MelissaLee Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (188064330)

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MelissaLee

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Potato Latkes I

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2013
I like the recipe, and agree with most others on their suggestions. I used 4 medium potatoes and grated them for a better texture. I also used half a sweet onion, grated. Reduced the egg to 1 beaten and reduced the salt to only 1 tsp and added about 1/8 tsp pepper. Instead of 2tbs of flour, I used 4 tbs of Bisquick (trust me on this). Nice and browned and delicious - we had them with galumpkis and topped them with a bit of sour cream. Delicious!
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Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffe

Reviewed: Jun. 12, 2013
This recipe is FANTASTIC! Made it for The Hubbs (a Cajun food fanatic) and he absolutely loved it. Like most, I used shrimp (about 2 lbs or approx 6 dozen large) and made shrimp stock using the shells (with celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf, thyme, a touch of garlic, S&P - start with 3.5 qts water and reduce to 1/5-2 qts). I also used 1.5 sticks unsalted butter with about 1 to 1.5 c flour to make my blond roux. I used the 2 tbs Old Bay, 2 tsp home-made blackening seasoning, and 2 tbs Franks Hot Sauce (would have used Lousiana but used the remainder up last week on eggs!). All-in-all, it was not too hot/spicy, but left a nice low "burn" after swallowing. Up front, it's just all flavor. I must say, this is a definite keeper. We'll be making it with fresh crawfish after our next fishing trip. Don't ruin it with using frozen, peeps. If you can't get fresh, use shrimp. You won't be disappointed.
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4 users found this review helpful

Firecracker Grilled Alaska Salmon

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2013
FABULOUS redipe. Even my 18-month old son ate a huge portion. I used olive oil rather than peanut, and reduced the amount to 1/4 cup. Additionally, I increased the sesame oil - which I always have on hand since I cook Korean food at least once a week! - to approximately 1 tbs. I used sriracha sauce instead of crushed red pepper, and did not use the green onion at all, since I don't care for their texture when cooked. I did use a dash or two of onion powder, however. I cooked this under the broiler rather than the grill because of a storm, but it came out perfectly. I also recommend bringing the leftover marinade to a boil to use as a sauce afterward. This was served with steamed rice and Korean cucumber salad. Perfect dinner!
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Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2013
Nice change of pace for a drop biscuit recipe - but really, you can't go wrong with Bisquick or their drop biscuit recipe on the box. As written, it's a bland recipe and could use more seasoning. I added the Old Bay (a Baltimore girl always has this on hand!), as suggested by others, and that's what it needed. Will definitely use again.
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Beer Batter Fish Made Great

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2013
Good basic beer batter recipe. ALWAYS remember to lightly flour your fish fillet before dipping into batter, or the batter won't stick. Same thing goes for battering chicken, onion rings or veggies (we LOVE beer-battered mushrooms!). For the batter, I used 1 tbs paking powder to 2 c flour, 1 egg, kosher salt, black pepper and a dash of cayenne and added enough beer to make a thick batter (similar to pancake batter consistency). I used a bottle of Stella Artois, because that's what I usually have in the fridge, but have used Newcastle and Bass. For the flour dredge, I used a cup of flour seasoned with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic and onion powders and paprika. Using a fork to dip the fish into the batter REALLY helps to ensure an even coating. Remember to make sure your oil is hot enough before placing fish into the pan - I set my deep-sided electric skillet to 375, and it was perfect. As with fried chicken, drain the fried fish on brown paper bages. It keeps them crispy and really absorbs excess oil.
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9 users found this review helpful

Oven Fries

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2013
Good recipe. I'd definitely reduce the amount of sugar, as it turned out a bit too sweet for my tastes. I put about 2 pinches of cayenne in the batch I made, which was a nice, mellow bit of heat. Next time I make them, I think I'm going to add a sprinkle each of garlic and onion powder, as well as a dash of black pepper to the potatoes, as they were a little bland as-is.
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2 users found this review helpful

Salmon Cakes II

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2013
These were good. I didn't care for the flavor of cheddar cheese with fish AT ALL. If I were to make these again, I'd make them without the cheddar cheese, and add some Old Bay seasoning and/or lemon juice at the very least. And definitely eliminate the butter and fry them in a little vegetable or canola oil.
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1 user found this review helpful

