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Hearty Vegetable Lasagna

Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2010
Excellent! This recipe really does make what is likely the best vegetable lasagna I have ever had. I think its success is due to two main things - first, the lasagna is not "healthy" - it is merely meat-free but retains the usual cheese and eggs. Second, the method of cooking gives the veggies just the right texture. So many vegetable lasagna recipes have you include raw or almost raw vegetables in the baking dish. The end result is undercooked vegetables and/or watery lasagna. I love crisp vegetables in dishes like stir-fry, but they don't work in lasagna. I have on more than one occasion followed a recipe and included raw veggies, only to have the water in the veggies cook out and prevent the lasagna from becoming a cohesive dish... instead, it falls apart. This recipe instead includes a rich, hearty veggie-filled sauce, avoiding the usual problem. I only modifed a couple things - I used whole grain noodles, and olive oil. (I cook almost exclusively with olive oil.) I also swapped out half the mushrooms for peeled, chopped eggplant. I chopped the eggplant into small pieces - approximately 1/2 inch cubes, and tossed them with salt to draw out water before cooking them with the other veggies. I think the eggplant MAKES the lasagna. I also ended up using a lot less than one box of noodles - I never use a whole box. This lasagna is not only great vegetable lasagna, but it would hold up against a meat lasagna as well! Also - it makes AMAZING leftovers!
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40 users found this review helpful

Pork Medallions

Reviewed: Oct. 20, 2011
This is a great recipe which I'm sure is tasty on its own, but I tweaked it just a bit, and that, as Emeril would say, kicked it up a notch. First, I pounded the medallions to make them just a bit thinner, and dredged them in flour, salt, and pepper before sauteeing. This resulted in a subtle crust and additional texture and flavor. I also added an 8 oz pack of sliced mushrooms rather than just 1/4 cup. And, I added a bit of white wine to the sauce, and replaced the savory with thyme. YUM! The same recipe could easily be made with chicken. This is great served over rice.
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8 users found this review helpful

Pasta with Gorgonzola and Sweet Onion

Reviewed: Mar. 16, 2011
Fantastic! I have now made this twice, and although I think it is delicious as is, I think it is AMAZING with a couple changes - one rather weird-sounding. First - actually caramelize the onions. You cannot caramelize onions in only 10 minutes - sauteed onions are different from caramelized onions. This recipe really benefits from truly caramelized onions, which need to be cooked more slowly over a relatively low heat. Caramelized onions becomes wonderfully sweet - it's sort of amazing that you can get such a flavor from a regular onion (and I did use regular yellow onions.) The sweetness off-sets the gorgonzola cheese, and I think that many people who did not like the recipe might like it if they truly caramelized the onions. Also - the second time I made this, I added a lot of sea salt to the cooking onions, and then took a page from a pork chop recipe I think I invented - I mixed a LOT of balsamic vinegar (much more than called for), apple juice, and a bit more sea salt with the cooked onions, and let it reduce while still over heat. This is quite a departure from the recipe, but it added a wonderful sweet-savory flavor which went well with the cheese. It does not end up tasting like apple juice at all, and it also adds a bit more liquid. I also mixed the pasta/sauce with the cheese very well while it was still warm, so the cheese melted completely, forming just a creamy coating, and added chopped almonds for crunch and a subtle flavor. SO good.
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6 users found this review helpful

Brown Chicken Stock

Reviewed: Dec. 9, 2010
Love this recipe. I agree that using the carcass of a previously-roasted chicken will make this much easier to prepare, although the bones from a roast chicken will not have quite the "roasted" flavor that bones roasted while bare would have. Nevertheless, a roast chicken carcass will make adequately-flavorful stock. Oddly, I had never thought of using stock as the base for gravy, and instead only use stock for making soup. I always just take the fresh drippings to make gravy. Having some of this stock on hand would make gravy-making simpler, and would probably result in a smoother, more flavorful gravy. I will try this! For now, I made great chicken noodle soup with it.
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2 users found this review helpful

 
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