In these trying times (are you tired of hearing that yet?), it’s important to make the food you have go as far as you can, and to reduce the amount of food being wasted. Even before “the Rona“, I’ve been spending many a Saturday (or Sunday) meal-prepping for the upcoming week, which has brought down our grocery bills (and our waistlines, but apparently not as quickly).
7-31: Lime Cayenne Pork Chops was part of a “pork chop” meal-prep week, prepared in tandem with 7-53: Cider-Braised Pork Chops and served with some mixed roasted potatoes courtesy of the CSA box. It’s “meat and potatoes”, but maybe with a healthier twist?
My mom apparently made this back in November 1993, and it was “good” and “easy”. I’m not sure who ranked it as such (since she doesn’t eat pork), but we’ll go with that recommendation.
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.
I believe in a couple of things–nobody’s perfect, and all things eventually balance out. My experience with this recipe, 5-4: Eggs Benedict, especially relative to how the rest of the meal went, encapsulates both of those ideas.
In the days leading up to making this Mother’s Day brunch (MD2017), I knew I needed to practice two things before the big day: poaching eggs and hollandaise sauce–I’ve had trouble with both in the past. Guess what I didn’t do?
I procrastinated on practicing both my egg poaching and my hollandaise, and those were my exact failure points on this recipe. After the jump, you can read about what went really well (my homemade English muffins) and what didn’t (my broken hollandaise sauce, for one).
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).
I wasn’t quite sure how “authentic” 12-29: New Orleans Beans and Pasta would be when first looking this recipe over–Simply Delicious doesn’t exactly nail it on cultural faithfulness a lot of the time. A lot of that has to do with the time at which the books were written–many ingredients, methods, & tools that are easily accessible now were not 30 years ago.
However, this is essentially an American recipe, so I would assume it shouldn’t be that far off–if this is in fact a realNew Orleans dish. 🎷
I wonder how many different linens/vases/glasses/odd statues they had to accumulate to photograph all of these different recipes. Just a thought I had while looking at this picture. Another thought: who decided on some of these things? What makes this picture decidedly New Orleans? ⚜🎉
Simply Delicious can give a dish a title that seems a bit of a stretch at times and this is definitely a prime case of this phenomenon: 12-16 Risotto with Pastrami.
Editor’s note: A big HELLO to those of you coming here from search engines–apparently there’s significant demand for pastrami risotto? This is one of those sites where we (my husband and I) are working our way through an old set of cookbooks–learn more about it here. Don’t expect anything like traditional risotto here (neither of us wrote any of the actual recipes)–but maybe stick around for an interesting read or two? Thanks for stopping by! 👋
The card even announces, “(t)his recipe for risotto differs from the traditional one.” I’ve never seen a dish like this, but the flavor profile was the same as a fancy omelette, just deconstructed before that was trendy.
I’ve often talked during this project about my mother and her predilection towards recipe experimentation. One of these instances was where she attempted to make gumbo–I’m not sure where she got the recipe from, but I remember the family failing to choke down poorly cooked okra and my father making a quick run to KFC while she surreptitiously got rid of the rest.
The mere mention of gumbo usually brings this unsavory memory back, and so I attempted 11-26: Fish Gumbo with a fair amount of trepidation.
Roux is something I’ve covered several times throughout this project, and it’s an essential flavor and texture component of gumbo. Letting a roux brown deepens its flavor, and there’s a fine line between too light and over cooked.
Here’s a pretty basic “chicken with sauce” type recipe that can be fancy or not-so-fancy. “Chicken Diable” or “Chicken a la Diable”, as evidenced by the name, is essentially “the Devil’s chicken”, evoking images of spices and fire. 🌶 🔥 As Serious Eats notes in their version of the dish, the French have a very different idea of spiciness than some other cultures.
Everyone’s got their version of this dish–here’s Bon Appetit’s, and Google turns up many more results. Whether it’s actually spicy is up to you–if you actually like things spicy, prepare to have to add some heat to this one.
Chapter 19 of Simply Delicious is Basic Ingredients, another big part of cooking and Cooking School. 19-10:Dried Herbs & Spices I is the first of a two-part series on a selection of spices that you’ll probably find in a well-stocked kitchen.
For this entry, I’ll link to a recipe (or two, or three) that I’ve covered in this project that calls for that spice to illustrate an idea of how to use it (and maybe increased motivation to give one of these recipes a try).