A lot of Simply Delicious‘ recipes are takes on already-established dishes, like 9-4: Swedish Meatballs, 2-13: Waldorf Salad or 3-2: New England Clam Chowder. I did a fair amount of searching for anything that resembled 5-16: Richmond Omelette, but besides some rankings of places to get a good omelette in Richmond, VA, there’s not much out there for that particular dish with that name.
I’ve put this one off for a while due to not having port wine on hand. After a trip to the store and a rather haughty store clerk who carded me for it despite the clearly visible gray streaks in my hair, I have the wine–let’s make a weird mushroom omelette-casserole with cheese sauce.
Finally, an interesting take on the ground meat patty. Let’s spice things up by adding fresh garden herbs with 9-3: Herb Garden Meat Patties! 🌿
I’ve tried burgers with added spices before. Here’s yet another Simply Delicious suggestion for preparing flavorful meat patties.
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.
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).
As part of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017), I wanted to push my limits by attempting some of the hardest pastry recipes in the book. I tested my skills not only with 17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries, but with this recipe as well, 17-23: Mocha Éclairs. My mom always referred to éclairs as something that challenged her when she was learning to cook and bake, and that a well-executed one was something that really impressed her. With that in mind, I knew this recipe was a must-do.
I may have to make a few adjustments to Simply Delicious‘ version of the recipe–first of all, there’s no chocolate listed anywhere in this recipe, and it’s advertised as “mocha”, which is coffee AND chocolate. We may have to do something about this “slicing the tops off” idea as well.
No, this isn’t a repeat of 16-47: Orange-Almond Pie–at least, not exactly. 16-14: Orange-Almond Cake uses almond paste while the pie version used almond meal (flour). This one also includes dark chocolate, which ALWAYS goes well with almond and orange flavors. 🍫
In the interest of not eating the whole cake at once (which is possible with something like this), I’m going to bake 12 individual cakes instead with a mini-Bundt pan that I have. That way, I can make them all, wrap and freeze them so that we can pull out a portioned piece for dessert without the temptation of eating the whole thing.
Simply Delicious is introducing me to so many new culinary terms. 6-46: Chicken Breasts Veronique was a new one for me. 🍇 The definition of “Veronique” is explained below:
Chicken and grapes isn’t the most obvious combination, not in 🇺🇸 American-style cuisine anyway. This dish is definitely influenced by 🇫🇷 French cuisine. I’ve eaten chicken and grapes before in Middle-Eastern styled recipes as well.
Marinade is a “sauce, typically made of oil, vinegar, spices, and herbs, in which meat, fish, or other food is soaked before cooking in order to flavor or soften it”. Port wine is not an ingredient I normally keep in the house, but I have marinated a pork tenderloin before so 7-18: Pork Tenderloin in Wine Sauce shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
Meat that soaks in a marinade comes out tender and delicious. Cooking with this method requires more preparation time. Leave the meat in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours for maximum tenderness. The minimum marinating time I recommend is around 1 hour. When I prepared this recipe, I tried to make it in one night, so the meat marinated in the refrigerator for only 2 hours.
4-3: French Potato Gratin is a great side dish for a dinner. It was easy to make and it only takes one pan to cook this recipe.
Jamie made notes on this recipe that I completely ignored. I used the mandoline to cut the potatoes and I used 9 medium/small potatoes.
Editor’s note: I did indeed make notes on this, from when I made this for a fancy dinner for my family during Spring Break of 2009. I stand by my recommendation of using the food processor, but you do you, boo.
Pasta with sauce is the most basic style of dish that Simply Delicious teaches a novice chef to cook. 12-40: Spinach Pasta with Mushrooms is appropriately classified as “Easy”.
Mustard-scented sauce is a recent addition to my diet, but it is one of my favorite additions. Dijon mustard is used in a lot of Simply Delicious sauces and it adds a tangy quality to the sauce that cannot be beat.