Review February Birthday Dinners
#11
  Re: (...)
Isn't today the review date?

Well I hate to admit but I didn't make a single one, not even my B-day dinner. But I have them all out and in the stack to make... I have been anxiously awaiting the reviews. It has been a crazy month with very little creative cooking.

So, How did you all do?

Erin's Birthday Menu - Greek Chicken Roulades

Daphne's Birthday Menu - Two-Cheese Braciola

Chef Tab's Birthday Menu - Laquered Short Ribs with spicy ginger sauce
Erin
Mom to three wonderful 7th graders!
The time is flying by.
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#12
  Re: Review February Birthday Dinners by esgunn (Isn't today the revi...)
I am making the Braciola and the salad tomorrow! Thanks for reminding me. Gosh I would forget my head if it weren't attached. I had my hubby buy the flank steak the other day and I didn't remember what for!
"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
Laura
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#13
  Re: Review February Birthday Dinners by esgunn (Isn't today the revi...)
We managed the Laquered Short Ribs and absolutely loved them. We even did the kale - but thought that the kale was better reheated in the ribs and broth.

Our only complaint on this dish was a combination - my 35 year old crockpot gave it up, and the short ribs here are a bit different than we've seen other places and tended to be a little tough. We did get a new crockpot and will be trying this again. So yummmy over brown rice and I think I'll put the kale in with the ribs for the last little bit.
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!
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#14
  Re: Re: Review February Birthday Dinners by Harborwitch (We managed the Laque...)
Whew, I'm glad I wasn't the only one that allowed the month to get away from me!!

Erin's B'day Dinner -
Greek Chicken Roulades - didn't get a chance to make this, but will in the next week or so.

Creamy Orzo with Feta & Sun-dried Tomaotes - we both loved this and I've made it three times already.

Daphne's B'day Dinner -
Two-Cheese Braciola with Sunday Gravy - Didn't get this one made...yet.

Romaine Salad - didn't get to this one either, yet.


Theresa's B'day Dinner -
Laquered Short Ribs with Spicy ginger sauce - Tracie made this dinner for us when we hit Medford at the start of the trip. We all loved the ribs and while it was very spicy, it just seemed to be 'right'! Delicious.

Sauteed Kale - we all loved this one a lot! Tracie is even going to plant some, I think.

Sticky Rice - I don't think she made this. crap, I can't remember.

Anyway, will get to the rest soon and add to this thread. All I've tried so far are repeats that's for sure!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
www.achefsjourney.com
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#15
  Re: Re: Review February Birthday Dinners by cjs (Whew, I'm glad I was...)
Review time!

Theresa's menu (Lacquered Short Ribs with spicy ginger sauce, Sautéed Kale, and Jasmine Sticky Rice):
As has already been mentioned, the ribs turned out to be extremely hot - even for someone like me who like spicy foods. I didn't say anything since I had to substitute my own hot sauce and some garlic to try to match the Sriracha (which USED to be available here, but which I haven't seen in about a year). Otherwise, the flavour was certainly there, and this probably would have been an eight or nine if toned down a bit.

In an attempt to rescue it, when I reheated the leftovers, I mixed the rice into it added a bunch of heavy cream and let it simmer for a while, but the "heat" had been slow cooked into the meat so much that even that didn't mellow it out much. Instead, I just had to adapt by taking only a very small portion.

The kale just wasn't my thing, although I did have to substitute there, too, using escarole, instead. Surprisingly, contrary to my usual taste, this was one thing that I thought tasted better without the sesame oil. Before the oil was added, I thought the escarole was "okay," but not great. After the oil was added I didn't find it palatable at all.

The rice had yet another substitution. It IS possible for me to get jasmine rice here, but I didn't have any, and the smallest package available was WAY too much for me to get for just the one recipe. A while ago, I bought a 25-pound bag of basmati rice, and it's taking me ages to go through that, so I used that, instead of the jasmine rice. The rice was good, by itself, though nothing special, but it was great with the sauce from the ribs (even as hot as that was).

