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.
Chili’s, Applebee’s, Red Robin…I’ve enjoyed racks of ribs at almost every restaurant that offers ribs as a major offering on the menu. Freshly smoked ribs are a delicious delicacy. These oven baked ribs lack the smokiness of ribs cooked in a smoker. The flavor profile for 7-19: Cajun-Style Pork Ribs is influenced by the alcohol-infused marinade and the Cajun spice rub mixture.
Simply Delicious thinks these spices are fiery, however, I’ll have to disagree. Maybe I’m too desensitized to spice now, but I could have used about 30% more spiciness. I wasn’t always a fan of spicy food, but now some of my favorite hot sauces are sriracha, Tapatio, and Tabasco.
Pork and pineapple are two of my favorite ingredients. Sweet and Sour Pork from almost any Chinese restaurant makes me happy. Simply Delicious finally put these two powerhouse ingredients together in this recipe for 7-13: Thai Pork Loin.
Looking at the size of the chunks in the sample photo, I see how I could have cut my ingredients differently, however, I still stand by the choices I made. The method of preparation I chose is what Jamie and I would prefer versus what the book tells you to do.
We’re over 3 years into this project, and I’m only now covering the very first recipe in the book, 1-1: Orange-Glazed Chicken Wings. I don’t think I’ve ever made these wings before, but the memory of coming up with this project and starting to put it into motion (by sitting down and actually scanning the cards) features this recipe very prominently. Since this was the very first one, that might explain why the edges of the card pictures are strangely cropped.
While this would probably make a decent appetizer, I feel like as a society we’ve come pretty far in wing technology and distribution methods in the last 30 years–these are a lot of work for something that are pretty easy and cheap to just buy in, especially in more interesting flavor/spice combinations. There’s entire restaurants dedicated to wings at this point (even ones that don’t feature an owl and scantily-clad women).
We did make wings in-house during my restaurant tenure, but people are awfully finicky about the preferred style (fried vs baked, breaded vs non-breaded, vinegar-based sauce or not, etc.) of their wings, especially when craft beer and other hipster-y stuff like chalkboards and cornhole are involved. 🍻
Stew happens to be one of my favorite dishes. 😍 It contains all the things I really enjoy: tender meat, vegetables, and gravy. That being said, even though it’s the opposite of springtime right now, 10-1: Springtime Lamb Stew was right up my alley.
I’ve never been to the Provence region of France to try this style of cooking in it’s natural habitat, so learn more from someone who has.
6-20: Rosemary Chicken is another “Easy” level recipe, my favorite kind of recipe from Simply Delicious. This isn’t my usual method to prepare chicken, but it is fun to try something new every once in a while. 😜
The editors of Simply Delicious are sometimes off on their estimate of cooking time. 45 minutes isn’t nearly long enough to bake a chicken at the temperature they recommend on this card. I found this out the hard way. 🍗
I can’t count how many different chicken soups I’ve had in my life, but 3-11: Chicken Rice Soup is the latest version I’ve made from Simply Delicious. For this dish, I picked my own lemons and fresh mint from the garden so this dish had extra meaning to me. 🍋🌿
I’ve enjoyed a lot of chicken noodle soups, but chicken rice soup is a different experience.
The whole time I was making 6-2: Fiery Chicken Casserole, I had this image in my head because I thought my sauce came out wrong. My sauce was light colored and the chicken in the photo shows a crispy, golden skin. If you look hard at the bowl in the upper left corner, you can see the white sauce that the authors described.
My version of the casserole came out a lot differently than the image shown on the card and didn’t taste very “fiery”. This dish would need a lot more heat to be considered “fiery”. 🔥