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 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).
We can pretend that 1-37: Savory Cheese Appetizers is something fancy and unique, but it’s really just a blue cheese spread on squares of white bread. If you like blue cheese, I suppose this could be an exciting concept–the 1980s were big on both blue cheese and dips (which this recipe can double as).
I wasn’t quite sure how “authentic” 12-29: New Orleans Beans and Pasta would be when first looking this recipe over–Simply Delicious doesn’t exactly nail it on cultural faithfulness a lot of the time. A lot of that has to do with the time at which the books were written–many ingredients, methods, & tools that are easily accessible now were not 30 years ago.
However, this is essentially an American recipe, so I would assume it shouldn’t be that far off–if this is in fact a realNew Orleans dish. 🎷
I wonder how many different linens/vases/glasses/odd statues they had to accumulate to photograph all of these different recipes. Just a thought I had while looking at this picture. Another thought: who decided on some of these things? What makes this picture decidedly New Orleans? ⚜🎉
Simply Delicious can give a dish a title that seems a bit of a stretch at times and this is definitely a prime case of this phenomenon: 12-16 Risotto with Pastrami.
The card even announces, “(t)his recipe for risotto differs from the traditional one.” I’ve never seen a dish like this, but the flavor profile was the same as a fancy omelette, just deconstructed before that was trendy.
I’ve often talked during this project about my mother and her predilection towards recipe experimentation. One of these instances was where she attempted to make gumbo–I’m not sure where she got the recipe from, but I remember the family failing to choke down poorly cooked okra and my father making a quick run to KFC while she surreptitiously got rid of the rest.
The mere mention of gumbo usually brings this unsavory memory back, and so I attempted 11-26: Fish Gumbo with a fair amount of trepidation.
Roux is something I’ve covered several times throughout this project, and it’s an essential flavor and texture component of gumbo. Letting a roux brown deepens its flavor, and there’s a fine line between too light and over cooked.
Here’s a pretty basic “chicken with sauce” type recipe that can be fancy or not-so-fancy. “Chicken Diable” or “Chicken a la Diable”, as evidenced by the name, is essentially “the Devil’s chicken”, evoking images of spices and fire. As Serious Eats notes in their version of the dish, the French have a very different idea of spiciness than some other cultures.
Everyone’s got their version of this dish–here’s Bon Appetit’s, and Google turns up many more results. Whether it’s actually spicy is up to you–if you actually like things spicy, prepare to have to add some heat to this one.
Chapter 19 of Simply Delicious is Basic Ingredients, another big part of cooking and Cooking School. 19-10:Dried Herbs & Spices I is the first of a two-part series on a selection of spices that you’ll probably find in a well-stocked kitchen.
For this entry, I’ll link to a recipe (or two, or three) that I’ve covered in this project that calls for that spice to illustrate an idea of how to use it (and maybe increased motivation to give one of these recipes a try).
The other recipe I cooked before I took an extended break (the first being 3-2: New England Clam Chowder) would be these Cheese Sticks. I think this was one of those “burn off leftover ingredients” recipes.
Think of these Cheese Sticks as kind of like big Cheetos. This recipe is Card #15 in Subgroup #5 (Eggs & Cheese), found in Book 1.