18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I

I’ve made a lot of bread during the 3.5 years I’ve been working on this project (both for the project and outside of it), and I hear a lot of the same remarks whenever I talk about making bread: “Oh, that seems hard”, or “It’s too much work to make bread”. I used to feel the same way, and shied away from yeast recipes for a long time out of a fear of failure. In cooking (like most things in life), you have to be ready to embrace failure and learn from it–otherwise, you’ll never get past heating up Hot Pockets in the microwave.

18-1 Basic Yeast Dough I

Simply Delicious even notes in their recipe blurb that bread making is perceived as hard. It’s maybe not the easiest thing in the world, but you’ll make a lot of friends fast if you can make them fresh bread. 18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I is the first in a three-part series on bread making, where you’ll learn some tips and tricks for improving your bread baking, as well as a few basic recipes that you can use.

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6-39: Chicken Pot Stickers

6-39: Chicken Pot Stickers are another case of a food that I “can” make, but would choose not to after seeing all of the mess and work involved.

“Steamed, stuffed dumplings” sound delicious. Mine came out a little more fried than steamed, still delicious.

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9-1: Spicy Beef Patties

Any excuse to pull out the electric griddle is alright with me! After all of the meatball-style recipes in the Ground Meat and Sausage section, I was ready for a patty-style recipe again and 9-1: Spicy Beef Patties did not disappoint. I’ve never thought to put pickled beets into a burger before, but after trying this recipe, I would consider it again.

I love the little skinned potatoes they served alongside the patties in the example photo. I haven’t quite learned the technique to cook those yet. Their side salad is very photogenic, but not very filling. 3 tomato slices and 1 leaf of lettuce.

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7-13: Thai Pork Loin

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.

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6-10: Savory Chicken Wings

“Chicken wings are a longtime American favorite.” Truer words have never been written, editor of Simply Delicious. To complement another recent wing recipe that Jamie made (1-1: Orange-Glazed Chicken Wings), here’s 6-10: Savory Chicken Wings.

I love having chicken wings as both an appetizer and a snack. The editor of Simply Delicious know me too well.

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1-1: Orange-Glazed Chicken Wings

We’re over 3 years into this project, and I’m only now covering the very first recipe in the book, 1-1: Orange-Glazed Chicken Wings. I don’t think I’ve ever made these wings before, but the memory of coming up with this project and starting to put it into motion (by sitting down and actually scanning the cards) features this recipe very prominently. Since this was the very first one, that might explain why the edges of the card pictures are strangely cropped.

While this would probably make a decent appetizer, I feel like as a society we’ve come pretty far in wing technology and distribution methods in the last 30 years–these are a lot of work for something that are pretty easy and cheap to just buy in, especially in more interesting flavor/spice combinations. There’s entire restaurants dedicated to wings at this point (even ones that don’t feature an owl and scantily-clad women).

We did make wings in-house during my restaurant tenure, but people are awfully finicky about the preferred style (fried vs baked, breaded vs non-breaded, vinegar-based sauce or not, etc.) of their wings, especially when craft beer and other hipster-y stuff like chalkboards and cornhole are involved. 🍻

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5-14: Thai Chicken Omelette

Looking for a way to use up some leftover chicken for breakfast or lunch? 5-14: Thai Chicken Omelette doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, but makes for a light yet hearty meal. Omelettes are something Simply Delicious does quite a bit of (5-33: Omelette Stacks with Rice, 5-21: Omelette with Herbs, or 5-9: Swiss Cheese and Crouton Omelette are just a few examples), but this one’s definitely a decent take on it.        Simply Delicious mentions the Thai cuisine featuring lots of fruits and vegetables, but this recipe doesn’t have much in the way of produce, other than maybe the bean sprouts. Try substituting sautéed squash or carrots for a vegetarian alternative to the chicken.

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2-4: Chef’s Salad

2-4: Chef’s Salad is another somewhat classic American restaurant dish to serve with your 1-18: Club Sandwich. Wikipedia gives it a similar history–most accounts trace it back to early 20th century New York, although a few credit it to originating in 17th century England. This iteration is pretty similar to most you’ll find in modern-day restaurants–the beauty of the chef salad is that the ingredients are at the discretion of the chef. ‍

I NEED that creepy statue in the Simply Delicious picture. Google has nothing decent for me when I search “hippopotamus chef“, but you never know–someday one of my thrift store treasure hunt trips may pay off.

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18-10: Pasta II

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.

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9-37: Ground Meat and Bean Dinner

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.

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