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.
Obviously, the name of this recipe is 15-17: Summery Cantaloupe, and if you’ve seen any of the pictures of the recipe (like above, as a header image), you’ve put it together that the melon pictured is in fact, not a cantaloupe.
The CSA box that week provided a very nice watermelon, and so that’s what I went with for part of my Mother’s Day 2019 brunch (MD2019). Yes, I’m also behind on writing these up.
I’ve made Simply Delicious fruit salads for Mother’s Day before–if you’re looking for similar ideas, check out 15-19: Layered Fruit Salad and 15-30: Champagne Sundaes from 2017‘s brunch. If you’re up for the challenge of carving a cantaloupe (or in my case, watermelon), continue on.
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.
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.
Over the years I’ve made plenty of steaks, but I don’t have a lot of experience cooking flank steaks. Jamie grew up eating carne asada–but on the East Coast, we were eating Steak-Ums sandwiches. Not quite the same, but it got the job done. 8-29: Marinated Flank Steaks was a fun opportunity to cook this recipe and get familiar with cooking a different cut of beef that I’m used to.
I have some experience with marinades so this dish wasn’t too difficult for me to attempt. It is ranked Fairly Easy after all.
I’ve put this one off for a while due to not having port wine on hand. After a trip to the store and a rather haughty store clerk who carded me for it despite the clearly visible gray streaks in my hair, I have the wine–let’s make a weird mushroom omelette-casserole with cheese sauce.
Marinade is a “sauce, typically made of oil, vinegar, spices, and herbs, in which meat, fish, or other food is soaked before cooking in order to flavor or soften it”. Port wine is not an ingredient I normally keep in the house, but I have marinated a pork tenderloin before so 7-18: Pork Tenderloin in Wine Sauce shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
Meat that soaks in a marinade comes out tender and delicious. Cooking with this method requires more preparation time. Leave the meat in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours for maximum tenderness. The minimum marinating time I recommend is around 1 hour. When I prepared this recipe, I tried to make it in one night, so the meat marinated in the refrigerator for only 2 hours.
6-24: Mushroom-Almond Chickentasted okay, but looked…odd. I’m not sure why mine came out mauve, but there you go. The picture below is definitely not mauve. This recipe was cooked in tandem with 6-8: Curried Chicken, due to an abundance of chicken.
As I mentioned before, mine came out in a slightly mauve color, which doesn’t seem to be the case on the recipe card photo. I don’t know where I went wrong, but at least it was edible.