Morena Recipe Reviews (Pg. 2) - Allrecipes.com (1605005)

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Crazy Cake

Reviewed: Jun. 2, 2004
When I want chocolate cake, nine times out of ten, this is the cake I make. Whether eaten plain, or my favourite way, which is sandwiched with dulce de leche and topped with chocolate ganache, it's brilliant! One little thing though: the directions are fine if you want to serve your cake in the pan, but if you want to unmould it for prettier presentation, your pan will need to be greased and floured, or brushed with bakers' secret (which is no secret: combine equal parts oil, shortening, and flour). This means you should mix the cake in a separate bowl, but hey, it's still really easy and cleanup is minimal. Now! For all you people nervous about the vinegar: there is a simple reason why it's there. For a cake to rise, you need an alkali, and an acid. When the alkali and the acid combine, they react with each other, giving off carbon dioxide, which is what makes the cake rise. All cakes other than yeast cakes are risen this way. The alkali/acid deal is present in baking powder (already mixed for you), and in recipes that call for baking soda (alkali) and, say, cream of tartar (acid). In this case, you have baking soda (alkali) and vinegar (acid). They react with each other and make the cake rise. You CANNOT taste the vinegar, so relax, make the cake, and enjoy!
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682 users found this review helpful

Greek Lasagna

Reviewed: Mar. 14, 2003
I was hoping that this would be a simpler version of the real Greek lasagna, pastitso, but it wasn't. As it is, it's rather a bland mess. I had to alter it substantially to get something we were happy eating. First up, you need a flavourful sauce as a sturdy base for the pasta. After browning the meat and onions, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and extra seasonings of oregano, garlic, and parsley (a splash of red wine is not only traditional but delicious), and allow to simmer until slightly reduced and flavourful. Only then should you add the pasta and cheeses. The white sauce is also very weak: thin-looking and thin-tasting. It needs to be made with all purpose flour, and it also needs seasoning with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I give my own variation five stars, but the original is only two. Sorry!
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43 users found this review helpful

Cousin Cosmo's Greek Chicken

Reviewed: Sep. 24, 2002
Very easy, very quick, very delicious! And like another reviewer said, looks stunning on the plate. I added more spinach because I had a pile of it and we all love it; I served it with pilaf and a crisp fennel salad, and it was a great meal. The only thing I think detracts from the dish is the bouillon cube. It made the sauce taste a little fake on my palate. I'd say skip the cube and use chicken broth instead of water. Next time I think I'll also add a lemon juice to the cooking sauce because the flavours would be very complementary. UPDATE: Since I reviewed this recipe, I adapted it to serve at a café where I served as head chef for a time, and it was an absolute HIT! Other than the changes above, I stopped using flour altogether (I don't think a light sauce is a sin; besides which there's no runny sauce that can't be mopped up with something yummy), used cherry tomatoes instead of diced ones, and most importantly, added baby spinach leaves in the last two minutes of cooking, just so they wilt and are still bright green.
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243 users found this review helpful

Eggplant Parmesan I

Reviewed: Sep. 24, 2002
This recipe won out over the other Eggplant Parmesan recipes for me because of the addition of ricotta, which I love, and makes it like a delicious pasta-less lasagna. I made double the amount and had too much sauce (Best Marinara Sauce Yet, here at AllRecipes), which made it a little sloppy when serving, but nonetheless yummy. Everyone was happy that there was plenty of sauce to mop up with crusty bread! And hubby has asked that I make it again at the earliest available opportunity. Degorging (ie salting) is done only to take away bitterness (not make eggplant tender as some reviewers believe), and it is not necessary when you have wonderful tight-skinned, fresh young eggplants. Degorging actually might contribute to the greasiness of the dish. (Drawing moisture from eggplants with salt makes the temperature of the oil drop too much when adding them to the pan, hence they absorb more oil.) I didn't degorge my eggplants, and used a non-stick pan with a smear of extra-virgin olive oil. Very little fat, and no bitterness.
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948 users found this review helpful

Vietnamese Style Vegetarian Curry Soup

Reviewed: Apr. 29, 2002
This is a beautiful soup; I agree with the other reviewer in that it seems to have cross-bred with Thai laksa! I reduced the amount of curry and chili for the children's sakes, and it was just right. The only thing is that the cooking times on the recipe don't do it justice! AllRecipes puts this soup as being ready in two hours, but that's way, way off. Mine was done in under 40 minutes, and that included frying my own tofu! A very quick and easy recipe.
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30 users found this review helpful

Quick Butter Croissants

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2002
While delicious, these aren't really croissants. They're missing those lovely layers that make croissants what they are! It hasn't stopped the children and I from eating an embarrassing amount of them, and I know they'll be popular with guests... it's just that I was looking for a shortcut to the authentic thing. I'll keep looking, but then again maybe there isn't one!
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49 users found this review helpful

Cottage Cheese Roast

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2002
Heaven knows what kind of alchemy is at work when you put into the oven what looks like Breakfast Gone Horribly, Horribly Wrong, and pull out something that both looks and tastes as meaty as meatloaf can. Our family of five ate the lot with gravy and mash, and I still haven't told them it had no meat! One weird thing, however: even though I used a nonstick pan and greased it, the mixture still stuck. I'll be making it again, although next time I'll be adding some of our usual meatloaf seasonings (real onion, garlic, tomato paste, etc.)
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3 users found this review helpful

Jeera Fried Rice

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2002
This is a lovely recipe for a cumin addict like me! I added the onions back into the rice while it cooked (in the rice cooker!), so their flavour would permeate it. Fluffy, aromatic, and delish.
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2 users found this review helpful

