I don’t know about you, but I’ve been extremely busy lately. After working all day, I barely have the energy to do the thing I love the most: cooking unique and delicious meals. Whipping up a dish used to be exciting and easy, but now trying to find the perfect recipes and going to five different grocery stores to buy the best ingredients causes unneeded stress to my already chaotic day. Thankfully, at Narrative Food, a direct-to-door ingredient box delivery service, they put the fun back into cooking.
This Los Angeles-based, woman-owned company does not only make you feel good, but it also opens up your palette. They offer a wide range of meals with an easy-to-read recipe card and organic, locally-sourced whole foods. Narrative Food idistinguishes itself by caring about what goes into their “Supper Bundles” and ensure their customers get an elevated dinner experience.
This company was founded by Jennifer Piette. After working as a screenwriter in Europe for 25 years, she decided to come to the United States and start this business in 2010. She saw an untapped market and decided to become a trailblazer by creating one of the first companies of its kind. Her mission is to create a holistic food experience that not only nourishes her customers, but sparks creativity in the kitchen.
At Narrative Food, they are constantly changing their themes for every season. This fall and winter one of their inspirations is Chef Amelia Saltsman and her cookbook, The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen. One of the mouthwatering recipes is the Lamb, Butternut Squash and Quince Tagine.
“We have been collaborating with Amelia Saltsman for years now, and we’re thrilled to create boxes with recipes from The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen, which is one of my favorite all time cookbooks," Piette said. "Every fall I look forward to cooking this dish – it has become a tradition in my family. For me, creating lasting memories around the table, with my loved ones, is what it’s all about.”
To get a taste of what Narrative Food offers, try whipping up your own by following the directions below.
Serves 8 People
Main Dish Ingredients
1. Scrub the quinces to remove the fuzz. Using a cleaver or chef’s knife, quarter the quinces through the stem end. Resting a quarter on one of its flat surfaces and anchoring it on its skin side with one hand, dig out the core, using a paring or oyster knife. The cut surfaces will start to turn brown, but don’t worry. If you’ve been able to remove all the fuzz, leave the quinces unpeeled, or peel them if you like. Cut the quarters into 2-inch (5-cm) chunks.
2. Stir together the ras el hanout and 1 teaspoon salt, and dredge the lamb pieces in the spice mixture. Heat a wide pot large enough to accommodate all the ingredients over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add half the meat and cook, turning once, until fragrant and well browned, about 3 minutes per side. Lower heat as needed to keep the spices from blackening. Transfer the meat to a plate. Repeat with remaining meat and oil.
3. Lower heat to medium-low and add the onion and a little salt. Cook onion until softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes, scraping the pot to incorporate any brown bits. Stir in the garlic and cilantro and cook for 1 minute more.
4. Return meat and any juices to the pot along with the quinces. Stir, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes and check the pot. Thick juices should be forming. Add the squash, water, bay leaves, and a little more salt to the pot and re-cover. Continue to simmer gently until the meat, quinces, and squash are very tender, 40 to 60 minutes longer. (The dish can be prepared up to this point a day ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. Lift off the layer of congealed fat before reheating.)
5. To make the gremolata: Using a five-hole zester, remove the zest from the lemon in long strands. Mince together the lemon zest, cilantro, and garlic.
6. To serve: Reheat stew if necessary. Add a healthy squeeze of lemon juice to the stew and serve over couscous. Top each serving with gremolata and pomegranate arils.
Orders for the Lamb, Butternut Squash and Quince Tagine Narrative Food kit must be placed by Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. for delivery on Oct. 16 and 17. Recipe is reprinted with permission from The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen © 2015 by Amelia Saltsman, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
Photography by: Courtesy of Narrative Food; Staci Valentine