NMHeckel Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (187677962)

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Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread

Reviewed: Mar. 17, 2013
Great basic recipe! I followed the suggestions of some other reviewers and turned the heat down (to 350) and left the bread in for about 20 minutes longer--a total of 1 hr, 10 minutes--and it's lovely and brown on the outside, but nice and moist and fully baked on the inside. A couple other modifications to be recommended: sub in some whole grain flour (I used 1 c. fresh oat flour, and 1/2 c. fresh whole wheat) and knead in currants if you like them. The butter can be melted and the mixed with the buttermilk-egg mixture to make it easier to add in. Also, if you're short on buttermilk, but have some plain yogurt in the fridge, just mix 1/2 c. yogurt with 1/2 c. milk to substitute for the buttermilk--it works just fine!
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Christmas Stollen

Reviewed: Dec. 12, 2012
This is a great recipe. It's the first time I've made Christ-stollen myself, and it came out beautifully. I used currants, golden raisins, dried cherries, and candied orange peel (only about 1/2 cup, not 2/3) as my fruit; the currants, raisins, and cherries were soaked in brandy for about 15 minutes, then drained and incorporated. I also subbed in 1/2 cup fresh whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup of the white flour (which was King Arthur All Purpose, not bread flour). About the only other modification I'm going to make next time is to try and roll my almond paste into a sheet and roll it more into the dough so that it streaks the dough more. The only reason I gave the recipe 4 stars and not 5 is that the timing given in the recipe is misleading. This is not a 3-hour recipe, and if you only give the dough an hour for the first rise, it's not going to double, even if your house is toasty. That's simply how sweet, milk/egg/butter breads are, and I think this is the problem some reviewers have run into. So give it longer on the first rise (I gave it about 2 1/2 hours) and on the second (an hour or so rather than 40 minutes). It is worth the wait. Oh, and use a stand mixer to start the kneading if you can--it makes it so that you can stick closer to the flour amounts given.
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German Brotchen Rolls

Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2014
To start, yes, I made some very minor changes--just two, in my case: 3 cups of the flour I used was King Arthur white whole wheat, and I made 32 rolls instead of 24. That said, it worked BEAUTIFULLY. The only reason I'm giving 4 stars rather than 5 is that it is a little too yeasty, flavor-wise; I'm going to try reducing the yeast to 1 1/2 tbsp in my next batch. Other than that, it's great. The outside is nice and chewy, the inside soft, and the flavor holds up both sharp cheese and good whole-grain mustard. They also taste absolutely awesome with butter and Nutella (yes, both--don't judge me). On a side note, I'm a little confused by those who say that it takes a long time--do you folks not regularly make yeast breads? Some of my regular recipes need to rise in the refrigerator overnight, so the fact that I was able to make the dough for this in about 20 minutes, and then have the rolls in the oven within 2 1/2 hours made the recipe seem really quick to me!
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Christstollen with Brandy-soaked fruit

Reviewed: Feb. 10, 2013
This is a great recipe. It's the first time I've made Christ-stollen myself, and it came out beautifully. I used currants, golden raisins, dried cherries, and candied orange peel (only about 1/2 cup, not 2/3) as my fruit; the currants, raisins, and cherries were soaked in brandy for about 15 minutes, then drained and incorporated. I also subbed in 1/2 cup fresh whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup of the white flour (which was King Arthur All Purpose, not bread flour). About the only other modification I'm going to make next time is to try and roll my almond paste into a sheet and roll it more into the dough so that it streaks the dough more. The only reason I gave the recipe 4 stars and not 5 is that the timing given in the recipe is misleading. This is not a 3-hour recipe, and if you only give the dough an hour for the first rise, it's not going to double, even if your house is toasty. That's simply how sweet, milk/egg/butter breads are, and I think this is the problem some reviewers have run into. So give it longer on the first rise (I gave it about 2 1/2 hours) and on the second (an hour or so rather than 40 minutes). It is worth the wait. Oh, and use a stand mixer to start the kneading if you can--it makes it so that you can stick closer to the flour amounts given.
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Perfect Lemon Curd

Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2013
The lemon curd made from this recipe is *great*, but the directions are utter for people who have no experience making colloids like curd or hollandaise sauce (hence my 4-star rating). They do basically encompass what needs doing, but warnings should be added so that inexperienced cooks understand how gently the mix needs to be heated, and how constantly one needs to stir. My recommendations for those of you who haven't had much practice with this kind of sauce: get all the ingredients but the butter whisked thoroughly together, and begin heating them gently (start at low, and gradually turn up to medium-low or *maybe* even medium) in a heavy pan with just one tablespoon of butter in the mix. When that melts, start adding the rest of the butter about a tablespoon at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next. Once it's all in, just keep stirring, don't let the heat get above medium, and be patient while it thickens. It takes a while, so make sure you've got at least 20-30 minutes free to cook it.
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Chef John's Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Reviewed: Mar. 11, 2013
This was a pretty good basic recipe--everyone liked it (me, Daddy, and the 3 1/2-year-old!), and it is a GREAT way to use up eggs without feeling like you're eating eggs. I only made one change--added some thinly sliced onion (one smallish onion's worth) that I sauteed in the bacon fat--and it was lovely even though I did not give my sauce quite enough time to thicken. I would recommend using the hot pasta water to temper the eggs first if you're having trouble not curdling them. Next time we're also going to try adding greens of some kind, and in the summer will probably drop in some fresh tomato as well. Overall, very good, very kid-friendly, and fairly easy, though you do have to understand how to avoid curdling egg mixes as you heat them.
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Indian Chicken Curry (Murgh Kari)

Reviewed: Sep. 25, 2013
This was a really good recipe--the spice mix is very well blended. The one change I recommend is to cut the salt by 1/3 to 1/2--my husband and I thought it was definitely on the salty side. It would also be a good idea to cut back on the cayenne if you're feeding children--our 4-year-old loved it, and he probably would not have done well had I used a full teaspoon of pepper. On a different note, if you're the kind of person who likes to add more vegetables to saucy dishes like this, this one will take just about any mild veggie. I used okra, and it was a great addition.
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Chef John's Pumpkin Pancakes

Reviewed: Dec. 7, 2014
I feel a little bad rating this, as I did make changes to the recipe in order to more or less use my own batter base (see the "fluffy whole-grain pancake" recipe in my recipe box), but kept the pumpkin amounts and the spice amounts (though I had to switch lemon extract for zest, not having zest or a lemon on hand). The spice ended up being a little heavy for my taste; in particular, I am likely to back off the cinnamon by 1/4 tsp next time I try this. The interesting thing, though, was that my husband, who is in general not a fan of pancakes (he finds them over-bland and calls them "sponges"), actually liked these because they had a pretty substantial amount of flavor. Since the kids also liked them enough to snack on them all morning, we'll be having them again as we work through our stock of neck pumpkins that we picked up this fall. A side note: fresh pumpkin puree might make a difference here--I had just baked up a couple of pumpkins two days before, so my puree was pretty high-quality. If you can get ahold of a pie pumpkin or sweeter winter squash, it would be worth roasting it up (poke holes in it, put it in a baking pan, and roast it at 350 until a fork pokes easily into it; then cut it open, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits and discard [or roast the seeds], scoop out the flesh and puree it) and using fresh puree.
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Asian Coconut Rice

Reviewed: Apr. 13, 2014
I made this as written today as an accompaniment to Aminah Rahman's Chickpea Curry, and it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. The rice cooked just fine--those who are having cooking issues need to modify their heat levels, I would guess--but it was bland. I'm fine with the very light coconut flavor, but there was something missing, perhaps because I usually cook my rice with butter. Next time I'll probably try sauteing the rice in a little coconut oil first; normally I do this with butter, and it adds a lovely depth of flavor.
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5 users found this review helpful

 
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