“It smells like weird Mexican food in here,” Jamie said as she walked in the door. She wasn’t wrong. The example image sets a rustic farm tone with the watering can, basket of red peppers, and parmesan cheese in the background. The watering can even has onions painted on it. Awesome!
When I saw that it will need reheating before eating, I decided to make this dish in a large rectangle Pyrex. I made this recipe at half size to accommodate the baking dish. I only used two onions because Simply Delicious bases the number of onions on the smaller onions that were available when these recipes were written. Two was more than enough.
Hot Take: Artichokes are the lobster of the vegetable world. 4-14: Stuffed Artichokes represents this well: too much work for too little satisfaction. Peeling the little leaves off the artichoke and harvesting the heart feels a lot like picking apart the carapace of an undersea crustacean.
Stuffing an artichoke with a mushroom stew is a unique way to serve this giant edible thistle flower. These plants don’t grow naturally where I’m from, so my experience with artichokes only came after moving to California. My favorite way to enjoy them is marinated artichoke hearts.
Chinese cuisine is a lot more prevalent today in the United States than it was 30-40 years ago when Simply Delicious was being written & printed. I suppose we have cookbooks like this to thank in some small part for introducing many 1980s American families to a more global palate.
Speaking of a global palate–I made this dish vegan. Yes, that picture above is vegan–keep reading to find out how. #clickbait
We’re getting to the some of the last recipes I have for some of these chapters, and 7-33: Country Dinner is one of the few remaining entries from the Pork chapter of Simply Delicious. Honestly, this recipe as it exists is not much more than mashed potatoes with bacon and onions. That doesn’t sound bad per se, but I don’t know if it constitutes “dinner”.
Google only gave me a few results for similarrecipes, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t too far off from the mashed potato bowls you can get at like KFC. If anything, the KFC ones come with more stuff in them.
12-25: Parmesan Rice with Shrimp is a great weeknight dinner option or even perhaps a side dish for a potluck or party. It has similarities to paella and risotto, but isn’t as time or skill-intensive as either of those. And as you can tell by the frequency of how much I’ve been posting lately (not much), anything quick is much appreciated.
I feel like they were trying to roughly capture the essence of Shrimp Etouffee with the flavors used in this recipe, but with much less work involved. Cajun/creole-inspired isn’t new for Simply Delicious, but it’s rarely executed faithfully.
9-21: Chili Beef Casserole is yet another case of calling something a casserole that is barely a casserole. There is no condensed soup in this recipe and this dish is cooked on a stove top, not baked. This dish is more of a tortilla filling than a main course as a casserole.
One might say this dish is a ground beef casserole with a cultural appropriation problem, not “with a Mexican accent”.
Sometimes when you use recipes from old cookbooks, they can seem a bit “tone-deaf” when it comes to modern-day sensibilities about race and culture. Despite a questionable name, 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp contains many ingredients commonly found in Chinese food.
I love the porcelain bowls they served the example dish in. The wooden chopsticks are also a great touch. What a great photo!
Almonds are grown in California in abundant numbers so luckily, the featured ingredient in 11-8: Almond Trout is fairly inexpensive for us. This is not the first recipe to include almonds in a main course. Jamie chopped some for the sauce of the 11-16: Indian Fried Fish and I added them whole to 9-27: West Indian Meat Casserole. Jamie also combined pork and almonds in 7-55: Sunday Pork Stew. Who could forget the chopped almonds in the sauce from the mauve chicken in 6-24: Mushroom-Almond Chicken? Once you go into desserts, Simply Delicious offers tons of recipes that contain this wondrous drupe, which is technically a seed, but commonly called a nut.
Pan-fried fish has to be my second favorite preparation of fish, second only to full frying in a deep fryer, of course.
Pasta with a thin sauce didn’t seem super appropriate for dinner, so I made 12-15: Pasta with Salami and dished it out for lunch as part of a meal prep. While there are a few differences between the recipe card photo and my final product photo, my creation was similar in spirit to the beautifully shot photo below. The place settings are so retro–such a great scene they set.
The exquisite setup showcases the raw ingredients along with the wonderful cutlery and plating of the dish. How magnificent!