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Copia's Penne Pasta and Cheese Casserole

Reviewed: Oct. 19, 2011
The first time I made this was for out of town visitors the end of this past July, there were no left overs. I've made it twice since then. I use a whole pound of Farmer John thick sliced bacon, it's just necessary as we love bacon. I mix half of it into the dish and rest in the topping. Yes Molly is right, the fat/calorie police won't like it but when they come to my door I shoot 'em. The deliciousness squad on the other hand would love it.
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95 users found this review helpful

Killer Bacon-Cheese Dogs

Reviewed: Jul. 4, 2011
I make this same hot dog almost identically, except I use a slice of my own oak wood home smoked sharp Cheddar. However in short, everything including a piece of old tractor tire is better with bacon.
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31 users found this review helpful

Asian Orange Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 28, 2011
I have prepared this many times, talk about Asian comfort food! This is a simple recipe to double or triple when family or friends are coming over. I used a little trick taught to me by my Japanese Aunt many yrs ago, substitute half too all of the flour for corn starch. It makes fried foods much crisper and more true Asian texture wise. Also since I do not like the flavor of olive oil I always use canola or a mixture of canola and or bacon fat depending on what I'm frying, sauteing, or browning. I used all canola with the orange chicken and substituted cut up boneless chicken thighs instead of breasts 2 to 1 since dark meat is my favorite.
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30 users found this review helpful

Garlic Mashed Potatoes In The Slow Cooker

Reviewed: Jan. 9, 2014
I like making a big batch of mashed potatoes like this because I freeze some of them in qt sized freezer bags. Thaw out a bag, put in a sauce pot over a very low flame and stir a few times and you would think they were just made. I also add a couple of bay leaves and black pepper to the salted water when boiling them. I scrub mine well and leave the skins on before cutting and boiling then mash with a hand masher because I like chunky skin on mashed potatoes. Also I swap out the chicken broth and use half and half. I know, rich but what the heck, very comforting and we don't eat them every day. Whenever there is a family get together I always get asked to bring "your" mashed potatoes.
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24 users found this review helpful

Easy Whipped Cream

Reviewed: Mar. 27, 2011
This was pretty good. I doubled the amount of heavy cream for less of a sour cream taste and adding 1/2 packet of unflavored gelatin completely dissolved in 2 oz of warm milk. When the cream was beaten to about 10 seconds away from the stiffness I like I added the dissolved gelatin and continued beating to incorporate it evenly. Adding the gelatin stabilizes the whipped cream allowing it to be kept in the refrigerator for several days without going runny.
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20 users found this review helpful

Buffy's Refried Beans

Reviewed: Jan. 30, 2013
This is how I have made home made refried beans for 30+ years except I ALWAYS use saved bacon fat instead of lard even though they are the same thing. Yes it's ok to use rendered pork fat of some sort. I use 2 lbs of dried pinto beans soaked over night and cooked the next day with the desired Latin spices added to the cooking water. When mashing them I use some of the cooking liquid as needed to get them to the desired consistency. After mashing they go into a large cast iron skillet with the bacon fat melted and very hot. It takes 2 batches to do 2 lbs of beans but worth the time. After stirring several times I adjust seasonings for flavor, turn off the heat, let them cool and portion them into zip top bags for freezing. This way I always have ready made refried beans on hand and don't have to use canned ones.
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17 users found this review helpful

Kelsey's Cheesy Bacon Breasts

Reviewed: Sep. 10, 2012
I've been making this on occasion for some time now. Boneless chicken thighs are my favorite so I use those. It does need a bit of seasoning though, so I add a bit of fresh thyme and garlic to the bbq/mustard mixture. I use 2 slices of bacon diced and fried til not quite done. I save 1 tb of the bacon drippings and add 1 tb of butter to the pan when browning the chicken, yeah I like it browned. The combo of bacon fat and butter for browning chicken is incredible. After the sauce coated chicken with the bacon and cheese goes into the oven I make gravy out of the drippings in the frying pan and serve it over garlic mashed potatoes. This is comfort food and even my 9 yr old grandson loves it.
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16 users found this review helpful

