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Amish Breakfast Casserole

Reviewed: Mar. 7, 2010
Like a lot of reviewers, I subbed sausage for the bacon; but even with adding some black pepper the dish still needed something in the way of spices or herbs. Next time I'll at least kick it a bit with 1/8 tsp of cayenne and maybe some dill. Or might use some sage sausage.
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Beer-Boiled Shrimp

Reviewed: Jun. 14, 2009
I did this recipe with shell-on, de-veined shrimp, keeping the heat at a simmer until they just turned pink, then turning them out in a bowl with the liquid to steep for about 1/2 hour. The texture and flavor were excellent! The previous reviewers had it right about adding Old Bay Seasoning (omitting salt). 3/4 TBL per pound was about right. I also added a pinch of cayenne to give it a little top-note. Beware of heavily hopped beers. I used Miller High Life and it came out fine. Might be interesting to try with a simple ale, too, for a slightly sweet taste. Many previous reviewers added garlic. I did not, but I could tell that it would be a good addition. Definitely serve with a crusty french bread to soak up the juice! I'd pair it with a cucumber and vinegar salad and some radishes. GREAT recipe!! I'd give it 6 stars if I could.
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French Leek Pie

Reviewed: May 10, 2009
This is an AWESOME dish. Didn't have any cream so I substituted 1/2c cottage cheese and 1/2c sour cream, beaten together well, for the cup of light cream. Still great and maybe was healthier(?). Wonderful balance - leeks are pungent, cottage cheese, sour cream mixture is smooth, and the cheese is both. Also had a bunch of onions I had to do something with, so I made a version with 3 medium size onions and a big sprinkle of dried parsley. Very good and worth doing as well, but leeks are definitely the best. Also used just run-of-the-mill supermarket Swiss, so the recipe does not have to be overly expensive. I would make it far enough in advance to give it a longer cooling period, as after only 10 minutes it was still runny. Reheats well, too.
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Meat Marinade

Reviewed: Apr. 19, 2009
I halved the recipe since I was only marinating 1 1/2 lb sirloin steak, and there was more then enough. The lightness of the lemon juice was a nice change for a beef dish and it had a good tenderizing effect after about 2 1/2 hours in the fridge. There were a lot of ingredients left up to "taste", so I just put in a TBL of McCormick Monterrey Steak Seasoning and it came out very well. When I use it for lighter meats, I'll use different spices, but it's definitely a keeper
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Slow Cooker Pozole

Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2009
Yep, this does make the house smell great! Just be cautioned that it needs salt. Also, I had to buy this huge bag of peppers, and they seemed to be rather small even when hydrated. I put in three rather than one. Also some white wine, just because. Drop in some fried pork skins before eating. They make a great snap-crackle-pop sound!
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Sauerbraten I

Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2008
I approached this recipe somewhat cautiously due to all the vinegar, but I figured anything that marinated for FIVE DAYS had to have something going for it. Everything worked very well, but it IS for folks that like things on the sour side. This being said, the sugar and spices complimented the acidity very nicely, the sour cream took everything down a notch of two and the result was a very pleasant meal. I also did a venison roast with this recipe, and I do believe I preferred it to the beef! One or two production notes: I substituted 1/2 cup of the water with 1/2 cup white wine (just couldn't resist) and I thickened the liquid a bit with Pillsbury Shake n' Blend flour before stirring in the sour cream. I also marinated the meal without ill effect in large freezer bags which kept the meat more submerged and took up less room in the fridge.
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Venison Chili

Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2008
I too used ground venison for my version and it was excellent! Earlier reviews had intimated that the dish was not quite as fiery as one would expect chili to be, so I doubled the cayenne. I would still rate the end product to be a mild to medium chili, but the extra cayenne was a big help and added a bit of "after-glow". As far a cooking the meat, I omitted the canola oil and just used most of the bacon grease for the cooking fat for the venison. (After frying the bacon I poured out the grease and deglazed the pan with red wine. I added the resulting liquor and bits to the stock, and then returned most of the bacon grease to the pan to fry the venison) I took another shortcut by using two cans of black beans, drained but not rinsed instead of cooking 2 cups of dry beans. Also, make sure your reduction ends up on the high side of half or you won't have quite enough liquid.
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