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 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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2-23: Grilled Chicken Salad

2-23: Grilled Chicken Salad

Who doesn’t love a simple salad? The editors of Simply Delicious knocked one out of the park with 2-23: Grilled Chicken Salad. Combining fresh vegetables with nicely cooked chicken is an easy method for creating a killer salad. My final product didn’t look much like the photo below, but the flavor is totally on point.

I love the bowl of strawberries and fresh baked biscuits behind the salad in the product photo.

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2-10: Spinach Salad

2-10: Spinach Salad

The card for 2-10: Spinach Salad is great because it has notes and reviews from the attempts of two other chefs I really admire, Jamie and her mother. From the date of the original note, I can deduce that Jamie’s mom made this recipe almost 25 years ago. She gives a succinct review, “Very Good, Very Easy.” Jamie’s equally positive review of her attempt at making this recipe 9 years back is encouraging. Making this salad for dinner one night after work is a super easy task and I agree with the previous reviews written on the card.

Simply Delicious helps you learn in so many different ways. Not only do I get a recipe for a salad, I get some history about the main ingredient: SPINACH!

Editor’s note: I made this as part of a “fancy dinner” in my first apartment, a year or two after college. I was so happy to have a kitchen and table to call my own, I invited some friends over, busted out a few Simply Delicious recipes, and threw a “fancy” dinner party, complete with table settings and after-dinner coffee. 

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2-4: Chef’s Salad

2-4: Chef’s Salad

2-4: Chef’s Salad is another somewhat classic American restaurant dish to serve with your 1-18: Club Sandwich. Wikipedia gives it a similar history–most accounts trace it back to early 20th century New York, although a few credit it to originating in 17th century England. This iteration is pretty similar to most you’ll find in modern-day restaurants–the beauty of the chef salad is that the ingredients are at the discretion of the chef. ‍

I NEED that creepy statue in the Simply Delicious picture. Google has nothing decent for me when I search “hippopotamus chef“, but you never know–someday one of my thrift store treasure hunt trips may pay off.

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1-18: Club Sandwich

1-18: Club Sandwich

In honor of Presidents Day today, here’s a classic American dish: 1-18: Club Sandwich. Wikipedia claims the club sandwich (or “clubhouse sandwich”) originated in late 19th century New York. It’s not hard to find one these days, and while the Simply Delicious version is not quite restaurant-sized (usually they’re HUGE), it’s still a hearty lunch or dinner option. 🇺🇸

I have no idea what’s going on with their picture or description of this sandwich–their picture only shows one layer (no middle bread) and the order of ingredients they describe above doesn’t match the recipe. I think I’m sticking with the recipe version.

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18-10: Pasta II

18-10: Pasta II

Back with another Cooking School follow-up to 18-19: Pasta I from a few weeks ago.  18-10: Pasta II discusses proper pasta making techniques & cooking methods on its front face, as well as offering some tips on using fresh and dried varieties. On the back side, the deep dive into the myriad of pasta shapes that started with 18-9: Pasta I continues–this card covers smaller forms like penne, farfalle, and tortellini.

Most of this advice is pretty generic–here’s a basic pasta dough recipe, and pasta cooking methods are outlined pretty well here. I’ve made both plain dough as well as some with spinach and sun-dried tomato–it’s a lot of work, but the taste difference is pretty noticeable. I don’t currently have a pasta machine, but I’d love to add one to my already-too-large collection of kitchen appliances and tools.

After the jump, read about some more pasta shapes–there’s some links to a few additional pasta dishes we’ve already covered here as well.

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18-9: Pasta I

18-9: Pasta I

Simply Delicious dedicates its last few chapters to “Cooking School“, comprised of informational cards on various techniques, ingredients, & basic recipes that any serious cook should learn to master. 18-9: Pasta I is the first in a two-part series about pasta, the second being 18-10: Pasta II. This particular card covers a few different shapes of pasta, including spaghetti, fettuccini, & lasagna. 🍽

18-9: Pasta I only begins to scratch the surface of different types of pasta–there are so many more out there. The important takeaways from this particular set of tips are the different kinds of sauce that go with the various shapes, as well as how to identify some common variances in the shapes.  18-10: Pasta II goes more into the cooking and serving of pasta, as well as listing a few more shape/sauce combinations if you’re looking for a bit more from Simply Delicious on the topic. 📚

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12-40: Spinach Pasta with Mushrooms

12-40: Spinach Pasta with Mushrooms

Pasta with sauce is the most basic style of dish that Simply Delicious teaches a novice chef to cook. 12-40: Spinach Pasta with Mushrooms is appropriately classified as “Easy”. 👍

12-40-spinach-pasta-with-mushrooms_page_1Mustard-scented sauce is a recent addition to my diet, but it is one of my favorite additions. Dijon mustard is used in a lot of Simply Delicious sauces and it adds a tangy quality to the sauce that cannot be beat.

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12-10: Cheesy Tagliatelle

12-10: Cheesy Tagliatelle

I’ve been meaning to make this one for a while–spinach fettuccini was my favorite as a kid. I usually had it with Alfredo sauce, and the cheesy sauce in 12-10: Cheesy Tagliatelle is like a thinner, red pepper-ier version of that. 🍽

12-10-cheesy-tagliatelle I’m not quite sure what the major difference between tagliatelle and fettuccini is–the TL;DR of a quick search indicates it has to do with fettuccini noodles being the same width as tagliatelle, but a bit thicker. The two come from different parts of Italy, but both roughly refer to the same concept.

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12-41: Spaghetti with Green Sauce

12-41: Spaghetti with Green Sauce

Green sauce can mean a lot of different things (pesto, chimichurri, etc.), but for 12-41: Spaghetti with Green Sauce, it features leek tops. Because this recipe is so light, I made this dish for a quick lunch during the week.

12-41 Spaghetti with Green Sauce_Page_1The sauce in the photo doesn’t look as green as a pesto, but it definitely is green.

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