It took over 3 years and almost 300 entries, but I’ve finally cracked the final untouched category of Simply Delicious–the very last one, Group 20: Basic Recipes. These are part of the Cooking School segment in the back of the book, teaching you basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes that you’ll need to be an experienced cook. This recipe, 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces covers the basics of butter sauces, which you can expand upon with 20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces.
Hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces, a big part of French cuisine. Mastering it (and the others) is one of the marks of an accomplished and talented chef. I’ve been cooking for a long time and I’m still working on mastering this one.
If you’re looking for a relatively easy homemade buttermilk biscuit recipe, 17-39: Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits isn’t a bad choice. I made these once before for a dinner I made about 8 years ago. I remember thinking they were very bland as written–hence my notes written on the front and back about adding more salt. After following my own suggestions this time around, they’re much improved.
I didn’t make these for any particular dinner or reason this time around, but they still made decent snacks and accompaniments to meals throughout the week.
4-3: French Potato Gratin is a great side dish for a dinner. It was easy to make and it only takes one pan to cook this recipe.
Jamie made notes on this recipe that I completely ignored. I used the mandoline to cut the potatoes and I used 9 medium/small potatoes.
Editor’s note: I did indeed make notes on this, from when I made this for a fancy dinner for my family during Spring Break of 2009. I stand by my recommendation of using the food processor, but you do you, boo.
I had mentioned in 1-8: Delicious Cocktail Snacks that I had attended a birthday party recently–I used 16-37: Double Decadent Brownie Torte as part of the birthday cake that I made for it. This is one I’ve made before, and this time I kept some of the changes I made the first time.
I noted that I made this with Kahlua whipped cream the first time. I did that this time too, along with a Kahlua pastry cream to layer between 2 layers of torte.
This recipe, 4-2: Green Beans with Hazelnut Butter along with 7-55: Sunday Pork Stew and 4-4: Scalloped Parsley Potatoes were my first attempt at trying to do 3 of these entry recipes at once. It ended up being harder to do than I thought.
One I’ve made before, about 6 years ago along with 6-40: Peppercorn Chicken Breasts and some other ones. I really like this technique/flavor profile–I use it a lot, even when I’m not documenting it for the Internet.
Here’s one I’ve made in the past–there’s even my Sharpie notations to prove it. I remember making 6-40: Peppercorn Chicken Breasts for my mom, since she’s not a red meat eater and I was making another recipe from this book for everyone else that was heavy on meat. I’ll cover that one eventually, and update this to reflect that. 😉
My notations claim that it’s easy. It is, when you use the right ingredients. If you don’t, it gets a bit tougher…