7-53: Cider-Braised Pork Chops

7-53: Cider-Braised Pork Chops

I’m working through a HUGE backlog right now, so you’re currently getting recipes that I cooked last fall–case in point, 7-53: Cider-Braised Pork Chops. This is more of a fall/autumn-type recipe (when fresh cider is in season), but don’t let that hold you back from your cider-braised, pork-scented dreams.

There’s a TON of pork chop recipes in this book–I feel like every time I think I’ve got them all, another one pops up. If you like pork chops, check out 7-28: Pork Chops with Rosemary, 7-9: Hunter’s Style Pork Chops, or 7-26: Maple-Glazed Pork Chops for just a few examples.


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8-27: Classic Beef Stew

8-27: Classic Beef Stew

I came clean in 11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp that we’ve been eating plant-based for about 2 years now–most entries that I’ve published since mid-2018 feature me essentially attempting to convert these old recipes into meatless/vegan options. 8-27: Classic Beef Stew will be no different.

I realize that not everyone chooses to eschew meat/dairy, and I’m not here to proselytize or debate it with you. I didn’t write these recipes–the goal of this project has always been to take these existing recipes and attempt to cook them ALL, somehow. The recipes are still here, in their original form–it’s up to you (and me) how to interpret them.


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11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp

11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp

As I mentioned in my last post, this project just passed the 6-year mark, and a lot has changed since I first started it–careers, cities, kitchens, vehicles, family, presidents, even dietary preferences.

For the last two years, we’ve been sticking to a plant-based diet, with the very occasional seafood or dairy indulgence (however, traditional meat itself is totally gone). We’ll still go out for a real sushi dinner here and there (although, not lately due to coronavirus), and every so often, I’ll make a recipe like 11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp with real shrimp as a treat.

Fruit from the sea” as a description for shrimp seems strange to me, even though I know Simply Delicious didn’t coin the term. “Fried Jumbo Shrimp” is what they use to lure you into mediocre chain restaurants–it’s not quite haute cuisine.

I’m not doing a good job of selling you on this dish, am I? Well, since fried food doesn’t travel well as takeout, maybe you’d like to take this “opportunity” to learn how to fry your own?


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The Tale of the Weed Dinner

The Tale of the Weed Dinner

This is a different type of post than what you’re used to–but since we’re all hungry for interesting content these days, why not?

About eight years ago, while lazily sifting though the latest entries in my RSS feed reader, I happened upon an article from Los Angeles magazine talking about an upcoming “Weed Dinner” lottery. If you filled out a Google Doc questionnaire (including essay portion), essentially requiring you to wax poetic about why you deserved to go to this event, you might be able to snag an invite from the chef himself.

Well dear readers–I must have written a damn good essay, because I got myself invited to this event. What follows is an old “anonymous” guest post I wrote at the time for a friend’s food/travel blog describing my experience (she’s since taken the blog down).

Yes, I really went, and yes, this really happened; “GRAMMAR RODEO” shuttle vans and all. Please excuse the terrible quality of the pictures–iPhone cameras (and my photography skills) have come a long way in the last decade or so.

There ended up being two “nights” of this dinner–some of the articles/press that came out about it (links sprinkled throughout) cover the one I went to in Encino, some cover the other which was a few weeks later in downtown LA.

I’ve never wanted to officially attach myself to it for various reasons. However, times have changed, we moved away from Los Angeles years ago, and my f**ks given are far fewer these days. Plus, I just passed the 6-year anniversary of this project yesterday (April 16), so why not share (and essentially republish) some of my other culinary-related writing pieces? Enjoy!


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1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey

1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey

Believe it or not, 1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey is one of my last few remaining Group 01: Hot and Cold Appetizers recipes left to cover. I’ve put this one off for a while because I’m not a big fan of melon (other than watermelons)–but when the weekly CSA box keeps bringing them to you, you have to do something with them.

Theirs looks super fancy–mine looks like a sloppy mess. I suppose if I were actually serving this for a party I would have tried harder. Melon + meat = appetizer isn’t a new equation–even Pillsbury has their own version. Most versions include prosciutto instead of turkey, which is the variant I’m more familiar with.


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7-37: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Pork

7-37: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Pork

Sweet-and-sour is not new for Simply Delicious–there’s already 6-27: Sweet-and-Sour Chicken and 11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp if you’re in the mood for a different protein besides pork. However, 7-37: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Pork is the only one to advertise itself as “easy”.

Pork is probably the most common version of sweet-and-sour that you see in Chinese restaurants–there’s even a vegan version of it you can buy in most stores. In case you’re looking for something more refined (but maybe not as easy or meatless), here’s Serious Eats’ take on it.


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15-20: Apple Compôte

15-20: Apple Compôte

Let’s get the first question out of the way right now. Compôte means “mixture” in French, so 15-20: Apple Compôte is essentially fancy applesauce. Don’t even worry about exerting the effort to mash the apples–these are just syrupy slices.

Some of you might have thought of pie filling when you saw “compôte”–I know I did. There’s actually differences between jam, jelly, preserves, conserves, and compote–I still don’t know if this iteration matches up with their definition, but here’s a recipe from my same trusted source (Serious Eats/Stella Parks) for essentially the same thing we’re making here.


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2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

Since there’s about to be quite a few salad recipes coming up, I thought I’d put 2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing out there as well. I tried to think of more salad dressing variations than what they list here, but honestly? Most “traditional” salad dressings do fall into one of the three categories they establish: vinaigrette, cream/mayo-based, and low-calorie. Go ahead–can you think of one that doesn’t?

PS: I spy that sneaky tarragon vinegar in their picture below. If you want to learn to make your own, check out 19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs.

At the restaurant I worked at a few years ago, we made our own dressings from scratch. And by “we”, I mean “me”–I made all the dressings for the whole restaurant every week and kept everything stocked up, since it was my station (garde manger, or pantry chef) that made the salads. We made a blue cheese, ranch, Caesar, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and another lighter, more traditional vinaigrette.

One of the first times I made the blue cheese dressing (which required a giant immersion blender and a 22-quart Cambro–it’s kind of like mixing concrete in a bucket), a customer liked it so much they asked to buy some to take home. I guess that makes me qualified to write about salad dressings now.

Hey–I have to find something to do while we’re all staying at home for a while. And so do you (probably), so why not read this?


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14-9: Glazed Crêpes with Pears

14-9: Glazed Crêpes with Pears

I think 14-9: Glazed Crêpes with Pears might be my final untested crêpe recipe from Simply Delicious–but there may be others in there. I’ll even give you a quick spoiler (since this recipe is kind of boring…another spoiler) for upcoming posts–there are more recipes out there than what I had originally. I know because I found (and purchased) some in a local Goodwill.

I’ve still got quite a few posts to go before I dig into some of the *NEW* recipes (and show you the book they came in), but for now, you can read about yet another crêpe recipe after the jump. But this time, with pears! And glaze!


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2-18: Luncheon Salad

2-18: Luncheon Salad

Reporting LIVE (to print), from an undisclosed location in Northern California, USA, currently sheltering-in-place and teleworking due to COVID-19/coronavirus/the apocalypse. It’s getting crazy out there, y’all–stay safe and healthy. And wash your hands.

Since we’re all stuck inside for a while, and I’ve got a big backlog of these to get through (over 50), here’s one more thing to pass the time. 2-18: Luncheon Salad is pure 1980s–turn up the vaporwave (for A E S T H E T I C), find your best matching sweatsuit, and crack open a Tab.

I don’t remember feeling like this salad was a treat–more like a punishment. If you can find some cottage cheese in the store right now, go for it–just don’t invite your friends. #socialdistancing


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