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Parmesan Sage Pork Chops

Reviewed: Aug. 30, 2013
Great recipe. I don't like cooking pork because it always seems the same. This was a nice twist. Used thicker pork chops so also dropped the oven temp and lengthened the cooking time. The crust keeps the chops moist. I cut the breading by 1/3 and still had more than enough for 3 chops. The lemon zest is a must since it really adds a nice tang. Fresh sage really punches up the flavor and freshness. Next time I make I'll probably deglaze the pan with white wine and make a quick butter lemon wine sauce since the crunchy outside and juicy inside really needed a sauce to pull it all together. Served with a fresh salad, rice pilaf, and riesling.
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0 users found this review helpful

Pork Chops with Raspberry Sauce

Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2012
Very good recipe as written. I suggest using only 2 medium pork chops. And you should consider doubling the rub to ensure full coverage of the two chops. Use a 1 gallon freezer bag to distribute the rub evenly on the two chops.
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1 user found this review helpful

Dill and Butter Squash

Reviewed: Aug. 12, 2011
I was looking for a simple way to enjoy fresh summer squash and this recipe delivered! For more flavor I added two cloves of minced garlic. Delish. If I made it again I would cut a large squash into half-rounds since that's easier to move around the pan for saute. The large rounds I cut did not all get evenly cooked. I like the touch of lemon so next time I think I'd add some lemon slices and a sprig of fresh dill to garnish. To experiment I would also try adding a little white wine to the recipe. And a pinch of sugar.
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3 users found this review helpful

Beef 'n' Eggplant Pie

Reviewed: Aug. 4, 2011
Good filling but rather bland. Used all fresh herbs from our garden for the best taste but still didn't seem great. Recommend adding a little hot spice to perk it up. Like other reviewers, I did not care for the pie shell since the filling really doesn't get hard enough to stay firm. Folding an egg into the warm filling might improve the consistency by binding the filling better. Won't be making this one again but will keep the filling in mind as the base for a pasta sauce.
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2 users found this review helpful

Italian Spinach Sausage Pie

Reviewed: Apr. 30, 2011
I followed the recipe with a few twists and it turned out okay. Not much spice so I added a tsp of Italian seasoning and a few pinches of crushed red pepper. Also added 1/4 cup of red wine and 1/4 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese. The top was easy...I just got two deep dish pies, let them defrost, and used one for the top. Got that cool sunburst shape by using a cup to cut the circle and then a sharp knife to chop 8 wedges from the circle. The consistency was a little gooey and I'd expected the egg to firm things up. Definitely make the whole batch of filling and shape it into a dome while spooning it into the shell - this is supposed to be a very full pie and it's far more impressive when it's bigger. If I made this again I'd really goose the spices for more flavor. The basic recipe has potential.
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6 users found this review helpful

Canadian Maple Rice Pudding

Reviewed: Mar. 1, 2011
Good recipe! I took some of the suggestions of other reviewers and wanted to share the results. I cut the sugar in half - big mistake. Next time I will try cutting only 1/4 of the original amount. I used whole milk because I think creamy is better for rice pudding. I also cut the nutmeg by 1/4 but it was still too strong and overpowered the cinnamon. I think I would use half or even only 1/4 of the recipe amount next time. I didn't have maple flavor so I used 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Next time I'll try this with maple flavor since I still think it's a great idea and should provide a unique taste.
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4 users found this review helpful

Herbed Green Beans

Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2011
Definitely a good but basic recipe that needs something extra to make it special. I liked the oregano and substituted a teaspoon of minced garlic for the savory. Use fresh ground pepper if you have it because it adds more flavor too. Lastly, I also had some pearl onions in the freezer that I used (about 1/2 cup) for better flavor and more interesting appearance. Sauteed mushrooms would also go really well but I wanted to keep things fast and simple in the spirit of the original recipe.
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1 user found this review helpful

London Broil II

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2011
Great marinade! I added a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of Worcestershire, and doubled the minced garlic. The result was tender and flavored throughout. Definitely marinate overnight for the best results! I marinated in a 1 gal plastic bag with extra air removed to keep the marinade close to the meat on all sides. Be careful with suggested cook times since they will vary based on the thickness of the meat. I had cuts less than 1" thick and only 5 minutes per side under the broiler was sufficient for cooking medium outside with a little red at the center. Don't be afraid to double the marinade recipe if you have two cuts of meat. And freezing meat & marinade in the freezer bag is a great way to enjoy a special meal later with little prep. You'll love the results!
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8 users found this review helpful

