gilfaethwy Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (16757459)

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Yeast Doughnuts

Reviewed: Oct. 19, 2011
There are several reasons why this might be tricky: using yeast always is. The disasters some have noted almost certainly occurred because the yeast was dead (stale). It might be advisable to proof the yeast before making the recipe: dead yeast will never leaven anything. Also, if one wishes a fluffier or lighter doughnut, don't bat the dough down completely: fluffier dough means a fluffier outcome. I must say I make this with sugar substitutes (being diabetic): xylitol or Diabetisweet (an Isomalt product) works fine: indeed, xylitol can be bought in powdered "confectioners'" form. It also helps to add some "nonbulk" sugar substitute also, Splenda (Sucralose) being preferred, in addition to the xylitol or Diabetisweet (which should replace granular and confectioners' sugar on a one-to-one basis): I would suggest four or five packets per recipe. Keeping your yeast alive and happy till baking is, I would say, key.
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Thanksgiving Meatloaf

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2011
Great... and so nice to have a turkey recipe that actually tastes like turkey! Great served with roasted new potatoes. A variation I like is to use Herbes de Provence instead of Poultry Seasoning. Any nice tart apple will do (the Granny Smiths being the most easily obtained of these).
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Melissa's Turkey Meatloaf

Reviewed: Oct. 10, 2011
I made the recipe as indicated and it was quite good. Later I varied it: instead of tomato soup, I used cream of celery, and added some sage, rosemary, thyme, and a bit of high-quality chicken bouillon, and I think it was even better: moreover, it actually tasted like turkey-- which is nice for a change (instead of trying to get the turkey to taste like beef). I suppose cream of chicken would do well also, as well as using ground chicken in addition to, or in place of, the turkey.
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Fried Rice Restaurant Style

Reviewed: Aug. 27, 2011
A good basic recipe on which to build. I do think one should also add onion and/or scallion, always. I like using dark soy sauce when available. I also add ground ginger, a bit of minced garlic, ground white pepper, and a soupcon of oyster sauce, and when available, a bit of fermented black bean paste. I like using basmati rice, prepared the day before, and allowed to cool overnight in the refrigerator. In preparing the basmati, brown the uncooked rice very lightly in oil before adding the water to prepare it. As to the oil used, peanut is the most authentic, though canola or (for health-conscious folks) grapeseed oil (available in the Kosher foods section at WalMart, for example). Other oils-- including corn and even soybean, as well as olive-- are too strongly (or inauthentically) flavored. The sesame oil should be the dark variety, not the light, and go easily with it since it is very strongly flavored-- too much will be overwhelming to the more delicate flavors. If one likes the dish hotter than the white pepper will make it (and white pepper has less bite but more heat than black), one can add Szechuan pepper, if available. Or one can add hot capsicum-derived pepper. To do it right one really needs a gas stove, where one can get the temperature of the wok locally VERY high... in restaurants I have observed the chefs actually letting the oil flame a little, though I do not advise this at home! But the high heat, apparently, is of the essence. Bon appetit!
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Quiche Lorraine I

Reviewed: May 1, 2011
Great recipe. Classic Quiche Lorraine is even simpler -- no cheese, no onion. Just bacon in the custard, pepper, salt, and nutmeg or mace. But what makes Quiche so handy is the scope for improvisation: use grated or shredded Gruyere, Swiss, Parmesan, Romano, Cheddar, Provolone... substitute ham for the bacon, or pepperoni, or sausage; make it lean (lowfat milk) or decadent (heavy cream) or in-between (whole milk or half-and-half): it always seems to be in the ratio of one egg to a half cup liquid. Use onions, leeks, shallots, scallions, chives. Prebake the crusts first brushing with a glaze (one yolk, a teaspoon water, & a half teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon. Remember to have a cookie sheet on the rack below... believe me! Serve with a nice white wine... a Chardonnay or Gewuertztraminer, depending on ingredients. Although the classic simple S&P and nutmeg/mace is always great, you could also add savory, sage, basil, marjoram, chervil or finely minced celery leaves. Chopped cooked spinach is excellent, as are broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes (peeled, seeded & dejuiced), peppers, mushrooms (shiitakes, porcini, chanterelles, oyster mushrooms -- especially prepared as Duxelles), even olives. And in place of ham, bacon or sausage one can use crabmeat, shrimp, lobster meat... In short, one is limited only by imagination, availability of ingredients, and one's budget.
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9 users found this review helpful

Hearty Halibut Chowder

Reviewed: Apr. 21, 2011
An excellent basic recipe! I too made variations on it: no tomato (not a fan of fish with tomato); used monkfish and some shrimp; upped the butter, and used 1 1/2 cups half-and-half and one half cup good white wine (I used a Chardonnay). Used Swiss instead of Cheddar, and added celery, leek, sage, a little basil, and a little coriander; also some finely chopped spinach and a hint of mace. And white instead of black pepper. No red pepper. It was sumptuous!
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Rudy's Hamburgers

Reviewed: Apr. 5, 2011
What yummy, scrummy burgers! MMMMMM!
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Traditional Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs with a twist

