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.
Here’s another “traditional” recipe from Simply Delicious: 6-12: Chicken à la King. I’ve heard of this one before (you probably have too), but never ate it much as a kid despite it being chicken-based (the mushrooms were probably the dealbreaker for my mom). This is from the “new book“, so I didn’t even know Simply Delicious HAD a Chicken à la King recipe until recently.
Chicken à la King has been around for a while, but enjoyed a resurgence in mid-to-late 20th century America (probably due to all the Baby Boomers and a need to feed them cheaply/quickly). It seems “dated” to me at this point (and not necessarily in a good way), but probably was still pretty popular in some parts of the country at the time these books were published.
Combine this with 8-12: Beef Stroganoff, and you’ve got a pretty good handle on mediocre American cuisine from the 1980s.
Merry Christmas! In honor of the holiday, I’ve chosen to share a “fancy” one with you today: 8-42: Beef Tenderloin Deluxe. I’ve had requests for this recipe in the past (prior to posting it) from folks preparing for holiday meals, so now it’s time to share it with all of you. Consider these essentially individual Beef Wellingtons–perfect for a special occasion.
This is one of those recipes that you plan for in advance and cook to impress your family and friends–it’s not just for another Wednesday night dinner.
First of all (before we even get into the actual recipe for 12-35: Fettucini with Scallops) I need to take umbrage with the spelling of “fettucini”–Simply Delicious spells it with one “c” and an “i” at the end instead of an “e”. I spell it “fettuccine” (so does Wikipedia AND Olive Garden), so this is going to be a challenging entry to write.
Spinach fettuccine with Alfredo sauce (this one specifically) was one of my FAVORITE meals as a kid (I could definitely still knock out a big bowl of it today), and so I can see this as more of a “grown-up” version of it.
Real Alfredo sauce is closer to what you get with cacio e pepe than what you get at the Olive Garden (notably it doesn’t feature heavy cream and garlic like the OG version), and this version (even though it’s not calling itself “fettuccine Alfredo”) probably falls somewhere in between–lighter than OG’s but heavier than the original.
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.
Simply Delicious likes to try to mix it up with the types of fish recipes they offer, but a lot of them can actually use the same types of fish interchangeably. I made 11-25: Best Ever Sole Au Gratin with the recommended sole, but I also made 11-13: Flounder with Sauteed Vegetables with sole as well. 11-17: Sole Fillets with White Wine Sauce is a new one to add to the list (it’s even from the NEW book), and looks just as fantastically 1980s as the rest of them.
Simply Delicious claims this “elegant and luscious fish dish” could be the makings of a global phenomenon–big, if true. Wouldn’t be the first time something ocean-related took the world by storm.
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’m still on my quest to finish off the Fish/Seafood chapter, so expect some more fish entries in the near (maybe-not-so-near) future. 11-13: Flounder with Sautéed Vegetables sounds pretty…plain, but maybe that’s not a bad thing when it comes to whipping up an easy-ish dinner these days.
This card looks like it got slightly impacted during the “Great Roach Massacre of ’09“, but the important part (the recipe) is still plenty legible. All you’re missing here is Simply Delicious acting as 1980s hype man for including fish as part of your diet.
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…