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?
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, balsamic vinaigrette, Caesar, and another, lighter vinaigrette.
One of the first times I made the blue cheese dressing (which required a giant immersion blender and a 22-quart Cambro), 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Simply Delicious has a few variations on potato salad–2-17: Spicy Potato Salad is closer to a German variation, using a vinegar dressing instead of mayonnaise. This recipe, 2-20: Potato and Sausage Salad not only uses mayonnaise, but includes your choice of cured meat to accompany it–I went with chicken sausage, but you can use hot dogs, spicy links, or anything similar.
I caught a typo here–they mention capers in this blurb above, but dropped it from the actual ingredients list after the jump. I never realized it and now wish I had–capers would have been a welcome addition to this potato salad, especially instead of beets.
The card for 2-10: Spinach Salad is great because it has notes and reviews from the attempts of two other chefs I really admire, Jamie and her mother. From the date of the original note, I can deduce that Jamie’s mom made this recipe almost 25 years ago. She gives a succinct review, “Very Good, Very Easy.” Jamie’s equally positive review of her attempt at making this recipe 9 years back is encouraging. Making this salad for dinner one night after work is a super easy task and I agree with the previous reviews written on the card.
Simply Delicious helps you learn in so many different ways. Not only do I get a recipe for a salad, I get some history about the main ingredient: SPINACH!
Editor’s note: I made this as part of a “fancy dinner” in my first apartment, a year or two after college. I was so happy to have a kitchen and table to call my own, I invited some friends over, busted out a few Simply Delicious recipes, and threw a “fancy” dinner party, complete with table settings and after-dinner coffee.
Pasta with sauce is the most basic style of dish that Simply Delicious teaches a novice chef to cook. 12-40: Spinach Pasta with Mushrooms is appropriately classified as “Easy“.
Mustard-scented sauce is a recent addition to my diet, but it is one of my favorite additions. Dijon mustard is used in a lot of Simply Delicious sauces and it adds a tangy quality to the sauce that cannot be beat.