rharris Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (18124488)

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Best Ever Crab Cakes

Reviewed: Jan. 25, 2015
When I saw the "Best Ever" in the title, I was curious and had to try the recipe, even though I already have a favorite. This proved to be very good, but it can't compete with Shirley Phillips Crab Cakes from the Phillips restaurant at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. The "Best Ever Crab Cakes" have twice as much bread/cracker filler as the Phillips version, which is the main reason that I prefer the latter. If you can't find Phillips Seafood Seasoning, you can substitute Old Bay, which is available everywhere. I can't tell the difference.
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Karen's Fried Green Tomatoes

Reviewed: Nov. 12, 2014
I have never been particularly impressed by fried green tomatoes, but I had some green tomatoes left over from my garden after a hard frost and hated to waste them. I found this recipe to be fantastic. My only concern was that duplicating it as written would have produced a dish with far more saturated fat than I was willing to accept (one serving of this side dish would have meant ingesting 50% more than the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat from the American Heart Association, even for healthy adults without heart problems). I realize that this is not a diet dish, but a simple substitution resulted in 1/3 of the saturated fat, 1/2 the cholesterol, and still delicious flavor. I substituted a 50-50 blend of olive oil and Smart Balance Buttery Spread with flaxseed oil, along with a cut from two eggs to one, resulting in a heart-healthy recipe without any apparent loss of flavor. I don't want to sound like a food Nazi, but there simply is no reason to cook the tomatoes in a cup of butter when there are much more healthful alternatives that do not mean giving up anything! This recipe is a keeper.
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Scallop-Topped Portabello Mushrooms

Reviewed: Nov. 9, 2014
Delicious recipe! This is a keeper, and it is good enough for a special occasion. I don’t understand the very low ratings from those who referred to Heinz bottled chili sauce or from those who said it was poorly put together. I found it incredible, and I saw no reference to anything from Heinz. As others have done, I used Srirachi chili sauce. For those who do not appreciate a spicy flavor, be sure to use it sparingly, because even a little makes it surprisingly spicy. I liked it, but I have lived in Sichuan and am used to much heavier spices. I have used Kewpie mayo while in Japan, but I found that U.S. mayo with a bit of (liquid) sushi seasoning sauce (which is basically rice wine, with sweetener and a few spices) was a fine substitute. My Japanese wife and I both gave this recipe five stars. As an aside, my only serious detour from the recipe as written was to add freshly grated Romano cheese, which complemented the other flavors nicely. I recommend not cooking the scallops as long as recommended. Scallops, like shrimp, are perfect when barely done. Any more cooking toughens them, changing the texture significantly. Sautéing them until they are browned and then cooking them even longer under the broiler is far too long.
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New Year Spinach Fettuccine with Scallops

Reviewed: Dec. 30, 2013
Very tasty, easily prepared pasta dish. However, it adds only five minutes (or fewer) to make a white sauce and add fresh mushrooms, rather than canned soup and canned mushrooms. Fresh spinach also is much tastier than frozen, and no more difficult to make. Not only is the taste far better with fresh mushrooms, but you avoid the BPA that is in canned foods (and you have more control over the salt, which is pretty high in canned soups). Sherry is also a nice alternative to the white wine.
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2 users found this review helpful

Lobster Newburg

Reviewed: Dec. 25, 2013
As others have stated, this is a restaurant-quality dish that is incredibly easy to make. I made it exactly as written, and it was perfect. I used two whole lobsters, but next time I will use either lobster tails or perhaps try making Crab Newburg, using Alaskan king crab. Most of my time was spent extracting the meat from the whole lobsters, so avoiding the whole lobsters would speed up the process. I will also try using canned milk instead of the heavy cream, as an experiment. If I don't give up too much in flavor, the canned milk would make it more healthful.
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Grandma's Green Bean Casserole

Reviewed: Nov. 28, 2013
This is a nice alternative to the traditional green bean casserole with canned french fried onions and canned soup. I tried it almost exactly as written, except I used frozen green bea. I think that using frozen or fresh green beans also improves the flavor over canned. Actually, I made one more substitution, based on what I had on hand: I used bread crumbs coated with butter instead of the crackers. I was surprised that even the small amount of sugar in the recipe added a hint of sweetness that was both subtle and interesting. As others have mentioned, the result is a bit thick, so I added a little of the water in which the green beans had been steamed to thin the white sauce (since it is made with sour cream rather than milk, the dominant flavor is still that of white sauce made with milk).
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Easy Chicken Casserole

