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Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

Reviewed: Feb. 14, 2012
This soup was amazing! I followed the recipe with only minor changes. Instead of diced celery I chopped them very finely in the food processor as well as the onion. Instead of chicken bouillon I substituted one packet of Goya Ham Flavor Seasoning. It thickened well but I still added about an 1/8 cup of instant potato flakes just to give it a little more thickness.
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2 users found this review helpful

Apple-Topped Pork Loin

Reviewed: Aug. 8, 2011
I loved the mustard and caraway on the outside of the pork, and I'm a huge fan of apples with pork. I had some bacon that needed to be used, so I wrapped the loin in bacon, and changed the temp to 350 and cooked for an hour, added apple topping, and cooked for another 30 minutes. This worked out perfectly for my 2.5 pound pork loin. I feel like this would benefit from a sauce, so I melted some butter and mixed in some brown sugar. Spreading a little bit of the mixture on each slice of pork. I think next time I may add some applesauce and create a caramel apple chutney to go with this.
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7 users found this review helpful

Coq Au Vin, My Way

Reviewed: Aug. 5, 2011
I honestly didn't expect to like this. I can't stand mushrooms, but went by the book on this recipe anyway. My first bite I was completely shocked, the combination of flavors worked perfectly. The taste of mushroom blended right in, and even the mushrooms themselves weren't as foul tasting as I normally find them. I screwed up telling my daughter there were mushrooms in it, because she immediately stopped liking everything. I served with buttered noodles. I will definitely be making this again.
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6 users found this review helpful

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Reviewed: Jul. 29, 2011
I've found this works best with waxy potatoes (red skin works perfect) and instead of using the combination of dried herbs, use a single variety of fresh (I prefer a sprig of chopped rosemary or some minced sage). This is my go-to recipe for roasted potatoes, but when I have the mentioned fresh herbs on hand my wife always notices and asks what I did different.
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5 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

Reviewed: Jul. 24, 2011
This was alright, something about the flank steak put me off. I normally have it cooked on a grill and sliced thin against the grain, and the texture has always come out perfect. I've never done flank steak in a slow cooker, and likely never will again because the texture just seemed off. As far as the sauce goes, it was good, nothing I'd write home about. This didn't really remind me of anything Mongolian, in the same way that Chinese food doesn't really taste like anything you'd eat in and around China. If the ratings broke down, I'd give the meat just 3 stars, and the sauce 3.5.
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4 users found this review helpful

Italian Sausage and Vegetable Roast

Reviewed: Jul. 23, 2011
This was a pretty easy meal, and it tasted great too. This is only the second time my wife or I had fennel (the first we had it caramelized with onion, and the flavor practically disappeared), and we're big fans now. I think two bulbs would be overkill (maybe the fennel in Italy is smaller than that in the US), so we only used one bulb of fennel. As much as we try, we're just not big fans of polenta. Next time I'll probably add a bit of white wine and cornstarch to thicken the juices and serve with penne, although a risotto would work pretty well with this too.
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6 users found this review helpful

Smashed Cauliflower

Reviewed: Jul. 19, 2011
I love cauliflower, so I figured I'd try this out. I didn't want to boil the cauliflower, because it would make the cauliflower too soupy. So I steamed under some veggie stock for about 5 minutes, reserved the stock, and combined everything as per the recipe. I slowly added some stock until I had the consistency I wanted. As others have said, added a couple of potatoes will give you a fluffier cauliflower mash, but I like this as is.
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5 users found this review helpful

Slow Cooker London Broil

Reviewed: Jul. 19, 2011
This was a fantastic meal, and as the description states it's easy to make. We used a london broil cut instead of flank steak since it was on sale, and subbed cream of potato in for mushroom since we're not big mushroom fans. I also added a can of beef consomme. We let it cook for 9 hours, and shredded with a fork and let cook for another 30 minutes. I served alongside green beans with tarragon, and mashed cauliflower. I'd be sure to serve with bread to mop up the sauce on the plate.
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4 users found this review helpful

