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.
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?
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.
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
We can pretend that 1-37: Savory Cheese Appetizers is something fancy and unique, but it’s really just a blue cheese spread on squares of white bread. If you like blue cheese, I suppose this could be an exciting concept–the 1980s were big on both blue cheese and dips (which this recipe can double as).
Finally, one from the “revisited” pile–those are recipes I’ve already made before, but am making again for the sake of this project. 5-20: Golden Cheese Tartlettes were one of the appetizers I made for a Valentine’s Day 80’s party I talked about in 1-22: Onion-Potato Diamonds–I thought these little cheese tarts seemed very 1980s.
They’re not kidding about the “fragile” part when it comes to these tartlettes–I originally made these for this project back in July of 2016, but the whole operation went so poorly that I abandoned it and never even posted about it. Now that I’ve bought the proper equipment and ingredients for it, it went much smoother.
There’s not a lot to 1-20: Prosciutto Appetizers, but think of them as a fancier version of the classic appetizer roll-ups that feature some sort of cold cut wrapped around some sort of cream cheese. I originally intended to make these to bring with when we attended a fancy picnic-type event last year, but ran out of time before the day arrived.
Since I’m the only one who can eat these anyway, I ended up making them as a snack for myself when Adam was out of town a few weeks ago. I love Prosciutto ham, blue cheese, AND cream cheese, so these were snacks I was quite looking forward to.
There was apparently a week in April 1992 (can’t say that without thinking of this) when my mom was on a tear through this book. 7-14: Easy-to-Make Pork Casserole is from two days earlier, and there’s a few more coming up from that same time period. 6-17: Chicken Breast with Cheesy Filling seems like something my mom would have been all about–she loves chicken breasts and blue cheese.
As I said in a previous Cooking School installment (19-13: Cooking with Cheese), cheese is a really big part of Simply Delicious, and other dairy products factor in heavily as well. Today we see a lot more alternatives to traditional dairy (coconut milk, tofu, etc.) which is probably good given environmental and ethical concerns related to commercial dairy & meat production. However, it’s important to understand the original ingredient if we hope to find workable alternatives.
Not much more to add to what they’ve written here, but after the jump we’ll take a look at some common culinary dairy ingredients (check out 19-13: Cooking with Cheese for some recipes using specific types of cheeses) and I’ll link you to some recipes that use those ingredients.
I recently attended a birthday party, and was tasked with making some of the dishes for the party (as is usually the case). Seeing as some of the guests were “old-school” about their dining preferences, I decided to use up some of the more “old-school” recipes. 1-8: Delicious Cocktail Snacks looks exactly like something a waiter would be carrying around at a fancy cocktail party in an old movie.
So retro. These were pretty easy to make, and actually held really well in the fridge before the party. I reheated them at the party and it worked great–just a thought if you need something for a party that you can make earlier, transport and/or reheat later.
There’s a lot of recipes in Simply Delicious that use cheese–all different types. While by no means an exhaustive list, 19-13: Cooking with Cheese goes over a few different types that you’ll probably encounter in your own culinary adventures. This is part of the last section of the book, a Cooking School compendium of basic culinary reference material.
Cheese might not be a big part of your diet, but it’s always been a big part of mine (for better or worse–what can I say, my maternal grandparents were Swedish and French and lived in the Midwest USA). After the jump, read more about some common types of cooking cheese.