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.
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?
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.
I’ll be honest–I have no idea why this is “special chicken”. But for me, 6-16: The Chef’s Special Chicken will be special because I made it with “chick’n” instead of the real thing. I guess that’s not all that special for me at this point, but maybe for you?
If you search for “chef’s special chicken”, you’ll get a million different types of recipes, so I’m not sure what makes this one especially traditional. Although this one I found is pretty much this same exact recipe, so I guess it’s not as unknown as I thought. That or someone ripped off Simply Delicious and called it their own.
In a restaurant when you see “chef’s special”, it usually translates to “this is about to go bad so let’s try to sell it tonight however we can”. #themoreyouknow
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. 🤔
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.