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. 🍳
The winter is the best time of year for soup, especially 3-16: Hearty Beef Soup. This dish made a great lunch dish that was easy to pack for multiple servings.
As the card says, it reheats very well and tastes great even without a side of sour cream.
Stew happens to be one of my favorite dishes. 😍 It contains all the things I really enjoy: tender meat, vegetables, and gravy. That being said, even though it’s the opposite of springtime right now, 10-1: Springtime Lamb Stew was right up my alley.
I’ve never been to the Provence region of France to try this style of cooking in it’s natural habitat, so learn more from someone who has.
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.
I wasn’t quite sure how “authentic” 12-29: New Orleans Beans and Pasta would be when first looking this recipe over–Simply Delicious doesn’t exactly nail it on cultural faithfulness a lot of the time. A lot of that has to do with the time at which the books were written–many ingredients, methods, & tools that are easily accessible now were not 30 years ago.
However, this is essentially an American recipe, so I would assume it shouldn’t be that far off–if this is in fact a real New Orleans dish. 🎷
I wonder how many different linens/vases/glasses/odd statues they had to accumulate to photograph all of these different recipes. Just a thought I had while looking at this picture. Another thought: who decided on some of these things? What makes this picture decidedly New Orleans? ⚜🎉
The whole time I was making 6-2: Fiery Chicken Casserole, I had this image in my head because I thought my sauce came out wrong. My sauce was light colored and the chicken in the photo shows a crispy, golden skin. If you look hard at the bowl in the upper left corner, you can see the white sauce that the authors described.
My version of the casserole came out a lot differently than the image shown on the card and didn’t taste very “fiery”. This dish would need a lot more heat to be considered “fiery”. 🔥
Here’s a first for me: I’ve never attempted to break down a duck before this recipe, 6-11: Chinese Duck. I’ve cooked with duck a handful of times, but this is definitely the most involved with it that I’ve ever gotten. There’s one more duck recipe in this book, so expect a return sometime in the future.
I found myself with a duck after my husband took a trip past a local butcher a few weeks ago, so I decided to take a stab at one of the two recipes in the book. I assumed this would be similar to the Chinese dish Peking duck, and in true Simply Delicious style, it doesn’t quite come as close as recipes today can get you.
I’ve done over 100 recipes at this point (closing in on 150 in the next few weeks), and this is the FIRST recipe from Group 10: Lamb & Veal. This is probably due to the fact that neither of those have ever featured heavily in my diet or culinary rotation. However, in the interest of science everything must be covered. So here we go–the first lamb recipe: 10-12: Basil-Baked Lamb.
Um, yeah. In the very first entry (where I explained what this whole project is about), I had mentioned that these books got a bit trashed when I had a bad roach infestation in my first apartment after college. This section was one of the casualties from overzealous roach spray distribution and poor post-massacre clean-up. A lot of the pages got stuck together, and due to their lack of regular use, stayed that way for far too long. Luckily for this one, the recipe part of the card is still somewhat legible.
Indian never goes well for Simply Delicious. 11-16: Indian Fried Fish was a bust, and 12-22: Nasi Goreng was less than exciting. This recipe, 6-32: Savory Buffet Chicken doesn’t openly identify itself as Indian-inspired, but it’s pretty similar to another clandestinely-influenced recipe, 6-8: Curried Chicken.
“Oriental” is a term you don’t really hear any more (as I mentioned in 7-11: Oriental Pork Stir-Fry), and the language seems a bit flowery for the 1980s. However, this project is not about that stuff–it’s about the food. Let’s press on.
As I mentioned in 9-12: Shepherd’s Pie, I had a LOT of potatoes to get rid of after buying too many at Costco. So here’s another potato recipe for you: 6-30: Scottish Chicken Casserole.
Offhand, I have no idea why it’s “Scottish”, other than it seems similar to a lot of food you get in the UK. A cursory Google search turned up this recipe, which seems kind of like this one. This other recipe (from the same search) gives a bit more history, linking it to a classic French (and Scottish) casserole-type dish.