Feta and Bacon Stuffed Chicken with Onion Mashed Potatoes

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2011
I haven't made this yet but am certainly going to make it in the next few days. I gave it 5 stars because I could taste it in my mind and it is right up my alley ingredient wise. I noticed that several people criticized the recipe without trying it because of the quantity of bacon, bacon fat and cream used. Well big deal, no one says you have to eat like this every day. Indulge yourself once in a while, it feels good. A famous Food Network Chef was asked why he used a certain ingredient instead of a "healthier" one. His response was "I will not sacrifice flavor nor texture for health." He went up several notches in my book. The bacon could be detected throughout the dish. Of course it could, that's why you use bacon in the dish in the first place.
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16 users found this review helpful

Rosemary Chicken with Orange-Maple Glaze

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2011
I came across this recipe quite a while back and have made it many times. Skinless chicken thighs are by far my favorite part of the chicken so I use them instead of breasts and allow 2 thighs per serving. To the recipe I add 1 Tb of balsamic vinegar and one large clove of garlic minced. This dish is simple, loaded with flavor and impressive.
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15 users found this review helpful

Boardwalk Quality Maple Walnut Fudge

Reviewed: Feb. 2, 2012
OK this is for sure served on the candy platter served in heaven! Super easy to prepare and impossible to stay away from. Next time I'm going to try using Mexican style condensed milk. It has a caramel flavor and is great when you want to play with a recipe. Now it's out to the kitchen for another piece.
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13 users found this review helpful

Baked Pancakes

Reviewed: Feb. 21, 2015
This is a Dutch Pancake or a sweetened version of Yorkshire Pudding. My only addition is 1 tsp of baking powder because it turns out just a bit thicker. When we have it with a meat dish I leave out the sugar and top it with gravy from whatever type of meat I made. When we have it for breakfast, since it has two eggs in it I make two of them and we both have one along with 4 sausage links or 4 strips of crisp cooked thick sliced bacon from the butcher counter. I'll top it with maple syrup, hot cherry pie filling or our favorite, hot apple pie filling. It's a very filling and comforting breakfast that we usually have on a weekend morning so we can enjoy that wonderful satiated feeling and just lounge around for a couple of hours. As stated it looks fancy but super easy to make.
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12 users found this review helpful

Chicken Suiza Cornbread Bake

Reviewed: Apr. 13, 2011
Appreciating a complete meal in one dish, this is something I've made several times. To give it a boost in flavor and comfort factor I used butter instead of margarine, a whole 4 oz can of chopped green chilies, 2 minced serranos, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 tsp ground pasilla pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, 2 whole eggs instead of substitute, normal sour cream instead of nonfat and cups of grated pepper jack. I topped it with the cheese during the last 15 mins of baking so the cheese would be creamier. A 9x13 baking dish makes about 6 servings, not 12, if you serve a large salad with it.
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12 users found this review helpful

French Onion Dip From Scratch

Reviewed: Mar. 19, 2011
This dip is addicting and you need to be careful you aren't left alone with it. It's good on anything including just a spoon. The only things I did differently was to use fresh cracked black pepper instead of white because I prefer it and don't care if the black flecks show. I also substituted bacon fat for the olive oil.
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11 users found this review helpful

Normal Chicken

Reviewed: Jan. 30, 2011
After tweaking to our taste this was very good. I substituted A-1 steak sauce for the Worcestershire, I do that for everything calling for Worcestershire because the idea of eating anchovies or anything with anchovies in it absolutely disgusts me and I find the steak sauce to be the perfect substitute. Also I added 1/4 tsp of black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1 Tb molasses. Like some others I used thighs 2 for 1 instead of breasts because I just like dark meat better. The whole thing was quick and easy and while the chicken cooked I made rice and broccoli to go with it.
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11 users found this review helpful

