown sugar just before baking.

Chicken & Farro Grain Bowl with Arugula & Roasted Vegetables

Chicken & Farro Grain Bowl with Arugula & Roasted Vegetables

At the base of this vibrant dish is a hearty bed of nutty farro, arugula, and sweet dates tossed with a sour cherry dijonnaise. You’ll top it all with bites of seared chicken and a colorful duo of roasted shallot and watermelon radish.

Get your next chicken dinner delivered to your door with Blue Apron.

Fulfillment Centers, Food, and Families: Our Commitment to Safety During the Time of COVID-19

Update on safety precautions we are taking in our fulfillment centers

As of January 2022, Blue Apron added free weekly mandatory testing in our California and New Jersey facilities. During these high rates of transmission in the areas in which we operate, we are testing all employees regardless of vaccination status, at this time, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, we continue to mandate masks for all of our employees, and offer access to approved face coverings should they need them. We have also not changed any of our safety measures outlined below.

Lastly, we continue to host free, on-site vaccine clinics for our employees at both fulfillment centers to make it as easy as possible for our employees to protect themselves, as we believe that vaccines are the best way to protect yourself from getting COVID-19, especially severe illness, and death.

We know that in these uncertain, ever-changing times, safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. At Blue Apron, we consider our fulfillment center employees to be the true heroes of our operation and we’re constantly inspired by their level of dedication to food, family, and each other. That’s why we’ve always been committed to the highest level of safety in our fulfillment centers so we can take care of our employees while they work to take care of you. In response to COVID-19, we’ve added to our already rigorous safety practices and implemented a comprehensive approach to food and employee safety that includes heightened precautions as recommended by the CDC, FDA, and OSHA, as well as state and local agencies.

With the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country, it is likely that everyone’s lives or businesses will be affected in some way or another by this virus. For us, we recognize that we are an essential service during this time and that is not a designation we take lightly. In order to do our part to keep our team members and customers safe, we have implemented a two-pronged safety approach: 

Adopt social distancing guidelines to reduce the risk of spread between employees, and

Significantly enhance our daily cleaning, sanitation, and disinfecting practices on top of our already rigorous safety standards.  

As a food facility regulated by the FDA, a comprehensive food safety program is followed in every part of our operation. In addition, Blue Apron takes an extra step in our food safety practices by certifying with the third-party program called the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Food Safety Code. SQF is widely considered one of the most rigorous and comprehensive food safety standards in the world and we are proud to have achieved this designation since 2018 for all of our sites. 

Personal Safety

With these standards already in place at our facilities, employees are required to follow what’s called “Good Manufacturing Practices” by washing their hands thoroughly and wearing appropriate protective equipment, including nitrile gloves, smocks, hair nets, beard nets, and safety glasses before entering a production area.

 

In response to COVID-19, we changed shift interactions to reduce human contact, increased social distancing efforts and awareness both on and off the production floor, and enhanced equipment cleaning and sanitation procedures. In addition, we are following the new FDA and CDC guidelines for our employees who voluntarily wear face masks in our facility.  *Update—Based on changes to local laws and regulations and updated guidelines from the CDC and FDA, all employees in all Blue Apron fulfillment centers are required to wear face masks at all times. Blue Apron is providing face masks along with training and guidance on the proper use of them from CDC and FDA.

Facility Safety

The cleaning and disinfecting procedures we use meet the high standards of the FDA and CDC in reducing the spread of contagious illnesses, including COVID-19. When it was apparent that COVID-19 was spreading rapidly across the country, our team quickly created a formal COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting Policy which focused on increasing the frequency of cleaning, disinfecting high-touch areas including areas like bathrooms and break rooms, and additional nightly cleaning and sanitizing of production equipment. 

