As another clue to the era from which it emanates, Simply Delicious offers a lot of stir-fry recipes, along with quite a few other “pan-Asian” options. 11-32: Shrimp and Cashew Stir-Fry isn’t much different from a lot of these other types of dishes, but if you like shrimp and cashews, this is your dish.
Simply Delicious suggests serving this with some steamed brown rice. I remember my mom pushing the brown rice on us in the 80s and 90s…it wasn’t great. I know it’s healthier for you, and there are some dishes where it works, but I’m just generally NOT a fan.
I can’t quite figure out if 8-23: Beef Kebabs with Red Wine Butter are supposed to be used for when you are serving fancy food in a casual situation (like a truffle and foie gras burger in Las Vegas) or casual food in a fancy situation (like food trucks at a wedding). I suppose this one could go either way, depending on the circumstances.
This recipe features not only kebabs, but a compound butter to serve with them. Simply Delicious is big on beef + compound butter–another example is 8-4: T-Bone Steak.
Simply Delicious says that now (winter) is the time for scallops, so here’s 11-22: Scallops with Tomatoes for you. It’s very similar to one of my FAVORITE recipes from this book, 11-12: Creamy Sautéed Shrimp (otherwise known in my family as “Shrimp Something”).
Seafood + butter + curry + tomatoes + cream is pretty much always going to be a win. With rice, 10/10?
Looking for a way to use up some winter vegetables? Maybe your veggie box is heavy with leeks and broccoli these days–if so, maybe give 7-39: Pork Chops with Broccoli and Leek a try. It’s got big “we have Chinese food at home” energy.
If malls were still a thing, you could probably find something similar at a generic Chinese/pan-Asian restaurant in the half-empty food court.
Yet another apple dessert recipe for you today. I made 14-24: Wine-Baked Apples at the same time as 14-2: Apple Strudel, since if I’m going through the work of breaking down apples, I’m getting at least two entries out of it.
The blurb above mentions this being a “new” way to bake apples–it doesn’t seem that far off from the “old” ways, to be quite honest.
Many moons ago when I first began this project, I wrote about Simply Delicious‘ use of adjectives to spice up the descriptions of their dishes. 3-7: Snappy Crab Soup reminds me of 3-13: Velvety Carrot Soup in its use of flashy words to get you interested in something hard to get excited about.
This is essentially a crab bisque, without the extra steps of simmering shells. The “hot pepper seasoning” they refer to in the blurb above is Tabasco sauce, so this is a mildly Cajun-influenced recipe as well. I remember thinking Tabasco sauce was the HOTTEST thing ever when I was a kid…I’ve learned so much since then. 🦀🌶
I often wonder when I “evaluate” these recipes if I’m biased in my ratings/attitude towards them because of my own personal feelings about their contents. If I don’t personally like pears, does that unfairly impact my review of 15-41: Pear Halves with Chocolate Topping? Probably. Just a thought.
I’m not a huge pear fan, so if you haven’t figured it out by now, pear halves with weird chocolate bread topping wasn’t my jam. But if months of quarantine have you curious about weird desserts from the 80s, read on.
Usually, I give Simply Delicious a hard time for their attempts at “cultural cuisine”–I had gone into 8-13: Japanese Beef Casserole with the same expectations. I even cooked the recipe with that thought in mind–that this was just another lame attempt at something “exotic” for the 1980s housewife crowd to try to excite their disaffected family about. I mean, read that description below and try to imagine how that would go in real life.
However, while researching for the write-up (the last part of this multi-step process), I found some interesting “similar” recipes. I’m still not sure if I’m right or wrong about this one.
Here’s my thoughts on the two things this recipe could be (given my new findings):
They might be trying to attempt nikujaga (Japanese “beef stew”), but it’s missing potatoes which are a crucial (and easy to obtain) part of that dish.
They’re attempting some sort of pan-Asian sautéed beef/Asian veggies dish that you’d be more likely to find in a dead mall’s food court and just calling it Japanese casserole.
I’m guessing it’s the latter, but if you’d like to decide for yourself, keep reading.
Oh, and that dead mall link above? That’s another one of our projects…