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Reviewed: Apr. 12, 2011
For a more authentic Mexican flavor, substitute crushed tortilla chips for the seasoned bread crumbs. Use a beef broth to reduce the sodium instead of high sodium bullion cubes. Serve with lime or lemon wedges to squeeze into the soup to add flavor. You will enjoy the reduced sodium and extra zip from the juice. Oh, of course cilantro leaves as a garnish. This soup is a house favorite.
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5 users found this review helpful

Tart Cherry Crisp

Reviewed: Jun. 4, 2011
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2 users found this review helpful

The Real Reuben

Reviewed: Jun. 6, 2011
This recipe is good but to make it easier to assemble, I squeeze dry the sauerkraut and mix the 1000 Island dressing with the kraut in a bowl. Then go as the recipe states or use a sandwich grill or electric skillet instead of the oven-broiler. This is a sandwich for a celebration and not for everyday. (This sandwich was named for Mr. Reuben (note spelling) Kulakofsky in Omaha Nebraska whose midnight poker group invented it in the 1920s.) Enjoy it as if you just won the poker game ! Thanks to Reuben.
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3 users found this review helpful

Reuben Sandwich II

Reviewed: Jul. 6, 2011
I mix the Thousand Island dressing with the well drained sauerkraut. It helps hold the kraut together and allows the flavors to begin marrying. The heat from toasting the completed sandwich in the pan or grill will hasten the melding of the flavors.
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2 users found this review helpful

Steff's Shepherd Pie

Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2011
A savory "pie" of this sort can be made with many added ingredients, more sliced mushrooms, diced carrots, peas or whatever one fancies. The potatoes are finally given a basket weave pattern using the back of a fork. The little ridges created by the fork will brown nicely in the oven and add to the eye-appeal of the dish. Thanks Steff for your variation on a family favorite.
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21 users found this review helpful

Amy Rose's Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Reviewed: Mar. 9, 2012
For a slight twist to this favorite soup at our house, we save about a third of the flowerettes before pureeing the cooked soup to add back to the pot. They add a bit of solid interest (pun intended) to the visual and tactile presentation of the dish. Thanks Amy Rose for your recipe.
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3 users found this review helpful

Steak and Spinach Salad

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2012
The recipe calls for 16 ounces of top round steak. Clearly more than enough meat for 2 portions. I used the same amount of money as for a pound of meat and bought 8 ounces of a better, more tender cut of steak. We enjoyed the flavors of the cranberries and toasted walnuts with a balsmanic dressing. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.
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3 users found this review helpful

Shiitake and Baby Bella Mushroom Risotto

Reviewed: Mar. 25, 2012
Thanks for your recipe. I make risotto at least once a week and use leftover risotto to make little fried rice patties for lunch the next day. Here are some of my tips for making any risotto. Always use low sodium broths for risotto and keep the broth at a low simmer in a saucepan when adding it to the rice whilst cooking. Cook the risotto in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven or similar pan, it will hold the heat better and reduce total cooking/stirring time. The butter is a nice touch but adds little flavor to the risotto, I'd omit it and reduce the fat content of the dish. This is a great dish to start young cooks in the kitchen. Under supervision, get the kids to stir the rice during the cooking. Kids involved in food preparation tend to eat more new things at an earlier age. Thanks for the share.
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8 users found this review helpful

Ravioli Soup

Reviewed: Jun. 18, 2012
Pasta in brodo: a house favorite. Use your best broth and let your imagination flow. This recipe is a great starting point for an Italian staple. Any sort of stuffed pasta will work, ie ravioli, agnolotti or tortellini. Keep your broth clear in case a ravioli breaks up in cooking by boiling the pasta separately and add it to the bowls when serving. Frozen shrimp, deli roasted chicken or sliced leftover roast meats can be added also. The spinach is a big plus for color and eye appeal. Skip the soy and pass the grated parmesan for some salt and flavor. I always keep some frozen raviolis in the freezer for just such a quick, light and healthy meal. Thanks Raftermania for submitting this recipe.
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16 users found this review helpful

