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Cool Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Reviewed: Aug. 30, 2014
I've been making a shrimp cocktail almost identical to this for years after ordering one in the Mexican border town of Algodones and loving it. Like one other reviewer suggested, I also use Clamato juice or a V8/Clamato mix and I also add celery and garnish with cilantro. I usually make a big batch so it lasts in the fridge for a couple of days. For that reason I don't add the shrimp and avocado until I serve individually.
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Mom's Cucumbers

Reviewed: Jul. 4, 2014
Timing is everything! Probably wouldn't have tried this recipe as I've been eating and making a marinated cuke/onion salad since I was a kid in the 60s and neither my Mom nor I ever used anything but a vinegar/water solution with a little salt and pepper and it was great, especially after a few days in the fridge. While in Charleston, SC vacationing with family last month we went to a low country restaurant named Jestine's Kitchen. The whole meal was fantastic but the fresh cuke pickles were so good that we bought a gallon to go when we left. My son-in-law and I both remarked that we needed to find the recipe. This may not be "spot on" but it's real close. The vinegar/sugar mix is perfect, not too sweet or acidic, and the celery seed is the kicker. I did use apple cider vinegar and added a pinch of dried dill and, following other reviewer's advice, I didn't squeeze the water out of the cukes nor add water. Great fresh pickles, Thanks!!
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Beau Monde Dip

Reviewed: Dec. 17, 2013
My Mom and Aunt have made this dip, or one nearly identical, since the 60s. Beau Monde may not be a common spice to many but in this dip it's great. Similar to a Ranch Dip but unique. Especially good with veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, etc. We've also had it in a bread bowl and added spinach as well.
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1 user found this review helpful

Vanilla Wafer Crust

Reviewed: Apr. 16, 2012
A great starter recipe that needs a lot of work. Keeping the story as short as I can.....40 cookies, 1/4 C butter, 1/3 C powdered sugar, a handful of walnuts, splash of vanilla. Pulsed in a processor. Took the advice of an earlier reviewer and baked at 350F for nine minutes. Poured in a Meyers Lemon filling and cooked for another 30 minutes. Maybe the best pie I've eaten and the crust was perfect. IMHO you have to cook this crust, especially with a non-bake pie, or the crust will be mush. I used a Marie Callender size pie tin and had more crust than I needed. Next time I'll use 30 cookies and maybe a tad more nuts....pecans or macadamias should be awesome in this crust. Anyway, thanks for a great idea.
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9 users found this review helpful

Orange Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Reviewed: Apr. 15, 2012
This could be six stars. I used blood oranges for the juice to make the marinade because we had a fridge full. Used pork chops, again because it's what I had on hand, and marinated them for six hours then BBQ'd them on the grill for about six minutes a side. I put the remaining marinade in a sauce pan and simmered it down to thicken it and then strained it through a sieve and spooned a little over the chops before serving. I really thought it might be too strong with all the rosemary but both the wife and I loved it. Served it with mashed sweet potato and stir fried broccoli. This is one of the best pork recipes we have found and it will permanently replace our previous rosemary pork recipe.
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4 users found this review helpful

Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Reviewed: Feb. 11, 2012
A real keeper! I added about three Tbsp. of mayo as it was a little dry (I may have cooked the quinoa a bit too long) but we all loved it.
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Green Beans Amandine

Reviewed: Nov. 24, 2011
Excellent! I added a little avocado oil, some sliced scallion and diced red pepper when I sauteed the almonds. Best green beans we've ever had.
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Tuscan Chard and Cannellini Bean Soup

Reviewed: Aug. 19, 2011
I chose this recipe only because I had everything on hand and needing to be used with the exception of the Chard. Am I glad I did1 I did alter/add a few ingredients but I'm sure it would be fine stand alone. Increased the bacon to four slices and fried it by itself and then drained almost all the fat. Added a bit of EVO and sauteed the onion and extra garlic......can't have too much garlic. Increased the sun dried tomatoes to about 1/3 C. The Parmesan rind has to be the key to this recipe. I've seen it on TV but never tried it myself. It gave the soup a wonderful flavor. I think six cups broth is a little shy for soup, if you want it soupy maybe eight cups is better. I used four cups broth but the orzo I used was already cooked and leftover so you need to take that into account. I also increased the basil to about a 1/4C......we like fresh basil! We loved it and will make it again.
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14 users found this review helpful

Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo

Reviewed: Aug. 15, 2011
It's four star as it is by our tastes but it's five plus with a little tinkering. Thought the salad was a bit dry as made by the recipe, although we didn't let it sit overnight which may have changed my opinion. Added probably 1/3% more each fresh basil and oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Added some balsamic and lemon juice to taste, some Walla Walla onion for crunch and some fresh cherry tomatoes out of the garden just because we had them. The orzo sucked up all that extra juice and it was dynamite. The wife couldn't wait for it to sit and marinate. Added some Genoa salami and Kalamata olives to my portion the next day and it was even better. Thanks to kgwen.
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California Pizzas

Reviewed: Aug. 9, 2011
These were OK. I used extra thick Gordita style tortilla shells, brushed them with EVO, added fresh basil, garlic and Parmesan but both my wife and I thought they still lacked something. In all, it's a real quick, relatively healthy meal and beats most anything poured out of a can.
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2 users found this review helpful

Homemade Wonton Soup

Reviewed: Jun. 25, 2011
This is my first try at wontons and I had mixed success with it but I'm giving it five stars because I'm pretty sure any problems I had were operator error and it was flat out delicious no matter the glitches. I first fried them as an appetizer with a Thai style dipping sauce. I stuffed the wontons as full as I thought I could and still seal them but after I removed them from the hot oil either the filling had shrunk or the wonton had expanded and there was a large pocket inside the wrapper that was only half full of filling. Still, we all loved them as an appetizer. I next made the soup and that's what I'll probably stick to in the future. Absolutely delicious. I added some fresh grated ginger, a little fish sauce, and a little more tamari to the broth. Once again I had a little issue with the wontons as they wanted to disintegrate before I was ready to serve. Maybe I cooked them too long? Still, I won't hesitate to make this again because the flavor combo of the cabbage, filling and seasonings was out of this world. I am considering just turning the filling into small meatballs, browning them and adding them to the broth along with some soba noodles next time. No matter, a great recipe!
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Saucy Apple Pork Chops

Reviewed: Jun. 8, 2011
First Allrecipes review I've submitted as it's the first one that I'll definitely make again. I'm a tough grader so I only gave it four stars but it turned out five star (maybe six) with some tweaking. Didn't have ground ginger so I used a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. Used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. Following previous reviewers hints I seasoned the chops liberally before browning. I was not in my own kitchen so I winged it with what was available. A pinch each of seasoned salt, curry powder, cumin and black pepper. Rubbed it into the chops and let them sit for twenty minutes. Sauteed them in hot olive oil until they were very brown, removed them and then added a couple of Tbsp. of butter and half a chopped sweet onion. When the onion had sweated and started to caramilize after a few minutes over pretty high heat it's moisture had deglazed the fried pork bits and I poured it all into the applesauce mixture. Laid half the applesauce mixture into the baking dish, added the pork chops and then added the rest of the applesauce on top. It was absolutely delicious. I believe the combination of the sauteed onion deglazing the browned, amply seasoned chops was what made this recipe really work and forget about the sugar as it's not needed. I think you could use some different spices and seasonings in the rub and/or sauce and the sky is the limit. Thanks for a great idea.
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