These measures, specifically designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to our employees, are on top of our already rigorous food-safety standards published on our blog here. In the event that we have an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19, we have additional measures in place that include a deep cleaning of both work and common areas. We also directly notify employees. If anyone reports to us that they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (or if they outwardly exhibit symptoms), they are asked not to report to the fulfillment center, or if they are at a fulfillment center, they are immediately sent home. In this case, we conduct regular wellness checks with them while they are at home and deploy targeted additional cleanings. It’s also important to remember that the FDA has stated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be transferred through food or food packaging. 

People Matter Most 

We take our role in providing food to people across the country during this challenging time seriously. To show our front line fulfillment center employees how much we appreciate their hard work, we recently implemented a temporary pay increase to reward them for their dedication during these unprecedented times and for meeting such high safety standards. 

None of us know when this period of time will end and that uncertainty can be unsettling. But if there’s one thing you can trust right now, it’s that when you order from Blue Apron, a group of talented and passionate employees take safety seriously and pack each box with your family in mind. Because in these times, that’s what matters most.

The Art and Science of Wine

Sometimes, career paths take unexpected turns. Dawna Darjean Jones loves science, but after several years of working in research, she learned she didn’t want to spend her life in a lab. Her journey to winemaking took her through multiple states, and to the highest rungs of education. Her goal was to find a career that challenged and excited her, introduced her to new people, and worked for her family. Today, she’s accomplished all of that, and created some delicious new wines in the process. Read about her journey, and then find her Chenin Blanc and a robust rosé on the Blue Apron Market.

Dawna Darjean Jones in the blending room
Dawna Darjean Jones at work

Q How did you ultimately choose winemaking as a career? 

A When my family relocated to Texas, it was time for me to make a career change. I wanted to find something that made me feel just as my last job in National Security did. The only thing that I kept coming back to was wine. I had spent time on vineyards doing research, and I loved it there. I felt free, the air was clean, the sunshine was good for me, and I loved meeting the people. I missed California, and I wanted to be part of that again, even though I was moving to Texas. Things fell together when I figured out a way to balance traveling back and forth to California while primarily living in Texas with my family. 

Q What’s your favorite part of your job? 

A My favorite part of the job is harvest, and the smell of fermentation. I can’t get past that smell, it was one of the things that drew me into winemaking. I got my first whiff of fermenting wine in 2010, the year my daughter was born. I simply fell in love with the aroma of fermenting wine while I was pregnant with her. I think I loved it so much because all I could do at that time was smell wine! To this day, I still love that smell. It signifies the beginning. Fermentation is the beginning of everything for wine. 

Q How would you describe your approach to winemaking?

A I wish I could say winemaking was just about understanding science, but there is a lot of art there, too. My wines are inspired by tradition, but not bound by it. When I blend a wine, I like to really taste each component individually, and think about what would enhance it. I want to make wines that you’d be happy drinking on their own, long after you’ve finished dinner. My wines are something both a connoisseur and a novice would enjoy. 

“If I can encourage another generation of winemakers, then my purpose is served.”

— Dawna Darjean Jones

Q:  What impact would you like to have on the wine world?

A I want to feel like I’m opening up the wine world to those for whom it has been invisible. It’s really fulfilling to feel like you’re passing the torch to someone else. I feel like I have passed the torch by generating some interest—especially for minorities and women. For African Americans, winemaking isn’t traditionally a field that people think about going into, or even consider as an option. Since beginning my wine career, so many young women have reached out to me to ask how I got here. I do my best to answer them, because I want them to understand what’s possible. There are a lot of young women who now think about winemaking as a valid scientific career option. 

A Guide to Compound Butter

compound butter on steak
Herb butter is a decadent topping for steak

What is compound butter? 

‘Compound’ refers to something that is composed of two or more things. Compound butter is simply butter that has one or more mix-ins. These blended butters add delicious flavor to anything they’re paired with, either savory or sweet. 

