Rock_lobster Recipe Reviews (Pg. 15) - Allrecipes.com (11170677)

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Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Reviewed: May 1, 2011
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Haiku: "Nice, perky method, to dress up cauliflower. Dull veggie made good!" Chuckle all you want, but we ate this as an alternative to chips or fries alongside grilled hot dogs last night. With the lightly-browned top and satisfying seasoning of garlic, we really liked how the ingredients, and preparation, of this recipe made a typically boring vegetable more tasty. But, I find the AR recipe "Cauliflower alla Parmagiana" far superior in taste to to this, which I think is due to the use of panko sprinkled on top.
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Simple Roasted Chickpea Snack

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2011
Simple Roasted Chickpea Haiku: "First time I made these, a 1-star burnt, yucky mess. This time, got it right!" I was on a mission to recreate the most sublime salad that I'd ever tasted, made up of blackened salmon, roasted chickpeas, golden raisins, and balsamic vinaigrette. Made this chickpea recipe, exactly as written, and ended up w/ black pebbles and a lingering burnt aroma. Did a little reading up on roasting chickpeas, and I kept the recipe exactly the same, except I "dry roasted" the chickpeas (no oil, no seasoning) at 425 for 20 min. shaking the pan several times in between. Pulled them out and tossed them w/ the oil (only 2 tsp.) and the same ratio of spices, and returned them to the oven for another 15 min. to perfect little crunchy balls of awesome. I haven't tried them since they've come to room temp, but I'm hoping that they'll still be a good, nicely-seasoned snack that retains some of its crunch. Oh, and I had to give this 3 stars b/c in all fairness, it was awful when I followed the recipe as written, but significantly better w/ my baking adjustments.
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Blackened Salmon Fillets

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2011
Blackened Salmon Fillets' Haiku: "Ooowee spicy fish! Olive oil, not butter, was my only change." I did my every best effort to recreate a blackened salmon salad with roasted chickpeas that I recently ate at a restaurant in Athens, GA (I did a chickpea recipe from AR for it as well), and while it came out tasty, it couldn't compare. As far as the actual salmon went, maybe I sprinkled mine too liberally w/ the spice mix, b/c it was fiery hot. I'm glad that it made alot of the seasoning b/c I look forward to using it again, but w/ a lighter hand. Directions were spot-on, and as I mentioned, the only difference I did was to dribble the fish in olive oil rather than butter.
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Carrot Cake IV

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2011
Carrot Cake IV Haiku: "Four Stars for Cake IV! I used carrot baby food, with yellow box cake." I had a lonely box of yellow cake mix in the pantry, so I followed this recipe, but added 3 small jars of carrot baby food, as well as a small shake of cinnamon. Topped with a glossy cream cheese frosting recipe from here, and dotted with golden raisins, this turned out to be a terrific Easter dessert, w/ minimal effort. (I think the carrot baby food added an especially moist touch. I also did it in a bundt pan for about 50 min.)
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Spicy Sausage Casserole

Reviewed: Apr. 19, 2011
Spicy Sausage Casserole Haiku: "K, on what planet, would kids love to eat this dish? Too much crushed pepper!" I actually reduced the red pepper and still this was fiery, so alas, the kid (as well as the adults) did NOT love this. Also, I'm at a loss as to why this went into the oven and was referred to as a casserole. Simmering in the skillet was ... well, the same thing that came out of another dish to wash that was in the oven. Besides using less red pepper, I also only had 8 oz. of smoked sausage so I subbed the other half w/ sliced squash. I also used fresh mushrooms and thyme, so I lightly-sauteed the mushrooms w/ the onion, garlic and squash. The only positive qualities of this meal were that it was colorful and the smoked sausage was tasty. I wouldn't even know where to start w/ revamping the leftovers so I'm sad to say that they'll be tossed.
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Far East Tuna (Canapes)

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2011
Far East Tuna Haiku: "No need to heat these. The tuna mixture's great cold. (Needs more curry though.) I love the taste of curry in tuna, so I increased the tuna to 1/4 tsp. Only had walnuts on hand, so I toasted and chopped those instead of pecans. I tried the tuna, warmed, as directed, on Ritz crackers and it was terrific, but I actually enjoyed it later in the day on toast with melted provolone, green onion and tomato. With the sweet pineapple, savory curry, and crunchy walnuts, this is a nice and unusual take on standard tuna-salad. Oh and a little shake of S&P doesn't hurt either.
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Oriental Oven Omelet

Reviewed: Apr. 14, 2011
Oriental Oven Omelet Haiku: "Unusual taste. I was skeptical at first, but this turned out great." I followed the recipe faithfully w/ the exception of only using 1 packet of ramen, adding asparagus, and using 5 whole eggs, instead of the 3 eggs/6 whites called for. It took longer for mine to set in the oven, but I didn't mind the wait. The ramen added an interesting texture, but it's the ginger root that really brought the bladow to this baked omelet. I'm positive that I'll make this again, but I'm thinking that it could benefit from some minced garlic, and possibly a handful of shrimp.
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Stuffed Zucchini with Chicken Sausage

