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Best and Worst Recipes You Made From a Cooking Show

Hi gang,

A thread I posted about the Best and Worst Cooking Shows has been pretty popular:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/360187

And one of the qualifications of "Best" was how much did you learn/how educational is the show for you. As a followup, one of the responders wondered what are some recipes you've replicated from Cooking shows you've seen - to either great success or horrible failure?

I'll limit mine to my positive favorites that have become staples in my home cooking repertoire:

Good Eats:
- Butterflied Roasted Chicken, which turned out wonderful, but the cooking time was definitely off - it did not take 20 minutes on each side, more like 1 hour total. This was the episode where I learned how to properly butterfly a chicken.

- Freerange Fruitcake - the BEST. My go-to fruitcake recipe for the holidays. I made at least four of these for friends/family this past holiday season.

Tyler's Ultimate:
- Pot Roast - a great, easy, pot roast dish. My one modification was adding about 1/2 cup of red wine to the pot to augment the tomato flavors.

- Prime Rib - the BEST, coated with a garlic, horseradish and rosemary crust. This recipe actually was heavily modified by cutting down the salt for the crust to make it edible. I only had about 2 TB-1/4 cup of salt to the mix, whereas Tyler recommends two cups (!) My modification enable the crust to be edible, instead of cutting it away.

More to come, but I'd love to hear other success/failure recipe stories....

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  1. I have made Giada's pasta e fagioli many times now, really hearty and delicious. That's where I learned the trick of thickening a soup by pureeing a cup or so of the ingredients. A cup of the soup plus a tuna melt is now one of my favorite winter comfort meals.

    1. Have had more successes than failures. Biggest failure was Kathleen Daelman's Chicken and Wild Rice in a crockpot; boy, that was totally inedible slop.

      Very recent success was Giada's Parmesan Mushrooms, basically portobellos grilled and then baked with cheese and homemade marinara, very good and meatless. I'm trying her
      Lentil Loaf with Checca Sauce on Wednesday.

      Big success that sons request from time to time from Emeril: Spicy Short Ribs Smothered with Red Gravy paired with Cilantro and Roasted Potato Salad. Such a great combination!

      Sara Moulton's Jerk Chicken is the closest we've ever had to the jerk we had in Jamaica.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Val

        Okay, replying to myself is like totally dweeby, but I'm doing it...the Veggie Meatloaf TASTES awesome but it came out more like a casserole than a "meatloaf"...I may have skipped over the part about squeezing the spinach and maybe that's why it was so loose...whatever...I'd do it again because we love lentils and the checca sauce was SO garlicky and fresh...here's the link in case anyone wants to try it also!

        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

        1. re: Val

          thanks for including the recipe!

          Whenever I have to squeeze spinach, I use a potato ricer. It works like a charm!

          Isabella

          1. re: Isabella

            Great idea, thanks for the tip!

            1. re: cheri

              how come i never thought of that? great tip! Thanks :)

          2. re: Val

            I made this once and it was fantastic! Time consuming, but very tasty. Especially with the checca sauce.

        2. not too fond of tv recipes but i have to say that bobby flay's take on the scotto family's baked clam recipe is a winner. i've made 2,3,4 dozen at a time and have never had leftovers.

          8 Replies
          1. re: steve h.

            But, but, but, ... Steve ... I thought everyone here thought that Bobby was a jackass!?

            I might try to get recipes, but the only time I watch TV is at night relaxing with a glass in hand: good for catching techniques, methods, tips, new approaches, ..but not recipes. Rocknrope, I've done stuff the next day that were either tributes to or wild approximations of TV'd recipes.

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              he may be, but i've made his recipes and they turned out pretty good and the flaws were all my fault. i've also had ideas, looked them up online, and lo and behold there's a bobby flay recipe. so i'd say all the best things from tv shows i've made were all from him. not that i try a lot of tv show ideas...they tend to be a bit complicated or expensive or unhealthy.

