2-16: Roast Beef Salad with Beans

2-16: Roast Beef Salad with Beans

In case you hadn’t had enough of weird bean salads with 2-19: Country Bean Salad, I present to you its estranged cousin, 2-16: Roast Beef Salad with Beans.

RIP buffet luncheons (and large groups). Although if this is what’s on the menu, I’d have passed on it anyway.


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3-29: Herbed Cucumber Soup

3-29: Herbed Cucumber Soup

Soup isn’t usually thought of as a hot weather food (unless you’re Lisa Simpson). However, if it’s summer and you’re looking for ice-cold soup options AND gazpacho isn’t your thing, maybe try 3-29: Herbed Cucumber Soup instead.

It’s not technically summer anymore at the time of posting this (October 1), but we’re still hitting 100ºF temps here in California, so I think it counts.


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2-3: Salad Niçoise

2-3: Salad Niçoise

Salads are usually a good choice when it’s hot out, and since we’re currently in the middle of summer (here in the U.S.), 2-3: Salad Niçoise (pronounced nee-swah) might be a good choice for an upcoming meal. Plus, it primarily uses readily-available canned/jarred ingredients, which can be helpful for both budgets and pandemic shopping.

Salade niçoise is a well-known dish (like the last recipe I covered, 14-8: Baked Alaska), and there are many different versions of it out there. Even Simply Delicious alludes to the different variations in their blurb above–even what they insist as a “must” (eggs, tuna, olives) seems to be up to interpretation.


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2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

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?

PS: I spy that sneaky tarragon vinegar in their picture below. If you want to learn to make your own, check out 19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs.

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.

One of the first times I made the blue cheese dressing (which required a giant immersion blender and a 22-quart Cambro–it’s kind of like mixing concrete in a bucket), a customer liked it so much they asked to buy some to take home. I guess that makes me qualified to write about salad dressings now.

Hey–I have to find something to do while we’re all staying at home for a while. And so do you (probably), so why not read this?


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11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp

11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp

11-6: Sweet and Sour Shrimp is another of those dishes that I’d love to order from a restaurant and would not think to make at home. Simply Delicious has quite a few Chinese restaurant-style dishes, including 6-27: Sweet-and-Sour Chicken, 6-11: Chinese Duck, and 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp.

It just so happens that Sweet and Sour Sauce is my favorite version of any dish on a Chinese menu. Shrimp is a decent choice.


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19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs

19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs

19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs has been a recipe-in-the-making for a few months. I mention frequently that I often write these entries months after I complete the actual recipe, but this one actually took me that long TO complete.

19-7 Fresh and Dried Herbs

Usually, these Cooking School cards don’t have too much in the way of actual recipes–often times it’s more like the card above, more recommendation than actual recipe. I’m not going to restate what they’ve written here–it’s all good advice. Jump behind the cut for some herb blend recipes as well as a DIY vinegar challenge and BONUS limoncello recipe.


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7-29: Polynesian Spareribs

7-29: Polynesian Spareribs

Polynesian-style spareribs are my second or third favorite preparation of spareribs. As I described when I wrote 7-16: Orange-Glazed Spareribs, my grandmother’s recipe for Barbecue Spareribs still can’t be beat. However, these ginger and pineapple glazed ribs are more than acceptable. My dish came out of the oven tender and delicious, and maybe a little burnt from cooking too close to the broiler.

This meal is indeed, delectable, as described by the editors of Simply Delicious. I served this dish at a time of the year when corn-on-the-cob was not in season so my final plate looks a little different. The bright yellow corn would provide a nice contrast to the dark ribs on the plate.


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20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces

20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces

Consider 20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces to be the advanced version of 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces. There’s probably something that bridges the two better (whatever 20-14 is, but I don’t have that card in my collection), so 5-4: Eggs Benedict will have to do. This set of recipes is part of the Cooking School, the back section of Simply Delicious that provides instructions in basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes that any skilled cook should be familiar with.

20-15 Vary the Butter Sauces

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.


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5-4: Eggs Benedict

5-4: Eggs Benedict

I believe in a couple of things–nobody’s perfect, and all things eventually balance out. My experience with this recipe, 5-4: Eggs Benedict, especially relative to how the rest of the meal went, encapsulates both of those ideas.

In the days leading up to making this Mother’s Day brunch (MD2017), I knew I needed to practice two things before the big day: poaching eggs and hollandaise sauce–I’ve had trouble with both in the past. Guess what I didn’t do?

I procrastinated on practicing both my egg poaching and my hollandaise, and those were my exact failure points on this recipe. After the jump, you can read about what went really well (my homemade English muffins) and what didn’t (my broken hollandaise sauce, for one).


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20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces

20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces

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.

20-13 Bearnaise and Hollandaise 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.


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