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

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Amazing Italian Bread Using a Bread Machine

Reviewed: Apr. 10, 2014
I've made this recipe at least once per week, with and without "additions". It's made fabulous garlic bread, herb bread, olive bread and just "plain old" hot bread perfect for dipping in olive oil. I couldn't be happier - it's not failed once.
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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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Eggplant Parmesan II

Reviewed: Feb. 6, 2014
Made it tonight, very good. As per my usual, I sliced the eggplant (wipe the knife off after cutting the stem and end off - that's where the bitterness comes from and will "spread" to the rest of the slices if you don't). I placed a single layer in a deep wire colander, salted each layer, and then placed a plate weighted with a bowl of water on top for about a half hour. Rinsed and dried well after. I dipped each slice in flour, then egg, then bread crumb mixture and baked on a greased cookie sheet for 10 minutes each side. I always save leftover homemade sauce in the freezer, and just defrosted a few containers to use for this recipe. Takes some time to prep, but we like it so much better than fried and using a low-fat Italian cheese blend gives lots of flavor. As does adding salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and 1/4 c parm to the bread crumbs. We will deinitely be making this again.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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'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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Fish Tacos

Reviewed: Oct. 8, 2013
Tried this recipe last night, nearly as written. It turned out really well. VERY MINOR CHANGES: 1) I seasoned the flour I use to coat the fish prior to dipping into the batter with a tbs of Badia Sazon Tropical (a blend of salt, black pepper, garlic, onion, oregano, paprika, and cumin). 2)I also substituted sour cream for yogurt in the sauce. I also added 1 tsp cilantro, changed the tsp of cayenne to 1/2 tsp cayenne + 1/2 tsp ground chipotle, added a pinch of sugar since not using yogurt, and salt & pepper to taste. 3) I made the batter a bit thinner by adding more beer, so that I had less of a thick pancake coating. It was almost the consistency of gravy, but made for a light, crispy coating. 4) I did not fry my tortillas, but wrapped them in a damp paper towel and warmed them in the microwave. Also did not use cabbage, but had shredded lettuce, diced tomato and diced avocado, as well as pico and salsa verde for toppings 5) For this go-round, I used tilapia filets (I'd already used my cod for fish-n-chips). They worked out REALLY well. First time cooking tilapia, and pleased with results TIPS: drain the cooked fish on brown paper bags set on cookie sheets. It absorbs the oil and helps it from getting soggy. You can also keep them in a warm oven on the brown bags while cooking in batches. The fish stayed crispy and did not overcook. You can reheat leftover fish on greased cookie cooling racks and it turns out crispy and delicious (same as with other fried foods).
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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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It's Chili by George!!

Reviewed: Jan. 27, 2014
This was really very good, and as written, something you could serve anyone - child or adult. We prefer a little more spice and flavor, and so I kicked up the cayenne, cumin and chili (etc) seasonings by half. I also added a small seeded, diced jalapeno and about a half teaspoon of chipotle poweder. I used dried beans I'd done a quick-soak method on, so that could be why the chili wasn't as flavorful as we personally prefer. AGAIN, though, as written it is a GOOD chili recipe.
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Mark's Shrimp

Reviewed: Jan. 5, 2014
We really liked this - it was a great appetizer. I only had large shrimp on hand, not the smaller ones that Bonefish uses, but they turned out just fine. The shrimp were VERY crispy outside, so the cornstarch is an excellent "foil" to the usual soggy mess saucing a battered & fried food produces. I didn't have the sweet chili sauce on hand, and so had to use tuong ot toi and mix it with 2 or 3 tbs honey. It really came close, but there was something missing we couldn't quite identify - maybe lime? Thanks for the recipe!
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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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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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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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