              1. re: luniz

                This thread finally popped back up. I love Bobby Flay!

            2. re: steve h.

              Speaking of Flay, anyone see the episode where his wife made beef tenderloin? She put it under the broiler for a short period of time, then wrapped it in aluminum foil and left it on the counter to cook via residual heat for about 2 hours.

              It looked gorgeous, but I'm afraid to try it with such an expensive piece of meat.

              1. re: danna

                I always wondered if that was a proper way of cooking something? Bacteria, you know? I guess it had to have been heated through enough the first time around to get to a proper temperature, but still...I wouldn't try it. I can just hear my health-inspector BIL whispering in my ear about all the possible various food-borne illnesses that could erupt!

                1. re: sivyaleah

                  I am pretty sure that you would be OK with this, even though it is only seared. You can't serve it the next day, but as long as it is not left for more than two hours and served immediately (that would be the trick) I think you are within legal limits.

                2. re: danna

                  I liked his Boy Meets Grill show a lot. Once his wife--then girlfriend--was on as his guest/helper and he said the one time she cooked for him, she had to call her mom 25 times. It was cute. --So I would say anything she cooks is tried and true, but if you have doubts and still want to use the broiler for cooking steak, Mark Bittmann in the Times has an article this week about just that.

              2. Paula Deen's Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding. Most everything she makes looks, and is, terribly bad for you. But this one's actually worth consuming! The slight saltiness of the chessmen cookies is unbelievably delicious with the pudding.

                21 Replies
                1. re: operagirl

                  I agree...this was the best banana pudding I have ever made.

                  http://www.shoplateda.com/

                    1. re: LaLa

                      I tried it last month and it was amazing. But then, I ruined it by putting meringue on top. Something happened when it baked in the oven -- the pudding got very watery. I still think it was great and next time, I'm not topping it with meringue.

                    2. re: operagirl

                      When Paula's on it's like cooking with MOM I don't care what you TV Food show haters think. Pumpkin Gooey Bars are to die for and everyone that's ever tried mine say so.

                      1. re: othervoice

                        yeah Gooey bars are gross but good at the same time. i also love Paula Deen.

                        1. re: amyvc

                          I LOVE Paula's gooey bars. I don't do pumpking, but the peanut butter and chocolate ones rock.

                          I have The Lady & Son's dessert cookbook and many of the recipes there are fantastic. I have a lot of fun creating variations on the 1-2-3-4 cake.

                          1. re: Avalondaughter

                            I made the Pumpkin Gooey Bars a while back and my family loved them. I used a spice cake mix instead of the yellow that was listed in the recipe.

                            On Monday, I made a pumpkin cheesecake using one of Paula's recipes. Again, my family raved about it and now I'll be making another one next week to take to the family Thanksgiving get-together.

                            1. re: alliedawn_98

                              I made Paula's Pumpkin Cheesecake this Thanksgiving. It beat Mrs. Smith in a family bake-off. I know that sounds like low praise, but really it was very good. Although it's not overly pumpkiny, most of my family prefaced their compliments with "I don't really like pumpkin, but this is quite good!"

                        2. re: othervoice

                          I totally agree with the Pumpkin Gooey Bars. They are now a Thanksgiving staple and the ONLY pumpkin dessert my son will eat. Don't think about it too much -- just enjoy it.

                          Another recipe that we love is Giada's banana muffins with mascarpone cream cheese frosting. Boy, those are good.

                          1. re: bards4

                            if you put frosting on a muffin, doesn't it become a cupcake? i always thought calling them muffins was just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast (not that i'm knockin' it.) ;)

                            1. re: funkymonkey

                              Well, since there's cheese in the icing and fruit in the cake, I and my waistline-in-denial decided that it's healthy. Oh, and don't forget those protein-packed walnuts. Kinda the same excuse I have for carrot cake. It's a better use of calories than pop-tarts.

