Chinese cuisine is a lot more prevalent today in the United States than it was 30-40 years ago when Simply Delicious was being written & printed. I suppose we have cookbooks like this to thank in some small part for introducing many 1980s American families to a more global palate.
Speaking of a global palate–I made this dish vegan. Yes, that picture above is vegan–keep reading to find out how. #clickbait
Cabbage is probably my least favorite cruciferous vegetable. Although cabbage is present in most Chinese food dishes and it doesn’t bother me in that format, however, just the thought of eating plain cabbage is not very appetizing to me. The meatloaf-like mixture inside 9-7: Cabbage Rolls was the most edible part of the dish. I like that they served it with a blurred out Heineken.
Anything that involves a stuffing and rolling procedure is usually best done in a big batch because they are a pain to put together.
Over the years I’ve made plenty of steaks, but I don’t have a lot of experience cooking flank steaks. Jamie grew up eating carne asada–but on the East Coast, we were eating Steak-Ums sandwiches. Not quite the same, but it got the job done. 8-29: Marinated Flank Steaks was a fun opportunity to cook this recipe and get familiar with cooking a different cut of beef that I’m used to.
I have some experience with marinades so this dish wasn’t too difficult for me to attempt. It is ranked Fairly Easy after all.
This recipe is the best kind of recipe from Simply Delicious, an easy one. I’m not the most confident at preparing roast beef in this manner, however, the method shown in 8-31: Roast Beef is easy and can be applied to other cuts of meat such as lamb. 🍖
Simple is the best way to describe baking a roast beef in the oven.
Editor’s note: I’ve made this one before–it was part of my fancy dinner party I had in my first apartment after college. You know, before I had to surrender it to the roaches. 😯 I’ve continued to use it as a basic roast beef recipe, although now I like to do a beef broth/mixed-herb/red wine marinade before roasting.
If you had told me as a kid that I would eat meat and bananas together in a dish, I would have called you, “crazy”! Some cuckoo chef over at Simply Delicious is playing a weird joke on people with 9-27: West Indian Meat Casserole, but this dish is rated mostly edible. Jamie wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. 🍌
I don’t really see how this dish is festive. It also isn’t very attractive, at least, not in the way I prepared it.
This recipe card gave me an excuse to cook up a big ol’ batch of 9-14: Chili Con Carne, not that I needed an excuse. I’ve made a few pots of chili in my day, but not one quite like this. My favorite episode of the Simpsons, entitled El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer), features a chili cook-off as a vital plot point. The infamous space coyote scene still cracks me up to this day. 😹
With the peppers featured prominently on the front of the recipe card, Simply Delicious has pointed out the one major issue I had with this dish. WHO PUTS BELL PEPPER IN CHILI? 🌶 Jamie and I enjoy a little spice in our chili. I’ve always wanted to try adding a pepper akin to the “Merciless Pepper of Quetzalacatenango … grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum.” 🌶
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Simply Delicious uses mushrooms pretty heavily throughout their recipes–about 20% of the recipes I’ve covered so far have involved them. I wasn’t a big mushroom eater when I was a kid, but I’ve (slowly) begun warming up to them. 7-7: Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Rolls aren’t especially fancy, but they’re not a bad option for lunch, dinner, or even making in a large batch for a party.
This is the first recipe (of 160+ at this point) that uses sage, described as being “savory & slightly peppery.” I like using sage with mushrooms (along with parsley, rosemary, & thyme–the “essential herbs,” according to Simon & Garfunkel), as the earthy flavors of both complement each other well.🌿
It’s the middle of summer right now, so soup’s probably not your first thought. However, I continue to be surprised that how no matter how hot outside it is, people still enjoy soup. So here’s a classic: 3-3: French Onion Soup.
I have never cooked steak using the method in this recipe, 8-11: Sirloin Steak Baked in Foil, before and I probably would never cook them this way again. I like all the extra garnish, but it is a pain to cut and prepare that many vegetables for people to pick around to get to the main ingredient, the BEEF. 🐮
I used the red wine suggestion on the card, but I felt like I should have used beef broth to keep the beef-y flavor. This recipe also keeps a trend going, sticking with the foil pouch cooking method that Jamie used in the previous recipe on here, 6-25: Salmon-Filled Chicken Breasts.
I think Simply Delicious was aimed at the working-mom demographic primarily–a lot of the recipes focus on easy weeknight meals just as much as the fancy dinner party options. 7-14: Easy-to-Make Pork Casserole is a casserole in the sense of a casserole being a bunch of random stuff thrown together in a vessel and then heated.
Casseroles are typically defined as the traditional green bean or tuna types that we (by that I mean mostly Americans) associate with that word. This dish is a loose mixing of vegetables and pork cubes, and is honestly much more reminiscent of 7-55: Sunday Pork Stew than of “casserole”. My mom seemed to like it though, when she made it back in April of 1992.