2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

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?

PS: I spy that sneaky tarragon vinegar in their picture below. If you want to learn to make your own, check out 19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs.

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?


Read more

7-21: Jambalaya

7-21: Jambalaya

Cajun and Creole cooking are not something I’ve had a ton of experience with, so 7-21: Jambalaya is somewhat unfamiliar territory. I didn’t grow up eating a lot of New Orleans cuisine, other than my mother’s ill-fated attempt at making gumbo once.

It’s not a difficult recipe (quite the opposite, actually), but I don’t feel like I have a solid understanding of the difference between what makes it good and what makes it great. That’s something that comes with experience, both as a taster and as a creator.

I couldn’t have even told you that there are two types of jambalaya, Creole and Cajun. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the difference between the two is the absence or presence of tomatoes. Simply Delicious identifies this version as Creole, which is correct–that’s the version that has the tomatoes in it, which this one does. 🎺🍅


Read more

8-54: Beef Beignets

8-54: Beef Beignets

When I think of beignets, I think of New Orleans. 🎷 I’ve never been to the real Café Du Monde in New Orleans, but I have been to the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square at Disneyland which serves beignets (very delicious ones).

8-54: Beef Beignets are NOT like the ones at Disneyland or Café Du Monde–they’re more like Mongolian Beef before you toss it in sauce.

I looked around for similar types of recipes to confirm that this wasn’t just a Simply Delicious invention–and I really couldn’t find too many. There’s nothing wrong with battering beef and frying it–just don’t call it a beignet.


Read more

2-11: Santiago Chicken Salad

2-11: Santiago Chicken Salad

Hey there. Haven’t fallen off the face of the planet–just spent the last few months buying a house and moving into said house. Needless to say, things have been busier than normal.

However, I’ve been trying to do a few recipes here and there throughout the process, so there’s content coming at some point. So before you get to see the new (and hopefully VERY permanent) kitchen background, you’ll still get a few from the old apartment. Here’s one of those, 2-11: Santiago Chicken Salad.

In preparation for moving, we were looking for easy recipes that didn’t involve a lot of cooking or prep work. A lot of Simply Delicious recipes tend to be very heavy and calorie-dense–this one was a light option that involved very minimal work.


Read more

7-51: Butterflied Pork Chops

7-51: Butterflied Pork Chops

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.


Read more

11-30: Sea Bass with Peppers

11-30: Sea Bass with Peppers

Here’s another seafood recipe: 11: 30: Sea Bass with Peppers. To me, fish and peppers are not the most logical combination, but these veggies are mostly a garnish to serve alongside a rockfish (instead of sea bass) filet.

This is another dish where you can substitute the type of fish if you want–we split the rockfish filets between this recipe and the ones Jamie used for 11-21: Baked Whitefish with Shrimp.


Read more

12-25: Parmesan Rice with Shrimp

12-25: Parmesan Rice with Shrimp

12-25: Parmesan Rice with Shrimp is a great weeknight dinner option or even perhaps a side dish for a potluck or party. It has similarities to paella and risotto, but isn’t as time or skill-intensive as either of those. And as you can tell by the frequency of how much I’ve been posting lately (not much), anything quick is much appreciated. 

12-25 Parmesan Rice with Shrimp

I feel like they were trying to roughly capture the essence of Shrimp Etouffee with the flavors used in this recipe, but with much less work involved. Cajun/creole-inspired isn’t new for Simply Delicious, but it’s rarely executed faithfully.


Read more

9-21: Chili Beef Casserole

9-21: Chili Beef Casserole

9-21: Chili Beef Casserole is yet another case of calling something a casserole that is barely a casserole. There is no condensed soup in this recipe and this dish is cooked on a stove top, not baked. This dish is more of a tortilla filling than a main course as a casserole.

One might say this dish is a ground beef casserole with a cultural appropriation problem, not “with a Mexican accent”.


Read more

8-65: Sizzling Skirt Steaks

8-65: Sizzling Skirt Steaks

You may recognize 8-65: Sizzling Skirt Steaks as basically fajitas, one of the standard Mexican restaurant menu features.  If you’re looking for something different on taco night, consider this dish. This can even be modified for different types of proteins, or even add in a few more veggies or a meat substitute and go meatless.

8-65 Sizzling Skirt Steaks

Flank or skirt steak is taken from the underside of the cow, and is tougher than most other cuts of meat. Therefore, marinating it (especially with some acid) breaks down some of those fibers and gives you a more tender piece when it’s cooked. Cooking fast/hot works well with this type of cut–low and slow will give you tough and rubbery.


Read more

12-15: Pasta with Salami

12-15: Pasta with Salami

Pasta with a thin sauce didn’t seem super appropriate for dinner, so I made 12-15: Pasta with Salami and dished it out for lunch as part of a meal prep. While there are a few differences between the recipe card photo and my final product photo, my creation was similar in spirit to the beautifully shot photo below. The place settings are so retro–such a great scene they set.

The exquisite setup showcases the raw ingredients along with the wonderful cutlery and plating of the dish. How magnificent!


Read more