Fish Tacos and Chili, Oh My! A Review of Homemade's Meal Kits by Ayesha Curry

Happy Taco Tuesday, everyone!

Isn’t it great that we get to celebrate this holiday every week? I sure think so! Last week, Homemade by Ayesha Curry sent me a meal kit to try out, and not only did I receive an amaaaazing recipe for Fish Tacos with Chipotle Crema, but I also got to try Hearty Beef Chili with Cornbread!

Both meals totally blew my socks off. They taste homemade in the best of ways, but you can tell that Ayesha and her chefs at Homemade are seriously talented at whipping up recipes that are easy to make while featuring high quality ingredients and that they can teach even the most novice cook how to improve their own game in the kitchen.

Ayesha’s meal kit is by far my favorite I’ve tried, and I’ve certainly tried a handful. What makes her kits even better is that they’re super eco-friendly – just about every item that the ingredients are packaged in can be recycled, reused, and/or composted. It’s like they thought about everything I ever wanted in a meal kit and made the perfect kit, just for me!

If you want to try Homemade, check out their website. The meals are affordable and taste way too good!

The recipes are below.


Fish Tacos with Chipotle Crema and Cilantro Lime Rice

Adapted from Homemade's Fish Tacos with Chipotle Crema and Cilantro Lime Rice

Serves 2
Time: 45 Minutes

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, divided (seeds removed if desired)
Juice of 1 lime, divided
12 sprigs cilantro, leaves and tender stems, chopped, divided
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp kosher salt
Kosher salt and
Olive oil
2 (6 oz) cod fillets
8 small flour tortillas
1/4 cup Mexican crema
1 cup cabbage slaw
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1/2 cup long-grain rice

Preheat oven to 375F and arrange the oven racks to the upper third and lower third positions. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 

In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, 2 tsp chipotle, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp cilantro, honey, cumin, 2 tsp kosher salt, and 3 tbsp olive oil until combined. Pour the mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Reserve the remaining lime juice and cilantro for the cilantro-lime rice. Cut the cod into 8 evenly sized pieces and place in the bag with the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

While the fish marinades, cook the rice: Place the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Transfer the rice to a small saucepan and add 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp slat. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, an stirring once, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered.

Remove the fish from the marinade and arrange on the prepared baking sheet: discard the marinade. Stack the tortillas on a large piece of foil and wrap tightly. Place the tortillas and fish in the oven and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the crema and reserved adobo sauce. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in 2 tbsp of the remaining lime juice and the remaining cilantro.

To assemble the tacos, place 1 piece of fish in each tortilla, drizzle with spicy crema, and top wit cotija and cabbage. Serve with cilantro lime rice alongside.


Hearty Beef Chili with Cornbread

Adapted from Homemade's Hearty Beef Chili with Cornbread

Serves 2
Time: 55 Minutes


1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cups cornbread mix

1 small red onion, diced, divided
1 red bell pepper, diced, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz kidney beans
8 oz pinto beans
8 oz lean ground beef
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cumin
8 oz crushed tomatoes

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare the cornbread and chili ingredients. 

Stir cornbread mix, 2/3 cups water, green onions, and 1/4 tsp black pepper until well blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cook on a wire rack until ready to serve.

While the cornbread bakes, make the chili. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned, 4 to 6 minutes, using a spatula to break up any large pieces. Transfer the beef to a bowl, leaving the fat and juices in the pan. Add 1/2 cup red onion, 1/2 cup bell pepper, and garlic, and sauté until the onion begins to soften, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the chili powder, oregano, cumin, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the beef, beans, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chili has thickened (add more water if you like your chili a little more liquid), about 20 minutes.

Cut the cornbread into squares and serve with the chili. Garnish chili with remaining bell peppers and red onions.



Texas-Style Chili with Pork and Red Kidney Beans

Chili is certainly a comforting food, and one of my favorite ways to serve it up is Texas-Style with Pork and Red Kidney Beans. Now while this style does have a bit of controversy because some Texans are a little picky about their protein and whether or not beans are allowed, that is not of my concern! I like chili better with beans. Beans add additional nutrients and an even better mouth-feel in my opinion.

Whether or not your Texas chili has beans, is it healthy? YES! My recipe below includes 1/2 pound of dried chilies, which means the dish is loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, B6, and potassium. Adding red kidney beans adds additional nutrients like folate, iron, and copper, so you definitely have yourself a delicious healthy meal. Isn't it great when comfort foods are also healthy?

This recipe is really simple to make, and the hands-on time is so doable, but it does take some commitment to being at home and watching after your Dutch oven. So if you have a half day at home, don't be intimidated. It's super easy and a perfect recipe to make on the weekend!

Texas Chili with Pork and Red Kidney Beans

Hands on Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 4 Hours
Serves 6

6 oz mixed dried chilies, such as ancho, pasilla, New Mexico, or cascabel
2 oz dried chipotle chilies
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
3 lbs pork stew meat (1-inch cubes)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp cornmeal
2 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar

To Serve
Diced white onion
Diced red & green serrano peppers
Cilantro, roughly chopped
Sour cream
8 lime wedges

In a medium skillet, toast whole dried chilies in batches over medium heat until fragrant and browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Stem and de-seed chilies.  

Transfer chilies to a large heatproof bowl and cover with 6 cups of boiling hot water for 20-30 minutes, until soft. 

While chilies soak, add 1 tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat to a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add half of the pork. Season with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining pork and transfer to a plate.

Place soaked chilies in a blender with soaking liquid, garlic, 1/2 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and dark brown sugar. Blend on high until pureed. Working in batches, strain chili mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl.

To the same skillet, add 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat and stir in onion. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, scraping up any browned bits, until soft. Add cumin and continue cooking for 30 seconds longer. Stir in chili mixture, oregano, broth, and pork. In a small bowl, add cornmeal and 2 cups water. Stir to combine and add to skillet. Bring to a boil and down to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the meat is very tender, about 3 to 3.5 hours. 

Add beans to the skillet with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Stir over medium heat for a few minutes, until beans are warmed through. Serve immediately garnished with white onion, serranos, cilantro, sour cream, and a squeeze of lime.

Note: The chili grows richer in flavor the next day. Definitely make enough to serve for lunch and maybe even more to freeze for future meals!