Summer 2020 has been quite the disappointment so far, and still being stuck at home is tough. If you’re looking for something to lift your spirits, 2-21: Shrimp Salad probably isn’t going to do it. However, if you close your eyes while you’re eating it, maybe you can pretend you’re on the beach instead of your couch.
This salad features not one but TWO cream-based dressings, so you know it’s fancy. I recently covered 2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad which also features a shrimp-based salad. However, that one includes apples, bananas, and asparagus, so this one might be a safer choice.
Every so often throughout this project, I run into entries that make no sense, culinarily. I’ll admit–my knowledge of Caribbean cuisine is probably more limited compared to other types. However, I find it hard to believe that 2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad is an “authentic” representation of a real Caribbean dish.
The other similar recipes I’ve found for “Caribbean seafood salad” include pineapple, papaya, and/or mango, and all look much better than this apple/banana/asparagus mess. Keep that in mind–there’s better ways to use these ingredients (and to make a “Caribbean seafood salad” than what they’re out here trying to do.
Since there’s about to be quite a few salad recipes coming up, I thought I’d put 2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing out there as well. I tried to think of more salad dressing variations than what they list here, but honestly? Most “traditional” salad dressings do fall into one of the three categories they establish: vinaigrette, cream/mayo-based, and low-calorie. Go ahead–can you think of one that doesn’t?
At the restaurant I worked at a few years ago, we made our own dressings from scratch. And by “we”, I mean “me”–I made all the dressings for the whole restaurant every week and kept everything stocked up, since it was my station (garde manger, or pantry chef) that made the salads. We made a blue cheese, ranch, Caesar, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and another lighter, more traditional vinaigrette.
A nice, cool parfait is the perfect dish for summertime. Raspberry and lemon are two of my favorite flavors and they blend together nicely to create this creamy dessert. My version of 15-29: Raspberry-Lemon Parfait will look much different from what you see here, but it is equally as delicious even though it is lactose-free.
The set designer and photographer did a particularly good job of staging the photo for this recipe card. The fresh raspberries and lemon rind really add a nice pop of color. The choice of tablecloth, wine, grapes, and flowers each provide a nice contrast to the yellow and white creamy colors of the dish and the parfait itself.
Editor’s note: This entry was written last summer, but didn’t get posted until now.
Just to show you how far behind I’m running with entries these days: I’m finally cracking into what I made for Mothers’ Day this year (MD2018) with 16-10: Strawberry Shortcake. You know…back in May. We were growing a ton of strawberries in the yard this year, and a few of them even made it into this dish.
Last year I attempted a Simply Delicious-inspired Mothers’ Day brunch (MD 2017), complete with fancy pastries and attempts at complicated sauces. This year, I kept it somewhat more simple in the interest of time spent and calories consumed. 🍓
9-21: Chili Beef Casserole is yet another case of calling something a casserole that is barely a casserole. There is no condensed soup in this recipe and this dish is cooked on a stove top, not baked. This dish is more of a tortilla filling than a main course as a casserole.
One might say this dish is a ground beef casserole with a cultural appropriation problem, not “with a Mexican accent”.
You may recognize 8-65: Sizzling Skirt Steaks as basically fajitas, one of the standard Mexican restaurant menu features. If you’re looking for something different on taco night, consider this dish. This can even be modified for different types of proteins, or even add in a few more veggies or a meat substitute and go meatless.
Flank or skirt steak is taken from the underside of the cow, and is tougher than most other cuts of meat. Therefore, marinating it (especially with some acid) breaks down some of those fibers and gives you a more tender piece when it’s cooked. Cooking fast/hot works well with this type of cut–low and slow will give you tough and rubbery.
I had mentioned in 11-5: Lemon Pepper Scallops that we had a plan to cook more of the Fish/Seafood and Beef recipes since we had already gone through a good portion of the Chicken/Poultry, Pork, and Ground Meat/Sausage ones. Summer got busy, and not as many of those recipes got made as I had intended. I made 11-1: Steamed Halibut with Vermouth during those summer months but I never wrote about it until now (while I clear out the queue).
I’ll agree with the method of cooking being excellent: the fish component came out great. I’m not a huge pea or vermouth fan so the sauce was probably not one I would repeat, but it was a well-done sauce otherwise. Technique-wise I feel like it’s definitely one of Simply Delicious‘ stronger offerings–if you’re really into 1980s-style food.
A good friend from high school once had the genius idea to open a meatloaf based restaurant, based on his family’s famous meatloaf recipe. If he ever got the place off the ground, I’d expect he’d add a dish similar to 9-17: Ham-Wrapped Meat Loaf to his menu. I think it’d be weird to have a fast casual restaurant that is based around meatloaf. What would you call it? Meat Loaf Market? Meatloaf-ology?
Wrapping a meatloaf in bacon or ham is a tried and true way to make any ordinary blob of ground meat taste more interesting.
I love the appetizer-style dishes featured in Simply Delicious. They are complicated because of making individual portions, but you can prepare them ahead of time to heat and serve when ready. When I make a batch of an appetizer like 4-20: Oven Baked Tomatoes, I like to eat a few right away and then stash the rest in the refrigerator to eat later as a healthy snack.
My family did not grow up eating baked, hollowed-out, stuffed tomatoes, however, that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying this dish.
Editor’s note: Looks like my mom made this one before, and substituted broccoli for mushrooms–that makes sense, she hates mushrooms. She also dislikes tomatoes, so I have no idea why she was making this in the first place.