Chicken Scarpariello

Reviewed: Jul. 18, 2011
This was a quick and easy dish that tasted great. I added a few veggies for my daughter (broccoli and sun dried tomatoes), and did as JDRABIK suggested and sauteed the garlic first to help give the chicken a bit more flavor as well as season the chicken prior to dredging in flower. I thought there wasn't enough sauce, my wife thought it was perfect, and my daughter thought it was yummy.
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5 users found this review helpful

Vienna Schnitzel

Reviewed: Jul. 6, 2011
This is a great schnitzel recipe as is, or can be a good foundation to do your own thing. First I brined the pork fillets in 4 cups of water, 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and probably 1/4 to 1/3 cup of lemon juice. Next I minced one sprig of rosemary and added to the flour. I also subbed half regular bread crumbs and half panko that were chopped up finer in a food processor to get things a bit more crispy. After breading, I let the pork sit in a fridge for 30 minutes as per GERRILKY's advice, and it definitely helped keep the coating on the pork. It took about 3-4 minutes per side to get the schnitzel cooked perfect. I served with roasted asparagus and risotto.
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5 users found this review helpful

Focaccia Bread

Reviewed: Jul. 2, 2011
I'm never great at baking, but this has restored my families hope in me. They knew they were getting a light sausage pasta for dinner, but while they were distracted I was able to make this wonderful focaccia. No one had any idea why a pot of boiling water on the stove was filling the house with the aroma of herbs and garlic. Right off the bat, I'm a habitual recipe tweaker. I see a list of dried herbs, I instantly want to do everything I can to avoid it. So instead of using a bunch of stuff that smells like an ashtray, I used 1 sprig of fresh rosemary chopped up. 1 teaspoon of garlic powder just wouldn't cut it, so I used 4 cloves of garlic, minced. The pepper, I did about 10 grinds on a pepper grinder, and instead of water I actually used the juice from a can of tomatoes. I've been on a big pizza stone tangent the last few weeks, so I actually cooked my bread on the pizza stone, and it was a great choice. I preheated the stone in the oven, took it out and formed my bread directly on the hot stone (you can either chance it that your dough is oiled enough, or use corn meal to prevent sticking). Brush with oil and sprinkle salt. I held off on the cheese for 10 minutes, took the stone out, sprinkled some provolone, mozzarella, and grated some parmigiano on top. No measurements, just eyeball it and let it cook 10 minutes longer. Served with a good extra virgin olive oil and herbs for dipping.
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3 users found this review helpful

Sausage Pasta

Reviewed: Jul. 2, 2011
This is a great light pasta. With thin sauces like this, there are two things you can do to ensure the sauce still sticks to the pasta. First, fusilli is probably best to use with this (corkscrew shaped pasta). Second, don't cook your pasta first and then start on the sausage/veggie mixture. Do a little backwards planning, and after draining the water, don't waste any time with the pasta and get it mixed in with the sausage mixture. The pasta will be covered in starchy goodness that will help the sauce stick. I served this with some Focaccia bread that I also got from this site. Also, I suggest using fresh basil towards the end after the spinach is added. Dried basil simply doesn't do the fresh herb justice.
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16 users found this review helpful

Stuffed Green Peppers I

Reviewed: Jun. 28, 2011
I never grew up on stuffed peppers, so I like to try a variety of recipes since I don't know what "right" tastes like. I think I may have finally figured it out tonight. I kept the amounts the same, just swapped out some smoked provola and scamorza for the cheddar, since I like to use as much local ingredients as possible. For anyone who can get their hands on real Italian cheese, a 50/50 blend of smoked provola and scamorza is absolutely amazing in these peppers. I was hesitant on using a can of tomato soup as a gravy, but it really did add that extra touch that I feel stuffed peppers need. I'll still try new recipes out, but this is certainly our families default from here on out.
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9 users found this review helpful

