Much like Ben Wyatt, a late-addition character from NBC’s Parks and Recreation, I have enjoyed my fair share of calzones. Hawaiian calzones are one of my favorite types, pineapple and Canadian bacon can’t be beat! However, when wanting to eat in a health conscious manner, 13-8: Vegetarian Calzone is a great meat-free alternative.
Preparing this dish was super easy. A lot of time can be saved by using ready-bought puff pastry.
Editor’s note: This was a dish I made as part of a big family dinner I cooked with a family friend when I was 13–my step-grandmother is vegetarian and we made this so she’d have something to eat. My mom made her a baked potato for Thanksgiving once, complete with a toothpick-and-construction paper turkey head, wings, and tail that I painstakingly spent the day crafting. She did not appreciate the turkey-potato (too closely resembled an animal for her…go figure), but she did like this calzone.
It’s recommended to make this for something like a kid’s party, since it’s pretty tough to find a kid who will say no to pizza. I was a teacher for several years, ran a meal program for a school for a year or two, and I’m here to tell you that pizza (in whatever shape/form/capacity) was always a crowd pleaser for young and old.
Like I said in 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces, Hollandaise and its variations comprise one of the five mother sauces, a big part of French cuisine. Mastering it (and the others) is one of the marks of an accomplished and talented chef. I’ve always appreciated a well-made butter sauce, and these variations are intriguing–I’d be interested in eventually trying each one out.
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.
I’ve always been a fan of a nice seafood bisque–lobster and/or shrimp bisque on a menu always gets at least a consideration from me, if not an order. 3-18: Shrimp Bisque was a solo affair for me (cream-based things usually are), but I enjoyed every bit of it. 🍤
I’ll admit it right now: I left the peas out of my version (except for the final picture plate–sorry to break the illusion), but you go right ahead and include them if you dig peas.
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. 🍴
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?
Stroganoff was a VERY common dish in my house growing up–usually made with plain ground turkey, powdered mix from a packet, and some light sour cream (which is essentially tasteless mush–real sour cream was a revelation when I got older). It got to the point where I couldn’t even stand the smell of stroganoff because my mom made this dish so often.
Time has passed, and stroganoff & I have had a reconciliation. I make it about once every other month now for work, but from scratch and not with packet mix (but still using ground turkey since it’s leaner). Simply Delicious has two stroganoff recipes: 13-6: Mushroom Stroganoff (a vegetarian version) and this one, 8-12: Beef Stroganoff. I made both at the same time, as part of a stroganoff-off.
Beef stroganoff is a pretty well known dish, and it’s not surprising that it’d be included in a book like this with so many other “classic” dishes. Let’s see how far Simply Delicious strays from the norm–who knows…they might surprise us.
I’ve often talked during this project about my mother and her predilection towards recipe experimentation. One of these instances was where she attempted to make gumbo–I’m not sure where she got the recipe from, but I remember the family failing to choke down poorly cooked okra and my father making a quick run to KFC while she surreptitiously got rid of the rest.
The mere mention of gumbo usually brings this unsavory memory back, and so I attempted 11-26: Fish Gumbo with a fair amount of trepidation.
Roux is something I’ve covered several times throughout this project, and it’s an essential flavor and texture component of gumbo. Letting a roux brown deepens its flavor, and there’s a fine line between too light and over cooked.