“It smells like weird Mexican food in here,” Jamie said as she walked in the door. She wasn’t wrong. The example image sets a rustic farm tone with the watering can, basket of red peppers, and parmesan cheese in the background. The watering can even has onions painted on it. Awesome!
When I saw that it will need reheating before eating, I decided to make this dish in a large rectangle Pyrex. I made this recipe at half size to accommodate the baking dish. I only used two onions because Simply Delicious bases the number of onions on the smaller onions that were available when these recipes were written. Two was more than enough.
Avocados have been a pretty big part of my culinary life up until now, but that’s probably because they’re pretty hard to avoid here in California. However, my experiences are usually closer to some nice fresh guacamole or some avocado toast–1-2: Marinated Stuffed Avocado was relatively new territory for me.
I suppose it’s not unheard of, it’s just not something I think to do. I may try it again, maybe with some different ingredients. Mushrooms are okay, but I much prefer them cooked rather than raw.
Hot Take: Artichokes are the lobster of the vegetable world. 4-14: Stuffed Artichokes represents this well: too much work for too little satisfaction. Peeling the little leaves off the artichoke and harvesting the heart feels a lot like picking apart the carapace of an undersea crustacean.
Stuffing an artichoke with a mushroom stew is a unique way to serve this giant edible thistle flower. These plants don’t grow naturally where I’m from, so my experience with artichokes only came after moving to California. My favorite way to enjoy them is marinated artichoke hearts.
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
We’re getting to the some of the last recipes I have for some of these chapters, and 7-33: Country Dinner is one of the few remaining entries from the Pork chapter of Simply Delicious. Honestly, this recipe as it exists is not much more than mashed potatoes with bacon and onions. That doesn’t sound bad per se, but I don’t know if it constitutes “dinner”.
Google only gave me a few results for similarrecipes, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t too far off from the mashed potato bowls you can get at like KFC. If anything, the KFC ones come with more stuff in them.
Learning a new technique can be a lot of fun. This slicing technique demonstrated in 7-51: Butterflied Pork Chops is new to me, but the final product really speaks for itself. The larger surface area creates more crispy, golden brown crust.
I love the place settings in the background of the image below. The jar of mustard, the frothy beer and crusty bread really set the scene in which you’d want to eat this dish.
From previous posts, I’ve learned how to put together a pan sauce from fat drippings, milk, and garlic. The base sauce gets enhanced with some acid from the Dijon mustard, the green flavor of the parsley, and the classic standby combo, salt and pepper, fill out the rest of the flavors in the sauce.
Here’s another seafood recipe: 11: 30: Sea Bass with Peppers. To me, fish and peppers are not the most logical combination, but these veggies are mostly a garnish to serve alongside a rockfish (instead of sea bass) filet.
This is another dish where you can substitute the type of fish if you want–we split the rockfish filets between this recipe and the ones Jamie used for 11-21: Baked Whitefish with Shrimp.
You may recognize 8-65: Sizzling Skirt Steaks as basically fajitas, one of the standard Mexican restaurant menu features. If you’re looking for something different on taco night, consider this dish. This can even be modified for different types of proteins, or even add in a few more veggies or a meat substitute and go meatless.
Flank or skirt steak is taken from the underside of the cow, and is tougher than most other cuts of meat. Therefore, marinating it (especially with some acid) breaks down some of those fibers and gives you a more tender piece when it’s cooked. Cooking fast/hot works well with this type of cut–low and slow will give you tough and rubbery.
Sometimes when you use recipes from old cookbooks, they can seem a bit “tone-deaf” when it comes to modern-day sensibilities about race and culture. Despite a questionable name, 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp contains many ingredients commonly found in Chinese food.
I love the porcelain bowls they served the example dish in. The wooden chopsticks are also a great touch. What a great photo!
Almonds are grown in California in abundant numbers so luckily, the featured ingredient in 11-8: Almond Trout is fairly inexpensive for us. This is not the first recipe to include almonds in a main course. Jamie chopped some for the sauce of the 11-16: Indian Fried Fish and I added them whole to 9-27: West Indian Meat Casserole. Jamie also combined pork and almonds in 7-55: Sunday Pork Stew. Who could forget the chopped almonds in the sauce from the mauve chicken in 6-24: Mushroom-Almond Chicken? Once you go into desserts, Simply Delicious offers tons of recipes that contain this wondrous drupe, which is technically a seed, but commonly called a nut.
Pan-fried fish has to be my second favorite preparation of fish, second only to full frying in a deep fryer, of course.