We’ve just passed the 7-year anniversary of starting this project (April 16)…and I’m still nowhere near done. This is going to take me the rest of my life at this rate, I think.
A dish that WON’T take you the rest of your life to complete (notice my flawless segue there) is 8-30: Hungarian Goulash. It’s supposedly a dish for cold days, which are quickly becoming few and far between here in California now that it’s almost May. However, if you’ve still got a touch of cold where you are (or maybe your hemisphere is heading towards winter instead of summer), this might be a good option.
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.
Pork is probably the most common version of sweet-and-sour that you see in Chinese restaurants–there’s even a vegan version of it you can buy in most stores. In case you’re looking for something more refined (but maybe not as easy or meatless), here’s Serious Eats’ take on it.
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.
Oh boy, yet another pork chops recipe. 7-11: Piquant Pork Chops tries to stand out by boasting a fruity, spicy take on the standard pork-chop-with-pan-sauce entries that have already been covered at length throughout this project.
I think it’s a bit hyperbolic to insist that just adding a “new” spice or sauce to pork chops radically changes it as a dish, but I suppose that for some people it can be a big deal to experience new things outside of the regular old tried-and-true.
Whosoever it was that the editors of Simply Delicious hired to name these dishes deserves some kind of award. And the award for naming-the-most-dishes-a-casserole-that-are-not-actually-a-casserole goes to….SIMPLY DELICIOUS. A casserole is defined as “a kind of stew or side dish that is cooked slowly in an oven.” 7-8: Chinese Pork Casserole is cooked relatively fast on a stove top. Doesn’t exactly sound like a casserole to me.
This recipe card is great because it basically teaches you to make a version of Chop Suey at home.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Simply Delicious uses mushrooms pretty heavily throughout their recipes–about 20% of the recipes I’ve covered so far have involved them. I wasn’t a big mushroom eater when I was a kid, but I’ve (slowly) begun warming up to them. 7-7: Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Rolls aren’t especially fancy, but they’re not a bad option for lunch, dinner, or even making in a large batch for a party.
This is the first recipe (of 160+ at this point) that uses sage, described as being “savory & slightly peppery.” I like using sage with mushrooms (along with parsley, rosemary, & thyme–the “essential herbs,” according to Simon & Garfunkel), as the earthy flavors of both complement each other well.🌿
I think Simply Delicious was aimed at the working-mom demographic primarily–a lot of the recipes focus on easy weeknight meals just as much as the fancy dinner party options. 7-14: Easy-to-Make Pork Casserole is a casserole in the sense of a casserole being a bunch of random stuff thrown together in a vessel and then heated.
Casseroles are typically defined as the traditional green bean or tuna types that we (by that I mean mostly Americans) associate with that word. This dish is a loose mixing of vegetables and pork cubes, and is honestly much more reminiscent of 7-55: Sunday Pork Stew than of “casserole”. My mom seemed to like it though, when she made it back in April of 1992.
I had mentioned in 7-36: Pork Tenderloin with Curry Sauce that I had an abundance of pork tenderloin due to a Costco sale. As I work my way through the freezer (mostly because I keep adding new things into it), I find myself with another pork tenderloin–this time, we’ll try it as 7-27: Pork Tenderloin in Creamy Sauce.
There’s not a HUGE difference conceptually between this one and 7-36: Pork Tenderloin with Curry Sauce–the major differences are just spices & condiments added to the final sauce. Otherwise, this is another perfectly serviceable weeknight dinner option, or even a decent meal for entertaining.