It’s a new year, and it’s also been a long time since I’ve covered any of the Cooking School portion of the back of the Simply Delicious cookbook. One of the featured topics is 18-3: Good Kitchen Knives, essential tools for any cook. I’ve had a lot of terrible knives, and I’ve got a long way to go until I make jaws drop with my knife collection, but I’ve got a few that are not too shabby. 🔪
I’m going to try NOT to make this a “look at all my cool knives” kind-of-a-thing, because honestly, my collection isn’t all that Internet-impressive–I don’t have a ton of trendy Japanese pieces or massive cleavers, because I just don’t cook that way too often. Plus, I feel about knives like I feel about cars–give me a broken-in cheap old workhorse over a shiny speedster you’re afraid to scratch up any day of the week. 🚙
Simply Delicious contains the best recipes for pork tenderloin. I particularly enjoy this preparation, 7-24: Cran-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, which uses cranberry sauce–my favorite part of the Thanksgiving (or Christmas) meal. 🍒
Pork and wine taste great when combined together. Instead of marinating the pork as in 7-18: Pork Tenderloin in Wine Sauce, the cranberry sauce and wine are put in the pan to create a sauce to coat the pork tenderloin in flavor. 🍷
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.
4-3: French Potato Gratin is a great side dish for a dinner. It was easy to make and it only takes one pan to cook this recipe.
Jamie made notes on this recipe that I completely ignored. I used the mandoline to cut the potatoes and I used 9 medium/small potatoes.
Editor’s note: I did indeed make notes on this, from when I made this for a fancy dinner for my family during Spring Break of 2009. I stand by my recommendation of using the food processor, but you do you, boo.
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.
Two-packs of whole chickens were on sale at Costco and the other chicken in this pack was used to make 6-20: Rosemary Chicken. This recipe, 6-33: Lime-Marinated Chicken required me to rub a few brain cells together to prepare the chicken as written on the card.
Lime flavor added to anything is a winner with me. Chicken and lime is a great combination, the white wine sauce added a unique twist.
I’ve been meaning to make this one for a while–spinach fettuccini was my favorite as a kid. I usually had it with Alfredo sauce, and the cheesy sauce in 12-10: Cheesy Tagliatelle is like a thinner, red pepper-ier version of that. 🍽
I’m not quite sure what the major difference between tagliatelle and fettuccini is–the TL;DR of a quick search indicates it has to do with fettuccini noodles being the same width as tagliatelle, but a bit thicker. The two come from different parts of Italy, but both roughly refer to the same concept.
Everything I needed to learn about making 4-18: French Vegetable Casserole was told to me by Remy the animated rat, star of Ratatouille. I know…the editors of Simply Delicious call this dish “French Vegetable Casserole” to make the name more palatable for Middle America. 🇫🇷
The card mentions that the dish is referred to as “ratatouille” in its area of origin.
Editor’s note: I did the underlining you see above when I realized this recipe was “ratatouille”. I’ve made this recipe before, a year or two prior to embarking on this project. I even watched Ratatouille on my laptop while I made it. 🐀
Simply Delicious has a few New Orleans/Southern recipes–3-4: New Orleans Bean Soup is one of them. There are a lot of different takes on a “New Orleans Red Bean Soup” that exist out there–most of them have more exciting ingredients than this version. 🎺
I made another “New Orleans” recipe at the same time as this one–you can go back and read 12-29: New Orleans Beans and Pasta for what is essentially a pasta version of this dish. Either one is a hearty and relatively inexpensive meal. Since the two share a lot of ingredients, consider making both–they store and reheat well. 💰
This recipe, 12-3: Pasta Bolognese calls for spaghetti on the back of the card, but the dish on the front clearly shows the meat sauce on Rotini. 🍝
The blurb on the front of the card is definitely true. “Quick to prepare and not too expensive,” is exactly how I felt about this dish.