Today, I have the last unmade Group 01 recipe in my possession to share with you today, 1-23: Pita Pockets. They’re essentially sandwiches with two sorts of filling, both very 1980s/”light”.
One of my favorite restaurants is called Pita Pockets–I’ve been going there since I was in high school (over 20 years…eeek) and it’s one of the places I try to stop at when I find myself back in Southern California. Their pita sandwiches are very different from what we’ve got here today (and theirs are WAY better).
I remember pitas being a big deal in the 1980s-1990s, so it’s not surprising that they were included in this recipe collection. They’re still super popular today, but they’re not as “new” of a concept. Speaking of new, this one came from the NEW book, hence why I wasn’t aware until relatively recently that Simply Delicious even had a pita sandwich recipe.
I guess the best way to start this is…have you seen that Julie & Julia movie from a few years ago? If not, and you enjoy reading this blog (or even if you don’t), you DEFINITELY should go watch it. It’s essentially the idea that formed this website/project. In that movie, one of the featured Julia Child recipes is her Boeuf Bourguignon which is found in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, one of her most famous books and one of the most famous cookbooks in general.
With that being said, we come back to the fact that this is not a Julia Child cookbook project, it is a Simply Delicious one. So, I present to you Simply Delicious’ version of the dish: 8-10: Beef Bourguignon.
Simply Delicious isn’t wrong–this dish is essentially French beef stew (with a good amount of red wine in it). I’ve made Julia’s version a few times (let’s be honest, we ALL made it at least once after that movie came out), but I’ve yet to attempt the Simply Delicious version, mostly because it was a “new book” recipe and I didn’t know it even existed until a few years ago. Let’s see how they compare…
Autumn is just around the corner, but here’s another recipe you can try before you put the grill away for the season (unless you live somewhere that you can grill all year round). 11-15: Grilled Salmon with Thyme uses salmon steaks which can be tough to locate depending on where/when you look for them, but if you are able to snag some it’s a nice change from the same old burgers and hot dogs.
Here where I live, it’s not only still 90+ degrees each day, it’s also salmon season, so I’ve been seeing it on sale a lot at our local grocery stores. Warm nights + fresh salmon on the grill = good times.
I’m aware of two salmon steak recipes in my Simply Delicious collection, 11-15: Grilled Salmon with Thyme and this one, 11-18: Salmon Steaks with Mushrooms. The other one mentions you can substitute salmon fillets if you can’t find the steaks, which is what I had to do for this one. Strangely enough, I WAS able to find them for the other one. Believe it or not, I’ve been looking for them for a while and just haven’t had very good luck with it (even in Northern California, where it seems like you can find just about anything if you look hard enough).
Simply Delicious does NOT miss an opportunity for a mushroom sauce–it’s kind of their thing. They suggest rice (10/10?) as a side dish, but I’m going to go with some gnocchi instead.
Quick note: Just passed the 8-year anniversary of this project, and I’m STILL going. I’ll be doing this FOREVER.
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?
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.
Well, hello there. So it’s been a while, and my first recipe back is…rice with green beans? No wonder it took me so long to get back into this.
13-22: Green Bean Pilaf is exactly what it sounds like–a rice side dish with green beans that you could serve next to some sort of (presumably meat-based) main dish. It’s advertised as being vegetarian, but I feel that’s just by “default” since there’s no chunks of visible meat in it.
Man, does Simply Delicious enjoy their tarragon. It doesn’t seem like tarragon is super popular in modern dishes–is that because it’s not useful or because we don’t think of it as a relevant ingredient? Deep herb-related thoughts to consider on this Thursday afternoon. ?
You thought I’d run out of crêpe recipes by now, didn’t you? Here’s yet anotherfor you (#7, at the time of this posting), 5-17: Crab-Filled Crêpes.Simply Delicious has featured both sweet and savory crêpe recipes, and this one would probably be EXCELLENT for a nice brunch.
WAY, way back, when I first started this project (April 2014), crêpes were a new frontier–something I’d never done before. You can read about it in 5-24: Meat-Filled Crêpes.
Soup isn’t usually thought of as a hot weather food (unless you’re Lisa Simpson). However, if it’s summer and you’re looking for ice-cold soup options AND gazpacho isn’t your thing, maybe try 3-29: Herbed Cucumber Soup instead.
It’s not technically summer anymore at the time of posting this (October 1), but we’re still hitting 100ºF temps here in California, so I think it counts.
I had intended on using the entry for 2-19: Country Bean Salad to make the tired joke about how no one likes bean salad or the person who brings it to a party. And to point out how it was always a skip for me at the salad bar (RIP salad bars/buffets, I will REALLY miss you).
But there’s got to be a reason why “bean salad” is still a thing. Someone must still like it, for it still to exist. And not just in an ironic hipster “I like it specifically because it’s uncool” way. Maybe the vegans? I eat mostly vegan, and it’s still a no-go for me.
Simply Delicious says that this particular variation of bean salad is “typically French”, but I can’t find too many references online that specifically corroborate that claim. I did find a fancy version of this dish done by one of the Top Chefs that might be worth looking at, if you’re interested in bringing this recipe into the 21st century.
Apparently it was part of a particularly infamous (red) wedding meal in Game of Thronesas well. I watched GoT, but the food on the table wasn’t exactly the focus of that scene, so I must have missed it.
Even if it’s been on TV, it’s still not that appetizing to me. But again: someone must be into this stuff, so if it’s you, read on.