How to make compound butter

sweet compound butter
Let the butter soften before mixing

To make compound butter, let it soften to room temperature and mash or whip in any desired flavorings. On the savory side, you could add spice blends, herbs, citrus juice or zest, garlic, grated cheese, miso, mustard, and so much more. On the sweet side, opt for sugar, maple syrup, honey, citrus, chopped up candied ginger, marmalade, and more. 

Place the blended butter in parchement paper

Although you can use either salted or unsalted butter, unsalted butter will allow you to control the amount of salt added to the butter. Once the butter has softened, you can mix in your flavorings with a fork or get it really whipped with a hand or stand mixer. When the butter mixture is thoroughly combined, use parchment paper to form the butter into a log, place in a ziploc bag, and refrigerate to harden the butter again. 

And form into a roll

How to use compound butter

Once you have compound butter on hand in the fridge, the possibilities are endless. Savory butters are excellent on all kinds of proteins including steaks, pork chops, fish and shellfish. You can also liven up a side dish with a pat of butter on vegetables, or spread onto rolls and cornbread. Sweet butters will add a special touch to scones, waffles, pancakes and muffins. 

Compound butter kept in the fridge should be used within a week. You can also freeze the butter to make it last longer. 

sweet compound butter on toast

Compound butter recipe ideas

Savory

Some classic combinations for savory butters are garlic and herb butter for steaks or citrus butters for seafood. Could somehow point to the butcher bundles here as options for topping them.

Sweet

You can’t go wrong with a cinnamon sugar butter. You can also make a hot honey butter with honey and hot sauce, or honey and crushed red pepper flakes. Try it on your favorite chicken dish.

Try making your own sweet or savory butter at home to pair with the high-quality proteins in Blue Apron Butcher Bundles.

4 Ways to Cook Tofu

Depending on how you prepare it, tofu can be soft, creamy, crispy, or crunchy. If you cook it with care, tofu can be the perfect protein in almost any meal. We love tofu as the star of vegetarian dishes, or served alongside meats in dishes like Mapo tofu. 

Baked 

Bake the tofu

Baking is a great method to use for grain bowls or salads with firm or extra firm tofu. Clean-up is a breeze with this method, especially if you coat the pan with aluminum foil.  

Line a sheet pan with foil; lightly oil the foil. Transfer the diced tofu to the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and any other spices. Gently toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Bake 19 to 21 minutes, or until browned and slightly crispy. Remove from the oven.

Fried 

Cook the tofu & serve your dish

If you want a lot of crunch, breading and frying is the way to go. Katsu tofu makes a delicious rice bowl, and would even be a delicious filling for a fried tofu sandwich. 

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high. Once the oil is hot enough that a pinch of breadcrumbs sizzles immediately when added, add the coated tofu in an even layer. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of oil before flipping), or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt.

Seared 

Cook the tofu & serve your dish:

For a crispy exterior and a soft interior, try searing firm or extra firm tofu. This method works quickly, which makes it ideal for busy weeknight dinners. 

Transfer the pressed tofu to a cutting board; cut lengthwise into 4 equal-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned tofu pieces in an even layer. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until browned. Flip and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

Heated 

Make the mapo tofu:

Silken tofu is too delicate to cook using the methods above. The best way to cook silken tofu is simply to heat gently before serving. 

If you’re preparing a soup or a sauce, you can heat the tofu directly in it. Just add the tofu to the pan and cook, occasionally stirring gently, for 3-5 minutes, until the tofu has absorbed some flavor and is heated. 

If you’re serving the tofu on it’s own, like in a vegetable bibimbap, you can heat the tofu in a steamer or for 1-2 minutes in the microwave.


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A Guide to Stone Fruit

Sweet and juicy stone fruits thrive during the summer months. From juicy plums to succulent peaches, here are a few of our favorite ways to cook with stone fruit.

What is a stone fruit? 

You may have guessed this from the name: stone fruits are characterized by large center pits. This includes a lot of our favorite summer fruits like peaches, nectarines, and plums. In addition to pits, stone fruits usually have thin skins, and soft, fleshy fruit. Read on to learn more about our favorite stone fruits, when they’re in season, and how to eat them. 