                            2. re: bards4

                              I'll second those "muffins" too. I do think of them as cupcakes because of the frosting but they taste more like muffins---not too sweet. So since Giada calls them muffins I call them muffins...with frosting. Confused yet?

                          2. re: operagirl

                            I agree with you 100% on this recipe. my family has gone crazy over it. and every time
                            we have a get together of any kind they want me to make this. outstanding recipe.

                            1. re: operagirl

                              This was the first recipe that came to mind for this thread! It has become a family favorite for us. You can make it with "real" whipped cream or go the styro route and use that diabolical "frozen dessert topping." Real, of course, is the best, but my family couldn't tell the difference.

                              1. re: operagirl

                                I don't cook a lot of Paula's recipes because of the fat content, but sometimes the recipes, especially the desserts, look so good and I've just gotta try them. Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding and the Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake didn't disappoint. My son asks for the pumpkin cake every Thanksgiving now.

                                I did try lightening the banana pudding recipe a bit. It didn't turn out at all. We all had one piece and the leftovers were not touched. That is not the case with the original recipe. Leftovers always get eaten. Use her exact ingredients called for.

                                1. re: happyhomemaker

                                  I have made the banana pudding four or five times and have got raves from the
                                  very start and any get to gather our family has they want me to make that recipe.
                                  it by far is the best there is bar none,

                                  1. re: happyhomemaker

                                    Oh the banana pudding is the best ever!!!

                                  2. re: operagirl

                                    ohmigod - that is a fabulous recipe!

                                    Mr CF and I were watching the show when that came on and we looked at each other, wrote down the ingrediants and went directly to the grocery store. We ate it that night (along with our boys) and what little was left was even better the next day.

                                    Amazing!

                                    1. re: operagirl

                                      Do people tend to use the frozen dessert topping or real whipped cream? Hard to think of using the commercial stuff but if everyone's raving about it that way, I'm in. My kids are coming home from overnight camp tomorrow and it sounds like just the ticket.

                                      1. re: wordlvr

                                        I'll whip cream for company, but when I just need something to put on some ice cream I use the refrigerated canned variety. Cool Whip and its imitators are just too sweet for me.

                                      2. re: operagirl

                                        So I just have to reply to this. I checked out the recipe and surely thought this must be a from scratch custard, and I was terrified when I saw it uses an instant mix :o ...My mom makes the most amazing Banana Pudding from scratch. I will get the recipe from her for you all and I guarantee that's its worth making beyond all others.

                                      3. This past Thanksgiving I used Tyler's Ultimate roast turkey with sage butter. I added some garlic and thyme to the butter and my family said it was the best turkey thus far! Really great crispy skin.

                                        1. I made Giada's Fusilli with Tuna and Tomato Sauce after I saw her make it on Everyday Italian which I had never watched before.It was fantastic - super simple and very tasty. I totally impressed myself! I even bought her cookbook which I haven't used yet, but still...The recipe is on the Food Network site if you want to try it.

                                          16 Replies
                                          1. re: The Librarian

                                            I totally agree. I made that dish once for a few friends, and now their eyes won't stop glazing and their mouths stop drooling every time I mention that I'm going to cook something. Then they all *insist* that I make that dish.

                                            1. re: Tmblweed

                                              The Simple Tomato Sauce recipe calls for 1 "stalk" of celery. Did you use a whole stalk of celery, or 1 rib? I see this in a lot of recipes where I assume they mean rib not stalk. When a recipe calls for 1 small onion, 1 carrot, and a "Stalk" of celery wouldn't using a whole stalk be too much -
                                              Can someone please explain this to me - if a rib is now called a stalk, then what is a stalk of celery now called?

                                              Or, it just occurred to me, do people just love celery that much and actually use whole stalks in all these recipes ?

                                              1. re: Lotti

                                                When I see a recipe that says "one stalk of celery", I use exactly that - one stalk of celery.

