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Sage Pork Chops

Reviewed: Nov. 10, 2013
I'm not a big fan of pork in general, but my husband loves pork chops, so I decided to try this. It had a very good flavor and even I liked it. It is definitely on the salty side but I love highly salty foods. If you don't like salty, you might have to omit the additional salt. I used boneless thin-sliced pork chops, and they cooked very quickly. I had to drastically reduce the cooking time. They got a tad bit dried out, but I think part of that was because my husband got home from work later than expected so they ended up simmering for almost the full 45 min, which was too much with the thin chops. Overall, would absolutely make them again, minus the additional salt. =)
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Slow Cooker Apple Cider Braised Pork

Reviewed: Oct. 15, 2013
I'm not sure if I did something wrong--I followed the recipe exactly as stated. This sounded really flavorful, so I made it for a dinner party. All of our guests loved it, so maybe it was just me?? I found that pork shoulder was an extremely 'fatty' cut of meat to use, so I think that next time I would try making this with a leaner cut, such as tenderloin to reduce the enormous 'globs' of fat that were in it--I felt like a lot of the meat was wasted from fat, and the fat made the sauce taste weird and it was difficult to skim it off the top as stated because it didn't seem to float to the surface as expected. The meat was very tender, but for as much spice and slow cooking that went on, I found that the meat did not seem to absorb the flavor very well (maybe poking holes in it with a fork would help it, or marinating it first before searing??). It still tasted (to me) like plain roasted pork--like the seasonings and juice didn't penetrate the meat at all. When I tried reducing the liquid, I boiled it for over 2 1/2 times as long as stated and it still had hardly reduced. Guests were waiting so I just ended up pouring what I had over the top, but it was like water and not a sauce as expected. It definitely needed something to thicken it more. I'm not sure why you need to discard the shallot/celery--afterward, I wished I had kept it for garnish to add flavor and dimension. I should have sliced the pork 1st and then poured more sauce on top to cover.
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Italian Turkey Meatballs

Reviewed: Apr. 30, 2013
Thought these were great! I used dried herbs (proportionally) and grated dry Parmesan, since that was all I had on hand. I also used gluten-free bread crumbs because I have a wheat allergy. I did put an egg in it to hold them together and they turned out great--put marinara sauce over them and served them over spiral rice pasta. My husband went back for seconds. =)
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Taylor's Piroshki

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2013
I will have to try it again and make some alterations to perfect this recipe. I have a severe gluten allergy, so I used King Arthur GF flour for the base, which may have accounted for some of the texture issues--(yeast doesn't work as well with gluten-less flour). Usually this brand of flour can be subbed for anything and you can't really tell a difference. I heavily seasoned the meat and added sour cream and shredded cheddar after reading other reviews that the meat was somewhat dry and bland. I think this filling tasted very good, but I think it would have been a much better texture if you put it through a fine meat grinder to get rid of the 'graininess' that ground beef has and make it more like a mincemeat or ravioli filling. My dough rose a little, but didn't get the extreme fluffiness that I think it should have had. I used rapid rise yeast and let it rise over an hour. It had the texture more like a dense biscuit wrapper than a fluffy bun like I remember piroshki having. I fried some and baked some; the fried definitely had a much better flavor. I found the bread to be overly dense, dry, and a tad bit bland--I will try this recipe again maybe with a different flour or yeast and see if I can get the fluffiness into the bread--I'm sure those of you making it with regular will get the right texture. =)
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