I’ve made a lot of bread during the 3.5 years I’ve been working on this project (both for the project and outside of it), and I hear a lot of the same remarks whenever I talk about making bread: “Oh, that seems hard”, or “It’s too much work to make bread”. I used to feel the same way, and shied away from yeast recipes for a long time out of a fear of failure. In cooking (like most things in life), you have to be ready to embrace failure and learn from it–otherwise, you’ll never get past heating up Hot Pockets in the microwave.
Simply Delicious even notes in their recipe blurb that bread making is perceived as hard. It’s maybe not the easiest thing in the world, but you’ll make a lot of friends fast if you can make them fresh bread. 18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I is the first in a three-part series on bread making, where you’ll learn some tips and tricks for improving your bread baking, as well as a few basic recipes that you can use.
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.
Hey there. October’s been a crazy busy month IRL so far, but I’ve got some entries banked that I’ll start posting, so expect some more entries coming soon. This one, 5-33: Omelette Stacks with Rice, was a Saturday morning breakfast a few weeks ago that was born out of an abundance of eggs and leftover cooked rice. 🍚
Simply Delicious suggests serving it as a main course (presumably for lunch or dinner as opposed to breakfast, to which they seem to be drawing a contrast), but you eat it whenever you like. 🌇
Here’s one I’ve made before. In one of my previous entries (6-22: Crispy Chicken Drumsticks), I mentioned doing all the cooking for a family dinner party when I was 12-13 years old with a similarly-aged family friend of mine. 9-20: Meat Roly-Poly is another one of the recipes I remember making for that party.
Another memory from this dinner party: I had just gotten a new CD (Version 2.0 by Garbage) and we were listening to it on my parents’ GIANT stereo system over and over as we spent the day cooking. Gives you an idea of how old I am, and how long I’ve been cooking from this book.
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.
Since the last entry was a garlic & beef entry (8-20: Juicy Steak with Garlic Topping), here’s another garlic recipe for you, this time with pork: 7-34: Grilled Pork Slices with Garlic. I used a cast-iron grill pan for this, but you could use a BBQ or even just do a pan-sear if that’s what you’ve got.
This is some serious garlic game–whole cloves, in fact. But they’re right–blanching them does make them pretty mild and yummy. If you’re willing to risk some garlic breath, this recipe is a pretty decent one to check out.
Here’s a decent way to do a nice restaurant-style steak at home. 8-17: Pan-Fried Steak with Onions–with a few of my tweaks–is (hopefully) bound to impress whomever you’re cooking for.
I’m a hippie when it comes to some things, but I just love a good steak. My dad is a steak man, and his parents before him. I’ve made quite a few in my day, in a lot of different ways. This is probably the easiest, quickest, and most consistent method. Plus, it won’t set off your smoke detector or require you to go outside.
Fat is a big part of cooking–it’s where you get most of your flavor. As part of the Cooking School portion of Simply Delicious, 19-16: Butter, Margarine, & Oils I is the first part in a two-part series on common cooking fats and the role they play in the culinary process.
After the jump, Simply Delicious gets into discussing saturated vs. unsaturated fat and into some light comparison of butter, margarine, and oil. Keep in mind that these cards are from the 1980s, and that thoughts and theories on nutrition have changed somewhat over time.
Banana bread is always good for breakfast or as a snack. This particular recipe for it, 17-17: Banana Bread with Pecans uses honey to sweeten it, which is a nice alternative to using processed sugar.
Simply Delicious gives you a nice blurb here on bananas–for a more in-depth look, check out 19-5: Bananas, part of the Cooking School series featured at the end of the cookbook.