naples34102 Recipe Reviews (Pg. 8) - Allrecipes.com (18863788)

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Crispy Baked Basa

Reviewed: Nov. 21, 2013
First of all, perhaps it’s just a personal aversion, but I did not, would not, could not use basa, “Vietnamese catfish.” Halibut was a much more appealing option to me, tho’ any mild flavored white fish such as haddock, cod or orange roughy could also easily be substituted. (Would not, could not, use tilapia either) That said…this was so good it was memorable. The sauce, in my mind, was exceptionally delicious, the ideal complement for the crispy, delicately flavored fish. I did incorporate my own tweaks – extra capers in the sauce, and Panko crumbs rather than Melba toast – not that I necessarily have anything against Melba toast. More important than the type of crumbs used, I moistened them with olive oil, then added the minced garlic and fresh, chopped parsley. I just placed this atop the halibut rather than rolling the filet entirely in the crumbs. I think all of this ensured they were extra super crispy and I don’t think using essentially half as much crumbs was any sacrifice at all. I served this with simple pasta with Parmesan and garlic and oven roasted asparagus. This meal, this fish, was absolutely, positively exquisite.
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Homestyle Garlic Ranch Dressing

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2013
Modifying this by using grapeseed oil rather than vegetable oil, fresh garlic rather than garlic powder and green onion rather than common onion, I still found this to be pretty dull on the taste buds. Adding some dill (other herbs would be good additions too), however, transformed this from ho-hum to lively, fresh-tasting and delicious.
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8 users found this review helpful
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Uncle Dick's Mashed Potatoes

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2013
There is absolutely nothing new, different or unusual about this recipe. Then somebody please tell me why these were some of the best darned mashed potatoes I've ever had! I mean all I did was add a little butter!
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15 users found this review helpful
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Fab Summer Blackened Chicken Salad

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2013
This is an excellent salad, easily adaptable to suit individual tastes and preferences. For me that meant substituting fresh tomatoes for the sun-dried, which just weren’t moving me in a cold salad. It also meant not stirring crushed garlic into a hot pan where you’re blackening chicken, which I had Hubs do outside on the gas grill (even tho’ it’s 36 degrees outside!) in a cast iron skillet. I still wanted the garlic flavor, however, so I added some, minced, to the salad dressing instead. I needed to adjust the salad dressing as well, to my preferred oil to vinegar ratio of 3:1. Equal parts vinegar and oil would be far too vinegary for me. Everything is in balance here, and I especially liked the mix of the peppery arugula with the milder greens and the mild, creamy avocado against the spicy, blackened chicken. Rather than dice everything and toss it altogether, I topped the greens with the tomatoes, olives and slices of avocado, then arranged a sliced chicken breast on each. Great salad that does both the taste buds and body good.
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5 users found this review helpful
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Heirloom Blueberry Cake

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2013
No creaming, no adding ingredients one by one, no alternating ingredients. Basically dump everything in a bowl and mix. How easy is that? Great cake – moist, pleasantly spiced with cinnamon, with no shortage of blueberries for sure. I made this as cupcakes, then piped each with a small rosette of lemon cream cheese frosting: 1/2 c. butter, 2 oz. softened cream cheese, 2-1/2 c. powdered sugar, some fresh lemon zest and enough milk or cream to achieve desired consistency. Very nice recipe.
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26 users found this review helpful
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Cinnamon Coffee Frosting

Reviewed: Nov. 12, 2013
Awesome good! I just kind of dumped and poured rather than strictly measuring anything, but I pretty much used the ingredients and measurements as directed. I drink my coffee with cream, so I just reserved some of it to use for this frosting rather than the coffee granules and milk. The coffee and cinnamon flavors are subtle but evident, and pleasantly so. This was the perfect complement for Nutmeg Cake, also from this site. Note: Whether you use coffee with cream as I did, or the coffee granules with milk, don’t add the full amount of liquid all at once! Add a little at a time, only as needed, to achieve the proper spreading or piping consistency.
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5 users found this review helpful
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Nutmeg Cake

Reviewed: Nov. 12, 2013
My review is for the cake only, as I chose to use a different frosting. I made this recipe as cupcakes and what a pleasant surprise it was. This cake far exceeded the expectations I had for it. It is moist, delicately spiced with nutmeg (I used freshly grated), with a substantial yet light crumb. Frosting these with Cinnamon Coffee Frosting, also from this site, was like a match made in heaven. The proof was this: I beckoned Hubs to try a cupcake so that I might get his opinion for my review. I somehow missed that he had already eaten two of them, apparently when I blinked.
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11 users found this review helpful
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Northern Italian Beef Stew

