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Joined Date: Feb 05, 2011
"Have enjoyed 50-75% of Ray's recipes. But this is simple elegance. Would marinade the hens in the OJ/balsamic mix for a few hours prior to baking. Note: Avoid the Neely's Christmas hens. They are flavorless.""
Reviewed Beef Bourguignon
"To emmasinger: I believe you really need to flambe. Unlit, the cognac will impart an alcohol taste too strong for the dish. Left out, the sauce lacks the rich depth you are hoping for with bourguignon. Igniting alcohol is a limited temporal event: the alcohol portion of the liquid can only burn so long. Be sure to turn off the stove top if you are using a gas/flame unit before you light the cognac. Most people have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, so pull it out and know how to use it.I've never had a problem when a recipe asks me to flambe. It's fun and safe.
Reviewed Tin Can Margaritas
"Very rarely review drink recipes, but this one was so simple and spectacularly good. Note that I live in New Mexico and have had my share of margaritas. This is one of the best.
Reviewed Christmas Cornish Game Hens
"There are better cornish game hen recipes from the Food Network. The hens cook nicely and remain moist (but they usually do); the rub is a real disappointment. I can't place my finger on it...our family felt like I simply rubbed cinnamon on the hens...the rub and/or entire recipe needs something more to make this a "Christmas special" item.
Reviewed Pot Roast with Vegetables
"Great overall. Recommend removing some of the root vegetables/mushrooms 3/4 of the way through braising, o/w the veggies are too soft (I imagine if you used very large pieces of vegetables you could leave them in the entire time). Beef stock/red wine combination wins over water.
Reviewed Beef Bourguignon
"Re: cooking time for this dish: Cook the meat until it is done! This depends on the size of your beef cubes, oven type, etc... It usually requires over 4 hours at 325 degrees for me. Simply test the meat by attempting to fork through it. I pull the carrots out about halfway through, then re-add them back at the end, o/w they will be mushy. I also use less wine and more beef broth, but this user preference. Be sure to include the kids for the flambe, and be sure to turn off the flame underneath the pot if you are using a gas/flame stovetop.
Reviewed Leek Potato Soup
"Can't miss. I can't explain it, but sometimes this soup smells like vomit to me. Not sure if it's the buttermilk or what. Regardless, it is excellent. Always wins many compliments.
Reviewed Braised Short Ribs
"Definitely recommend less tomato paste. This is not simply a question of too much tomato flavor, but, rather, too much tomato paste flavor, a very different taste, especially when browned as the Chef recommends for this version. Another cautionary note: I find it difficult to brown the vegetables in this recipe without burning them (and yes, I turn down the flame each time). O/w, excellent.
Food Network-trained home cook with decades of experience preparing FoodTV recipes at home.