Tofu Parmigiana

Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2002
Really delicious - particularly for something so simple! I did, however, egg the tofu before crumbing, and next time I think I will do a double layer of egg and breadcrumbs. But everyone in the family loved it. Leftovers great on toast the next day!
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4 users found this review helpful

Charley's Slow Cooker Mexican Style Meat

Reviewed: Apr. 14, 2002
What wonderful aromas as this cooks! I was burning some lavender candles the day this was cooking and I couldn't smell the lavender... but I didn't care! I like spicy, but had to adapt it for the children (they like spicy too - but their mouths are still more delicate than ours). I reduced the amount of hot peppers because I used jalapenos and they were severe, and omitted the cayenne. For chili powder, I made my own using paprika, oregano and cumin. It was just right for everyone! We had half the meat in tacos the first day, and tonight I'm making the remaining meat and sauce into a savoury stew with potatoes, zucchini, green beans, pinto beans, and corn rounds. A bit of arroz blanco, and we're set! Here's one tip which adds immeasurably to the sauce (and I'm surprised the recipe author didn't say this): after browning the meat, dump a cup of water or stock into the pan to deglaze it, scraping up any browned bits. Add this liquid to the crockpot along with everything else.
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122 users found this review helpful

Zucchini Patties

Reviewed: Apr. 10, 2002
Very yummy! It's a battle to stop everyone eating them as they come out of the pan (despite the molten lava cheese) so that I actually have some to put on the table.
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2 users found this review helpful

Baked Spinach

Reviewed: Apr. 10, 2002
A very easy alternative to creamed spinach. No sauce to make! But it definitely needs nutmeg, and most certainly needs more liquid, because the top layers dry out way too much. I'd increase the milk to 2 cups, use four eggs, and a little extra flour to thicken.
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6 users found this review helpful

Greek Potato Stew

Reviewed: Apr. 10, 2002
This was unbelievably simple, unbelievably good. Gutsy flavour - my kind of food. The best extra virgin olive oil is absolutely necessary here. Although I could easily make a meal of this with salad and flat bread, I had extra kids in the house and so coupled it with Zucchini Patties and some pilaf. Everyone ate everything! Make sure you have plenty of good bread on the table to mop up the delicious juices.
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18 users found this review helpful

Oreo™ Cookie Bark

Reviewed: Feb. 10, 2002
Delicious, and dead easy. You can make it while half asleep! (Speaking from experience here, given my Christmas cooking marathons.) Don't crush up cookies too fine, though, or the overall colour will be a little weird.
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19 users found this review helpful

Old Fashioned Scalloped Tomatoes

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2002
This is a great recipe, but I took it as a basic one, for me to fiddle with as I like. Dried parsley for me is akin to hay in flavour, so for me, fresh herbs from the garden (mixed in with the tomatoes) are a must. I have also made this not just with crushed crackers, but also diced French bread, and stuffing mix, and different cheeses. I have stopped draining the tomatoes, too, and just add a little more saltines or whatever. It is a great side dish to ANYTHING, and we love to make a meal of this with just some poached eggs and toast. My youngest calls it "lasagna", and leftovers are good on toast for breakfast the next day.
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16 users found this review helpful

Hoagie Dip

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2002
This was like no dip I ever made - more like a salad - but it was disappeared right off the table. None of us had ever had a Hoagie before, but we agreed it was yummy! With no access to American cheese, I used a combination of grated cheddar (the real stuff, not that yellow gunk) and Parmesan. Also, for easy mixing and dipping, the lettuce needs to be VERY finely shredded. And the shreds can't be too long, either, so a bit of choping after shredding is advisable.
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4 users found this review helpful

Hot Jezebel

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2002
This hot Jezebel wasn't hot enough for me, so we increased all the hot stuff! And I also used some homemade Apricot Chili Jam I just happened to have in the pantry. It was yummy, and it disappeared, so then I had to refill the dip plate.
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1 user found this review helpful

Chili I

Reviewed: Feb. 1, 2002
This is a most superb recipe! I heeded other reviewers' comments and cut down the sugar, and it was just right. I also use stout instead of beer, and home-cooked black beans, and THEN the big secret! Stick it in the crockpot to cook all day! The flavours are full and complex, and the colour is amazing. People go through vast amounts of this, and it's adaptable, too. Purists can leave it as is, but it can be padded out with bell peppers and corn, or served on a nice fluffy mound of Arroz Blanco.
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1 user found this review helpful

BLT Dip

Reviewed: Dec. 29, 2001
This was a most peculiar recipe in that it tasted like nothing particularly special... but then when we started eating it, found we couldn't stop! Not much point in serving this with crackers, I reckon. Good crusty bread or toast is the way to go. Unlike other reviewers, I found this kept quite well, and made a great sandwich filling the next day.
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3 users found this review helpful

Almond Buttercrunch Candy I

Reviewed: Dec. 27, 2001
Wow, Janis! What a great recipe! Absolutely delicious, and addictive. Coupled with the recipe for Saltine Toffee Cookies from AllRecipes, it made very decadent Christmas gifts. My sugar thermometer went kaput, and I had to guesstimate temperature, and I think I overcooked the mixture because it didn't end up crisp as I expected it to. No matter - it was still superb. One idea which would make it even more to my taste would be to roast the almonds first. I reckon the smokiness of the roasted almonds would add complexity to this, as well as cut some of the sweetness. Thanks for this, it's become an instant classic at my place.
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9 users found this review helpful

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