A few months ago, we celebrated Pi Day in my office. Most of the pies were store-bought, but I decided to flip through Simply Delicious and see if there was anything worth contributing. I decided on 16-11: Meringue-Topped Chocolate Pie–everyone likes chocolate, and we had had a mishap with the lemon meringue pie on the way back from the store while preparing the day before.
If you’re not familiar with Pi Day, it takes place on March 14th, which when written as a numeric date is 3-14 (at least in the U.S. it is–some countries reverse the order). Pi (the mathematical constant represented by the Greek letter π) is usually rounded up to 3.14, so March 14th is celebrated with actual pies (and a bit of math) as a play-on-words. 😂
No one really needs an excuse to eat pie, but “It’s a math joke” is certainly an acceptable one.
14-14: Sliced Pineapple with Nut Meringue is a unique desert. It was actually fairly tasty, just not something I would have thought to put together. This interesting dish has multiple textures, flavors, and temperatures which all interact nicely. I love raspberry, pineapple, and meringue, but I never thought to combine them, especially this way. 🍍
Meringue is probably one of my favorite applications of eggs in cooking. Egg whites only, but still a great use of eggs.
There are a few great songs about coconuts. Zazu in Disney’s The Lion King sings a cheeky, British song about the coconut. If the fruit pairing in this recipe were different, I’d also share this Harry Nilsson song that you may recognize if you’ve ever been to a chorus concert at an elementary school. Is coconut a fruit? a nut? a seed? Let’s find out together with 15-25: Coconut Custard with Mango.
The cracked coconut in the background is what you may think of when hearing the word “coconut”, however, the brown and white fleshy part is the seed of the fruit. Every part of the fruit of the coconut is used in many different applications all around the planet.
8-36: Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce was the first of two beef tenderloin recipes I made on the same night. The other dish, 8-22: Beef Tenderloin with Whole Garlic, was a completely different preparation. It was interesting to cook it two different ways and compare the final product.
Utilizing an onion-mustard marinade resulted in a completely different flavor than in the other tenderloin recipe. The beef was not marinated at all in the other recipe. If I had to choose, I prefer the marinated beef from this recipe because it was more tender.
Chili’s, Applebee’s, Red Robin…I’ve enjoyed racks of ribs at almost every restaurant that offers ribs as a major offering on the menu. Freshly smoked ribs are a delicious delicacy. These oven baked ribs lack the smokiness of ribs cooked in a smoker. The flavor profile for 7-19: Cajun-Style Pork Ribs is influenced by the alcohol-infused marinade and the Cajun spice rub mixture.
Simply Delicious thinks these spices are fiery, however, I’ll have to disagree. Maybe I’m too desensitized to spice now, but I could have used about 30% more spiciness. I wasn’t always a fan of spicy food, but now some of my favorite hot sauces are sriracha, Tapatio, and Tabasco.
Oooh-la-la! What a fancy recipe 8-22: Beef Tenderloin with Whole Garlic is!. I have never attempted a dish like this before, but I approached it with confidence because I’ve watched Jamie make both a spiced butter and oven roasted garlic. She makes it look easy, but making this dish was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I don’t have plates with fancy fluted edges and I was out of red wine to serve with my dish, but I served it as best I could.
This dish is definitely gourmet. With spiced butter and roasted garlic, this dish contains a lot more elements than my usual go-to dishes.
I had mentioned in 11-5: Lemon Pepper Scallops that we had a plan to cook more of the Fish/Seafood and Beef recipes since we had already gone through a good portion of the Chicken/Poultry, Pork, and Ground Meat/Sausage ones. Summer got busy, and not as many of those recipes got made as I had intended. I made 11-1: Steamed Halibut with Vermouth during those summer months but I never wrote about it until now (while I clear out the queue).
I’ll agree with the method of cooking being excellent: the fish component came out great. I’m not a huge pea or vermouth fan so the sauce was probably not one I would repeat, but it was a well-done sauce otherwise. Technique-wise I feel like it’s definitely one of Simply Delicious‘ stronger offerings–if you’re really into 1980s-style food.
I have never been known for my skills in preparing fish, but this recipe, 11-35: Grilled Pacific Halibut, helped me become a halibut grilling master! 🐟
Many of the times I failed at cooking fish, I did not marinate the flesh first. Skipping that step definitely makes a difference.
Editor’s note: By the looks of the notations on this card, my mother made this in what looks like July of 1995, although that last digit is difficult to clearly determine–her handwriting has always been a challenge. It might be 1990. She noted that it was “Very Easy” on the back–sounds like Adam may have had a similar experience. Read more