Campbell's® Green Bean Casserole

Reviewed: Dec. 25, 2012
I made this as written at Thanksgiving and was not impressed, so after reading the reviews, I folllowed up and made it again. This time I did not add any milk or liquid. I used the reduced fat mushroom soup and freshly steamed green beans. It was flavorful enough but looked better than it tasted. I am curious as to why no nutritional analysis is given for either variation reduced fat soup or regular. If I were to make it again, I would make a bechamel and add sautéed button mushrooms for the sauce. The French's onion topping is an indulgence but okay as an occasional treat.
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0 users found this review helpful

Chef John's Homemade Chicken Stock

Reviewed: Apr. 3, 2013
Being a cook who already makes my own stocks, I decided to follow Chef John's recipe to the letter for comparison. His recipe produced a great stock with a fine depth of flavor. I live in an area with many butcher shops, not just supermarkets with pre-packaged meats, so obtaining backs and necks is easy and very inexpensive. The 5th star would have been given if Chef John had done as I do and added 4 chicken feet to the mix for more collagen and nutrition. Thanks John, I always read your recipes.
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9 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker Apple Cider Braised Pork

Reviewed: Oct. 12, 2013
I always read Chef John's recipes and try those that interest me. This was one such recipe. I have made it twice, the first time following the recipe exactly. Last night I made it "my way." The changes that I made were to cook the dish in a Dutch oven at 225F for 6 hours in the oven. The other change was to omit the 2 TBSP of butter from the reduced sauce at the end. There was enough flavor from the ingredients and plenty of pork fat in the sauce. I used a good apple cider, ie one with alcohol. Non-alcoholic "cider" is apple juice. Thanks Chef John for the inspiration of another way to cook inexpensive pork shoulders and please the people at my table.
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2 users found this review helpful

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2013
Having baked biscotti for many years, I decided to try this recipe. I followed the recipe exactly with the exception of substituting canola oil for light olive oil which I don't have. The resulting biscotti are colorful and delicious. It is important to keep your raw batter logs at the 2" diameter so they bake fully on the first baking. Then allow them to cool completely, not just 10 minutes as the recipe states. Once cool, the logs can be cut with a serrated knife and then baked again. If after cooling the 2nd time the biscotti are not crisp enough, bake them again for 10 minutes as I did. Sadly, I'll have to make another batch because all of the biscotti have been eaten. Thanks for a red and green holiday treat which I'll use all year.
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1 user found this review helpful

Grilled Coffee and Cola Skirt Steak

Reviewed: May 23, 2014
Yes, I, too, am annoyed by reviewers who give 5 stars and have modified the recipe but here I go. I changed but 1 thing: the cola. I used instead Dr. P_____. I had the luxury of starting the marinade process 3 days in advance using a nice piece of skirt steak that I had aged before even starting the marination process. The texture, the flavor and the caramelization of the meat had the guests raving. I served it with a fresh savory dark cherry compote. It was eye candy on a plate and no leftovers. Thanks once again Chef John, you haven't failed me yet.
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2 users found this review helpful

Chef John's Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Reviewed: Sep. 14, 2014
This is the recipe I grew up with, traditionally made Irish mash. The step of returning the drained, boiled potatoes was what my Irish father called "flour-ing off" the potatoes. The residual water is steamed away leaving the potato edges with a slight look of dry flour. The centers will still be moist and the butter and milk flavors will dominate and not be diluted by that water. One difference at our house: we prefer some lumps for texture and only used a large fork to "mash" the potatoes. Thanks again as always, Chef John, for improving American home cookery one dish at a time.
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Chef John's Smothered Pork Chops

Reviewed: Dec. 9, 2014
Having read the recipe and the reviews, I would offer my version of Chef John's smothered pork chops. Take the buttermilk that you probably bought a quart of and use 2 cups of it to make a marinade with the garlic, salt and pepper and put it in a plastic bag with the pork chops and marinate the meat for up to overnight. The buttermilk will soften the meat fibers and you will find the resulting cooked pork very tender. Take the chops from the marinade, pat them dry with paper towels and proceed with Chef John's recipe as written as I did. Yum, those cooked onions with the hint of heat from the pepper flakes were a crowd pleaser. Chef John is such an asset to this website but even he would agree that tweaking some of his creations can please everyone at your table as this recipe did at mine.
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