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Basic Baked Spaghetti

Reviewed: Nov. 3, 2010
I read through so many reviews of this recipe that in an act of sheer madness, I tried to accommodate all the suggested modifications from other reviewers...or at least those that I could remember. I sauteed the ground beef [seasoned with onion powder, italian seasoning, basil, oregano chili powder, salt, pepper], sliced white mushrooms, garlic, and red chili flakes. After pouring in my spaghetti sauce of choice from Trader Joe's, I added bay leaf and simmered the mixture in low heat for 10 minutes. I chopped up fresh mozzarella and brandished two bags of shredded sharp cheddar and mozzarella. After tossing the pasta with the sauce, I alternated layers of cheese and spaghetti in the baking dish, then topped the crust with the same layers of cheese plus Parmesan. The result? Rich and creamy spaghetti with tender mushrooms, gooey melted cheese crowned with a layer of crispy cheesy crust. Great texture, awesome flavor! Thanks fellow reviewers!
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26 users found this review helpful

Jamaican Beef Patties

Reviewed: Sep. 26, 2010
LOVE IT! I made this recipe 3 times! I had a difficult time achieving the perfect consistency for the dough though, as it kept crumbling. I did a bit of research and I made use of Emeril Lagasse's recipe for the dough. I sifted the flour with a typical strainer. I also added ground cumin and garam masala (I think these spices add a nice earthy flavor). I divided the margarine and shortening into chunks before adding it to the flour mixture. I then mixed, pinched and crumbled the mixture until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. I added just enough water to make a firm dough, making sure not to overwork it. I wrapped it in Cling Wrap and refrigerated the dough for 1 1/2 hours. I used a rolling pin to roll it out, popped a lid off my Folger's coffee can and used it to trace perfect circles on the dough before cutting it with a knife (believe me, this makes it way easier!). The pastry came out perfectly, but the ground beef....IT WAS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! (I also added a bit of garam marasala and ground cumin to the ground beef mixture). I think the bread crumbs are essential to the texture. I took away a star because of my initial issues with the dough. But I gotta tell you.. the ground beef recipe packs a punch! No wonder my husband requested it 3 times!!!
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8 users found this review helpful

Stir Fried Sesame Vegetables with Rice

Reviewed: Sep. 26, 2010
Asparagus is expensive at $4.99/lb so I substituted Eating Right's pre-packaged Broccoli Stir Fry (with includes carrots, snap peas, and broccoli florets). This is my second attempt to cook a stir fry dish. The first recipe I tried was Robin Miller's (from Food Network's quick and easy meals). It was decent, nothing spectacular. But wow, this dish is richer and more flavorful, thanks to awesome combination of sesame oil and sesame seeds (adds a a nice texture and leaves a nutty lingering taste). I made a few modifications gleaned from other recipes I researched: I added about 1.3lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I cut into 1 1/2 inch strips, placed it in a zip lock bag, and tossed with 2 tbsp. of cornstarch (. In a separate bowl, I mixed soy sauce, garlic power and ground ginger and marinated the chicken overnight (30 minutes would do). I then cooked the chicken with the ginger and garlic. I also added veggies in 1-min intervals -- mixing in-between servings to saturate the veggies with flavor and to ensure that is it perfectly cooked. After adding a generous amount of soy sauce and before mixing in the sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds, I also dissolved 1 cup of chicken broth with 2 tbsp of cornstarch and let it simmer for 2 minutes to thicken the sauce. My husband's reaction after his first bite? "WOW!!!!" I savored this rare moment. He usually waits for me to ask, then gives a generic answer ("Everything you cook is delicious!"). This recipe is awesome!
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16 users found this review helpful

Baked Pork Chops I

Reviewed: Sep. 21, 2010
HELP!! I made this dish yesterday and followed the recipe to a T...except that I took other reviewer's advice and doubled the gravy. I used 8 slices of pork and Chardonnay for the white wine. Since I doubled the gravy mixture, I used 2 cups of wine, 4 cans of condensed cream of mushroom and 2 cups of milk. The dish turned out very bitter! It wasn't bitter at a before I added the gravy mixture and baking it for an additional 30 mins. Did I do something wrong? Did I put too much wine? Pls let me know how I can salvage this dish (perhaps by simmering it?). I made my hubby wait til 10pm for his dinner, assured by my promise that he is about to have the most awesome pork chops ever. needless to say, it didn't quite turn out that way. Help!
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0 users found this review helpful

 
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