Types of Stone Fruit 

Peaches

Peach season kicks in at the end of summer. Find the best peaches from late July through September. 

We love peaches baked into sweet pies, as the base of peach crumble, or starring in savory dishes like Chicken & Spicy Peach Pan Sauce with Sesame-Roasted Broccoli & Jasmine Rice or Seared Chicken in Coconut-Peach Broth with Bok Choy & Jasmine Rice

Plums

Plum season is from May to late July depending on the variety. 

Grilled Goat Cheese & Plum Jam Sandwiches with Endive & Marinated Cucumber Salad

Dark purple damson plums are the most popular variety in American supermarkets, but the world of plums has a lot more to offer. From oblong prune plums, to sweet yellow mirabelle plums, there are many varieties available in stores and at farmers markets. Of course plums are excellent in desserts or as a snack, but for an unexpected treat, try this Grilled Goat Cheese & Plum Jam Sandwich.

Pluots 

Pluot season runs from May to August. 

Pluots are a cross between apricots and plums. They’re sometimes called plumcots or apriplum. Much like plums, pluots can be a great accompaniment to seared meats and other savory dishes.  Try using a pluot to make the topping for this Seared Pork Chops & Kamut with Corn, Spinach & Stone Fruit-Cherry Tomato Salsa

Cherries

Cherries are in season from July to August.

In the U.S., cherries thrive in cooler states like Washington and Oregon. For a decadent dinner, try pairing cherries with a rich meat, like we did in this recipe for Sour Cherry-Glazed Lamb Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Calabrian Chile Yogurt.

Nectarines

Nectarines are in season from April to August. For Chilean nectarines, the season begins in December.

Snow Pea & Nectarine Salad with Grana Padano & Pistachios

To enjoy their natural sweetness, try a simple preparation. Nectarines bring sweet, juicy flavor to a light vibrant salad. We love the salty sweet combination in this Snow Pea & Nectarine Salad with Grana Padano & Pistachios.

Mangoes

There are over 1000 types of mango, and not all are in season at the same time. The bulk are in season over the summer.

Mangoes have a large, thin seed. Mango peel has been known to cause allergic reactions in many people, and may have a bitter taste. The best bet is to discard it. Mangoes are delicious in sweet and savory dishes, including salads and salsas. 

Indian-Style Burgers with Creamy Mango Chutney & Spicy Cucumber

We topped off this burger with a bright mango chutney to add zip to the rich beef patty. In the mood for fruit?

Check out our guide to apple varieties.

Cereal Bars are the Perfect Road Trip Snack

cereal for bars

Without good snacks, a road trip is just a long car ride. Hours in the car are infinitely more enjoyable with a treat, but not just any snack will do. There are a few criteria that the best road trip snacks need to meet.

1: They can’t be too crumbly. Flaky granola bars might be readily available in gas stations, but you’ll regret it when you’re vacuuming oatmeal out of your car months later. 

2: They can’t be dust-coated. A box of powdered doughnuts will make it look like there was a blizzard inside of your car. Cheesy chips will leave your steering wheel coated in a thin layer of orange. 

3: They should be slightly indulgent. This is vacation. Live a little! 

4. They shouldn’t be too filling. The goal here is to enjoy some treats during the day and save room for a nourishing dinner once you arrive at your destination. 

There’s one snack that ticks all of those boxes and more: Cereal bars. Cereal bars, and their most famous family member, the Rice Krispie bar, are the perfect food for the car. They’re satisfyingly crispy, easy to eat, and simultaneously light and indulgent. They’re so easy to make that you’ll be able to throw them together at home before you pack up the car.  