Reviewed: Apr. 14, 2011
Stuffed Zucchini w/ Chick Sausage Haiku: "This felt 'hors d'oeuvres-ey.' Too much leftover filling. But it was still good." There was something that tasted exceptionally rich about this dish, that made my family and I feel guilty for eating it as an entire meal, and not as a tiny-bite appetizer. It's not that it's unhealthy in the slightest, but it was just very, well, rich. There was also way too much stuffing mixture called for to fill 2 zucchini halves, so I just mashed up what was left and baked "balls" alongside the zucchini. I didn't change anything about the recipe except to bake it longer at a lower temp. I think if I made this again, I'd sub ground beef for the sausage and cheddar for the parm, otherwise, the directions, prep, and end result was pretty tasty.
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Meatball Nirvana

Reviewed: Apr. 13, 2011
Meatball Nirvana Haiku: "These are fantastic! I followed the recipe, to perfect results!" I scaled the recipe up to 6 servings, since I had additional ground beef, and froze some of the meatballs for another night, but truth be told, I could've just eaten bowl after bowl of these plain. After baking them, I let the 'balls simmer in a simple basil tomato sauce until ready to serve, and we just scooped them onto our plate and *poof!* they disappeared, leaving our stomachs in a blissful state of, yes, nirvana.
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Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach with Garbanzo Beans)

Reviewed: Apr. 13, 2011
Espinacas con Garbanzos' Haiku: "I thought this was great! (I didn't 'lightly mash' beans.) Simple, graceful taste." I followed the recipe exactly, using fresh spinach instead of frozen, and since I love the texture of garbanzo beans, I didn't lightly mash them. I thought that I'd serve this side dish w/ grated cheese or hot sauce, but it stood wonderfully on its own - I really liked the addition of cumin, but I think that that particular spice could be swapped for another depending on the "theme" of your meal; for instance, if your main dish is an italian chicken, basil could stand in for cumin, and what-not. (This versatility, and the ease of preparation, will make this recipe a keeper in my book!)
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Kids' Party Mix

Reviewed: Apr. 12, 2011
Kids' Party Mix Haiku: "Crunchy, salty, sweet. (Although I like to add nuts.) For kids, it's perfect." It was a lazy movie afternoon and we were out of popcorn, but had a mixey-uppey pantry of the remnants of everything that this party mix consisted of, so it was a nice snack to nibble on. I like that, unlike so many snack mixes that require baking in butter and spices, that this is just measure, pour, eat, but I think the ratio of ingredients should increase the cheese crackers by a bit.
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Darn Good Chili with Beans

Reviewed: Apr. 12, 2011
Darn Good Chili with Beans Haiku: "'With Beans' made me laugh. I added another can. But gosh, this WAS good." I don't know why I chuckled at the title, when, after I had everything tossed in the crockpot (low 8 hrs.) b4 leaving for work, I realized that the 1 wee can of beans seemed like an after-thought, so I added a 2nd can. I think that w/o the additional beans, the Classico sauce would've made this veer into spaghetti sauce territory. I never have commercial taco sauce around, so I actually found an outstanding recipe online (not AR, unfortunately) for a homemade taco sauce that probably nudged my rating even higher. Other than the extra beans, green bell instead of red, and the taco sauce, I followed the recipe's ingredients, but opted for the low crockpot over stovetop so that I could return home from work to the enticing aroma of gimme-gimme-chili, and this one didn't disappoint. It was mild enough for my 3-year old, and great w/ some green onion, grated cheddar, tortilla chips and a squirt of Sriracha.
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Easy Delicious Asparagus

Reviewed: Apr. 11, 2011
Easy Delicious Asparagus Haiku: "Ready in no time. Elegant and simple taste. (But I used less cheese.)" Ingredients, timing and directions are spot-on, and, well, it comes as no surprise that this was a great side dish. I used about 2 TB of parm, and after a couple bites, decided that I wanted a sprinkle of Texas Pete (but in all fairness, I put the TP on everything that graces my plate.) Really, you can't go wrong when dressing up your veggies w/ the classic combo of EVOO, lemon juice and s&p, so this recipe can't be any less than 5-stars.
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Kathy's Award Winning Barbeque Sauce

Reviewed: Apr. 10, 2011
Kathy's Award Winning BBQ Sauce Haiku: "Trophies, ribbons, stars. Kathy deserves the awards. BBQ sauce win!" I had a total AR bust last night w/ a crockpot chicken dish that was inedible ... this sauce rescued the leftovers! I shredded the chicken, thinking I'd put it over a salad, but decided to have BBQ sammies instead, but wait! I was out of sauce! I made this recipe coz I had the ingredients on hand (less the liquid smoke), and oh.my.god this stuff is thick, glossy, goopy, sweet, spicy all kinds of goodness rolled up in one transcendent sauce. I'm going to make a huge batch one of these days just to keep a jar in the fridge. Thanks Kathy ~ you saved my failed chicken leftovers!!
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Greek Slow Cooker Chicken