So, I probably would not try the kale recipe again, unless I could actually get kale, and I would not make the rice again - by itself, but I would make the rice with the ribs again, but with less hot sauce.

Erin's menu (Greek Chicken Roulades with white-wine reduction and Creamy Orzo with feta and sun-dried tomatoes):
Even though I HAVE seen orzo around here, before, I was not able to find any this time. Likewise, all the places that usually had feta cheese were out of it. Substituting marmahón for the orzo probably would have been okay, but there really wasn't anything that could have taken the place of the feta very well, so I held off to see if any of the stores would get it back in before the deadline, but even yesterday they didn't have it.

The roulades were very tasty. Fortunately, I was able to find a small jar of Kalamata olives. Even though that still contained a lot more than needed, it was still much smaller than what the import stores sold. These were definitely a nine, worth making again, and I'm sure would be very good with that orzo.

Daphne's menu (Two Cheese Braciola with "Sunday Gravy" and Easy Romaine Salad):
This was another one for which I made only the main entree. The romaine here, lately, hasn't been that great, and although some of it probably would have been okay, I spent enough on Theresa's Kalamata olives that I didn't want to buy the two mustards (which are pricey, here) for this salad. I had hoped to try doing homemade mustards for it, but just never could get around to it.

The braciola was very good, but seemed to be missing something, so I checked the recipe again, and discovered that it doesn't list thyme anywhere. Adding some thyme to this (albeit after the fact) brought it up to a nine that I could make again, although I would probably make the Greek Chicken Roulades or my own Fig-and-Herb-Stuffed Pork Roulades first.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
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#16
  Re: Review February Birthday Dinners by esgunn (Isn't today the revi...)
I made the Braciola a few weeks ago, and Labs, I added something, too, only I can't remember what it was. You know, the "I'll remember that, I don't need to write it down" attitude. It was pretty good, I brought it over to the kids and they inhaled it. It's something I will do again for them, better yet, something I'll teach them to make.

PJ
PJ
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#17
  Re: Re: Review February Birthday Dinners by pjcooks (I made the Braciola ...)
Oh. Also, BTW, the braciola was the "beef dish" with which I had said the Tempranillo went well. Hadn't wanted to be too specific at the time.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
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#18
  Re: Re: Review February Birthday Dinners by labradors (Oh. Also, BTW, the ...)
Laquered Ribs Review:
While I thought these were pretty good, they weren't as wonderful as I had anticipated. Typically when cooking with a slow cooker, the aroma makes me crazy with hunger, but this dish did not smell all that good to me. In all fairness, I was coming down with a cold so I do not know if that had any effect. The meat itself was very tender but the sauce became greasy despite my attempt to trim as much fat as possible before cooking. It had a pleasant burn, spice wise, and I wish I had made more rice to compensate. I think I put too much sauce on my plate. If I make this again, I would try decreasing the amount of ginger by at least half and also the heat. Hubby seemed to like it more than I did. The leftovers were far better than the first night since I could remove much of the fat. I shredded the meat and served it on fresh hard rolls.
The Jasmine sticky rice was a big winner for me. I love jasmine rice anyway, but this took it over the top. I love the addition of the lime juice and basil. I will make this often.
The sauteed kale was another wonderful surprise. I have never used kale in anything but soup before. I loved it this way. It still had a nice crunch and a wonderful flavor.

Greek Chicken Roulades review:
These were a HUGE HIT! I will be making these again for sure, and probably for company. I tasted that filling before I put it onto the chicken and it was great alone. The chicken was so moist and melted in my mouth. Yum. We all fought over the leftovers.
For the orzo dish, I subbed quinoa for the orzo and that was just ok. Maybe I will try it with orzo next time.

