A wise man once said, ” You don’t win friends with salad.” I’m not sure how many friends you’ll be winning with 2-1: West Coast Salad, but if you’re looking for something keto-friendly (we used to call that low-carb or “Atkins-friendly” back in the day, kids) and you need a break from the cookies and candies that are EVERYWHERE around this time of year, this might be the ticket.
By Western shore/West Coast, we’re referring to the western coast of the United States which includes the states of California (where I live and am from), Oregon, and Washington. The seafood is in fact different in the Pacific versus the Atlantic–you won’t find a lot of lobster here, but you will find an abundance of crab and mussels.
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?
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.
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
If you happen to have a “pastry fish” laying around, here’s a good use for it (I know you’ve been waiting for someone to tell you what to do with it). 11-20: Pastry Fish with Shrimp is so 1980s that I think we can bring it back around again for a 2020s-era reboot–this just screams “novelty food that looks better than it tastes”.
Maybe I’ve just been watching too much Great British Baking Show (or Great British Bake Off, as it is known in its native UK) on Netflix lately, but this sounds like a wacky cooking challenge just waiting to happen.
Still working my way through the backlog–we’re up to Easter with 15-26: Strawberry Pastries. Strawberries start to creep up everywhere in the springtime, and this dessert dish is a pretty classic use of them. ?
This recipe suggests using vanilla custard, but I’ve seen other similar recipes use fillings like Bavarian cream or crème fraîche. This is essentially a fancier version of strawberry shortcake (which often uses whipped cream), so I suppose it’s all dependent on how heavy or light you’d like to go with it. ?
Hot Take: Artichokes are the lobster of the vegetable world. 4-14: Stuffed Artichokes represents this well: too much work for too little satisfaction. Peeling the little leaves off the artichoke and harvesting the heart feels a lot like picking apart the carapace of an undersea crustacean.
Stuffing an artichoke with a mushroom stew is a unique way to serve this giant edible thistle flower. These plants don’t grow naturally where I’m from, so my experience with artichokes only came after moving to California. My favorite way to enjoy them is marinated artichoke hearts.
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.
Fettuccini and ham are different foods I’ve heard of before. 12-20: Fettuccini with Ham is a dish I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams. It is both “piquant and tasty” as described below and I enjoyed the dish a lot.
Time for a confession: I have never cooked fettuccini nests before in my life before I prepared this dish. My parents weren’t adventurous with their pasta choices. We were strictly a spaghetti and angel hair household when it came to noodle pasta. Having a cream based sauce was rare also, they generally opted for a tomato-based sauce.