Vanilla Crepes

Reviewed: Jun. 27, 2011
These were absolutely perfect crepes. The vanilla was a great addition, and contrasted nicely with the tartness of the blueberry sauce I accompanied the crepes with. I think next time I'll try to use Nutella and Bananas for filling, my daughter will go nuts!
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6 users found this review helpful

Jay's Signature Pizza Crust

Reviewed: Jun. 24, 2011
I've never made pizza from scratch before, but this crust made me pretty proud of a noble first attempt. I had the pizza stone in the oven on the highest temp for a good hour and a half. I added some onion powder, garlic powder, marjoram, oregano, basil, and parmigiano. I split the dough in half, and on a corn meal covered cookie sheet I stretched out the dough. When I had the proper size, I took the stone out, slid the pizza on and got it back in the oven. After 5 minutes of pre-baking, I took the stone out, went to town on some homemade sauce, added some fresh mozzarella (be sure to cut into 1/8 - 1/4 slices and put on a paper towel plate, place paper towel on top, followed by another plate, and something that weighs 5 pounds or so and let it drain the moisture for a good 30 minutes or so), prosciutto, and fire roasted peppers/tomatoes. I cooked it for 12 more minutes, and it gave a very crispy crust, which wasn't bad, but I think I'm gonna scale back and go with maybe 7 minutes of cook time next.
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3 users found this review helpful

Zesty Zucchini and Squash

Reviewed: Jun. 23, 2011
I had higher hopes for this side, and feel let down. I can't say I'm a big fan of boiling summer squash. Next time I think I'll grill the squash for 10 minutes on the grill and cook the tomato/onion as directed and combine together.
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9 users found this review helpful

Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Reviewed: Jun. 23, 2011
I think it would benefit people to know the size of the chunks of potatoes the recipe submitter used, because that plays a huge role in cooking time. Mine were cut into 1/4 slices and they didn't cook all the way through in 30 minutes. As far as flavor goes, it's the usual sweet potato flavor (we didn't have lime juice on hand).
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8 users found this review helpful

Best Spanish Rice

Reviewed: Jun. 22, 2011
I've been dying to find a perfect Spanish rice recipe, and as far as I'm concerned this is it. I used 3/4 cup rice, 2/3 cup salsa, and a cup of water, and it came out perfect. The amount of onion this calls for is questionable because it's so small, so instead of chopped onion I subbed in some onion powder. I also threw in a little sofrito (maybe a couple tablespoons). Everyone loved it, and I imagine the addition of some jalapenos would please those who need a little kick. Update: I tend to cook this as a sticky rice without frying the rice first, and my wife cooks it as per directions. Both ways taste great. I've found not frying the rice takes about 20 minutes on my stove, and frying takes 25 (with 5-10 minutes of rest time after it's finished cooking). It doesn't hurt to throw in some chili peppers, sazon, or sofrito either!
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4 users found this review helpful

Chipotle Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Reviewed: Jun. 22, 2011
I loved this rub. I highly suggest to brine the tenderloins overnight, because it will help retain moisture even and make the already forgiving pork tenderloin taste that much better. At 20 minutes my tenderloin was at 160 deg which is overcooked, but it was my fault as I forgot to brine the night prior, and my tenderloin cut was slimmer than normal. Even with it being dried out a bit, it was still phenomenal, and I can't any fairness in giving anything less than 5 stars because my goof ups.
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6 users found this review helpful

Yakisoba Chicken

Reviewed: Jun. 22, 2011
This may not be authentic Yakisoba, but I honestly don't care. Call it whatever you want, but I call it delicious! We added water chestnuts and baby corn, and subbed in bok choy for regular cabbage (I assumed this was an implied task). My daughter thought it was a bit spicy with the 2 tablespoons of chili paste, but she's just been fussy with spicy food lately. This is definitely on our monthly rotation.
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10 users found this review helpful

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