Italian Bread Using a Bread Machine

Reviewed: Jun. 26, 2013
My bread turned out rather dense and flatter than anticipated. I used half bread flour and half all-purpose, and otherwise stuck to the recipe as written. The only exception I made was to allow it to rise an additional 15 minutes (gave it a full hour). The dough looked perfect once put onto the cornmeal-dusted pan for that final rise. It rose, but I'm thinking that the dampened dishcloth was maybe too heavy, and perhaps I should have used a piece of greased plastic wrap or parchment/wax paper instead. Or maybe brushing on the eggwash was the issue. If I make it again, I'll try using something lighter than the damp dishcloth and will maybe look for an alternative to the eggwash. :/
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Corn Fritters

Reviewed: Jun. 29, 2013
Very good recipe. Like many others, I have my own preferences, but the changes I made were few: I used Bisquick, only because it's my go-to for pancakes, drop biscuits and things like fritters and potato pancakes. I also doubled the amount (2 c rather than 1). I added 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/8 tsp garlic powder and I minced half a red jalapeno into it. Cooked til golden brown and served with ranch dressing. I think next time I'll give something like sweet chili sauce a try for a dip, and increase the jalapeno.
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2 users found this review helpful

Adrienne's Cucumber Salad

Reviewed: Aug. 6, 2013
This was fantastic. I've grown up on a couple different versions of cucumber salad (love the sour cream/dill version as well but trying to cut back on the calories!). Prior to making the salad - per my usual procedure - the cucumbers were sliced, salted with kosher salt, weighted with a plate and left to drain in a wire colander for at least an hour. I always rinse and let drain after (pressing with a clean dish towel), because I'm pretty sensitive to salty tastes. I always use English cucumbers, as well. The salad was GREAT, and has turned out equally well with both vidalia and red onions. I cut the sugar back to 1/2 cup, which to my tastes was perfect.
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2 users found this review helpful

German Style Kielbasa

Reviewed: Aug. 6, 2013
This is a really good one-pan recipe that I grew up on. In our family, we add cubes of potato and onion as well (sometimes skipping the apple), and a splash of apple cider vinegar, and the sauerkraut is always the "Bavarian-style" with caraway seeds.
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1 user found this review helpful

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Reviewed: Aug. 7, 2013
Good recipe! Like most others, I made some changes to fit my tastes and health goals. I used a 10-oz box of spinach, 1/4 c crumbled feta, NO MAYO. I sauteed half an onion, finely chopped, in olive oil, added 2 cloves of garlic (minced), thawed & well-drained chopped spinach when onions were clear, a pinch of crushed red pepper, a dash or two of black pepper and approximately 1/2 tsp kosher salt. I cooked this for about two to three minutes on medium-high heat, then dumped it into a mixing bowl. I mixed in the feta with a wooden spoon until well blended in but not melted through. I cut a large pocket in two large boneless and skinless chicken breasts, and tightly packed in the spinach filling, sealing the opening with a toothpic. I sprinkled the breasts with salt, black pepper, thyme and then dusted them heavily with bread crumbs. I melted 2 tbs unsalted butter and added 2 tbs olive oil and poured that over the breasts, then dusted with about a tsp of grated parmesan. Baked in the oven at 425 for 35 minutes: golden brown, juicy, flavorful - totally delicious. This will be a recipe we use over and again. Thanks for the "menu idea" - it was quick and something new.
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2 users found this review helpful

Janet's Rich Banana Bread

Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2013
BEST banana bread ever. I've made it a couple of times, and like most others have made my own MINOR changes: I use mashed bananas, rather than sliced, using a potato masher so there is some texture rather than a paste of banana. I use 1/4 c less sugar than the recipe calls for (a total of 1/2 less, since I double it) and use more ripe banana. Sometimes I add finely chopped milk chocolate instead of the walnuts (The Hubbs loves chocolate-chip banana bread). And, lastly, I use reduced-fat sour cream. I tend to bake this as a "banana bread cake" in a sprinform pan, since it's gobbled up so quickly. I have to say this is the most moist, flavorful and delicious banana bread I have EVER made. Thank you!
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'Momma Made Em' Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2013
Very good base recipe for gumbo. I always make mine with shrimp, chicken and andouille - and ALWAYS sliced okra. I use chicken thighs to make my broth, and add my family's homemade blackening seasoning. Since I use shrimp (you can also add crab meat or oysters or crawfish), I also add Old Bay seasoning to taste. BIG TIP: definitely cook the roux until it's either the color of milk chocolate, or at least a deep reddish brown. If you see black flakes in it, it's burnt and you have to start over. Also, it's really important to cook the gumbo for at least a half-hour after adding the okra, so it loses that slimy/stringy aspect that makes a lot of people dislike it. Also, LOVE that you didn't add file powder to a recipe with okra. I see this a lot and YUCK!!! But I do know some that like to sprinkle a bit on top for flavor before eating.
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Shrimp Lemon Pepper Linguini

Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2013
Good recipe. I added a small crate of halved grape tomatoes to the olive oil and garlic, and a minced shallot. I also added a can of whole baby clams and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Like many others, I doubled the broth ingredients, with the exception of the butter and herbs. I also reduced the black pepper by at least half if not more, because I found the red pepper to be an excellent addition to the flavor of the dish. I wanted to taste the seafood, and didn't want those flavors overwhelmed by either the lemon or the pepper. They were noticeable, but were complimentary rather than overbearing. Will definitely make this again.
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Grammy's Overnight Lasagna

Reviewed: Aug. 17, 2013
This method has always helped me to make the best lasagne. Granted, I made a few changes, but not to the method itself. I tend to freeze leftovers of my homemade sauce and meatballs. When I have enough to put together a lasagna (about every 6 months), I make this one. I put all the defrosted leftover sauce into a pan, heat it, adjust the seasoning, then let it cool. I cook regular Barilla lasagne noodles 8 mins til al dente, then lay them on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil. I slice my meatballs into 3rds while half-frozen. I take one 2-lb container of ricotta, add 2 beaten eggs, 1-2 tbs dried parsely and about 1/2 tsp black pepper. I shred about 2 c mozz, and get out pecorino romano. I spray a 9x12 pan with cooking spray and make 3 layers over a cup of sauce spread on the bottom: noodles, ricotta, meatballs, sauce, mozz, grated cheese. The top (3rd) layer of noodles gets the remaining ricotta, mozz and grated cheese. Cover tightly with oiled tinfoil, then in the fridge til the next afternoon. Extra sauce reserved for serving. Let pan come to room temp 1-2 hrs before cooking. Cook covered 25 mins, uncovered 25 mins, with a pan underneath. Let sit about 15 mins and PERFECTION - turns out with perfect texture to noodles, not dry, and completely set up for cutting.
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5 users found this review helpful

Teena's Spicy Pesto Chicken and Pasta

Reviewed: Aug. 24, 2013
Made this tonight. As have others, I made minor adjustments: I sauteed half a large sweet onion (diced) and 3 large cloves of garlic (minced) in 2 Tbs olive oil + 1 Tbs butter. I added the cubed chicken when the onions were translucent, sprinkled with S&P, and added 1-1/2 Tbs Sriracha when cooked through. Into that went 1 jar Classico basil pesto and 1/2 jar (about 5) sundried tomatoes in oil, diced, and 1 c white wine. That simmered while the pasta (ziti) cooked and tossed all together with a palm-full of Pecorino Romano. DELICIOUS.
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Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Reviewed: Aug. 28, 2013
I am always asked to make these meatballs for parties or family get-togethers. They'll hold up all day in a crockpot full of sauce, and make phenomenal meatball subs. I even freeze them and slice them to make my lasagna. They are so easy and so delicious. You won't regret making this meal!
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1 user found this review helpful

Boilermaker Tailgate Chili

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2013
We love chili, but NOT this recipe. Followed the recipe exactly. And so, the recipe is totally disappointing. Way too many flavors "fighting" each other, and really didn't mesh well together. I don't mind putting a lot of work into a meal, but all these ingredients did nothing for one another. Odd flavor, didn't taste like chili at all. I'm thinking the bacon bits and beef boullion as well as the Worcestershire, celery and basil (along with the seasonings normally found in Italian sausage such as fennel seed) were big culprist.
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6 users found this review helpful

Mama Chiarello's Stuffed Eggplant

Reviewed: Sep. 28, 2013
Honestly, the house smelled DIVINE while making this recipe. I had really big hopes, but was severely disappointed. The Hubbs liked it but didn't give his normal rave reviews over one of my meals. For me, the texture was the deal-breaker. I absolutely LOATHE "mushy" and this - though cooked completely as directed with no variatioin - was way too mushy. Then again, I'm the person who won't eat the stuffing from within the Thanksgiving turkey, because I don't like the soft texture. The flavor was great, the house smelled great, the eggplant "shell" was delicious. If I could have cooked the filling separately and/or had it set up more firmly, I'd have loved it. As it is, I definitely will NOT be making this recipe again.
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3 users found this review helpful

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