I guess the best way to start this is…have you seen that Julie & Julia movie from a few years ago? If not, and you enjoy reading this blog (or even if you don’t), you DEFINITELY should go watch it. It’s essentially the idea that formed this website/project. In that movie, one of the featured Julia Child recipes is her Boeuf Bourguignon which is found in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, one of her most famous books and one of the most famous cookbooks in general.
With that being said, we come back to the fact that this is not a Julia Child cookbook project, it is a Simply Delicious one. So, I present to you Simply Delicious’ version of the dish: 8-10: Beef Bourguignon.
Simply Delicious isn’t wrong–this dish is essentially French beef stew (with a good amount of red wine in it). I’ve made Julia’s version a few times (let’s be honest, we ALL made it at least once after that movie came out), but I’ve yet to attempt the Simply Delicious version, mostly because it was a “new book” recipe and I didn’t know it even existed until a few years ago. Let’s see how they compare…
I’m aware of two salmon steak recipes in my Simply Delicious collection, 11-15: Grilled Salmon with Thyme and this one, 11-18: Salmon Steaks with Mushrooms. The other one mentions you can substitute salmon fillets if you can’t find the steaks, which is what I had to do for this one. Strangely enough, I WAS able to find them for the other one. Believe it or not, I’ve been looking for them for a while and just haven’t had very good luck with it (even in Northern California, where it seems like you can find just about anything if you look hard enough).
Simply Delicious does NOT miss an opportunity for a mushroom sauce–it’s kind of their thing. They suggest rice (10/10?) as a side dish, but I’m going to go with some gnocchi instead.
Quick note: Just passed the 8-year anniversary of this project, and I’m STILL going. I’ll be doing this FOREVER.
It’s not unusual to find a “ginger chicken” recipe on a Chinese takeout menu, but in case you’re looking to cut down on those high restaurant and delivery costs, here’s Simply Delicious‘ take on it: 6-6: Ginger Chicken. I don’t really buy meat anymore these days (unless you count the occasional boiled chicken/plain white rice I make when the dog gets an upset tummy), but from what I can tell, even those prices are pretty much through the roof. Maybe consider Ginger Tofu instead?
I don’t even have peanut allergies and yet I look at that picture and start to get itchy. I love it though–who at Simply Delicious decided that they REALLY needed to drive home the fact that this recipe HAS LOTS OF PEANUTS? And yet, the actual recipe only calls for about half a cup.
What are we supposed to do with the rest of them? Guess it’s a good thing baseball solved that whole lockout thing.
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.
I’ve been eating a diet that’s easiest to classify as pescetarian for about 4 years now, and one of the biggest trends I’ve noticed in “vegetarian” dishes and cooking is to take a vegetable, smother it in cream and cheese, and call it a meal. Don’t get me wrong–I lovecheese (more so than most–I chalk it up to being half Swedish/French), but it’s not exactly the healthiest thing for you. 13-1: Broccoli with Cheese Sauce is indeed vegetarian, but it is NOT healthy.
Sure, you could have stopped at steaming the broccoli (actually blanching, if you read the recipe after the jump)–maybe even sprinkle a little cheese on top to keep it interesting. But this feels more like, “would you like some broccoli with your cheese?” more so than “would you like some cheese with your broccoli?”
Man, I never thought I’d be complaining about there being TOO much cheese and not enough vegetables. That’s how you KNOW you’re getting old, kids.
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.
You thought I’d run out of crêpe recipes by now, didn’t you? Here’s yet anotherfor you (#7, at the time of this posting), 5-17: Crab-Filled Crêpes.Simply Delicious has featured both sweet and savory crêpe recipes, and this one would probably be EXCELLENT for a nice brunch.
WAY, way back, when I first started this project (April 2014), crêpes were a new frontier–something I’d never done before. You can read about it in 5-24: Meat-Filled Crêpes.
I came clean in 11-9: Fried Jumbo Shrimp that we’ve been eating plant-based for about 2 years now–most entries that I’ve published since mid-2018 feature me essentially attempting to convert these old recipes into meatless/vegan options. 8-27: Classic Beef Stew will be no different.
I realize that not everyone chooses to eschew meat/dairy, and I’m not here to proselytize or debate it with you. I didn’t write these recipes–the goal of this project has always been to take these existing recipes and attempt to cook them ALL, somehow. The recipes are still here, in their original form–it’s up to you (and me) how to interpret them.