Friday, January 20, 2012

Postmark Chef Review

UPDATE: Use "CookingWithBooks"and you will receive 15% off your purchase at Postmark Chef!  The code will be valid until 3/20.

Having a culinary and baking background, the words "mise en place" are drilled into my head. Preparation, thinking ahead, prepping every little ingredient you might need. And when you're not thinking "mise en place", you're probably "in the weeds", as the restaurant industry likes to call that moment (whether it lasts a minute or 4 hours) where you seem to never be able to catch up with orders. Having enough of the correct mise en place will (hopefully) help you avoid that horrible situation.

And that's where Postmark Chef comes into the story. They're a company that prepares recipe kits able to make an entire menu from start to finish. Non-perishable products are measured and packaged, perfectly labeled for your understanding. Detailed instructions are sent, and an extra list with the perishable items you'll have to purchase, which makes it easy to just grab and go!

This Postmark Chef Recipe Kit puts together an Indian themed cocktail party from recipes adapted from Monica Bhide's latest cookbook - Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen.

The menu included great recipes for a perfect cocktail party! Since it's only M. and I at home, we chose a few of the recipess to try out one night for dinner and were delighted. We made the Spice, Crackle and Pop, the Garam Masala Chicken and ssipped on Pomegranate Delights.

The complete menu included:

Hors d'oeuvres: Pomegranate Shrimp; Garam Masala Chicken; Spice, Crackle, And Pop

Cocktails: Chai Rocks and Pomegranate Delight

The first thing we made was the Spice, Crackle and Pop. A snack easy to find on the street of Bombay, India, it contains exotic spices such as asafetida, black mustard seeds, dried mango powder and fennel seeds. Puffed rice, cashews and raisins add texture and sweetness. A touch of salt and it's probably our current favorite bar snack because the mix of sweet and salty makes us sip on our Pomegranate Delights even faster!

Not only is this a bar snack, but I can see myself folding this into jasmine rice to add texture and flavors. Another idea? Stir into your afternoon Greek yogurt for a sweet & salty mid-day snack.

Pomegranates. Not only are they a super fruit, but paired with ginger ale and rum, they're a super cocktail! Made with a splash of this 1883 Pomegranate Syrup, made with only natural sugars, no preservatives and made with water from the French Alps. We added frozen blueberries and cranberries, to add color and keep our drinks even cooler!

Garam Masala Chicken, probably one of the most aromatic dishes we've made! Starting with one of my favorite oils, coconut oil, this dish is a great way to warm up on a cold winter night. Spices showcased here are cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne and turmeric, all swirled together within coconut milk.

The recommendation of serving this is on skewers, and they'd be perfect for a cocktail party. As dinner, we served the Garam Masala Chicken of rice perfumed with an extra dash of cardamom. Another great option is to serve inside lettuce cups! Healthy and spice infused!

My final thoughts on Postmark Chef? Not only is the ordering process quick and simple, but the people behind it are true food lovers and definitely stand behind their product 100%. I had the pleasure of being in contact with Nalini, and she answered all my questions. Postmark Chef is a joint project of Joe Martinez and Nalini Sekhri Martinez.

As a food product, there is definitely a market for these recipe kits because it takes the guessing game out of measuring spices that you might not be accustomed to using. Also, it's much more economical because you wouldn't need to buy all these spices separately. For both professionals as a laid back way to put a unique meal on the table, or for the beginning cooks (that KNOW how to follow instructions) and that want to impress their loved ones, this particular recipe kit would be a great treat. At $25.00 (shipping not included) for a Bombay Fusion Cocktail Party for four, it's definitely accessible!

Check out The Queen's Notebook Postmark Chef review on Domenica Marchetti's - Three-Course Italian Citrus and Caramelized Pork Dinner.

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Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this post; a recipe kit free of charge was provided for this review.

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