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Easy Cream of Chicken Rice Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 7, 2013
5 stars for taste ... DELICIOUS (keep in mind I made mods due to my special-needs-diet)!! 4 for presentation (it's not very pretty). I changed it to make it SND friendly, as I am gluten-allergic & I eat paleo (keep your thyroid healthy, kids, if you don't want to end up like me). Hubby loved it, too! He came home tired & this quickly made his world a better place. 1st mod: grapeseed oil over olive for its higher smoke point and lighter taste. 2nd mod: no flour. It's not a bisque; it doesn't need to be thick. 3rd mod: sub one can regular (NOT LITE) coconut milk instead of half/half. Coconut fat is super-healthy and easy to digest. Keep it in 4th mod: deglaze the pan with a generous pour of dry white wine after sauteeing vegetables & before adding the other liquid, because YUM! Cheap is fine (I use pinot at sprouts for 3/$10 & use about 1/3 bottle. Let the veggies soften in the wine at a simmer for a few mins) 5th mod: thinly sliced 2 white mushrooms & added to veggies when I added the wine 6th mod: Omitted bay leaf. Tossed thyme and parsley in loose and removed stems later. 7th mod: Poured soup over rice (hubby eats rice, I don't). Made regular jasmine rice in rice cooker. We have greyhounds who eat rice nightly, so we always have rice in the cooker. Fine-sliced green onion, grated carrot and fresh parsley for garnish improves the look. Paleo is no-dairy, but I believe in sauteeing onion and garlic in butter. Keep the butter. Defat leftovers before reheating. YUM
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Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes)

Reviewed: Jan. 19, 2012
SO DELICIOUS. Even my mom raved (NO small feat!) I had made fakes before, but it was never this good. I think it was the tomato paste that made it taste more authentic and took it to a new level. A couple small tweaks: Doubled the recipe. I added an extra 2C of water because it got ridiculously thick. A little squeeze of fresh lemon juice for brightness. Anytime I sauté onion or garlic, I ALWAYS deglaze tha pan with a little white wine to get that nice toasted flavor off the pan. Also, I waited to add the carrots until it was almost time to deglaze so they wouldn't turn to mush. I used fresh garden herbs instead of dried: lots of oregano, a little sprig of rosemary and a tiny bit of thyme. Dash of paprika. Simmered on very low for 3 hours beyond recommended time. Again, so fabulous! Thanks for this recipe!
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Rosemary Sherry Pork Chops

Reviewed: Nov. 2, 2011
Very tasty! I'm not a pork fan, and I enjoyed it. Served it to my parents ... dad loved it, mom said it has too much rosemary (but she's hard to please and really hates things that aren't near-bland, so interpret as you will). I used a whole stick of rosemary instead of chopping it the second time around, and removed the stick about halfway through to reduce the rosemary flavor to her taste. Sad but true ... mummy dearest always wins. No major changes, except the second time I made it, I carmelized the onions first. Blackening is too much, but get them nice and brown and a tiny bit crispy, and it adds so much texture along with just a little sweetness. It really improved the mouth-feel, because the one thing this dish lacks is texture.
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Swiss Cheese 'n' Onion Quiche

Reviewed: Nov. 2, 2011
A favorite among my friends. Even my foodie friends ask me to make it because they can't get it to turn out quite the same. I buy frozen pie crust. Supposedly true love is expressed by hand-making crust, but I suck at baking, and I don't even love myself enough to willingly go through that torture, SO. Freezer section, it is! And hubby doesn't seem to think it means I love him any less. ;) I think potato flour makes a better texture, so I always sub for regular flour, and like so many things, a good roux is key here. I reduce the cheese by about 1/4, otherwise I find the top gets too greasy. Before serving, I let cool for 5-10 minutes and then blot the grease off the top of the quiche to reduce the fat content. Don't blot too early or the quiche will stick to the paper towel!
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Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Reviewed: Nov. 2, 2011
I made this the first time for my BFF (who, incidentally, is a better chef than me which is saying a lot) and our families, and have had to beat off the repeat requests with a meat tenderizer. It truly is fabulous, and the simple ingredients are the best. I make a couple adjustments .... I use yukon gold potatoes instead of russet; potato flour instead of wheat flour; white pepper instead of black because I hate black specks in light-colored food, and white pepper is more subtle in flavor; and I substitute 1/2 cup buttermilk for 1/2 cup of the milk ... it makes the sauce a little thicker and adds a different dimension of flavor. And I love buttermilk almost as much as I love my hubby!! Finely ground almonds (or almond flour, which is really just super-fine-ground almonds) sprinkled lightly over the top before the last 5 mins in the oven adds an optional pleasant crunch and lovely layer of flavor.
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Slow Cooker Pheasant with Mushrooms and Olives

Reviewed: Dec. 16, 2010
Excellent, tender pheasant from this recipe! My parents used to make homemade baby food for me from pheasants they killed, and this is the first time I've had it in 30 years because it's an intimidating bird (tough, gamy, that kind of thing). No fear here, it was fall-apart delicious and flavorful. I modified in the following ways: I only had one pheasant so I essentially halved it. I brown-braised pearl onions with scallion, and sauteed the mushrooms, both a la MTAOFC in addition to the onion called for in the recipe. I julienned half of the onion called for instead of cutting it into rings.. Instead of chicken broth, I used beef as I had no chicken broth on hand. I used soy flour instead of all-purpose. I omitted the olives as I didn't have any. I used an additional half-cup of white wine; white pepper instead of black; and 6 cloves of garlic thru my garlic press instead of chopping. Also added a minced small shallot when I sauteed the onion. I loved it, my BF loved it (we will serve it over rice pasta next time per his suggestion), and my uncle loved it. To reiterate what an earlier poster said, do be careful of the bones.
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Crispy Herb Baked Chicken

Reviewed: Jul. 2, 2008
This makes a good starting point. I made several changes/additions. For one thing, I ALWAYS brine chicken for a couple hours before cooking to keep it moist while it cooks. For the crumb mixture, first, I pressed 4 large cloves of garlic and mixed in dried herbes de provence in a bowl. Next the potato flakes and parmesan went in, followed by a teaspoon of potato flour and a couple tablespoons of breadcrumbs for texture. (All measurements are approximate. I believe in eyeballing). For the dip, I beat 2 eggs with a drizzle of coconut oil and a dash of lemon juice. I dip the chicken once, coat it in flour, and then flash-fry them to a pale gold-brown in the pan with some coconut oil. This also helps hold in the moisture! Once it's cooled enough to handle, I dip it a second time and coat it in the crumb mixture. The baking time worked pretty well for me, but the flakes started getting a little over-done, so I added dry flakes over the top of the chicken periodically as it baked. This was a HUGE hit ... everyone loved it! Crunchy, moist and the herbs are wonderful.
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