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).
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. 🍳
This dish is a dish that just “isn’t quite”. Isn’t quite good, isn’t quite bad. Like a bootleg chili, 9-37: Ground Meat and Bean Dinner is a Simply Delicious mess of a dish that isn’t quite chili and isn’t quite a casserole. 🌶
Unusual flavors is an understatement. Apples, cloves and cinnamon are a very old school meat and flavor combination. The broadest definition of meat is a solid food so pretty much everything used to be called meat. Merriam Webster Dictionary features an archaic definition of meat: “the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (as a husk or shell)”. Fruit meat, nut meat, vegetable meat, the fleshy part that provides sustenance is technically a meat under this really old definition.
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.
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 lot of different kinds of recipes–intricate & laborious French-inspired cuisine as well as simple, weeknight-friendly fare. 3-15: Quick Mexican Soup is obviously (given the name) one of the latter types. Of course, I’ve yet to find a recipe that I don’t make some sort of tweak/edit to, and this recipe will be no different. 🌶
Most Simply Delicious recipes that claim to be Mexican tend to be more “Tex-Mex” than authentically Mexican. I grew up in Los Angeles–real Mexican food is a BIG part of life there. I’m not saying I’m anywhere close to an expert on the subject, but I feel like I’ve got a sense of the cuisine. Simply Delicious has an idea of where they were going with this soup–I’m just going to help it along a bit. 🇲🇽
This recipe card gave me an excuse to cook up a big ol’ batch of 9-14: Chili Con Carne, not that I needed an excuse. I’ve made a few pots of chili in my day, but not one quite like this. My favorite episode of the Simpsons, entitled El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer), features a chili cook-off as a vital plot point. The infamous space coyote scene still cracks me up to this day. 😹
With the peppers featured prominently on the front of the recipe card, Simply Delicious has pointed out the one major issue I had with this dish. WHO PUTS BELL PEPPER IN CHILI? 🌶 Jamie and I enjoy a little spice in our chili. I’ve always wanted to try adding a pepper akin to the “Merciless Pepper of Quetzalacatenango … grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum.” 🌶
Jamie made this recipe, 3-21: Broccoli-Celery Soup, for me before on a mild Christmas Eve. 🎅🏽 We were living in Glendale at the time, it doesn’t exactly get cold there. ❄
(Editor’s note: I didn’t make this on Christmas Eve–my mom did. I don’t know which Christmas Eve, but that’s definitely her writing. I did however, make this when we lived in Glendale, CA, and he’s right about that–it doesn’t get that cold there.)
I really enjoyed the soup the first time around, so I took my own shot at cooking this recipe.
When you think “stroganoff”, you usually conjure up images of a dish with beef (or ground turkey, if you grew up in my house). Simply Delicious does have a beef version (8-12: Beef Stroganoff), but they also have a vegetarian version–13-6: Mushroom Stroganoff.
My picture and their picture look very different–I think mine looks more like stroganoff than theirs does, though. Maybe they didn’t think it photographed well?