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Marvel's Portuguese Pork with Clams (Carne de Porco a Alentejana)

Reviewed: Mar. 27, 2011
This authentic dish satisfies a hankering for Portuguese flavor - and also for an unusual way to cook pork. I have no idea where to get cilantro root and hope a pinch of ground coriander can substitute - it's from the same plant. The marinade is great -I would recommend cutting the pork a bit smaller than one inch cubes for better penetration . I would also recommend cooking the pork a day before needed and letting it stand overnight - it's much better the next day. This has to be done before adding clams, of course. Since I can 't easily get fresh clams, I have two options. One is to use mussels frozen in their shells, another to use whole canned clams, and I think they both work well, adding that exotic flavor one associates with Portugal. The sauteed potatoes are fantastic with it. Be sure to serve plenty of vegetables before, after or on the side as this dish is extremely "meaty." I am looking forward to making it with fresh clams as soon as they are available. Thanks for a marvellous cooking experience!
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1 user found this review helpful

Poached Salmon

Reviewed: Jan. 8, 2012
A very good way to caook salmon! I had to feed 18 people and bought a whole side of a huge salmon - so long I had to cut it in half to fit my largest roasting pan. So I had to poach it in the oven - at 400f it got done in 15 minutes. I made a court bouillon for the liquid and seasoned it much as in this recipe, except that I prefer fresh herbs, so I used lemon and pepper instead of lemon pepper and a bunch of parsley instead of parsley flakes which really taste like dead grass. I did use some chicken broth, but used fish stock and a little shrimp stock rather than water for the liquid. I came out very tasty and I froze it to reuse for the next fish I poach. You need jst enough to cover the fish in the pan. The sauce is gorgeous and multiplied up nicely, but I used an English cucumber instead of zucchini. The sauce multiplied up very nicely - no change of proportions needed. If you use cucumber be sure to salt and drain it and squeeze it as dry as possible. The thicker a Greek yoghurt you use, the better - but it can be entirely without fat, and you can use low fat mayo too, so the whole dish doesn't get too rich, but tastes delicious. This recipe was a huge success for me, and I am grateful.
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7 users found this review helpful

Steak and Kidney Pie I

Reviewed: Nov. 5, 2011
I love steak and kidney pie, even more so with puff pastry which is delicious moistened by the gravy. But I think the author made an error or two. There is no need to use beef tenderloin in a stew preparation - you'll get a much better flavor from chuck or even leg of beef, and even those cuts would not need to cook for three hours - maybe an hour and a half at most. And at the top of the recipe the cooking time is given as 1 hr 30 mins, not the 3 hrs 20 mins the instructions say. In addition, I usually soak the kidney in milk for several hours before cooking (this gets out some of the urine taste and smell, but doesn't destroy the unique flavor). It's a good idea to use a pie bird or funnel to hold the pastry off the gravy so it will be nice and crisp when baked - the inside will still be moist. I'm rating the pie five stars because if you carry out these suggestions it will be very good indeed, and I don't want to put anyone off making a splendid steak and kidney pie!
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7 users found this review helpful

Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

Reviewed: Oct. 5, 2012
Nice recipe and very flexible! Substitutions are easy, but it helps give you an idea of proportions. I made it more or less as written. The fresh hot peppers give a great taste, not too hot for my family. I was careful not to serve it for a coupe of days after I cooked it in the slow cooker, and it really paid off with a rich mellow coplex flavor. I served it with shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped fresh japeno (without seeds and pith), chopped fresh tomato, chopped red onion, and fresh cilantro. It was a real treat. Chili deluxe! Thanks for the great variety of chili recipes on this site and to members for all their wonderful ideas.
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5 users found this review helpful

