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.
Here’s another “traditional” recipe from Simply Delicious: 6-12: Chicken à la King. I’ve heard of this one before (you probably have too), but never ate it much as a kid despite it being chicken-based (the mushrooms were probably the dealbreaker for my mom). This is from the “new book“, so I didn’t even know Simply Delicious HAD a Chicken à la King recipe until recently.
Chicken à la King has been around for a while, but enjoyed a resurgence in mid-to-late 20th century America (probably due to all the Baby Boomers and a need to feed them cheaply/quickly). It seems “dated” to me at this point (and not necessarily in a good way), but probably was still pretty popular in some parts of the country at the time these books were published.
Combine this with 8-12: Beef Stroganoff, and you’ve got a pretty good handle on mediocre American cuisine from the 1980s.
Merry Christmas! In honor of the holiday, I’ve chosen to share a “fancy” one with you today: 8-42: Beef Tenderloin Deluxe. I’ve had requests for this recipe in the past (prior to posting it) from folks preparing for holiday meals, so now it’s time to share it with all of you. Consider these essentially individual Beef Wellingtons–perfect for a special occasion.
This is one of those recipes that you plan for in advance and cook to impress your family and friends–it’s not just for another Wednesday night dinner.
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.
Fish kebabs are probably not high on your Christmas dinner idea list (unless you’re reading from the Southern Hemisphere), but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t file 11-24: Salmon and Halibut Kebabs away for when it warms up a bit. Or if you’re not crazy like us and still grilling outdoors in late December, you can do this one inside on the broiler as well.
I know, I probably can’t convince you to eat grilled fish in the middle of winter. But like I said–save this one for spring/summer when it warms up. It’s a perfect light meal for a warm night where you don’t want to heat up the kitchen.
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.
Looking for something different to do with a cut of beef sirloin? 8-15: Cajun-Style Sirloin is a pretty quick and easy way to prepare beef, and also comes with a bonus cucumber salad recipe as an accompaniment/garnish. The cucumber salad and yogurt topping give this dish almost a Middle Eastern feel–they’re used to cut the heat from the paprika, curry, and cayenne pepper used to season the meat.
I’ve yet to visit Louisiana myself in person, but Simply Delicious has a few different Cajun and Creole recipes to try that can take you there culinarily, at least. There’s even some non-Simply Deliciousversions of this recipe out there, if you’re looking for variations. I’m still intrigued by the addition of the cucumber salad and yogurt topping for this version–that seems very avant garde for 1980s home cooking.
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?
I’ve done quite a few recipes lately that include mushrooms, and now we’re doing one that expressly features them: 9-8: Mushroom Beef Patties. Simply Delicious also has several “patty” recipes, and now here’s one with mushrooms. I know–really pushing the culinary envelope here with both mushrooms AND beef patties.
I had mentioned in my last Group 09 entry (9-23: Fruity Sausage Kebabs) that I believed that I had run out of recipes for this section. HOWEVER, after I obtained the NEW book, I was able to squeeze out at least one more for you. There’s still another one hanging out in the queue (9-11: Stuffed Peppers), so we’re not quite done with it yet.