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Reviewed: Sep. 30, 2011
This gets 5 stars even though I don't roast the garlic. In a small frying pan I add appx 2 tsp of bacon fat and over a medium low fire I add 8 to 10 whole peeled garlic cloves, stirring frequently til they have a medium brown color and are soft. To the water for the potatoes I always add 2 too 3 bay leaves, plenty of coarse ground black pepper and of course salt. I use russet potatoes only and scrub them well before cutting into boiling size pieces, never do I peel them. While the potatoes are boiling the garlic is browning and softening. When the potatoes are done and drained, bay leaves removed, they go back on a very low fire to remove excess moisture. To the pot with the potatoes I add salt, pepper, butter to taste (lots), sour cream instead of milk, Parmesan or cheeses of choice, and the browned garlic. I then mash them by hand using a curved heavy wire potato masher. They come out chunky with extra potato flavor and also have the flavor of the skin. A little milk can be added if they seem they need to be thinned a bit but more sour cream will have the same effect. I have been asked for this recipe so many times that I finally made several copies to keep on hand to give out when asked for it.
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10 users found this review helpful

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

Reviewed: Nov. 9, 2012
I make this several times a year, not just at holiday time. It gets tweaked a bit for more comfort and flavor factors. I use brown sugar for both the sweet potatoes and topping, substitute heavy cream for the milk and add 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/8 tsp ground cloves to the sweet potatoes. In the topping I use 1 cup of chopped pecans instead of 1/2. This goes well when I feel like baking a ham or pork roast any time of the year.
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9 users found this review helpful

Fresh Pea Soup

Reviewed: May 7, 2012
I absolutely love fresh peas, either eaten raw as soon as I pick them or put in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Just long enough for the butter to melt. For this recipe I left them in the boiling water for 1 min and then used a submersion blender to puree them, added 1 tb of butter along with the heavy cream. When I first came across this recipe I thought, how nice a fresh pea recipe that does not call for mint.
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9 users found this review helpful

Orange Pork Chops

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2009
Very flavourful, the orange flavor married beautifully with the pork. I used 3 cloves of minced garlic and browned the chops in a little bacon fat instead of non-stick spray and also coated the baking dish with about a tsp of bacon fat.
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8 users found this review helpful

Country Fried Steak and Milk Gravy

Reviewed: Mar. 21, 2014
I make this sometimes using pork sirloin and it's incredible but either beef or pork I use about a 6 oz cut of meat which I pound and tenderize, this makes for a big satisfying steak. Instead of plain lard I use bacon fat, always have always will. You can season the meat and dredge with whatever you like in the way of spices. I keep mine fairly simple. Salt, lots of black pepper a bit of garlic powder, onion powder and fresh thyme leaves to taste added to the gravy. Like another reviewer stated, I triple the amount of gravy because we have mashed potatoes and biscuits with ours and we like a lot of gravy. Before adding the flour to the fat in the pan I add some minced fresh onion and saute for a minute or so. Some people complained that it was not health food. It's not supposed to be, it's supposed to good down home comforting country cooking which it is. I don't make this weekly but we have it several times during the year and company and family love it. It's ok to treat yourself to an indulgence once in a while.
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7 users found this review helpful

Chili Dog Casserole II

Reviewed: Mar. 3, 2011
I make this 2 or 3 times a year and it's comfort food that is so easy to tweak to your own personal taste. I'm fussy about hot dogs and use only Farmer John or Kosher hot dogs. When wrapping the dogs I add some mustard to the tortilla, some chopped onion and some coarsely chopped olives. The chili for both the bottom and top gets some chopped fresh serranos for some added bite. Also when cooking for 2 and you don't want left overs it's easy to halve this recipe and use a smaller baking dish.
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6 users found this review helpful

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