Basic British Scones

Reviewed: Jul. 4, 2012
This recipe is exactly the same as one published by a cook at Buckingham Palace as the one used for the royal family. I grew up in England in the 1950s, and that's the one we always used. Nobody would have dreamed of using butter - it was still rationed at the time, but I do use it now. Although these scones seem bland and not very interesting to Americans, English people like them a lot, and they take very well to clotted cream and strawberry jam, for the traditional "cream tea" advertised in the windows of cottages in England. They don't heat up well, so it's good to make just enough for one tea-time. Have the butter very cold and cut it into tiny, tiny cubes (pea size or less) with two sharp knives. Pour in the liquid all at once - the exact quantity is a matter of experience with your kind of flour, it should be just enough to bind the dough together. You don't ever knead it: you sort of pat it together to encourage it to bind. Then you pat it out thickly on your lightly floured board and cut the scones out with a two inch circle cutter or small glass dipped in flour. Personally I bake them at 450 for about 10 minutes. I never had triangular scones in England. This must b e a Scottish or Irish habit or something! I was delighted to find thee old friends on allrecipes. Thank you very much.
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9 users found this review helpful

Beer Butt Rosemary Chicken

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2011
Fabulous chicken! I agree with others that a beer can is not the best thing to use - there are many ways to prop up a chicken - one is to set it up on the center of your bundt pan and put the pan in a roasting pan. Tehn you can pour your liquids and vegetables into the bundt pan and add the drippings from inside the chicken to the liquid after it's done. Since I didn't need a beer can, I used some wine instead. I had fresh rosemarym but I don't like orange with chicken so I used a barbecue chicken rub to flavor it up a bit. So I ended up with a different recipe, but it was Debbie's that got me going, and it came out marvellous. Thanks, Debbie.
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4 users found this review helpful

Blue Cheese, Spinach Meat Loaf Muffins

Reviewed: Feb. 14, 2013
This is a great recipe and very versatile - you can adjust the quantities for how much meat you have, as always on this cooking site. You can also use any ground meat you like, and my preference is a mix of pork and beef. No reason in the world why you shouldn't use turkey or chicken, or veal or lamb if you can get it or afford it. You can also use any cheese. Gorgonzola is wonderful, as suggested by another reviewer, but if your kids don't go for blue cheese you can use cheddar or anything else, even cream cheese, and make up for the mild flavor with some more spicing - like plenty of garlic. If the kids or guests don't go for Worcestershire sauce, no worries! I just use soy sauce instead, and they don't even know that it's there. You can match flavors to the meat, too. Did you know that pork is greatly enhanced by anchovy paste? (I think it has natural flavor enhancers like soy sauce.) You can also use Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce. Spinach is a great addition, but the recipe will work without it. I'm thinking mashed chestnuts would go well with turkey or chopped mushrooms with chicken. Shrimp would go well with pork done with cream cheese. I love being able to shove these meatballs in the oven and not having to stand over the stove and fry them! I make big batches to have plenty for several meals, as they keep for a week in the fridge, and muich longer in the freezer, and everyone is pleased every time..
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7 users found this review helpful

Hasselback Potatoes

Reviewed: Jun. 13, 2012
These are my all-time favorite potatoes. I find you don't have to do anything difficult to them to have them come out great - I just scrub the potatoes, cut the slices with two wooden spoon handles guarding the bottom of the potato and stick them in the oven when I've added the flavorings that go with my main dish. They are really amazing with a small basil leaf between each slice, or a sliver of garlic, or both. They brown very nicely without breadcrumbs or cheese, but they are also good with cheeses of all kinds, depending on what your guests or family prefer. The original ones in the Swedish pub were completely plain, I believe, except for the butter and salt that made them brown so nicely - and nobody has ever complained about plain Hasselbacks that I've ever heard of. It was brilliant of Pompier850 to post them in this accessible spot - helps make the world a better place. By the way, our family also calls them armadillos, proving that great minds think alike. . .
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14 users found this review helpful

Homemade Yogurt

Reviewed: Jan. 29, 2012
Thanks for reminding me that this is possible. I first made yogurt from the Whole Earth Catalog in the 1960's when I had small children and no money. The powdered milk saves money, and, just as important, saves on fat content. Someone asked if you can thicken it. Yes, you can. Either add powdered milk to bottled milk of whatever kind you prefer, or use more powdered milk with water. Just make sure the powder is mixed in well. You can experiment to see which proportions give the result you prefer, but remember that more powder means more calories, so you may want to serve smaller portions. You can also experiment to see which yogurt culture you like best, whether it's Dannon or Fage or some other. This is easier and cheaper than buying powdered cultures from specialty stores. In my experience it's better to add the fruit after the yogurt has fermented. I also made my own granola from the Whole Earth Catalog. Those were the days! and now I'm retired, I'll do it again!
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12 users found this review helpful