Two Cheese Braciola review:
This one just wasn't a favorite. After cooking, I could not even see the filling, nor taste it. It was just beef floating in tomato sauce for me. The meat must have not been a good cut either, because it was somewhat tough, and I pounded the crap out of it before rolling. We begrudgingly ate the leftovers. I must confess here, that I am not a big beef eater, so that may be part of the problem.
Theresa

Everything tastes better Alfresco!
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#19
  Re: Re: Review February Birthday Dinners by labradors (Oh. Also, BTW, the ...)
I've only made the Greek Chicken Roulades with the Orzo side. We loved it and will make it again. The orzo is a very nice side dish.
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#20
  Re: Re: Review February Birthday Dinners by labradors (Oh. Also, BTW, the ...)
February 2010 Dinner Reviews

Laquered Short Ribs with spicy ginger sauce
(This did not photograph well, sorry.)

2/06: I made the lacquered beef ribs tonight. I started thinking I’d make it with mashed potatoes for a side, but switched to rice after looking closer at the intended menu. Then, as I tasted the sauce, (and there was lots of it) I decided mashers would be good with this. (I can’t get kale, so just went with a salad.)

Changes: Other than the potatoes for the rice, the only thing I did different was using boneless beef short ribs.

Recommendations: In the future, I will reduce the Shriracha sauce by about a fourth or half….this was VERY spicy! I have learned to like spicy stuff, and William likes hot stuff, but this was a little more than we like.

I liked having it with mashed potatoes. I can’t imagine it being better with rice. This is a great sauce to compliment ‘taters.


Rating: We give this a solid 8, even with it spicier than we like. I’ll probably make this again with the recommendations I mentioned, simply because it was so easy and tasty! We really did like the flavors.

Greek Chicken Roulades with white-wine reduction and Creamy Orzo with feta and sun-dried tomatoes



We really liked this dish. The flavor was great. I probably won’t make this that often, though. It seemed very labor intensive. But then, I was doing a lot of stuff on this night, trying to visit with Ashley, and it WAS a school night. I served it with the salad part of the Greek Salad with Chicken recipe from Cuisine at Home 2003, Issue 38, page 17. We loved the dressing. I can’t wait to try it alone with chicken.

Changes: I used black olives instead of kalamata for two reasons: kalamata olives are not readily available here AND I don’t have a pitter. (I have refused to use them again until I get a pitter…LOL! ) I split LARGE chicken breasts in half before pounding them out. They were very large. Lastly, I used dry Vermouth instead of buying a bottle of white just for this.

Recommendations: I would add more feta to the orzo. Beyond that, I think the recipes were just fine as written.

Rating: We were split on this one, so I’ll give it an 8.5+

BTW, Bill’s Sour Cherry Pie was dessert, and we LOVED IT!



Two-Cheese Braciola with "Sunday Gravy" on Linguine with an Easy Romaine Salad, homemade croutons, and Crusty Country French Bread with Garlic Butter



We LOVED this dish. It’s funny, though. The texture kept throwing me…but I got used to it. The flavor was sooo good! I will definitely make this again. (BTW, I wish someone had cued me in on the pronunciation of this word…LOL! Oh well, I know it now. I had not recognized the word as I had been pronouncing it, but when I figured out the correct pronunciation, I realized I had heard of it before. OIY!) This was a very easy dish to prep for the crock pot. Actually, I will probably sear off the meat and keep it separate from the sauce until putting it together the next day. Some of my cheese leaked out...I have GOT to work on this.) But the flavor melded into the sauce just added to the flavor. As for the salad, we were split again. William loved it, but I just found it “okay”.

Changes: I made this exactly as written. I used some cab for the wine. I had not opened the Chianti, yet. I also took the recipe recommendation to add tomatoes, cukes, and red onion to the salad.

Recommendations: None (Added: I agree with the “needing something”, but now that I reflect, I was wondering about a bay leaf in the sauce?)

Rating: We’d give the Braciola a 9+, but the salad only gets an 8.
Daphne
Keep your mind wide open.
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