19-4: Exotic Fruits II

A month ago or so, I promised you the sequel to 19-3: Exotic Fruits I, and now I present to you that sequel, 19-4: Exotic Fruits II.

Here’s my standard blurb about Cooking School, and how the back of the book features spotlights on basic recipes, ingredients, and techniques as part of a “cooking school”.

Due to the way Simply Delicious writes these, I’ll cover these ingredients the same way I did in Part I after the jump, along with the ingredients on the back of this card. I’ll warn you now–I don’t have a lot of recipes for these so far, so instead, I’ll suggest some recipes where you could maybe use these ingredients as replacements or additions.


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19-3: Exotic Fruits I

19-3: Exotic Fruits I

In today’s edition of “The Way Things Used To Be”, we’re going to see yet another example of how globalization over the last 30ish years has changed everything, including the availability of produce. 19-3: Exotic Fruits I (and its soon-to-be-sequel, 19-4: Exotic Fruits II) highlights three fruits that seemed “exotic” back in the late 1980s-early 1990s: kiwi, carambola (“star fruit”), and mango.

Out of the three, I’d maybe consider carambola as the most “exotic”–kiwi and mango were already pretty popular by the 1990s (the heyday of brands like Nantucket Nectars and Snapple). Plus, which of the three do you think you’d have the hardest time locating in a grocery store these days? I mean, you’d find all of them, but you might have to go to like, two stores? When this was written, it’d have been much harder (especially based on where you lived).


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19-23: Nuts

19-23: Nuts

Do you enjoy nuts? I wasn’t a big fan of them growing up, but find myself warming up to them in my adult years. 19-23: Nuts is another entry from Simply Delicious’ Cooking School, and it outlines a lot of different types of nuts, ranging from the more common to some less frequently used kinds. Nuts are found in all types of cuisines, and are a good source of protein and other healthy stuff.

In case Simply Delicious isn’t enough for you, here’s a link to the Wikipedia entry for nuts. Compare that to the “nut” wisdom from 35 years ago you can find after the jump.


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13-22: Green Bean Pilaf

13-22: Green Bean Pilaf

Well, hello there. So it’s been a while, and my first recipe back is…rice with green beans? No wonder it took me so long to get back into this.

13-22: Green Bean Pilaf is exactly what it sounds like–a rice side dish with green beans that you could serve next to some sort of (presumably meat-based) main dish. It’s advertised as being vegetarian, but I feel that’s just by “default” since there’s no chunks of visible meat in it.

Man, does Simply Delicious enjoy their tarragon. It doesn’t seem like tarragon is super popular in modern dishes–is that because it’s not useful or because we don’t think of it as a relevant ingredient? Deep herb-related thoughts to consider on this Thursday afternoon. ?


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2-7: Coleslaw

2-7: Coleslaw

Happy New Year! I recently posted about finding a NEW (to me) Simply Delicious book at a local thrift store, so we’ll start this new year off with the first recipe I’m going to cover from that batch of new recipes, 2-7: Coleslaw. A lot of these recipes fill “gaps” in the collection I already had, and this one is no exception. Coleslaw is a pretty well-known dish, and it’s probably one of the only instances where I enjoy cabbage.

Simply Delicious suggests you can eat coleslaw with just about anything, and they may not be too far off with that claim. Not only can you eat it with a sandwich, you can even put it IN the sandwich.


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2-19: Country Bean Salad

2-19: Country Bean Salad

I had intended on using the entry for 2-19: Country Bean Salad to make the tired joke about how no one likes bean salad or the person who brings it to a party. And to point out how it was always a skip for me at the salad bar (RIP salad bars/buffets, I will REALLY miss you).

But there’s got to be a reason why “bean salad” is still a thing. Someone must still like it, for it still to exist. And not just in an ironic hipster “I like it specifically because it’s uncool” way. Maybe the vegans? I eat mostly vegan, and it’s still a no-go for me.

Simply Delicious says that this particular variation of bean salad is “typically French”, but I can’t find too many references online that specifically corroborate that claim. I did find a fancy version of this dish done by one of the Top Chefs that might be worth looking at, if you’re interested in bringing this recipe into the 21st century.

Apparently it was part of a particularly infamous (red) wedding meal in Game of Thrones as well. I watched GoT, but the food on the table wasn’t exactly the focus of that scene, so I must have missed it.

Even if it’s been on TV, it’s still not that appetizing to me. But again: someone must be into this stuff, so if it’s you, read on.


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2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing

2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing

I love a good salad bar, or did, before coronavirus turned everything in our lives upside down. One of my family’s favorite restaurants when I was a kid featured an impossibly long salad bar. A friend and I even entered an essay-writing contest at Souplantation back in college and won ourselves 30 free meal passes, which we blew through quicker than you’d expect.

2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing is equivalent to most of these at-home solutions we’ve seen during this pandemic–a pale imitation of the real thing. Consider this recipe the “haircut I did myself because everything is closed” of salad bars.

I suppose if you just lumped all the same ingredients on top of some quinoa and called it a Buddha bowl instead, you could send this recipe forward in time from the 1980s to modern day.

Of course, you’d have to take an artsy picture (or 100), slap some filters on it, and post it to social media with a bunch of hashtags first to really modernize it. Do you think they really eat the food after they take pictures of it, or is it just for the ‘gram? ?

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15-20: Apple Compôte

15-20: Apple Compôte

Let’s get the first question out of the way right now. Compôte means “mixture” in French, so 15-20: Apple Compôte is essentially fancy applesauce. Don’t even worry about exerting the effort to mash the apples–these are just syrupy slices.

Some of you might have thought of pie filling when you saw “compôte”–I know I did. There’s actually differences between jam, jelly, preserves, conserves, and compote–I still don’t know if this iteration matches up with their definition, but here’s a recipe from my same trusted source (Serious Eats/Stella Parks) for essentially the same thing we’re making here.


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15-36: Pear-Orange Sorbet

15-36: Pear-Orange Sorbet

The photo of this delectable dish is enhanced by the superior dishware chosen to accentuate the fluffiness of the iced desert within. I made 15-36: Pear-Orange Sorbet before a few years ago when we first started this project, but I forgot to take photos. I finally got back to it in January 2019.

The recipe card describes this dish about as well as I could. The ripe pears did have an intense fruity flavor that was intriguing. Can’t beat that.


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17-16: Whole Wheat Baguette

17-16: Whole Wheat Baguette

Here’s a simple whole wheat bread recipe. 17-16: Whole Wheat Baguette has “baguette” in the name, but you could use this same recipe to make buns, rolls, sandwich bread, or any other shape you prefer. This is more of a utilitarian recipe more than anything else–nothing fancy here.

Baguettes are indeed long, thin loaves of French bread (French bread being a type of dough, not a type of shape). I made short, thin individual loaves instead, which the Wikipedia article I linked to calls demi-baguettes, although mine are probably even shorter than that. I thought individually-sized ones might be an interesting experiment instead of one or two long loaves.


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