Fruity Butternut Squash Soup

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2011
Very good soup and very popular in restaurants right now. It costs very little to make. In response to other reviews, I agree that the soup is probably better without adding potatoes, or sweet potatoes, or carrots. As a matter of fact, it can just be made with squash and vegetable or chicken stock, though I think that onions add a pleasant pungent sweetness and celery a slightly herby taste. The addition I recommend is a pear - which, of course adds some fruitiness. Also, I wouldn t mix in the sour cream because it deprives people of the opportunity to cut those calories. And finally, you can use plain skim milk yoghurt (or any other kind you prefer) instead of sour cream. Some might even prefer its lightness.
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1 user found this review helpful

French Spring Soup

Reviewed: Apr. 9, 2012
A really fine soup woth a wonderful fresh taste: it is really a potage parmentier with some asparagus, carrot, and spinach added. You can vary the proportions depending on which flavor you want to be dominant. I find it doesn't need any rice because the potatoes add enough starch, and although the heavy cream tastes nice, most of us are better off with something less fatty and caloric. Personally I just like to intensify the veggie flavors by adding garlic and parsley. But it's a great recipe and I've had lots of fun with it this spring. Thank you Papergoddess.
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3 users found this review helpful

Slow and Easy Beef Stock

Reviewed: Mar. 26, 2012
Thank you for the clearinstructions. I have always wanted to be able to make this, and I agree that the pure beef flavor makes the most useful and versatile stock. Since today's slow cookers are set at a higher temperature than the ones originally made, it is nw perfectly possible to make this stock in one of them from start to finish. I buy beef bones from an Asian market (in case you can't find them in hyour supermarket).
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11 users found this review helpful

Classic Goulash

Reviewed: Mar. 16, 2011
I'm grateful for this recipe because it reminds me of a dish my mother made in the mid-1940's in Denmark after the war when we finally could get enough cheap meat with our ration coupons to do it. This recipe has nothing whatever to do with anything I think of as goulash, whether Hungarian, Austrian, German or even Danish, but it was a way to use ground meat for something other than meat balls. My mother's concoction was called Red Indian Hash because of the colors added by vegetables (nothing to do with Native Americans either!), and everybody loved it, served not with macaroni in it, but with mashed potatoes on the side to absorb the lovely gravy. She grated carrots and turnips and any other root vegetable she had and cooked them along with the chopped onions. She might add a few beans or peas as well. Any ground meat was fine - beef, veal, pork, mutton - whatever we were lucky enough to have. Canned tomatoes did not exist then, so she had to moisten the mix with stock (usually vegetable stock with an addition of yeast extract - no soy sauce then) and chop a tomato or two if she could spare them. With everything available to us now, just think what we could do with a pound of ground meat, matching veggie flavors and herbs and aromatics to the type of meat. Thanks for reminding me of what can be done! and of how rich we are now. . .
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46 users found this review helpful

Butternut Squash Soup II

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2011
Very good soup and very popular in restaurants right now. It costs very little to make. In response to other reviews, I agree that the soup is probably better without adding potatoes, or sweet potatoes, or carrots. As a matter of fact, it can just be made with squash and vegetable or chicken stock, though I think that onions add a pleasant pungent sweetness and celery a slightly herby taste. The addition I recommend is a pear - which, of course adds some fruitiness. Also, I wouldn t mix in the sour cream because it deprives people of the opportunity to cut those calories. And finally, you can use plain skim milk yoghurt (or any other kind you prefer) instead of sour cream. Some might even prefer its lightness.
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1 user found this review helpful

Chicken Wraps

Reviewed: Feb. 23, 2013
This is a really nice idea. I have two suggestions to make it even nicer - use prosciutto instead of bacon to get a leaner, more delicately=flavored effect, and use fresh pineapple without marinating it. So I marinate the chicken cubes first, and, when they are ready, thread them on the toothpicks with the pineapple and a little piece of prosciutto. Lower the heat to 350 as there is no bacon to brown, and remove from the oven as soon as the chicken is cooked. This is quite a healthy morsel! For the summertime, when you might wnat it cold, I plan to pre-cook the chicken, spear it on the toothpick with fresh pineapple when cold, and stretch a large basil leaf around the two components. Should be good, though I haven't had a chance to do it yet.
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6 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker Pork Cacciatore