Reviewed: Oct. 12, 2013
I try not to change a recipe and then review it, but as nearly everyone else has suggested, this is a good start but needs some revisions. With the revisions, I would give it a 5 for an easy, quick casserole. Like several others, I sauteed sliced mushrooms to which I added flour and milk to turn what would have been a basic roux into a mushroom sauce. I also added cheddar cheese to make it a cheesy mushroom sauce. I prefer that to canned soups to: 1. avoid the BPA in cans; 3. avoid the high sodium level in canned soups, 2. use fresh ingredients for flavor, and 3. save nearly the entire cost of the canned soup. Even if I factor in the value of my few minutes that it takes to make a white sauce, the result is nearly free. I also replaced the Ritz crackers with bread crumbs mixed with a little butter and Parmesan cheese. I sauteed the chicken rather than boiling it, which I strongly prefer with white meat, and I added frozen peas. I also added a bit of sherry and paprika to jazz up the flavor that some had referred to as "bland" without some changes. All of these changes took only a few extra minutes, yet the result was a fantastic yet easy recipe with interesting, somewhat complex flavors. Thanks to the other reviewers for the changes that I stole from you!
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Quick Spaghetti Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2013
I loved it. The chicken broth is an unusual switch from any spaghetti sauce I have made before. As an aside, I got a chuckle out of reviews from those who made essentially a completely different sauce yet rated this one. For example, one left out the chicken broth and tomato paste and changed all of the other ingredients. It sounds fine--basically like the sauce I normally make--but it has nothing to do with this recipe!
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Chicken Florentine Casserole

Reviewed: Jul. 30, 2013
I like it a lot, although like most other reviewers, I felt that the recipe itself was a start that could benefit from a lot of tweaking. So forgive me for giving a review for a recipe that I modified heavily, without at least trying it as written the first time. I usually don't do this. My only addition to the many very worthwhile comments would be: 1. spend 5 more minutes to make a quick white sauce, then add your own mushrooms, using at least 8 oz. of fresh mushrooms (you can even add a touch of sherry); 2. use fresh or frozen spinach instead of canned. We buy large bags of fresh spinach that we can never finish, so I freeze it and always have some available for cooking; 3. if you are concerned about saturated fat, you can substitute canned milk for the half and half without even noticing the difference--the other strong flavors will dominate, and the texture is controlled by the thickness of the rest of the sauce. Try it once before you dismiss it.
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Perfect Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

Reviewed: May 8, 2013
Delicious recipe. I tried it once as written, but to make it a 5, I recommend a little tweaking that I tried the second time: I included the (chopped) mushroom stems in the stuffing, and I added a little sherry, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh horse radish, and I used fresh dill, rather than dried. I also used a combination of baby Portabella and button mushrooms. The choice of mushrooms had little effect on the end result, but I have a slight preference for the Portabella flavor and texture. With those minor modifications, this is my favorite stuffed mushroom recipe ever.
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Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Reviewed: Apr. 18, 2013
This is a nice way to make a very quick green chile enchilada dinner, but I was hoping for a recipe, rather than a serving suggestion for canned green chile sauce. I suppose that adding the shredded zucchini makes it at least a glorified serving suggestion, but it hardly seems like a recipe. We don't need a recipe to open a can of sauce and put cheese on top. I'm not complaining about starting with a can of sauce, but I expect more than this from a recipe.
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3 users found this review helpful

My Best Clam Chowder

Reviewed: Feb. 13, 2013
This is a great clam chowder recipe. I had misgivings about the red wine vinegar, but like other reviewers, I found it to be an incredible addition. It added complexity without an actual vinegar taste. I have made clam chowder my whole life, but from now on, it will always include the vinegar. I made the recipe basically as written, with the exception of replacing the cream with canned milk. I love real cream, but canned milk avoids some fat calories without a significant loss of flavor.
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Scalloped Potatoes

Reviewed: Sep. 11, 2012
Good recipe; the sherry makes it a nice variation from the typical recipe. I like the suggestion to boil the potatoes first; this saves a lot of baking time, particularly if you use a pressure cooker for 7 minute cooking of the potatoes. As others have pointed out, the sauce is way too thin. I discovered this before I combined the sauce with the potatoes, so it was an easy fix to make a roux and add the hot watery sauce before baking. I also reduced the saturated fat by using a mix of butter and olive oil (50-50) in the sauce, along with 100% olive oil for the roux. My only other minor adjustment was to top with a bread crumb/ground almond mix in place of the cornflakes. The nuts may sound strange, but the result works!
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Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip II

