Over the past year, with COVID restrictions on restaurant dining, I’ve grown to enjoy having high-quality meals from established eateries and meal delivery services in the privacy of my own home. A new startup caught my eye recently, Cazador Culinary — Catering and Private Chef Services, and I wanted to let you know about this discovery.
I’ve tried several meal delivery systems, but I really like what chef Hunter Huffman is doing with his concept. (Some may remember Huffman when he was an executive chef at the former Till Kitchen and Mercantile.) The food he delivers is fully cooked — no chopping or dicing — and ready to either reheat or freeze.
“My idea was to cut weekly family meal preparation by at least a third,” Huffman said.
I signed up for his weekly two-person plan, which meant three full dinner entrees. The first week, we got a quart of corn bisque; mixed green salad, arugula salad and kale salad; and chicken enchiladas, carnitas tacos and tri-tip steak.
It was a lot of food — more than enough for my husband and me for dinners plus leftovers for lunch.
“These are ‘Hunter servings’,” said Hunter’s wife, Amy, when she dropped off our order.
The first meal we made was barbecued tri-tip steak with roasted potatoes and asparagus. The steak had been cooked rare, which would have been perfect to eat on its own. However, I wanted to follow the recommended cooking directions, to see how well Huffman had calculated the timing.
I preheated the oven to 400 degrees, placed the steak and roasted potatoes on a sheet pan, and heated it for five minutes. I removed it from the oven, added the asparagus and poured the barbecue sauce over the steak. The pan went back in the oven for four minutes. The result was an amazing meal.
My granddaughter, a kale fan, happened to drop by, so I tossed the baby kale and radishes with the jalapeno and pumpkin seed dressing. There was a container of Nopales (pickled cactus paddles) for garnishing the salad. I’ve never been a huge fan of kale, but this salad might be a game changer for me. The baby kale was shredded into fine strips, which made it less chewy, and the homemade dressing was fantastic.
The next evening, we gave the carnitas tacos a test drive, with great success. They came with delicious beans and rice as sides. Stovetop and microwave instructions were included. I heated the tortillas in a skillet and folded them into a tea towel to stay warm while the pork, beans and rice were heated. Containers of charred onions, pickled jalapenos and fried cilantro had been included for topping the tacos. And the salsa came with a “kick” warning, which it had, but it suited us just fine.
The enchiladas didn’t disappoint either, with tortillas filled with juicy roasted chicken and cheese. I served them with the mixed greens salad tossed with the best-tasting champagne vinaigrette I think I’ve ever had.
For lunch, we heated up the corn bisque and enjoyed it with the arugula salad tossed with another winner, a flavorful grapefruit dressing. The soup, which was garnished with roasted corn and red bell pepper chutney, was light — not like most bisques, which are heavy and rich with cream. There was a little spice to it.
I had to know what was in it.
“It’s mostly chicken stock with a little cream,” Huffman emailed. “I used ginger and coriander as the spices.”
Whatever you’re doing, chef, please keep it up. It’s impressive for delivery meals.
His weekly menu includes a soup, three different salads and three different entrees. There are several options for ordering: weekly single ($90), couple ($160) or four people ($300). Monthly options are single ($300), couple ($575) or four people ($1,100). Individual items can be added to orders. Details: 237-4692, email@example.com, cazadorculinary.com.
Contact the writer: 636-0271.
This content was originally published here.