Reviewed: Apr. 10, 2011
Greek Slow Cooker Chicken Haiku: "Chicken crockpot fail. I had such high hopes for this. But it was no good." I'll give this 2 stars b/c despite the effort of skinning the chicken (blech), coming home from work to a crockpot meal that's ready is a nice convenience. The potatoes at the bottom absorbed all the flavor and juices (a little overwhelming on the lemon) and were too soggy, in my opinion. The breast-side of the chicken was inedible, it was so unbelievably Saharan. It was also very visually unappealing. The lower portion of the chicken that sat in more of the broth was moist, so I shredded it from the bone and am hoping to salvage it into a pita w/ feta cheese and veggies for lunch today, but truth be told, most of these leftovers will be getting tossed. Sorry!
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Pepperoncini Beef

Reviewed: Apr. 8, 2011
Pepperoncini Beef Haiku: "What else can I say? This was surprisingly great. No less than 5 stars!" It doesn't get much easier than this - cheap, simple, and delicious. Granted, so many of the reviews boast about all the tasty add-ons (melted provolone! salsa! and what-not) and I also served mine w/ other goodies, like corn tortillas, red onion slivers and tomatoes. But, a forkful of the virginal beef from the crockpot was just as wonderful, and I'm already anxious for some leftover nibbles.
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Bajadera (Bah-Ya-Deh-Ra)

Reviewed: Apr. 8, 2011
Bajadera Haiku: "Sinful, yet sloppy. Decadent, but messy treats. Not hard to prepare." I followed the recipe as written, using Costco's organic vanilla animal crackers, but my bottom layer never got past the goopy stage in the fridge, so when I tried to cut them into squares, I ended up w/ some squishy chunks. (Of course, my fingers didn't mind scooping up all those pieces and jamming them into my mouth.) I like that these were easy to make, with ingredients almost always on hand, and didn't require baking, but I'm not sure where I went wrong w/ the layers bleeding together. (Did I crush the crackers too finely? Not enough crackers? /muse.) Their texture and flavor is like fudge, and it sneaks up on you, tempting you w/ a "betcha-can't-eat-just-one."
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Faux Jerk Chicken

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2011
Faux Jerk Chicken Haiku: "Love this marinade! Chicken bathed in it one day. Spicy jerk, yah mon!" This was great chicken; however, "Jay's Jerk Chicken" from AR is far superior in quality, but this recipe made up for that with its ease of preparation. Followed the recipe exactly, subbing jalapenos for the scotch bonnet and going a teensy bit heavier on the allspice. Leaving my chicken tenderloins marinating in it for a little over 24 hrs. resulted in a moist, flavorful hunk o' jerky poultry goodness.
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Baked Vegetables I

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2011
Baked Vegetables I Haiku: "Won't work as written. It wouldn't cook evenly. So has to be changed." Before delving into the reviews, it was obvious that if prepared as the recipe was submitted, you'd end up w/ pebble-hard potatoes, disintegrating zucchini, and broccoli smoosh. I used the ratio of ingredients as listed, but I steamed the potatoes and carrots briefly in the microwave 1st, then tossed everything in the pan w/ the EVOO and onion soup. After about 40 min., the texture of the veggies was spot-on, the taste was pretty good, but the color was dingy due to the soup powder. I served the veggies w/ a little grated parm, which was nice, and perhaps if I make this again, I'd bake it w/ parm (as well as some paprika and garlic) mixed in. This recipe definitely can't be rated highly as written, and due to all of the reviewers also making changes to the prep, I hover around a 3.5
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Chicken and Spaghetti

Reviewed: Apr. 6, 2011
Chicken & Spaghetti Haiku: "Doubt I'll make again. Way too many leftovers. Tastes like from a box." We weren't too impressed w/ this recipe, and unfortunately, it made so much (I even skipped the optional canned tomatoes, and decreased the pasta) that I had to separate it into 2 baking dishes, freezing one for a *sigh*'nother night. (Although, when I go to thaw and bake round 2, I'll have to add some seasonings to make it more palatable.) I used fresh mushrooms, but otherwise, followed the recipe exactly. (Except my cringing at the phrase "processed cheese food", so I topped w/ grated cheddar.) Did not like the onions being raw at all, so I would suggest lightly sauteeing the onions and mushrooms (+ minced garlic perhaps) in a little EVOO b4 mixing everything together. Upon serving the dish, it seemed like it would be a pleasant, homey casserole, but the taste was yawn-inducing. I thought for sure that my 3-year old would eat it; I mean, chicken, carrots, noodles - kid staples! - but it was a labored supper experience, all of us trying to finish our plates.
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