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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s one of the last few recipes left from the chapter on baked goods, Group 17: Baked Goods. I made 17-14: Nutty Muffins for work–I thought they’d make a nice accompaniment to everyone’s morning coffee. ☕️
See? Even Simply Delicious shows them being served with coffee. Wikipedia offers a deeper dive on the history of muffins if you’re interested/bored. There’s a difference between these types of muffins (referred to as “quickbread” muffins or “American” muffins due to the fact that they’re very similar to a cupcake or other types of sweet, dense, cake-like bread) and the traditional “English” muffins that you get with Eggs Benedict or an Egg McMuffin.
Hey, y’all. Took a month or two off (I need SOME sort of summer vacation now that I’m not a teacher anymore), but as I’ve said before, I’m not going to let this die. Even though I haven’t been actively writing and publishing, I’ve still been cooking and photographing–I’ll get caught up here soon. Thanks for sticking around. 🙂
Here’s one I cooked a little while ago, but never finished writing–11-5:Lemon Pepper Scallops. My husband Adam LOVES seafood and at the start of this summer, we had decided we were going to try to knock out more of the Fish and Beef chapters of the book over the warm months. I can’t say that vow has worked out (I don’t think any of the ones in the queue are either one of those), but here’s a vestige of what was to be.
I’m gonna tell you right now–I can do a LOT of things in the kitchen, but poaching is my white whale. I always have a REALLY hard time with it (see 5-4: Eggs Benedict for an example of that), and I’ve yet to conquer it. Practice makes perfect, but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of poached seafood anyway (very 1980s). I think for this one, I’m going to use a more flavorful searing technique, which I have less of a chance of screwing up (hey, scallops ain’t cheap).
Like I said in 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces, Hollandaise and its variations comprise one of the five mother sauces, a big part of French cuisine. Mastering it (and the others) is one of the marks of an accomplished and talented chef. I’ve always appreciated a well-made butter sauce, and these variations are intriguing–I’d be interested in eventually trying each one out.
It took over 3 years and almost 300 entries, but I’ve finally cracked the final untouched category of Simply Delicious–the very last one, Group 20: Basic Recipes. These are part of the Cooking School segment in the back of the book, teaching you basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes that you’ll need to be an experienced cook. This recipe, 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces covers the basics of butter sauces, which you can expand upon with 20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces.
Hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces, a big part of French cuisine. Mastering it (and the others) is one of the marks of an accomplished and talented chef. I’ve been cooking for a long time and I’m still working on mastering this one.
Simply Delicious is introducing me to so many newculinaryterms. 6-46: Chicken Breasts Veronique was a new one for me. 🍇 The definition of “Veronique” is explained below:
Chicken and grapes isn’t the most obvious combination, not in 🇺🇸 American-style cuisine anyway. This dish is definitely influenced by 🇫🇷 French cuisine. I’ve eaten chicken and grapes before in Middle-Eastern styled recipes as well.
There seem to be a lot of differing interpretations of Swedish meatballs out there. Serious Eats runs into the same dilemma and ups the meatball’s game with umami and acidic flavors; Alton Brown stays simple and sticks to earthier allspice and nutmeg. Both soak the white bread in milk (panade) before adding it to the meat mix, whereas 9-4: Swedish Meatballs swaps the milk for water and keeps the spices restrained simply to salt and pepper. This doesn’t bode well.
Simply Delicious, you can’t call it an “original recipe” when the only original thing about it is how bland and unseasoned it is. I made these as a requested dish for someone else, and was provided only ground beef (their preference) as opposed to a mix of meats with which to make them. As a result, they were even LESS exciting–it’s a good thing the requestor digs bland food.