There are few things in this world as good as potatoes and vegetables covered in cheesy breadcrumbs. It’s a popular side dish that you’ve seen many variations of. I really enjoyed 4-36: Golden Potato Medley and the plating that Simply Delicious shows below looks so much better than how my dish came out. I go more for utility than aesthetics when I’m cooking, but it’s also true that you eat with your eyes before your stomach. 👀
This dish is the perfect side dish, but it is hearty enough to be eaten as an entree. It doesn’t look like much, but is perfect with hot sauce.
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.
It’s been a hell of a month, y’all. Between my birthday at the very beginning, the election, an aunt passing away, unexpected horse-sitting, and planning/executing my very first self-made Thanksgiving dinner, I unfortunately didn’t do a lot of writing. However, our Thanksgiving this year (TGV 2016) was Simply Delicious-themed, as I used 7 recipes for this year’s feast.
I started the cooking marathon on Tuesday 11/22 with 4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin–I thought parsnips would make an interesting variation on the “vegetable” dish for Thanksgiving. I also cooked this one first because I knew I could cook it most of the way, and save the final broiling for right before the dinner was served.
I don’t know much about parsnips being the “poor man’s lobster” (a quick Google search reveals butter baking cod/haddock/etc. to be the most common modern use for that term), but I’d describe them as a cross between potatoes and carrots. Too potato-y to be a carrot, but too carrot-y to be a potato.
This recipe is already setting high expectations with the title 11-25: Best Ever Sole Au Gratin, and I’m not here to completely dash those hopes. This is a pretty decent fish recipe, as those go (I’m usually wary of home-cooked fish recipes), but it’s nothing spectacular, despite Simply Delicious’ assertions. 🐟
This one gets fancy with the piping bag and tips for the potatoes. I still haven’t replaced my piping/pastry bag set-up since it all failed during the making of 17-52: Apricot Macaroons for the holidays last year (2015). Since I’ve yet to replace it, I’ll have to get creative again.
Here’s a new-to-you part of the book I want to start featuring. The last three chapters of Simply Delicious comprise their own section: Cooking School. These chapters detail more of the practical culinary knowledge required to execute recipes well, and teach some skills by going through some basic recipes.
I’m going to start mixing up the regular recipe entries with these Cooking School ones as well, which shouldn’t be too different. If anything, they’ll be a lot shorter–like this one.
UPDATE 1/2/2017: Went back and updated a few of these–mostly adding to where I’ve done more recipes since the last time I wrote. Edited and fixed some of the pictures that didn’t transfer well from the initial Tumblr migration. Carry on.
Chapter 18 is about Basic Techniques. I thought that 18-17: Cooking Glossary I would be a good place to start. I used this same (complete) glossary when I taught cooking to K-8 kids in an after school program a few years ago, and I inserted a copy of it into the recipe book at the restaurant I used to work at. There’s also one taped inside my spicecabinet at home for reference.
Fennel has been a challenge ever since we started receiving CSA boxes a year or two ago. I really never cooked with it before and even now, finding recipes to use with it (that I’ll eat) is difficult.
If you’ve never had fennel, it tastes like black licorice. You eat the bulb part, and usually cut off the stalks & feathery parts. I usually save those parts and put them in when I make chicken stock.
We ended up with two very large fennel bulbs, and so I decided to make 4-13: Fennel au Gratin, because you can’t go wrong when you cover things in cheese.
We paired this with some English cheddar tortilla/gluten-free something-or-other chips as well as put it on top of some veggie patties–both were pretty good. It worked well as a dip–it might be too cheesy as a side dish, unless you added more fennel.