I’ve been eating a diet that’s easiest to classify as pescetarian for about 4 years now, and one of the biggest trends I’ve noticed in “vegetarian” dishes and cooking is to take a vegetable, smother it in cream and cheese, and call it a meal. Don’t get me wrong–I lovecheese (more so than most–I chalk it up to being half Swedish/French), but it’s not exactly the healthiest thing for you. 13-1: Broccoli with Cheese Sauce is indeed vegetarian, but it is NOT healthy.
Sure, you could have stopped at steaming the broccoli (actually blanching, if you read the recipe after the jump)–maybe even sprinkle a little cheese on top to keep it interesting. But this feels more like, “would you like some broccoli with your cheese?” more so than “would you like some cheese with your broccoli?”
Man, I never thought I’d be complaining about there being TOO much cheese and not enough vegetables. That’s how you KNOW you’re getting old, kids.
Well, hello there. So it’s been a while, and my first recipe back is…rice with green beans? No wonder it took me so long to get back into this.
13-22: Green Bean Pilaf is exactly what it sounds like–a rice side dish with green beans that you could serve next to some sort of (presumably meat-based) main dish. It’s advertised as being vegetarian, but I feel that’s just by “default” since there’s no chunks of visible meat in it.
Man, does Simply Delicious enjoy their tarragon. It doesn’t seem like tarragon is super popular in modern dishes–is that because it’s not useful or because we don’t think of it as a relevant ingredient? Deep herb-related thoughts to consider on this Thursday afternoon. 🤔
It always takes me a minute to “catch up” on these, so if you’re keeping track (don’t), we’re now up to Thanksgiving of last year (2020) with 16-5: Sacher Torte. Sachertorte is a real thing, and Simply Delicious actually has a pretty decent take on it.
The Wikipedia link above gives a pretty close approximation of the origin story Simply Delicious mentions on their card above, so they’re hitting near the mark. Sometimes the best Simply Delicious recipes are the ones they DON’T make up for themselves.
Side note: My dad ended up LOVING this one (and he’s been eating the dishes from this book for 30+ years), so it comes highly recommended.
Looking for a way to use up some winter vegetables? Maybe your veggie box is heavy with leeks and broccoli these days–if so, maybe give 7-39: Pork Chops with Broccoli and Leek a try. It’s got big “we have Chinese food at home” energy.
If malls were still a thing, you could probably find something similar at a generic Chinese/pan-Asian restaurant in the half-empty food court.
Every so often throughout this project, I run into entries that make no sense, culinarily. I’ll admit–my knowledge of Caribbean cuisine is probably more limited compared to other types. However, I find it hard to believe that 2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad is an “authentic” representation of a real Caribbean dish.
The other similar recipes I’ve found for “Caribbean seafood salad” include pineapple, papaya, and/or mango, and all look much better than this apple/banana/asparagus mess. Keep that in mind–there’s better ways to use these ingredients (and to make a “Caribbean seafood salad”) than what they’re out here trying to do.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, there’s a bit of a lag between when I make these recipes and when I actually post about them. It helps me to reread the recipe to figure out what I’m doing in a lot of these photos. While rereading the recipe for 12-28: Tri-Color Risotto, I realized I didn’t even make it right.
That’s my first explanation for what happened here. My second is that I don’t like cooking rice in a pan–I’m spoiled by rice cookers.
Cajun and Creole cooking are not something I’ve had a ton of experience with, so 7-21: Jambalaya is somewhat unfamiliar territory. I didn’t grow up eating a lot of New Orleans cuisine, other than my mother’s ill-fated attempt at making gumbo once.
It’s not a difficult recipe (quite the opposite, actually), but I don’t feel like I have a solid understanding of the difference between what makes it good and what makes it great. That’s something that comes with experience, both as a taster and as a creator.
I couldn’t have even told you that there are two types of jambalaya, Creole and Cajun. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the difference between the two is the absence or presence of tomatoes. Simply Delicious identifies this version as Creole, which is correct–that’s the version that has the tomatoes in it, which this one does. 🎺🍅
Cabbage is probably my least favorite cruciferous vegetable. Although cabbage is present in most Chinese food dishes and it doesn’t bother me in that format, however, just the thought of eating plain cabbage is not very appetizing to me. The meatloaf-like mixture inside 9-7: Cabbage Rolls was the most edible part of the dish. I like that they served it with a blurred out Heineken.
Anything that involves a stuffing and rolling procedure is usually best done in a big batch because they are a pain to put together.
There are few things in this world as good as potatoes and vegetables covered in cheesy breadcrumbs. It’s a popular side dish that you’ve seen many variations of. I really enjoyed 4-36: Golden Potato Medley and the plating that Simply Delicious shows below looks so much better than how my dish came out. I go more for utility than aesthetics when I’m cooking, but it’s also true that you eat with your eyes before your stomach. 👀
This dish is the perfect side dish, but it is hearty enough to be eaten as an entree. It doesn’t look like much, but is perfect with hot sauce.
Back again with another Cooking School entry from the back of Simply Delicious. 18-6: Basic Pots & Pans is a featured topic discussing different types of cookware that can be used, with tips on handling, usage, & storage. Pot & pan types are controversial for some cooks, and what one person stands by may be another’s no-go. 👩🍳
In this entry, I really only plan to show you what I’ve got going in my own kitchen as of the time I wrote it, and I’ll probably pepper in some links to different pieces on cookware. I can’t claim any real authority on any of this stuff besides my own personal experience and knowledge, but I can at least maybe add one more opinion out there. 🍳