Reviewed: Apr. 5, 2011
Excellent recipe... and quite traditional!
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Lentil Barley Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 21, 2011
An excellent recipe. I must adsmit that I used leek soup mix instead of plain vegetable, and butter instead of margarine. I also make a soup that is rather different but of similar ingredients and procedures. I get beef cubes, toss them in a little flour and salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven. This gives a fine flavor. Removing the meat I deglaze the pan and skim off excess fat. I then use the drippings to flavor the soup, use the butter in place of margarine, use Onion Soup mix instead of vegetable, and dice the roasted meat in small spoonsized pieces. I add rather more pepper, perhaps half black and half white, dice instead of slice the carrots and celery, omit the tomatoes, and add a sprig of rosemary and bayleaf tied together or in a sack of cheesecloth. I also use rather more of the celery, perhaps a cup and a half, finely chopped, and perhaps a whole cup of pearled barley. And a dash of ground coriander. A very satisdying. Very good too with leeks replacing the onions. Has a nice, strong beefy flavor (which is the rationale for roasting the meat first till browned).
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Pasta e Fagioli III

Reviewed: Jan. 21, 2011
A very good recipe. Though I must say, growing up in my house (my family coming from near Naples south to Salerno) "Past'e fasule" was not a soup. It was pasta, beans, sometimes pancetta or other ham-based meat, and a thick sauce. The sauce could be tomato based or white, similar to an alfredo. And sometimes it would be merely olive oil, or oil and butter, with pepper and salt. Sometimes anchovies were even added, with a little basil, garlic, and parsley. Sometimes just butter, pepper, salt, parsley, garlic, and grated cheese. Past'e Fasule was a versatile dish: Pasta, beans (and though usually white beans such as Cannellini or Great Northern, they could also be Cranberry (Romano) Beans, or Kidneys, or even Fava beans. I once had the dish with black beans -- not traditional but still satisfying). As with Minestrone, there is great latitude for inventiveness.
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Sicilian Spaghetti

Reviewed: Dec. 15, 2010
Further to my review and comments above... the anchovy/garlic/oil is not so much poured as drizzled over the pasta and then tossed, rather like a salad, to enrobe the pasta. For this purpose the anchovies should either be fully blended into the oil/garlic-- as a kind of sauce-- or in such small pieces they will adhere to the pasta and not settle to the bottom. Buon appetito!
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Slow Cooker Stuffing

Reviewed: Nov. 19, 2010
Remember, the recipe says "4 1/2 cups, or as needed". With a bit over seven cups of dry ingredients, four and a half does seem a tad much. But the enjoinder "or as needed" is the important part. Have it on hand, add it just before the beaten eggs, about a cup at a time and mixing well after, adding only enough to get the right consistency. I made it with freshly baked cornbread, which is already rarther moist, and only used about 2 cups of broth. Dried bread cubes or dried (toasted) cornbread would take rather more. Perhaps the recipe ought read, "chicken broth as needed, 2-4 cups approximately". I also add garlic and rosemary, and sometimes a little powdered bay leaf. And if the chicken broth is rather bland, some powdered chicken bouillon as well, adjusting the salt accordingly. (ALWAYS taste the mixture before adding the eggs to adjust for seasoning.) I also like to add sauteed, not raw, mushrooms, or if I have it, Mushrooms Duxelles-- much tastier! This works well with Shiitakes.
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Nenni's Italian Pork Sausage

Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2010
An excellent moderately hot sausage! In our family, we make sweet sausage (Salsiccia dolce), which is quite similar -- instead of red pepper flakes, we add dried basil (though it has to be VERY fresh dry basil), and sometimes marjoram, and somewhat more fennel. But then the cuisine I grew up with, from the area fronting the Gulf of Salerno, tends to be sweeter rather than hotter. (The tomato sauce, which could be christened Salsa Cotta, far from todays fad for "fresh", that is, only slightly cooked, tomato, has to cook for hours, so that the sugars in the tomato (sometimes also with added sugar) caramelize slowly, giving the sauce a deep dark-red color, and even tinting the olive oil red. This sauce is very simple: tomato paste is mixed with sugar, garlic is lightly sauteed (but not so much it browns) and the paste and sugar are slowly browned in the garlic and olive oil. To this is added water, basil, marjoram or very fresh oregano, perhaps some finely chopped rosemary, and occasionally some red wine. Then it is cooked slowly for a very long time, hours usually, just at a good simmer. (If one is frying meatballs or sausage, after pouring off the excess fat, the pan is deglazed with water, wine or sauce and this is added to flavor the sauce). The complexity and richness of the flavors in this cooked tomato sauce cannot be rivaled by the raw or near-raw tomato sauces, in my opinion. Buon appettito!
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English Caraway Cake

Reviewed: Sep. 1, 2010
I found this recipe -- identical to that which appeared in the late 1960s Time Life book on British Cookery, from which I tried it -- turned out odd. It produced not a batter but a dough, so I second the comment that "pouring the batter is impossible"-- it made not so much a cake as a mildly sweet bread. I suspect that the recipe has an error in it and that it calls for too much flour for the butter and sugar. Of course, very old recipes for Seed Cake sometimes made more of a bread than a cake, and perhaps I was expecting a more Victorian product. I was tempted to add some mace or even vanilla (both of which are ingredients in other recipes for Seed Cake); I also used some ground caraway along with the whole seed. On the whole, this recipe as stated makes a pleasant somewhat sweet dense bread which is nice with tea or coffee.
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