Reviewed: Nov. 11, 2013
Big and hearty, with a beefy tomato taste. Rich and robust, satisfying, stick to your ribs good. Other than coating the meat in flour first, I made no changes to the recipe. I had my doubts that 4-6 hours simmering was necessary and even thought it might work against this dish, but I chose to follow the directions. After two hours I was ready to call it quits but let it go another hour – and shouldn’t have. By this time, three hours, the meat had broken down and started to fall apart into small pieces. I would have much preferred a stew with good-sized chunks of meat. Four stars rather than five for directions that essentially took this backward as it overcooked. After two hours it seemed to have reached a turning point and lost quality beyond that. An hour and a half to two hours would have resulted in tender meat that still held its shape.
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20 users found this review helpful
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The Original Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Reviewed: Nov. 6, 2013
I always love it when I’m the first reviewer of a recipe and I can enthusiastically report that I loved it. And the reverse is also true. I very much dislike having to review a recipe poorly, and no more so than when I’m the first reviewer. I wouldn’t call it cake – and I wouldn't call it bars either. It wasn't moist as a cake should be, but it wasn't chewy as a bar would be either. I rate these two stars because frankly, after trying these we didn’t think they were good enough to keep.
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Smoked Chipotle Tomato Basil Soup

Reviewed: Nov. 4, 2013
This is indeed very good, and Hubs and I cleaned it up. But I’m not so sure this was any better or much noticeably different with the uncommon ingredients of Bloody Mary Mix, Clamato and chipotle flavored hot sauce (all not so readily at hand) than had I simply used the crushed tomatoes and a little spice to kick it up.
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6 users found this review helpful
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Italian Sausage and Tomato Soup

Reviewed: Nov. 3, 2013
Given I was making a small amount of this just for Hubs and me, I didn’t measure ingredients - just eye balled them in smaller amounts…and added other ingredients as well. This is a good, basic recipe; one that easily allows you to embellish upon it, which is what I did. I used mild Italian sausage, first of all. After browning it in a little olive oil I added chopped onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sweated those ingredients. I used my own tomatoes, put up from my garden. I liked the addition of both beef and chicken broths, but didn’t like the idea of the rigatoni, which is too big a pasta for this. Use something smaller, like shells or even elbow macaroni. In this case, I used ditalini. In addition to the ingredients listed I added fresh Swiss chard, the ribs of which I cooked with the celery, carrots and onion, and adding the chopped leaves during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Since pasta absorbs so much liquid, I cooked it first; then added it to the soup at the end. And how could I forget – along with the broths and tomatoes I poured in a good couple of glugs of red wine. I served this with a mix of freshly grated Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano and some freshly baked bread sticks. As this recipe’s first reviewer I’m happy to report that this is a good, basic recipe, one you can confidently prepare and still feel comfortable to play around with to accommodate whatever pasta or vegetables you have on hand.
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Family Favorite Apple Crisp

Reviewed: Nov. 3, 2013
No wonder this is a family favorite Sudie B - this is an excellent apple crisp that in my mind is just right as is. No tweaking necessary - that means no changes at all. I particularly like the "butterscotchy" flavor the brown sugar and butter contribute, and if you use a sweet apple, as I did, the lemon juice is necessary to tame that down a bit. I couldn't be more pleased to give this a 5-star rating.
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13 users found this review helpful
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Bread Sticks

Reviewed: Nov. 3, 2013
Hmmm, the recipe description calls for frozen dinner roll dough, which is what I used, but the ingredients list calls for “8 oz. packages of refrigerated dinner roll dough.” I’m thinking it should be, and was meant to be, the frozen dinner rolls. I had a little difficulty rolling these out as thin as I would have liked (the dough was kind of stubborn!), but these were too easy, too quick, and too good to complain about that. Outside of the fact I used butter and would have much preferred them without the Parmesan (I’d bet my life Hubs would too…) these are something I hope to make more often.
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4 users found this review helpful
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Jennifer's Burgundy Beef Stew

Reviewed: Nov. 2, 2013
Unbelievable – I forgot to add the garlic AND the onion (busy day today) and Hubs and I agreed it was still “D” good! I’m sure this would have been even better with those additions but quite honestly, I don’t see how! Other than using fresh herbs rather than dried (the fresh equivalent is 3:1 and I substituted oregano for the marjoram) and forgetting the onion and garlic I followed the recipe as written and it was simple perfection. Rich, savory, flavorful, neither too thin nor too thick. We cleaned up every bit of this and Hubs has requested a repeat soon. The only thing I’ll do differently next time is to be sure to follow the recipe more closely and not forget the onion and the garlic. I’m sure it will take this “A” recipe to “A+.”
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Broiled Grouper Parmesan

