johnwu Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - (12097099)

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Easy Texas Chili

Reviewed: Dec. 4, 2011
Very good starting point! I don't claim to be a chili expert but I know what I like, so in addition to what's on this recipe, here is what I would add or take away. Also, I used a pressure cooker! This time around I didn't put any beans (Yes, I know, I know that beans make it less authentic but I don't care, I generally like it in my chili). I used minced garlic from a jar instead of garlic powder. In addition to the chili powder, I also added paprika, cayenne powder, cumin, ancho chile powder, chipotle chili powder. I added those spices while I was cooking the onions and bell pepper to "wake up" the spices. I also added a 6 ounce can of tomato paste to thicken it, and a can of medium to heavy body beer (don't use something lame like Miller Lite). And to me, here is the most important part: I bought mixed ground meat from the supermarket which consists of beef, pork, and veal as well as a pound of Italian sausage. Again, authenticity is great but trust me, the Italian sausage and mixture of ground meats makes the flavor really tasty as opposed to JUST using ground beef. Also, I used stew beef (beef round chunks) and a pressure cooker: cook for only 20 minutes! Of course, you only start counting once that doohickey starts rocking back and forth from the steam. Phew! That's a lot of changes!
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Kung Pao Chicken

Reviewed: Feb. 3, 2011
This is a pretty good recipe at face value. As far as accuracy is concerned compared with local Chinese places, I can't shake the feeling that it's missing something in terms of flavor. It's just not as strong as I'd hoped it would be. Perhaps it needs Hoisin or oyster sauce? I'm not sure, I'll try that in the future. I also added red and green peppers as I thought they were essential for the Kung Pao experience. The consistency of the sauce is perfect. But once you combine the chicken and the sauce, for some reason it loses that stir-fry quality to it because you're basically just adding chicken to a simmering broth. Next time I'll put everything in the wok at the same time. All in all, still a great recipe, thanks!
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