20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces

Consider 20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces to be the advanced version of 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces. There’s probably something that bridges the two better (whatever 20-14 is, but I don’t have that card in my collection), so 5-4: Eggs Benedict will have to do. This set of recipes is part of the Cooking School, the back section of Simply Delicious that provides instructions in basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes that any skilled cook should be familiar with.

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.

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5-4: Eggs Benedict

I believe in a couple of things–nobody’s perfect, and all things eventually balance out. My experience with this recipe, 5-4: Eggs Benedict, especially relative to how the rest of the meal went, encapsulates both of those ideas. In the days leading up to making this Mother’s Day brunch (MD2017), I knew I needed to practice two things before the big day: poaching eggs and hollandaise sauce–I’ve had trouble with both in the past. Guess what I didn’t do?

I procrastinated on practicing both my egg poaching and my hollandaise, and those were my failure points on this recipe. After the jump, you can read about what went really well (my homemade English muffins) and what didn’t (my broken hollandaise sauce, for one).

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20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces

It took over 3 years and almost 300 entries, but I’ve finally cracked the final untouched category of Simply Delicious–the very last one, Group 20: Basic Recipes. These are part of the Cooking School segment in the back of the book, teaching you basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes that you’ll need to be an experienced cook. This recipe, 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces covers the basics of butter sauces, which you can expand upon with 20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces.

Hollandaise is 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 been cooking for a long time and I’m still working on mastering this one.

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3-4: New Orleans Bean Soup

Simply Delicious has a few New Orleans/Southern recipes–3-4: New Orleans Bean Soup is one of them. There are a lot of different takes on a “New Orleans Red Bean Soup” that exist out there–most of them have more exciting ingredients than this version. 🎺

3-4-new-orleans-bean-soupI made another “New Orleans” recipe at the same time as this one–you can go back and read 12-29: New Orleans Beans and Pasta for what is essentially a pasta version of this dish. Either one is a hearty and relatively inexpensive meal. Since the two share a lot of ingredients, consider making both–they store and reheat well. 💰

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13-14: Wok-Fried Veggies with Pasta

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. 🐰

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6-35: Chicken Diable

Here’s a pretty basic “chicken with sauce” type recipe that can be fancy or not-so-fancy. “Chicken Diable” or “Chicken a la Diable”, as evidenced by the name, is essentially “the Devil’s chicken”, evoking images of spices and fire. As Serious Eats notes in their version of the dish, the French have a very different idea of spiciness than some other cultures.

6-35 Chicken Diable

Everyone’s got their version of this dish–here’s Bon Appetit’s, and Google turns up many more results. Whether it’s actually spicy is up to you–if you actually like things spicy, prepare to have to add some heat to this one.

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9-12: Shepherd’s Pie

Here’s one with my mom’s writing on it. 9-12: Shepherd’s Pie promises to be a new take on an old classic and I had a LOT of potatoes to get rid of. Don’t buy a 20-lb bag of potatoes from Costco because it’s “such a good deal”.

9-12 Shepherds PieI can’t say I’m particularly a fan of shepherd’s pie, but I had all the ingredients and a lot of potatoes to burn up. It stores/freezes well, and this version uses red peppers and beef instead of carrots/peas/corn and lamb (that’s why it’s shepherd’s pie–because of the sheep/lamb). 🐑

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2-6: Greek Salad

My options for cooking have been limited lately, so I’ve been gravitating towards simpler recipes in order to keep it manageable, yet active. You really can’t get much simpler than 2-6: Greek Salad.

2-6: Greek Salad
This is a great recipe for summer–most of the ingredients are in season and it’s super light. We made it for dinner instead of lunch as suggested, but I’m sure the folks at Simply Delicious won’t mind.

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2-34: Avocado-Parmesan Salad

We start our journey in Book 1, Group 1: Appetizers & Starters with 2-34: Avocado-Parmesan Salad. Got that? It’s further broken down into subgroups, depending on different classifications. I see now where I get my classification aptitude.

2-34 Avocado-Parmesan SaladWe start here due to yesterday’s CSA box delivery brimming with already-ripe avocados (a rarity). As avocados are a fickle beast, it was imperative to consume them in the near future.

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