Reviewed: Oct. 31, 2013
This was excellent. I loved it (which I guess means 5 stars!). I’m not a confident broiler, however, so after brushing the grouper filet with olive oil and seasoning on both sides with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, I baked it at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. (Cooking time will obviously depend upon how thick your filet is and the degree of doneness you prefer. I prefer mine DONE) I took it out of the oven at this point, switched the oven to broil, and coated the fish with the mayonnaise, Parmesan and butter mixture. For a little color, I added chopped fresh parsley and paprika. Don’t overcoat the fish – you’ll just waste your precious ingredients because as it heats a lot of it just melts off. I slipped the pan under the broiler for just a couple of minutes, until the fish was golden brown. I spend a good deal of time in SW Florida, where grouper is common and plentiful, so I know that the success of the dish depends largely on the quality of the filet used. Fishy tasting grouper is NASTY. Avoid any filets with grey areas or at least discard that part! I got lucky, and the fish I used was fresh and delicious, and only enhanced by this simple recipe.
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Confetti Rice with Carrot, Celery, and Almonds

Reviewed: Oct. 31, 2013
Mm-mmmm good! Simple, with subtle flavor – just what I was after for the fish I served it with. And because I served it with fish, I used chicken broth rather than the beef consommé and added some green peas at the end for color. Also, because I made such a small portion of this, I did not follow the baking instructions, preferring the conventional stove-top method instead. I loved the addition of the sliced almonds, which made this particularly interesting.
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7 users found this review helpful
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Low Carb Zucchini Pasta

Reviewed: Oct. 31, 2013
Five stars alone, just for the idea. But since zucchini doesn’t have a whole lot of flavor on its own, this needs some seasoning – just plain garlic comes to mind, tho’ I used Penzey’s Fox Point Seasoning, which is a light seasoning, perfect for vegetables. Since I had chicken broth leftover from another dish, I used it in place of the water which I hope contributed a little flavor as well as making use of something I had open. Depending on how thick you cut your zucchini, use the 5-7 minutes cooking time only as a guide. Zucchini cooks quickly, so be careful not to overcook.
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68 users found this review helpful
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North Italian Meat Sauce (Ragu Bolognese)

Reviewed: Oct. 27, 2013
Recipes for Bolognese sauce abound - they are as abundant and as varied as there are Italian cooks. Outside of a few fundamentals, there is no real right or wrong. First and foremost, it is a meat sauce, not a tomato sauce. It typically includes a soffrito (carrots, onions and celery) ground beef, veal, and pork (or some combination), white wine and/or beef or chicken stock , a small amount of tomato paste and whole milk. All variations will include long, slow cooking to develop full-bodied flavor - I simmered mine a good three hours. This recipe is a good one, albeit slightly different with its inclusion of ham, chicken livers and nutmeg (certainly a nice touch, but not necessary), all of which I omitted only because I preferred to. I did add garlic. I used half beef and half pork, but would have used veal and pork had my butcher had veal available. I also used the more traditional whole milk rather than heavy cream, adding it along with the tomato paste once the vegetables and meat were cooked, then simmering it slowly until most was absorbed before adding the wine and broth and letting it cook down again. This recipe is as good and as authentic and reliable as any I've come across and leaves room for personal adaptation and tastes. Having had pasta Bolognese twice just recently in Rome, Italy as well as at a fine Northern Italian restaurant in Naples, FL just a few nights ago, Hubs and I agree what we ate tonight was better than all of them.
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Cheese Garlic Biscuits II

Reviewed: Oct. 25, 2013
Now if these were entered into the State Fair and I was a judge, I suppose I'd say they weren't light enough and not fluffy enough. I'd probably say, too, that the texture was off and that they were frankly a little on the greasy side. I'd probably also dock these for sticking to the pan somewhat, making them just a tad challenging to remove. And the one cup of milk called for in the recipe was about 1/4 cup too much - good thing I noticed that from the get-go and didn't dump it all in at once! But I'm not a judge, and these weren't entered at the State Fair. Hubs and I liked 'em a lot - rich, a little crunchy, and really satisfies the "fat tooth."
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7 users found this review helpful
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French Potato Salad

Reviewed: Oct. 25, 2013
A "not bad" adaptation of the classic. I preferred to peel and slice the potatoes into 1/4" slices before cooking, preferred olive oil over vegetable oil, white wine vinegar over tarragon vinegar and chicken broth over the beef consomme. I used all ingredients to taste - in amounts that looked right for the amount of potatoes I used. I used russet potatoes which are NOT the best choice for a recipe like this, but it's what I had on hand. A red potato, new potato or Yukon Gold is what's needed here and it would be good to specify that in the recipe. Best served at room temperature.
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