If the pandemic has been a boon to any industry, it’s food delivery services. Restaurant apps such as Doordash, GrubHub, and Uber Eats doubled their earnings. Meanwhile, shares in meal-kit delivery pioneer Blue Apron rose 400%.
The continuing threat of COVID-19 even have given rise to a new hybrid between the two types of operation. Its name is Mise, as in mise en place — the term chefs use for organizing their work space, equipment, and ingredients before cooking. The result of the Mise experience is that you and a friend end up eating a meal from a local restaurant at home but one that you cook yourself from raw ingredients. Always wanted to play chef? Here’s your chance.
We decided to test drive Mise as a service to Apple Eats readers. I chose a dish from the restaurant etcetera etcetera in Hell’s Kitchen — specifically their black and white sesame-crusted roast salmon with lentil salad. If you’re thinking that this is a chance to enjoy a restaurant meal while paying less by cutting out the middle man, think again. Mise adds a buck or so to the menu price of each dish.
Back to dinner. The ingredients and a recipe card arrived in a plain brown box. Included were two generous pre-seeded salmon filets (every Mise recipe is designed to feed two people), a bag of cooked lentils studded with celery and cherry tomatoes, and small containers each of a lemon vinaigrette and a tomato coulis. All items were individually packed and clearly marked.
At this point you face a decision. You can either unpack your box and get to work or pop it in the refrigerator for later use. Clearly, time is of the essence if the centerpiece of your meal is a protein, especially fish, so bear that in mind.
I got busy following the instructions on the recipe card. I preheated my oven to 400ºF and heated a sauté pan large enough to accommodate the two salmon filets over medium high heat. I also seasoned the fish with salt and pepper, as instructed.
When the pan was hot, I added a tablespoon of olive oil, again as instructed, and seared the fish for a minute on each side.
Next, I transferred the fish to an oven-proof dish even though the pan I seared it in is oven-safe. (I was determined to follow the recipe precisely.) I proceeded to roast one of the filets for 4 minutes, which was the designation for medium rare on the recipe card. The second filet remained in the oven for another 3 minutes to reach a medium doneness, which is how my wife prefers it.
While the fish was cooking, I turned to the lentils, which I was directed to add to a medium-size pan along with salt and pepper and the citrus dressing. I warmed the pre-cooked lentils for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring on occasion.
Finally, it was time to plate and serve. I arranged a mound of the lentil salad on each plate, arranged a fish filet on top, and spooned some of the coulis around the plate. Here was the result:
Those unsightly white globular specks you see on the edge of the salmon are albumin, a protein that takes a liquid form in salmon when it’s raw but coagulates and turns semi-solid when the fish is heated. It’s harmless, though off-putting to some.
But how would I rate Mise as a whole? It’s fine for the most part, a novelty even, though if you’re trying to learn to cook, this is not the way. I would also advise the company to add an ice pack to their orders to keep ingredients safe, especially as the weather heats up. My salmon arrived cool at best.