I believe in a couple of things–nobody’s perfect, and all things eventually balance out. My experience with this recipe, 5-4: Eggs Benedict, especially relative to how the rest of the meal went, encapsulates both of those ideas. In the days leading up to making this Mother’s Day brunch (MD2017), I knew I needed to practice two things before the big day: poaching eggs and hollandaise sauce–I’ve had trouble with both in the past. Guess what I didn’t do?
I procrastinated on practicing both my egg poaching and my hollandaise, and those were my failure points on this recipe. After the jump, you can read about what went really well (my homemade English muffins) and what didn’t (my broken hollandaise sauce, for one).
One of the two desserts I made for this year’s Thanksgiving (TGV 2016) was 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte (the other was 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe). I wanted something “of the season”, and this seemed like a cross between apple pie and fruitcake.
This was the second dish I made, starting off the Wednesday 11/23 portion of my holiday cooking marathon. Since this cake holds well at room temperature, I planned to just slightly underbake it, and then finish it off for 5-10 minutes in a preheated oven to warm it up for dessert on the day of the holiday.
If I hadn’t made this for Thanksgiving, I think it’d make a great gift (mailed or delivered in person) or potluck dish, especially for an office or somewhere where it would sit for a while. Even though Thanksgiving is over for the year, it’s totally still the season for a cake like this one.
Other dishes I made on this night (Wed. 11/23): the dressing for 1-10: Seafood Louisiana Cocktail, cranberry sauce, 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe, and a roasted garlic & herb butter to serve with 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls.
I’m not going to write a long dissertation on the origins of the well-known French dessert, Tarte Tatin–I’ll let Wikipedia handle the background of it. Instead, I’m going to focus on my history with 16-15: Tarte Tatin, evidenced by my mom’s handwriting all over the front & back of the recipe card.
Since she and I already had plans to go to a local farmers’ market for this year’s Labor Day BBQ supplies and apples were plentiful, I decided to bring back an old classic for us to cook together. 🍏
Most versions of Tarte Tatin are somewhat similar–it’s a pretty basic recipe. My mom’s notes claim it’s “easy”, and she stands by it to this day. Her other notes turned out to be helpful as well–the importance of good note-taking.
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.
Simply Delicious cites Les Halles (the Parisian farmers’ market, not the NY restaurant where Anthony Bourdain worked) as the originator of French onion soup which I wasn’t able to directly verify in 5 minutes of Googling, but here’s a food timeline that gives a bit of the dish’s history–I suppose it’s totally still possible.
Here’s a decent way to do a nice restaurant-style steak at home. 8-17: Pan-Fried Steak with Onions–with a few of my tweaks–is (hopefully) bound to impress whomever you’re cooking for.
I’m a hippie when it comes to some things, but I just love a good steak. My dad is a steak man, and his parents before him. I’ve made quite a few in my day, in a lot of different ways. This is probably the easiest, quickest, and most consistent method. Plus, it won’t set off your smoke detector or require you to go outside.
Meat pies have been around for a LONG time (like 9500 BCE old, according to Wikipedia). They cross a lot of cultures and are featured in some fashion in most cuisines (even if they look somewhat different–for example, empanadas, lahmacun, and samosas all are meat/pastry combinations from varied places). 9-22: Meat Pie is probably closest to the French Canadian tradition of meat pies, otherwise known as tourtière.
This one’s got some of my old notes on it–I’ve made this one before, about 6-7 years ago for my friend’s birthday party (the same friend from the 80s party in 1-22: Onion-Potato Diamonds). It was a “pie party” because he was (at the time) obsessed with the Keri Russell movie Waitress, which apparently has something to do with a lot of pies.
I made some adjustments to the recipe the first time (you can see those listed on the side), but this time, we’re going legit.
Here’s one from the Fish & Seafood chapter, which I haven’t delved into for awhile. 11-4: Calzone with Seafood sounds rather strange on paper, and was in fact strange in reality. If you’re picturing a pizza-like calzone with tomato sauce…think again.
If you’ve come here from a search engine looking for a good seafood calzone recipe (which apparently a lot of you do), here’s the TL;DR–the crust and overall cooking method are decent on this recipe, but be prepared to come up with your own fillings. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the heck this site is, read this.
They’ll mention later that the dough is really what they want you to get out of this recipe–the filling is a variable. Knowing that now (after I followed their suggestions), I would have definitely made some adjustments.
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 spice cabinet at home for reference.