Usually, I give Simply Delicious a hard time for their attempts at “cultural cuisine”–I had gone into 8-13: Japanese Beef Casserole with the same expectations. I even cooked the recipe with that thought in mind–that this was just another lame attempt at something “exotic” for the 1980s housewife crowd to try to excite their disaffected family about. I mean, read that description below and try to imagine how that would go in real life.
However, while researching for the write-up (the last part of this multi-step process), I found some interesting “similar” recipes. I’m still not sure if I’m right or wrong about this one.
Here’s my thoughts on the two things this recipe could be (given my new findings):
They might be trying to attempt nikujaga (Japanese “beef stew”), but it’s missing potatoes which are a crucial (and easy to obtain) part of that dish.
They’re attempting some sort of pan-Asian sautéed beef/Asian veggies dish that you’d be more likely to find in a dead mall’s food court and just calling it Japanese casserole.
I’m guessing it’s the latter, but if you’d like to decide for yourself, keep reading.
Oh, and that dead mall link above? That’s another one of our projects…
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.
“Country-Style” carries multiple definitions and connotations. The author of 9-45: Country-Style Sausage Medley surmised that a dish containing this many varieties of vegetables must be “country-style”. Chicken sausage is a low calorie option, however, it lacks the punch of flavor a good beef sausage can provide.
This dish contains a lot of vegetables already. If I had to add any other vegetables, I might substitute the cabbage for Brussels sprouts.
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.
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.
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. 🍳
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”. 🔥
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Simply Delicious uses mushrooms pretty heavily throughout their recipes–about 20% of the recipes I’ve covered so far have involved them. I wasn’t a big mushroom eater when I was a kid, but I’ve (slowly) begun warming up to them. 7-7: Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Rolls aren’t especially fancy, but they’re not a bad option for lunch, dinner, or even making in a large batch for a party.
This is the first recipe (of 160+ at this point) that uses sage, described as being “savory & slightly peppery.” I like using sage with mushrooms (along with parsley, rosemary, & thyme–the “essential herbs,” according to Simon & Garfunkel), as the earthy flavors of both complement each other well.🌿