Reviewed: Aug. 11, 2012
Delicious! I have tried this exactly as written, other than using fresh spinach, fresh basil, and more garlic (2 cloves) in lieu of the garlic salt, and I have tried it with minor variations (cilantro). It's a great recipe either way, and it's quick and easy to make.
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Tender Tomato Chicken Breasts

Reviewed: Mar. 26, 2012
This is quite good for such an easy recipe. My only suggested changes are to use fresh onion, tomatoes, and vegetables. Although you can get away with frozen, fresh always tastes better and allows you to pick the mix of vegetables that you like. Granted using fresh tomatoes is a little tiresome, because you need to cook them down to reduce the liquid, but you avoid getting BPA from the liners in the canned vegetables. Acid vegetables like tomatoes are especially bad about leaching BPA out of the cans. If you microwave the tomatoes first, there is enough juice to be able to add the other vegetables and cook together with little or no added water.
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Shrimp Fried Rice II

Reviewed: Dec. 12, 2011
The recipe is fine, although after trying it essentially as written, I would recommend several changes: 1. use raw shrimp and do not cook it for the full 7 minutes-especially not if the shrimp were already cooked! About the only thing you can do wrong with shrimp is cook it too long, making it mealy. Once it loses its translucence, it is done; anything beyond that makes the texture unpleasant. The easy rule of thumb is if you have cooked it long enough to cook the eggs, the shrimp is certainly done. 2. Unless you don't like sesame oil, 1/4 t. is not really enough. 3. The soy sauce adds plenty of salt; I can't imagine adding more (my only change from the recipe was to omit the extra salt).
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Goat Cheese Salmon

Reviewed: Oct. 26, 2011
Incredibly delicious, yet easy to prepare. like others, I didn't have herbed goat cheese, so I used fresh basil, a little powdered garlic, and a touch of dried rosemary. Similarly for the mustard-mayo blend, I made my own by adding equal proportions of Dijon mustard and low-fat mayo. I thought it would be really good, but it beat my already high expectations.
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Extreme Veggie Scrambled Eggs

Reviewed: Aug. 21, 2011
Very tasty. I tried it out of curiosity, since it is similar to a recipe that I use for scrambled eggs. However, next time, I will revert to my standard recipe, which does not include milk and differs in several other significant ways. I know that many use milk in scrambled eggs, but I prefer mine less fluffy. I also use avocado, which I feel makes a major contribution, and I often use more tomato, which makes it a bit more like one of the staple tomato and egg dishes served regularly in many parts of China. I also replace roughly half of the eggs with tofu, which makes it much more healthful, both because of the health benefits of tofu and the reduction in cholesterol. I also add spinach, which I buy fresh but freeze for later cooking when it starts to deteriorate. Unlike others who have reviewed this dish, I prefer olive oil for cooking eggs (even for fried eggs), both for taste and health reasons. I used to use butter (and even bacon drippings before that), but olive oil is far more healthful. I usually use sharp cheddar cheese, but next time, I will try feta, as another reviewer suggested. Fresh cilantro is also a nice addition, and if you add cumin, it makes a tasty breakfast wrap (in a flour tortilla). For wraps, you can add shrimp or sausage for extra flavor.
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Creamy Cheesy Scrambled Eggs with Basil

Reviewed: Aug. 7, 2011
Very tasty. Out of curiosity, tried this as an alternative to my usual scrambled eggs, because this is somewhat similar. I will stick with my recipe, however, because the results are at least as good without all of the cholesterol. You can replace at least half of the eggs with silky (soft) tofu, cutting the fat content drastically. I use cheddar (fat-free is okay and more healthful) instead of mozzarella for the added flavor, and I use more fresh basil, preferably without mincing it. As an option, avocado and mushrooms both add a lot. With plenty of cheese and the optional ingredients, you don't even realize that your eggs are really faux scrambled eggs! I also cook them in olive oil instead of butter. In short, mine is not a modification; it is a different recipe with health benefits.
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15 users found this review helpful

Seared Tuna with Wasabi-Butter Sauce

Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2011
I reviewed this recipe some time ago, but I have tried a variation that is interesting and would like to share it. Rather than use the white wine vinegar, I used a larger quantity of sake that was past its prime for drinking, then simmered it long enough to reduce it appropriately. I had saved it for possible cooking, and gave it a try last night. I recommend the change. As before, I strongly recommend using sashimi grade tuna and then searing it very briefly. I use a cast iron skillet at high heat, first popping some whole black peppercorns in the oil and then adding the tuna just long enough to sear it. It's sashimi-grade tuna that I normally use for sushi, so I want to make sure that the inside is still cold--certainly not "slightly pink" or grey.
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