Hey, y’all. Took a month or two off (I need SOME sort of summer vacation now that I’m not a teacher anymore), but as I’ve said before, I’m not going to let this die. Even though I haven’t been actively writing and publishing, I’ve still been cooking and photographing–I’ll get caught up here soon. Thanks for sticking around. 🙂
Here’s one I cooked a little while ago, but never finished writing–11-5: Lemon Pepper Scallops. My husband Adam LOVES seafood and at the start of this summer, we had decided we were going to try to knock out more of the Fish and Beef chapters of the book over the warm months. I can’t say that vow has worked out (I don’t think any of the ones in the queue are either one of those), but here’s a vestige of what was to be.
I’m gonna tell you right now–I can do a LOT of things in the kitchen, but poaching is my white whale. I always have a REALLY hard time with it (see 5-4: Eggs Benedict for an example of that), and I’ve yet to conquer it. Practice makes perfect, but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of poached seafood anyway (very 1980s). I think for this one, I’m going to use a more flavorful searing technique, which I have less of a chance of screwing up (hey, scallops ain’t cheap).
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.
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.
Simply Delicious dedicates its last few chapters to “Cooking School“, comprised of informational cards on various techniques, ingredients, & basic recipes that any serious cook should learn to master. 18-9: Pasta I is the first in a two-part series about pasta, the second being 18-10: Pasta II. This particular card covers a few different shapes of pasta, including spaghetti, fettuccini, & lasagna. 🍽
18-9: Pasta I only begins to scratch the surface of different types of pasta–there are so many more out there. The important takeaways from this particular set of tips are the different kinds of sauce that go with the various shapes, as well as how to identify some common variances in the shapes. 18-10: Pasta II goes more into the cooking and serving of pasta, as well as listing a few more shape/sauce combinations if you’re looking for a bit more from Simply Delicious on the topic. 📚
Pasta with sauce is the most basic style of dish that Simply Delicious teaches a novice chef to cook. 12-40: Spinach Pasta with Mushrooms is appropriately classified as “Easy”.
Mustard-scented sauce is a recent addition to my diet, but it is one of my favorite additions. Dijon mustard is used in a lot of Simply Delicious sauces and it adds a tangy quality to the sauce that cannot be beat.
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.
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.
13-14: Wok-Fried Veggies with Pasta is yet another dish where the preparation requires too much chopping. One of my specialties happens to be stir fry. I can make stir fry with the best of them.
I’ve made wok fried dishes similar to this on my own, but with chicken or beef. Usually, I think vegetarian food is best left to the rabbits. 🐰
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? ⚜🎉
Here’s something a bit different…and I’m not talking about the recipe. In fact, 12-27: Chicken Broccoli Lasagna itself is pretty boring. But here’s what’s interesting: I made this recipe at work, for work. This one will be a bit of a glance into what I do all day–my other kitchen, if you will.
I usually use ground turkey for ground meat recipes (there’s a few kids with special dietary preferences) and I’ve made lasagna before for work, so this one seemed like a perfect recipe to try to scale up for the amount I need for a daily meal. “Healthy” is what parents are looking for these days when it comes to school lunches–another way this recipe is a good fit. 🍴