Greetings, and happy Friday! It’s been a minute, but I’ll always come back eventually–I’ve put way too much time/work/energy into this project to give up now. Today, I present to you 1-12: Mixed Seafood Au Gratin. Au gratinis not new for Simple Delicious, and neither is the use of the pictured serving shells. I finally broke down and bought some a year or two ago for 11-10: French Scallops–I’m happy they’ll get another use here.
When was the last time you heard the phrase “tantalize the taste buds”? I feel like that went out of style around the same time as soufflé humor.
Howdy, y’all–it’s been a minute since we’ve last met. Like everyone else in the world, things can get busy/stressful/overwhelming for me at times and then unfortunately this project takes a backseat. I’ve still been making recipes here and there though, and I’ve got a few built up to share with you. I can’t promise a robust posting schedule (count me as partly responsible for the death of blogs) but I’ll do my best.
To kick things off, here’s 2-9: Pasta Salad, one from the new book. Ugh, I WANT that kitschy 70s flower/watering can picture–if I found it in a thrift store, it’d definitely be coming home with me. I’ll take those FABULOUS flower-shaped plates too.
I love that this is such a time-capsule of an era where we fully embraced carbs–I don’t know of too many people today that would classify pasta as “nutritious”. We were just on the precipice of the ridiculous food pyramid of the 1990s at this point, where we were advised to eat 6-11 servings of carbs a day and stay far, far away from anything fatty (low-fat/high-sugar EVERYTHING was the result).
I also feel like Simply Delicious couldn’t figure out anything exciting to say about pasta salad, so they attempted to turn it into a half-assed history lesson. “He might have done it, maybe not, who knows! Have some pasta anyway!”
My elementary school education (which occurred around the same time) went pretty much the same way. Oh, the late 80s/early 90s.
Happy New Year, and welcome to 2022! I’m going to start this year off with a redo–although you didn’t know that it was such. I cooked 11-10: French Scallops early last year (2021), but did such a terrible job of it that I didn’t even want to share the pictures of it with you. I’ve had it hanging out in my queue for almost a year, and it’s time to fix that–when you know better, you should do better.
I took far too many liberties with my first attempt, not realizing that this dish was somewhat specific in its design and not just “up for interpretation”. Coquilles St. Jacques (note Simply Delicious misspelled it) is a French preparation of scallops, hence their abridged title of “French Scallops”. There’s lots ofversionsof it out there, most somewhat similar to this one.
It’s been a while since I’ve covered anything breakfast-related, so let’s dig into 4-5: Potatoes O’Brien to change that. I’ve heard of Potatoes O’Brien before (and you may have as well)–you can even buy them frozen from the grocery store. Here’s how to make them at home on your own, since takeout/delivery/eating in can be a bit hit-or-miss these days.
I suppose eggs might fall under the category of meat or poultry, but it seems to be the go-to accompaniment for this dish. As you can see from the header image, I served mine with a homemade breakfast sandwich which also made a good option. Who needs those bigbreakfastguys anyway?
First of all (before we even get into the actual recipe for 12-35: Fettucini with Scallops) I need to take umbrage with the spelling of “fettucini”–Simply Delicious spells it with one “c” and an “i” at the end instead of an “e”. I spell it “fettuccine” (so does Wikipedia AND Olive Garden), so this is going to be a challenging entry to write.
Spinach fettuccine with Alfredo sauce (this one specifically) was one of my FAVORITE meals as a kid (I could definitely still knock out a big bowl of it today), and so I can see this as more of a “grown-up” version of it.
Real Alfredo sauce is closer to what you get with cacio e pepe than what you get at the Olive Garden (notably it doesn’t feature heavy cream and garlic like the OG version), and this version (even though it’s not calling itself “fettuccine Alfredo”) probably falls somewhere in between–lighter than OG’s but heavier than the original.
Stuffed peppers were not a big thing in my household growing up–neither my mom or I are big fans of bell peppers (sorry dad). However, that may not be the case for you–9-11: Stuffed Peppers might be something you’re more than familiar with. Since this was a “new book” recipe, I didn’t even know Simply Delicious had a stuffed peppers recipe…until now.
I had written a while ago (in 9-23: Fruity Sausage Kebabs) that I had at that point covered all the Chapter 09 recipes that I possess…and then I found the new book and had a few more to cover. Well, I’ve reached that point again–this is (again) the last recipe I have for this chapter. Unless more recipes turn up somewhere (don’t send them to me, I’m not trying to be the online library for this book), this is it for Ground Meat and Sausage.
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.
This one was weird for me–not the recipe itself, but the fact that I could have sworn I’d already cooked 3-10: Potato-Onion Bisque for this project. Alas, that did not seem to be the case as I could not find pictures of it anywhere. Strange, as this seems like it would have been one of the ones I cooked way back in 2014 when this project first started. Maybe I did and just forgot to take pictures?
It IS getting cold out there (I mean, we’ve had to put on hoodies here in California–that’s winter weather as far as I’m concerned), so maybe a quick and easy soup might be a nice & warm lunch/dinner option?
Minestrone soup has a few specific memories for me: I remember there always being cans of it in our pantry when I was a kid, and all of my favorite Italian restaurants growing up still have it on the menu. My dad was a big minestrone fan–both of those memories are tied pretty closely to him.
3-6: Minestrone comes from the new book, and it’s not surprising that Simply Delicious had a recipe for it–they tend to have their own versions of most of the “classics”.
I’m not sure I’d suggest serving this in what look like miniature barrels in the picture above (imagine trying to clean those). However, the colder weather is coming soon, and this recipe is a good (and cheap) way to meal-prep, eat your veggies, and stay warm all at the same time.
Enchiladas were always a big hit in one of my previous cooking jobs, and they’re still a big hit when I make them at home for dinner today. Presenting 13-9: Enchiladas as a vegetarian dish (using vegetables as filling instead of meat) is pretty avant-garde for a 1980s cookbook, but you can always adjust the fillings as you wish.
Enchiladas were usually (and still are) one of my top choices when going to a Mexican restaurant, and the method here is not that far off from the traditional way to make them.
However, as much of a stickler as I am for authentic/homemade, I like the canned enchilada sauce you buy in the supermarket SO much better and will pretty much always just use that. Can’t tell you why, just my personal preference.