Reviewed: Oct. 15, 2012
It's a nice recipe. Like others, if I'm cooking it in the slow cooker, I just pile everything in and let it go, but for no more than five or six hours on low. I use half the quantity of sauce for three pounds of pork, and I prefer the boneless country ribs, which I cut into serving pieces. Canned mushrooms drianed work well for me - I use baby shitakes canned whole and keep them whole. I prefer fresh herbs to dried, which is possible if they grow in your garden in season, but dry are fine otherwise. Most of the time I don't have time to cook in the slow cooker, so I fry up everything first as the recipe says and put it in a baking dish or casserole and cook at 350 f for about a half hour. No problem with the meat falling apart if you do this, and there is also no problem in getting it cooked tender. I don't put any cheese on the pork, but it's nice to brown the top of the dish by sprinkling on some parmesan or romano and putting it back in the oven for five to ten minutes. Three cheers for Italy!
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6 users found this review helpful

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

Reviewed: Mar. 22, 2012
The beauty of this recipe is that you can put it together in five minutes or less, if you have a good can-opener! However, my family won't eat it unless I freshen it up a bit. You can do this while the bulk of the ingredients are already in the pot on the stove. It takes very litte time to strip an ear or two of corn - and fresh does taste better than canned. If you have some left-over chicken roasted or baked, or even poached, it will most certainly taste better than canned. If you happen to have frozen your very own chicken stock or broth and are generous enought to use it, you'll be in gourmet territory. Just substitute any or all of these fresh elements for the canned ones while the pot is already simmering. If there's time, you could even flash-fry a cut-up skinless, boneless chicken breast and dump it in. Whether or not you have made thse "improvements", do add some garlic squeezed in your garlic press, some lemon or lime juice if you have either of these fruits lying around (don't bother with the b ottled kind), and chop a handful of parsley or cilantro and /or scallions if available. Spice it up with fresh chilis or a pinch or two of cayenne pepper if your crowd likes it. Now - you've got a soup no one could sneeze at, and you got there easily, knowing that you could do it all with cans if you wanted to!Thanks to Terryn for helping me con myself into cooking when I was really too tired!!
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4 users found this review helpful

Moussaka

Reviewed: Mar. 4, 2014
Thank you for this recipe for a dish that was really popular in the 1960s and needs to be revived. I had continued to make it, but modernized it by microwaving the egg plant (5 minutes). I use fresh tomatoes when possible - two are enough. I have always topped the dish with a cup of Greek yoghurt rather than bechamel. I add a couple of eggs to the yoghurt, and it is probably good to whip the eggwhites though I never used to. I do not use any cheese - it is not necessary. I always use ground lamb for a more authentic flavor. You can also use left-over lamb roast if you chop it fairly small - it's a delicious option for leftovers! This dish can be very healthy and low fat (just omit the egg yolks).
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0 users found this review helpful

Baked Tilapia with Garlic and Herb Oil

Reviewed: Mar. 29, 2011
This is a nice idea for tilapia fillets, but the cooking time didn't work for me. I like the onion to be cooked and the spinach to be nice and smooth. So I recommend cooking the onion in a frying pan until it;s translucent and adding the spinach and cooking in the olive oil until it's soft and smooth. Then the tilapia will cook in the oven in about 15 minutes. I made a nice herb mixture for the fish coating with a mortar and pestle using olive oil, crushed garlic,pimientos, and seasoned salt. I served the dish with sliced sauteed new potatoes. Crusty bread dipped in flavored olive oil would be another good accompaniment. Very nice meal!
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8 users found this review helpful

Butternut Squash Soup

Reviewed: Nov. 2, 2011
You really don't need any cream cheese at all in a butternut squash soup, so unless you are trying to fatten up starving wilderness survivors, I'd leave it out! The suggestion of apple cider or juice in another review is a good one as a fruity variation. Personally I like it savory with prebaked squash and garlic. If you have time to make your own vegetable or chicken stock, it's a huge improvement on chicken cubes. Isn't butternut squash an absolutely wonderful rewarding vegetable to cook with?!!!
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1 user found this review helpful

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