Hey, y’all. Took a month or two off (I need SOME sort of summer vacation now that I’m not a teacher anymore), but as I’ve said before, I’m not going to let this die. Even though I haven’t been actively writing and publishing, I’ve still been cooking and photographing–I’ll get caught up here soon. Thanks for sticking around. 🙂
Here’s one I cooked a little while ago, but never finished writing–11-5: Lemon Pepper Scallops. My husband Adam LOVES seafood and at the start of this summer, we had decided we were going to try to knock out more of the Fish and Beef chapters of the book over the warm months. I can’t say that vow has worked out (I don’t think any of the ones in the queue are either one of those), but here’s a vestige of what was to be.
I’m gonna tell you right now–I can do a LOT of things in the kitchen, but poaching is my white whale. I always have a REALLY hard time with it (see 5-4: Eggs Benedict for an example of that), and I’ve yet to conquer it. Practice makes perfect, but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of poached seafood anyway (very 1980s). I think for this one, I’m going to use a more flavorful searing technique, which I have less of a chance of screwing up (hey, scallops ain’t cheap).
Pork and pineapple are two of my favorite ingredients. “Sweet and Sour Pork” from almost any Chinese restaurant makes me happy. Simply Delicious finally put these two powerhouse ingredients together in this recipe for 7-13: Thai Pork Loin.
Looking at the size of the chunks in the sample photo, I see how I could have cut my ingredients differently, however, I still stand by the choices I made. The method of preparation I chose is what Jamie and I would prefer versus what the book tells you to do.
As part of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017), I wanted to push my limits by attempting some of the hardest pastry recipes in the book. I tested my skills not only with 17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries, but with this recipe as well, 17-23: Mocha Éclairs. My mom always referred to éclairs as something that challenged her when she was learning to cook and bake, and that a well-executed one was something that really impressed her. With that in mind, I knew this recipe was a must-do.
I may have to make a few adjustments to Simply Delicious‘ version of the recipe–first of all, there’s no chocolate listed anywhere in this recipe, and it’s advertised as “mocha”, which is coffee AND chocolate. We may have to do something about this “slicing the tops off” idea as well.
Chicken soup is always good on a day when you are feeling sick. I made 3-9: Mexican Chicken Soup on a really hot day, basically the worst type of day to make chicken soup. I was able to freeze and store all of this soup for future meals. Later on in the week that I made this soup, I caught a nasty cold and having a stockpile of chicken soup really helped me feel better.
The spice mixture is the only part of this soup that is remotely Mexican.
Editor’s note: Simply Delicious has another “Mexican” soup–check out 3-15: Quick Mexican Soup if you want what is essentially a ground-beef version of this soup.
Simply Delicious has a few variations on potato salad–2-17: Spicy Potato Salad is closer to a German variation, using a vinegar dressing instead of mayonnaise. This recipe, 2-20: Potato and Sausage Salad not only uses mayonnaise, but includes your choice of cured meat to accompany it–I went with chicken sausage, but you can use hot dogs, spicy links, or anything similar.
I caught a typo here–they mention capers in this blurb above, but dropped it from the actual ingredients list after the jump. I never realized it and now wish I had–capers would have been a welcome addition to this potato salad, especially instead of beets.
Back with another Cooking School follow-up to 18-19: Pasta I from a few weeks ago. 18-10: Pasta II discusses proper pasta making techniques & cooking methods on its front face, as well as offering some tips on using fresh and dried varieties. On the back side, the deep dive into the myriad of pasta shapes that started with 18-9: Pasta I continues–this card covers smaller forms like penne, farfalle, and tortellini.
Most of this advice is pretty generic–here’s a basic pasta dough recipe, and pasta cooking methods are outlined pretty well here. I’ve made both plain dough as well as some with spinach and sun-dried tomato–it’s a lot of work, but the taste difference is pretty noticeable. I don’t currently have a pasta machine, but I’d love to add one to my already-too-large collection of kitchen appliances and tools.
After the jump, read about some more pasta shapes–there’s some links to a few additional pasta dishes we’ve already covered here as well.
Back again with another Cooking School entry from the back of Simply Delicious. 18-6: Basic Pots & Pans is a featured topic discussing different types of cookware that can be used, with tips on handling, usage, & storage. Pot & pan types are controversial for some cooks, and what one person stands by may be another’s no-go. 👩🍳
In this entry, I really only plan to show you what I’ve got going in my own kitchen as of the time I wrote it, and I’ll probably pepper in some links to different pieces on cookware. I can’t claim any real authority on any of this stuff besides my own personal experience and knowledge, but I can at least maybe add one more opinion out there. 🍳
This dish is a dish that just “isn’t quite”. Isn’t quite good, isn’t quite bad. Like a bootleg chili, 9-37: Ground Meat and Bean Dinner is a Simply Delicious mess of a dish that isn’t quite chili and isn’t quite a casserole. 🌶
Unusual flavors is an understatement. Apples, cloves and cinnamon are a very old school meat and flavor combination. The broadest definition of meat is a solid food so pretty much everything used to be called meat. Merriam Webster Dictionary features an archaic definition of meat: “the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (as a husk or shell)”. Fruit meat, nut meat, vegetable meat, the fleshy part that provides sustenance is technically a meat under this really old definition.
Simply Delicious is introducing me to so many new culinary terms. 6-46: Chicken Breasts Veronique was a new one for me. 🍇 The definition of “Veronique” is explained below:
Chicken and grapes isn’t the most obvious combination, not in 🇺🇸 American-style cuisine anyway. This dish is definitely influenced by 🇫🇷 French cuisine. I’ve eaten chicken and grapes before in Middle-Eastern styled recipes as well.
Merry Christmas! 🎄 As I mentioned at the end of 17-47: Italian Fruit Bread, the first of my holiday baking entries for this year (XMAS 16), I had a vegan gift recipient this year, so I made a specially adapted version of 17-41: Molasses Oatmeal Bread to replace all the other treats and goodies that weren’t quite vegan-friendly. I gave the other loaf (this recipe made two, and I didn’t multiply it like the others I made this year) to my aunt who loves these kinds of things. 🎁
This recipe isn’t vegan-friendly without a bit of tweaking (swapping coconut-almond milk for regular milk and coconut oil for shortening), but it’s pretty easy to do and still results in a beautiful and tasty loaf of bread. 🍞