How to Make Cereal Bars

The best thing about cereal bars is that they’re adaptable. Start with this base recipe, and then make it your own with add-ins. You can try switching up the cereal, adding a pinch of salt, throwing in sliced nuts, or adding shredded coconut. 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 10 oz marshmallows 
  • 6 cups of cereal

Directions

Place the butter medium pot over medium heat and add ½ of the butter. Move the butter around with a spoon or heat-proof spatula while it melts. After it has completely melted, you’ll see it start to foam up around the edges. Continue to stir, watching the butter closely. After the foam subsides and you see some brown specks forming in the bottom of your pan, the butter is ready. 

Add in the marshmallows, and stir until they are completely melted. Add any wet mix-ins like honey, nut butter, or vanilla extract. 

Remove from heat and stir in cereal and any dry add-ins, like shredded coconut or sliced nuts. 

Using a spatula coated in cooking spray, spread this mixture evenly into a 13 X 9 inch pan.

Once cool, cut your treats with a serrated knife and enjoy. Pack in an airtight container and hit the road.

Offsetting Plastic with Peanut Butter & Co

What’s your favorite way to eat peanut butter? We love it in savory peanut sauces just as much as we adore a sweet peanut butter cookie. There’s no wrong way to enjoy this nutty spread, and now Blue Apron’s peanut butter provider is making it even better with a commitment to sustainable packing.  

Even if you practice recycling, you can’t control the amount of plastic that is used in shipping and production of your favorite goods. Peanut Butter & Co founder Lee Zalben understands this. He believes that it shouldn’t be solely the work of peanut butter lovers to figure out packaging waste. That’s why the brand has vowed to offset all of the plastic used in the production and distribution of its product. 

What does it mean to offset plastic?

Peanut Butter & Co has partnered with the Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX) to offset 100% of the plastic that they use. That includes the plastic jars that end up in grocery stores, the plastic used to wrap each case of peanut butter, and the protective plastic used on pallets for shipping. Peanut Butter & Co tracks all of its plastic usage and purchases equivalent credits from the Plastic Credit Exchange. The PCX then works to remove the equivalent amount of plastic from the environment, recycling it into new products such as soda bottles and toys. 

What impact does plastic offsetting have? 

According to their website, the PCX has diverted over 18 million kilograms of plastic from the ocean. Participating in this program gives Peanut Butter & Co an opportunity to control the impact of their products after it leaves their warehouse. 

Blue Apron is proud to partner with suppliers who take sustainability seriously. These are a few of our favorite recipes starring Peanut Butter & Co peanut butter.

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Curry-Peanut Chicken

Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce & Marinated Green Tomatoes

For more nutty goodness, get a Blue Apron box delivered to your door.

What to Do with Frozen Wine

not yet frozen wine

One of the fastest ways to chill wine is by wrapping it in a damp towel and sticking it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. It’s the perfect way to cool a bottle of white or rosé quickly, unless you forget to set a timer. If that 30 minutes turns into an entire evening, you’ll end up with a bottle of ice. Here’s what to do with accidentally frozen wine. 

What Happens When Wine Freezes 

Alcohol and water have different freezing temperatures. As the temperature of your bottle drops lower and lower, the water will begin to freeze, but the alcohol will separate and remain liquid. If your bottle of wine is only partially frozen, don’t drink the liquid portion: it will have a stronger alcohol concentration! 

Water expands as it freezes. As ice crystals form, the pressure from the expansion could begin to force the cork out of the bottle, or cause it to crack. This might expose the bottle to oxygen. For this reason, it’s best to use a thawed out bottle of wine within a few days. 

chilled wine

How to Use Frozen Wine 

The good news is that frozen wine isn’t ruined. Once the bottle has thawed, it’s still perfectly good for cooking or drinking. Just thaw it out in the refrigerator and drink it within a few days. 

Frozen Wine Does Not Equal Frosé 


Frosé is a slushie made with rosé, fruits, and sometimes liqueurs. In bars, frosé is made by agitating the ingredients in a slushie machine while chilling. This agitation prevents large ice crystals from forming. Wine frozen in a bottle will form large ice crystals, and won’t be pleasant to drink in a partially frozen form. If you want to make frosé with your frozen wine, start by letting it thaw completely. Then, pour it into a shallow dish, freeze for several hours, and blend with your choice of flavorings following this technique.