Whipped Cardamom Sweet Potatoes

Reviewed: Dec. 7, 2010
The idea of combining sweet potatoes and cardamom is great. I didn't have onions or shallots so I skipped that step. But I did add 4 tbsp of brown sugar to the mix. Then salted lightly to taste (not needed if using salted butter) and skipped the pepper. I also added a little extra cardamom because I wanted to strengthen that flavor since it makes the whole dish special. Definitely roast the potatoes in the oven because IMHO that adds more flavor. Consider letting the potatoes cool until lukewarm because then you can just remove the skins by hand. Some reviewers did not like this whipped but that's just a personal preference. I thought the smooth texture was super.
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2 users found this review helpful

Moussaka

Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2010
Great recipe with all modifications by WSBLEND. A few additional notes to help: 1) Definitely make the meat a day earlier for improved flavor and, more importantly, to simplify prep. If made ahead, warm the meat to make spreading easier and temps more uniform. 2) Definitely layer roasted slices of potatoes on the bottom as WSBLEND suggests. Use 4 medium peeled potatoes. Use a food processor to slice uniformly if possible. Use nonstick sheet or lightly olive oiled sheet for baking. Salt/pepper the slices lightly before roasting for extra flavor. Overlap potatoes on the bottom of the pan. 3) Definitely use eggs for sauce as WSBLEND suggests. Better flavor and consistency. Three eggs seem to work best. This is the appropriate amount of sauce - do not reduce as some suggest. 4) Use 1.5 lbs of meat for richer composition. With extra meat make sure to increase other ingredients accordingly for bold flavor. 5) No need to use butter for meat. Definitely consider baking the eggplant - much healthier. Bake until top is golden brown. Beautiful! 6) Don't be afraid to make the sauce even with the top of the pan. I didn't have any problem with juices overflowing. 7) Use real grated parm cheese if possible. So much more flavor. 8) Leftovers are even better!
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6 users found this review helpful

Tarragon Chicken Salad II

Reviewed: Oct. 2, 2010
I rate recipes based on how they work when done by the book. This one needed substantial tweaking. Halve the mayo and mix. Add more mayo as needed. Hint: More finely-chopped chicken needs more mayo. Reduce the chopped parsley to 1/2 cup. I had to use dried tarragon which I increased to 1 tbsp. Dice the celery so it's less distracting. Consider swapping halved red grapes for the raisins. Not including salt and pepper is a big oversight. Use a pinch of each. Mix well and refrigerate at least several hours or overnight for the flavors to blend.
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25 users found this review helpful

Broccoli and Sausage Cavatelli

Reviewed: Jul. 25, 2010
Only 3 stars because so much extra was needed to make this recipe more interesting. I also added a medium diced onion to the garlic and a large can of chopped tomatoes with 3 tbspns of chopped fresh basil and sugar to taste. Loved the idea of wine so I also added a cup of nice cab wine to the tomatoes about a minute before finishing them. It's important to toss the mixture and taste before serving so you can make any last-minute tweaks like adding salt/pepper. Lastly, please consider using fresh broccoli - I always find the frozen kind is slightly limp and waterlogged.
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2 users found this review helpful

Lemon Chicken Piccata

Reviewed: Jul. 22, 2010
I definitely agree with those who call this recipe "restaurant quality". If you use quality ingredients then you get a good result. I give it four stars because, as others note, the sauce is too sour when you finish. Keep the sugar handy - I added nearly 3 teaspoons to make it more flavorful. But the quality of the sauce is excellent. I only used two chicken breasts and sliced each into 5-7 strips which allowed more delicious sauce to coat each piece. Double the number of lemon slices and double the sauce recipe if you use 4 chicken breasts and want enough for pasta. I like the idea of using white wine and will try that next. Lastly, buy a nice fresh bread to serve with this recipe because you'll want to enjoy every drop of the sauce.
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2 users found this review helpful

Steak Tips with Mushroom Sauce

Reviewed: Jul. 16, 2010
Good recipe but not great because it just needs more flavor. I suggest using fresh rosemary instead of thyme and triple the shallots. The wine flavor was just not strong enough so I added more at the last minute. Mushrooms were the best part. I give a 3-star rating because I think recipes need to be great if you follow them. If much tweaking is needed then the rating should drop.
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6 users found this review helpful

Mushroom Barley Soup

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2010
This soup is a good base recipe but I really feel it's overrated. As some other reviewers have noted the result has a hearty consistency but is bland. To make it special but keep it healthy I added 2/3 cup of sherry (red wine would also do nicely), two minced cloves of garlic to the onion sautee, and then minced a sprig of fresh rosemary (fresh tarragon or chopped fresh Italian parsley might also be nice). If you want a richer flavor consider using butter instead of olive oil to sautee the onions and garlic. This revised recipe would rate 4-5 stars but I can only give the original recipe 3 stars because it's just not exceptional without significant tinkering.
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106 users found this review helpful

 
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