Cajun and Creole cooking are not something I’ve had a ton of experience with, so 7-21: Jambalaya is somewhat unfamiliar territory. I didn’t grow up eating a lot of New Orleans cuisine, other than my mother’s ill-fated attempt at making gumbo once.
It’s not a difficult recipe (quite the opposite, actually), but I don’t feel like I have a solid understanding of the difference between what makes it good and what makes it great. That’s something that comes with experience, both as a taster and as a creator.
I couldn’t have even told you that there are two types of jambalaya, Creole and Cajun. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the difference between the two is the absence or presence of tomatoes. Simply Delicious identifies this version as Creole, which is correct–that’s the version that has the tomatoes in it, which this one does. 🎺🍅
The terms are used interchangeably here, and seemingly in most other places as well. The biggest takeaway from the spring vs. egg roll debate is that spring rolls are originally from China, but have been Americanized along the way (while egg rolls were always American).
They tend to have a thinner wrapper than egg rolls, and are often also associated with the transparent rice paper rolls you tend to see in Vietnamese and Thai restaurants.
Sometimes when you use recipes from old cookbooks, they can seem a bit “tone-deaf” when it comes to modern-day sensibilities about race and culture. Despite a questionable name, 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp contains many ingredients commonly found in Chinese food.
I love the porcelain bowls they served the example dish in. The wooden chopsticks are also a great touch. What a great photo!
Working on the Simply DeliciousCookbook Project with Jamie has given me an opportunity to learn and expand my culinary palette. As with a lot of these dishes, I have never tried 3-19: Soupe Saint Germain before. This soup is made with ingredients I generally enjoy, but the end product was hardly enjoyable. The sparkling white wine was probably my least favorite component of the dish and not something I normally drink.
To the best of my recollection, I haven’t eaten many other classicFrenchsoups. My version of this dish may have been less than stellar due to a less than fresh bottle of sparkling white wine and my substitution of sour cream for cream.
Editor’s note:Potage St. Germain is essentially “pea soup”. There’s many variations out there, but not too many with sparkling wine in them. Since it’s New Years’ Eve, here’s an interesting alternative for all that Champagne you may have on hand…Happy New Year and we’ll see you in 2018! 🥂
Not every Simply Delicious recipe is a home run. With 9-39: Zesty Meat Casserole, perhaps unsuccessfully, tries to break the mold. By not forming the beef into a patty, meatball, or kebab, this casserole tries to do something different. To cook this recipe, I had to prepare a parsnip, something I’m not accustomed to. I made this dish before a trip out of town and brought it with me to have something homemade to eat.
I cut my vegetables in a manner similar to the photograph, but my substitution of milk for half-and-half made the sauce come out runny.
It’s been a hell of a month, y’all. Between my birthday at the very beginning, the election, an aunt passing away, unexpected horse-sitting, and planning/executing my very first self-made Thanksgiving dinner, I unfortunately didn’t do a lot of writing. However, our Thanksgiving this year (TGV 2016) was Simply Delicious-themed, as I used 7 recipes for this year’s feast.
I started the cooking marathon on Tuesday 11/22 with 4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin–I thought parsnips would make an interesting variation on the “vegetable” dish for Thanksgiving. I also cooked this one first because I knew I could cook it most of the way, and save the final broiling for right before the dinner was served.
I don’t know much about parsnips being the “poor man’s lobster” (a quick Google search reveals butter baking cod/haddock/etc. to be the most common modern use for that term), but I’d describe them as a cross between potatoes and carrots. Too potato-y to be a carrot, but too carrot-y to be a potato.
12-14: Brown Rice Casserole doesn’t sound very appetizing, but it is very cheap to make and very filling. I made this dish before I took a trip as a meal prep and it really helped me keep my eating in check. ✅
As advertised on the card, this dish is hearty enough to be a meal in itself. I did eat it with a side of pepperoni slices, but the majority of the meal was this casserole. 🌾
12-23: Tortellini with Broccoli is yet another Simply Delicious recipe where their idea of a cream sauce is pouring sour cream on top of something warm and stirring it in. When using lactose free sour cream, the sauce comes out too thick. It’s still chunky on top of the pasta. Maybe I need to cook it longer or stir it more, I will keep experimenting to find out. Onto…the recipe!
It had been a while since I ate tortellini and this recipe gives you an idea of how to make a sauce in a pinch. Simply Delicious has other recipes such as 6-2: Fiery Chicken Casserole where the method to make a quick cream sauce is to dump sour cream into the pot.
When you think “stroganoff”, you usually conjure up images of a dish with beef (or ground turkey, if you grew up in my house). Simply Delicious does have a beef version (8-12: Beef Stroganoff), but they also have a vegetarian version–13-6: Mushroom Stroganoff.
My picture and their picture look very different–I think mine looks more like stroganoff than theirs does, though. Maybe they didn’t think it photographed well?
It’s the middle of summer right now, so soup’s probably not your first thought. However, I continue to be surprised that how no matter how hot outside it is, people still enjoy soup. So here’s a classic: 3-3: French Onion Soup.