Looking for the perfect bottle to chill in the freezer? The Blue Apron market has all the red, white, and rosé that you need.

Chef Tip: Use Your Microplane Every Day

microplane with citrus

What do shaved chocolate, garlic paste, and freshly-grated Parmesan have in common? Two things: they’re all ingredients that can finish a dish with a powerful punch of flavor, and they can all be easily created at home with a Microplane. 

For most tasks in life, you get out of them about what you get into them. This is true of work, hobbies, and personal relationships. The more the work, the greater the reward, right? This is not true with a Microplane. With this one tool, the effort-to-reward ratio is way out of whack. 

Let us give you an example: grating garlic into a fine paste and then zesting a lemon will take about three minutes with a Microplane. Now put those ingredients in a bowl and toss them with roasted vegetables. In about five minutes you’ve transformed a standard side dish into a scene-stealer. The payoff is almost too good to be true. 

A Microplane can also help you get the most out of your ingredients. Let’s think about those roasted vegetables again for a minute. When it comes to garlic, the finer you chop it the more flavor you can get out of it. One smashed garlic cube will give your dish a hint of mellow garlic flavor. When it’s grated with a Microplane, that same cube can turn a whole tray of vegetables into a pizzeria-flavored delight. For zesting a lemon, this tool will create shavings small enough that they won’t end up getting caught in your teeth. 

The perks don’t stop there. Peeling ginger can be an annoying and wasteful process. If you use a Microplane to grate ginger, you don’t need to peel it first. If you want to tone down the spice in a dish, you can finely grate the peppers. This ensures that no one accidentally gets an extra large chunk of Jalapeño in their lunch. A Microplane is also excellent for grating whole spices like nutmeg or cinnamon. Working with whole spices will give you a more powerful aromatic punch than pre-ground cinnamon that’s been sitting in a cupboard for months. 

A Microplane is light and maneuverable, so taking it out is effortless. It’s strong, so it can shred hard cheeses as easily. This thing is basically begging to be used. Try storing your Microplane vertically in a container on your countertop. That way it will catch your eye while you cook, prompting the question: what have you grated today? There’s always something you can finely zest to make dinner a little better, and this tool makes it easy.

the many things you can microplane

Many of the most delightful things in life are not technically essential for basic survival. Fresh ginger doesn’t make a stir-fry more filling, and grating garlic won’t add much nutrition to your roasted vegetables. When you’re cooking at home, It’s easy to skip those little finishing touches that aren’t adding any extra fuel to your plate. Fortunately, with a Microplane, it’s also easy to not skip those steps. Motivation is precious, and with this simple sheet of metal, you can conserve it for more arduous tasks. You’ll barely have time to second guess yourself before you’re making it rain parmesan all over your nightly pasta.

Grab this essential tool for yourself at the Blue Apron Marketplace.

Yuzu Cheesecake Recipe from Chef Roy Yamaguchi

yuzu cheesecake
Rainbow sprinkles go with everything

In this sweet and tangy cheesecake, chef Roy Yamaguchi brings his signature combination of Asian flavors and classic preparations to dessert. This yuzu cheesecake is the perfect ending to any Blue Apron x Roy Yamaguchi dinner.

Ingredients

Cheesecake Filling

  • 3 lbs cream cheese (room temperature) 
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 5 cups sour cream 
  • ½ cup heavy cream 
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 
  • ¾ cup cornstarch 

Sprinkle Shortbread Cookie

  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 30oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pint rainbow sprinkles 

Yuzu Curd

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup yuzu juice
  • 4 Tbsps unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Directions

1. Make the yuzu cheesecake filling: using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla.

2. Combine and sift together the sugar and cornstarch on a piece of parchment paper. 

3. Starting on low speed, mix the cream cheese, gradually increase to medium-low speed. Mix until very smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

5. Add the sugar cornstarch mixture, and mix until incorporated; scarpe down the sides of the bowl. 

7. Add the egg mixture, and mix until fully incorporated. Transfer to a container and set aside. 

Sprinkle Shortbread Cookie

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar. Using a hand mixer, cream together until light and fluffy.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with your hands until a dough forms. 

