Our second Blue Apron shipment arrived last week, and we were so excited to dive in. The first meal we cooked was a spicy little number with turkey meatballs, red coconut curry, wilted bok choy and rice noodles, and – despite it’s spice level – it was delicious.
Last night, we tackled meal #2: Flank Steak and Creamed Kale with Sunchokes Two Ways. For anyone who is wondering, I should note that before yesterday, I had literally never even heard of a sunchoke, let alone seen one, cooked one, or eaten one. In fact, it quickly became a running joke between me and my friends, and we learned that the word sunchoke can easily be mistaken for the word sunstroke to a Brit. (However, Blue Apron did mention that sunchokes are the edible root of the North American sunflower.)
Anyway, I spent nearly 30 minutes prepping all of the ingredients for our dinner: I roughly chopped the kale leaves, peeled off the mint leaves, minced some lemon rind, quartered a lemon, cut 1/4 of the sunchokes into matchsticks and tossed them in lemon juice, and diced the remaining sunchokes.
I followed the rest of the perfectly spelled out Blue Apron directions, slowly working my way towards a complete meal, loaded with a food I still knew nothing about. Sunchokes.
A short while later, I plated our dinner. I looked at it quizzically. I know that I enjoy flank steak. I had the best flank steak of my life at my aunt’s house earlier this year. I’ve never had creamed kale, but it was kale and cream, butter and parmesan cheese, all ingredients I knew would make a fantastic combination.
But sunchokes. They look sort of like ginger root, with an earthy brown color and a crisp texture, yet I had no idea what to expect in the taste. We hunkered down at the table with our beautiful looking dinner and cautiously dove in.
The salad that accompanied our flank steak included the raw sunchokes, the baked sunchokes, sunflower seeds, mint and minced lemon rind. The raw matchsticks tasted mostly of lemon, as they had been soaking in the acidic fruit for almost an hour. The baked sunchokes, however, had just been removed from the over, after being doused in olive oil, salt and pepper. The warm, nutty and savory root was hands down incredible. It reminded me of the look and taste of a roasted potato, but had a slightly stringy texture, reminiscent of an artichoke – which, by the way, is the culinary cousin to the sunchoke.
We slurped down our dinner, agreeing that we would incorporate sunchokes into our routine more often. I mean, come on, they were so delicious! (And, by the way, the majority of this post may be about the sunchokes, but let’s be honest: the creamed kale was the real winner.)
After our hilarious night full of – ahem – noisy bodily functions, I decided to look a little deeper into sunchokes. Because I couldn’t morally tell you about the incomparable, incredible, earthy flavor of sunchokes without mentioning their one small drawback, I leave you all with this:
Just saying. I warned you. Thanks, Blue Apron.