2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad

2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad

Every so often throughout this project, I run into entries that make no sense, culinarily. I’ll admit–my knowledge of Caribbean cuisine is probably more limited compared to other types. However, I find it hard to believe that 2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad is an “authentic” representation of a real Caribbean dish.

The other similar recipes I’ve found for “Caribbean seafood salad” include pineapple, papaya, and/or mango, and all look much better than this apple/banana/asparagus mess. Keep that in mind–there’s better ways to use these ingredients (and to make a “Caribbean seafood salad” than what they’re out here trying to do.


Read more

7-53: Cider-Braised Pork Chops

7-53: Cider-Braised Pork Chops

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.

There’s a TON of pork chop recipes in this book–I feel like every time I think I’ve got them all, another one pops up. If you like pork chops, check out 7-28: Pork Chops with Rosemary, 7-9: Hunter’s Style Pork Chops, or 7-26: Maple-Glazed Pork Chops for just a few examples.


Read more

1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey

1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey

Believe it or not, 1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey is one of my last few remaining Group 01: Hot and Cold Appetizers recipes left to cover. I’ve put this one off for a while because I’m not a big fan of melon (other than watermelons)–but when the weekly CSA box keeps bringing them to you, you have to do something with them.

Theirs looks super fancy–mine looks like a sloppy mess. I suppose if I were actually serving this for a party I would have tried harder. Melon + meat = appetizer isn’t a new equation–even Pillsbury has their own version. Most versions include prosciutto instead of turkey, which is the variant I’m more familiar with.


Read more

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

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?

PS: I spy that sneaky tarragon vinegar in their picture below. If you want to learn to make your own, check out 19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs.

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.

One of the first times I made the blue cheese dressing (which required a giant immersion blender and a 22-quart Cambro–it’s kind of like mixing concrete in a bucket), a customer liked it so much they asked to buy some to take home. I guess that makes me qualified to write about salad dressings now.

Hey–I have to find something to do while we’re all staying at home for a while. And so do you (probably), so why not read this?


Read more

1-2: Marinated Stuffed Avocado

1-2: Marinated Stuffed Avocado

Avocados have been a pretty big part of my culinary life up until now, but that’s probably because they’re pretty hard to avoid here in California. However, my experiences are usually closer to some nice fresh guacamole or some avocado toast–1-2: Marinated Stuffed Avocado was relatively new territory for me.

I suppose it’s not unheard of, it’s just not something I think to do. I may try it again, maybe with some different ingredients. Mushrooms are okay, but I much prefer them cooked rather than raw.


Read more

7-51: Butterflied Pork Chops

7-51: Butterflied Pork Chops

Learning a new technique can be a lot of fun. This slicing technique demonstrated in 7-51: Butterflied Pork Chops is new to me, but the final product really speaks for itself. The larger surface area creates more crispy, golden brown crust.

I love the place settings in the background of the image below. The jar of mustard, the frothy beer and crusty bread really set the scene in which you’d want to eat this dish. 

From previous posts, I’ve learned how to put together a pan sauce from fat drippings, milk, and garlic. The base sauce gets enhanced with some acid from the Dijon mustard, the green flavor of the parsley, and the classic standby combo, salt and pepper, fill out the rest of the flavors in the sauce.


Read more

8-36: Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

8-36: Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

8-36: Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce was the first of two beef tenderloin recipes I made on the same night. The other dish, 8-22:  Beef Tenderloin with Whole Garlic, was a completely different preparation. It was interesting to cook it two different ways and compare the final product.

Utilizing an onion-mustard marinade resulted in a completely different flavor than in the other tenderloin recipe. The beef was not marinated at all in the other recipe. If I had to choose, I prefer the marinated beef from this recipe because it was more tender.


Read more

1-6: Surprise Sandwich Loaf

1-6: Surprise Sandwich Loaf

Trying to put some new posts out there while I fix the old posts–here’s 1-6: Surprise Sandwich Loaf, which was made with a loaf baked from the dough I used for 20-12: Basic Rolls. I made this to break up into portions and take to work with me for lunch one week. It was delicious when first made, but with most things lost its appeal as the week went on.

I love toasted sandwiches. My high school job was at a Quizno’s, at which I came up with personal sandwich masterpieces which would be impossible to recreate had I been nothing but a customer. However, while I appreciate the efficiency of an entire toasted sandwich loaf, this particular execution leaves something to be desired.


Read more

17-39: Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits

17-39: Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits

If you’re looking for a relatively easy homemade buttermilk biscuit recipe, 17-39: Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits isn’t a bad choice. I made these once before for a dinner I made about 8 years ago. I remember thinking they were very bland as written–hence my notes written on the front and back about adding more salt. After following my own suggestions this time around, they’re much improved.

17-39 Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits
I didn’t make these for any particular dinner or reason this time around, but they still made decent snacks and accompaniments to meals throughout the week.

Read more

2-23: Grilled Chicken Salad

2-23: Grilled Chicken Salad

Who doesn’t love a simple salad? The editors of Simply Delicious knocked one out of the park with 2-23: Grilled Chicken Salad. Combining fresh vegetables with nicely cooked chicken is an easy method for creating a killer salad. My final product didn’t look much like the photo below, but the flavor is totally on point.

I love the bowl of strawberries and fresh baked biscuits behind the salad in the product photo.


Read more