3. Divide the dough into 1lb portions and roll into roulades on sheets of parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator until firm. 

4. Bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.

Yuzu Curd

1. Fill a medium sauce pot with 1” of water; bring to a boil.

2. In a medium size heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the yuzu juice and whisk until smooth. 

3. Place the mixing bowl over the double boiler and whisk until it reaches a pudding-like consistency, about 4-6 minutes. 

4. Remove from heat and whisk in the cubed butter until fully incorporated. Transfer to a container with a lid and let set in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours, or until set. 

Assembly & Baking

1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Spray metal ring molds (2.5″ x 3″) with non-stick cooking spray. Line with parchment and spray again. Transfer to a sheet tray, making sure they are evenly spaced. 

2. Crumble 2 to 3 tablespoons of the shortbread cookie into each ring, pressing so that it fills the base of the ring. 

3. Add 1 tablespoon of the yuzu curd to each ring. 

4. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes, or until set. Let cool completely. Lower the oven to 250°F. 

5. Add the cheesecake filling to the molds, leaving about ⅓” of space at the top. 

6. Top with about 1 tablespoon of the yuzu curd.

7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until firm with a slight jiggle in the center. Let cool to room temperature for at least 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving. 

Serving

1. Remove the cooled cheesecakes from the refrigerator. Run a paring knife along the inside of the ring mold between the parchment paper and the ring mold. Push from the bottom to release the cheesecake from the ring mold. Remove and discard the parchment paper. 

2. Spread some of the yuzu curd in a circular design off center on the plate. Place the cheesecake in the center of the plate on top of the yuzu curd. Repeat with the remaining cheesecakes. 

3. Sprinkle the reserved crushed sprinkle cookies on top of the cheesecakes. Enjoy!

For desserts delivered to your door, try Blue Apron Add-ons.

3 Tips for the Best Possible Burgers

Burgers are a simple pleasure, but sometimes making them can feel complicated. Even though they don’t have many steps or ingredients, a little technique will go a long way in helping you prepare a delicious burger.

Tips for Cooking Burgers

Tip 1: Dimple the patty. When you begin to cooking a burgers, either on the grill or on a stovetop, the high heat causes the strands of protein to contract. This makes the patty itself shrink and plump up. This is a normal part of the cooking process, but if you’re not careful, it can result in globe-shaped burgers. To prevent your patties from getting too round, just press down lightly in the middle. The goal is to make a dimple in the center of the meat that will fill out when cooked. This way, it’s easier to build a stable burger in the end. 

Preparing the Burger for Cooking - Dimple Process

Tip 2: Mix gently and season well. For the most flavorful burger, season the meat twice. First, season the meat mixture and stir gently to combine. Be sure to not to over-mix; working the meat too much can lead to a tough burger. Just a few stirs to incorporate the seasoning will do the trick. Second, season the outside of the patties after you form them. By seasoning both the outside and inside of the patty you’ll get a burger with a flavorful crust and a tender bite. 

Adding Salt & Pepper to the Burger Patty

Tip 3: Keep the bun handy. Nothing is more disappointing than taking a burger off of the grill and realizing it’s smaller than the buns. To prevent this tragedy, keep the buns nearby while you’re shaping burger patties. Use the shape of the bun as a size-guide, but remember: proteins contract. Make the patties a little bigger than the buns and they’ll shrink down to size. 

Shaping the Burger Patty for Cooking

Ready to try out these techniques? Take your burger experience to the next level with Blue Apron’s elevated craft burger.