Vagabum Mike Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (11844982)

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Home-style Tacos al Pastor (Chile and Pineapple Pork Tacos)

Reviewed: Mar. 13, 2011
Amazing - a bit spicy and sweet but with subtle complexity to the flavor. I would give this 4.5 stars if I could but I'm rounding up since I can't. For the sauce I used 5 fresh Anaheim and 2 dried California chillies instead of gujillo (both are fairly mild in heat), 5 large cloves of garlic, 1 tsp. of garlic powder, a 7 oz. can of chipotle chili in adobo, 1 tbsp. canola oil, about 1/4 cup of extra adobo sauce and I put salt and pepper on the roast before coating it with sauce. I vacuum-pack marinated the meat for 7 hours and instead of stir frying I sous vide cooked the pork roast for 20 hours at 143 degrees in the marinade. The tacos turned out incredible but the meat with a bit of sauce and pineapple was delicious to snack a la cart. The meat had a slight kick from the chipotle so it you like a lot of heat add more of those or maybe add a serrano or two with veins. This dish is going in my main rotation.
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Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2010
So delicious. I had an extra 1/2 lb. of beef so I added 1 can of pinto beans, 1 can of kidney beans, 4 cloves garlic, 2 onions and 1 can of tomatoes and I simmered it for maybe 6 hours. Man was it good. I froze half for future leftovers but had the rest with Fritos on top (on the bottom and they get soggy). The cheese is entirely unnecessary with this chili (about the only time in my life where I would say that). Update: I have made it a few more times and it keeps getting better. I usually add one extra can of pinto and one of kidney beans. I crumble in 3-4 slices of crisp thick bacon and saute the onions, peppers, 3 jalapenos (with seeds/veins), and 1/2 of celery in the drippings of the bacon and sausage. I don't drain any of the cans. I also use 12 oz. of Mexican beer and 4 large cloves of garlic. This last time I used only 2 beef bullion cubes and 1/2-3/4 tsp. of liquid smoke and it was the best one yet. Let it simmer for 6-8 hours and the flavors will really come through.
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Photo by Vagabum Mike

Fish Tacos

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2010
I also grew up in San Diego and the first of that amazing SD fish taco chain opened up next to my high school in 1983. I always hit them up first when I return and although they have a few franchises in San Francisco they are not nearly as good. Well this recipe more than satisfies my craving and man are these tacos great. I made the recipe as described but used light Greek yogurt and light Miracle Whip instead of mayo. I also added 1/2 Tsp of Caper juice and the sauce was out of this world. I used cooking spray to lightly fry the tortillas and it just doesn't taste as good as oil. I also put a bit of Jack cheese in between the lightly fried and warmed tortillas. I topped the tacos with cilantro the white sauce and a bit of fresh Tomatillo Salsa. With the fish I suggest making the fish pieces smaller, say 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 oz to better fit the tortilla (thick and more narrow so there is still room for cabbage, guac and salsa). For leftovers put the fish in the toaster oven to get that amazing crisp and fresh texture back.
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Photo by Vagabum Mike

Mulligatawny Soup I

Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2010
This was really great (before I added any and too much rice). I doubled the recipe and added 4 large cloves of garlic and 3 Tbsp. of Yellow Curry powder, two potatoes, 1 Jalapeno with seeds and eventually 1.r Lb of boneless chicken thighs (dark meat makes it sweeter but it would have been more so with the bones). Then I asked myself, what makes this any different from Chicken Curry and I determined that it was the apples, so I doubled the amount with half finely and half coarsely chopped. I simmered it 3 hours, took out the chicken, put a hand blender for 20 or 30 seconds in to get it to thicken (but not to puree the chunks). Then I chopped the chicken and added it back. At this point (before I added the rice) the taste was out of this world! Next I added the rice and decided to double the amount for more of a stew consistency but that completely dulled the flavors and it took forever to cook (like 3 more hours with me constantly adding more broth and then water). Next time I will keep the rice on the side and do a taste test with and without some rice but I have a feeling the no rice option will be the winner. For sure I will make this again since I long for the pre-rice taste. 5 star before the rice and 3 after = 4 stars.
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Photo by Vagabum Mike

Mijo's Slow Cooker Shredded Beef

Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2010
I give this 3.5 stars but admit I did not make it as described. First I bought a Top Round roast which did not turn out as moist in the middle as it could have been (I did not cut in half because it was in a net). For the rub I did not have any celery salt or tarragon so had to do without but I did leave the rub on to set overnight in hopes of getting a stronger flavor. Also I did not have a slow cooker so had to use the stove and decided to make enough liquid to keep the meat covered. I used 16 oz. of Mexican Beer and added 1 cup of beef broth, 1 cup of salsa and 1 can of green chillies with juice. I simmered the meat on low with a tight lid for 11 hours. The smell of the liquid smoke seemed more like Tex BBQ though so I might leave that off next time I wish to make a Mexican dish like Machaca Con Huevo (shredded beef with egg). For the Machaca, after shredding the beef I stir fried one chopped onion, a bell pepper and another can of green chillies with 1/2 cup of the reduced liquid from the pot. Then I soaked 21 oz. of the shredded beef in 4 raw scrambled eggs, then dumped it all in the pan with the veggies, a cup of chopped cilantro and scrambled them with 8 more eggs (for a total of 12). I served it with tortillas, avocado, cilantro and salsa-see photos. It turned out pretty good, but I think I can do better with the beef. Next time I may try the "Slow Cooker Carnitas" recipe (which is great) but sub in the chuck roast and beef broth instead and see how that turns out.
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