                                                If you're thinking that "stalk" means the whole plant, only the FDA (for some unfathomable reason) uses that nomenclature, and I'm not sure they still do. Everybody else calls the whole plant a "head". Like lettuce.

                                                At least where I grew up - I suppose there could be regional differences. After all, when I was a kid, people called bell peppers "mangos" - also for some unfathomable reason. But nobody does that anymore.

                                                At any rate, whenever you see "one stalk of celery" in a recipe, you'll be safe to use one piece, whether you personally call it a stalk, a branch, or a rib.

                                                1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                  Zen, are you from Indiana? My Indiana-born grandmother called tehem "mangos,: but I have never heard that from anyone else. Interestingly, she actually lived in Hawaii for a while, in the 30s, so she must have known what "real" mangos are!

                                                  1. re: Cliocooks

                                                    For a while it was common for red bell peppers to be called mangos in the midwest. So common that the Homer Laughlin China Company (makers of Fiesta dinnerware) named one of their glaze colours Mango Red. They used that name with the Fiesta Ironstone line they produced in the 1960s.

                                                    1. re: Cliocooks

                                                      As a matter of fact, my family DOES hail from Indiana. SE Indiana. Richmond in fact. She was born in 1903.

                                                  2. re: Lotti

                                                    I've noticed the rib vs. stalk thing too. I just use one rib, but the two words are not really interchangable even if a lot of people are using them that way.

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      Perhaps. Common usage for one piece of celery is "stalk", however. I've never ever seen it referred to in any recipe as a "rib".

                                                      1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                        Check out any recipe from CI/ATK that contains celery. I actually prefer it when recipes give an acutal amout for things like celery, carrots and onion. How about telling us how many cups of chopped onions, carrots or celery? It doesn't bother me anymore because I just put in how much I wish to use anyway.

                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                          What's CI? And I don't take anything America's Test Kitchen has to say as gospel.

                                                          I'd prefer a measurement in sometimes as well, but the thing is that a lot of the time there's room for personal taste in things like how many carrots or what have you that you want to see in your stuffing, or dressing, or soup. Maybe being a little less exacting is OK in most instances.

                                                          1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                            I didn't mention the gospels. You asked me what recipes refer to celery ribs and i complied.

                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                              Honestly, I'm sorry if you feel offended.

                                                              My point is that the vast majority of recipes - and, again, all the ones I've personally seen - refer to a STALK of celery and not a rib. The most common usage for the term - and I said before that it's not the only usage, just the most common - is to refer to a single piece of celery as a stalk, and the entire plant as a head or bunch. I'd forgotten "bunch" but someone else brought it up.

                                                              Anyway, hasn't the original question been answered? If you see a recipe calling for a stalk of celery it means one piece, one rib, one branch, not the whole clump.

                                                              Can we agree on that?

                                                              1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                I'm not offended at all. I just saw another recipe today that refers to a rib of celery. That seems to make the most sense to me and I'll continue to use that term.

                                                    2. re: Lotti

                                                      In my experience (and what I was taught in school) is the whole big thing of celery is a bunch or a head. The bunch is made up of many stalks or ribs. The latter two are used interchangeably.

                                                      1. re: decolady

                                                        Yeah, I've heard it called a bunch too. I'd forgotten that.

                                                        1. re: decolady

                                                          Yup, your rib is my stalk, interchangeable terms; I suppose it has to do with your place of origin. Being from New England, I tend to use the term stalk, but I don't believe I've never been misunderstood by rib sayers. Bunch of celery, sure, head of celery, sure.

                                                  3. I adore Giada's Panzanella -- she adds capers and roasted peppers in addition to the tomato -- it's one of my favorite summer salads.

                                                    Emeril's Crawfish Etouffee is also a keeper.

                                                    1. I've made a couple of Alton's recipes - fondue, brownies, a casserole. I'm infamous for not following recipes 100% but none have been flops - especially the fondue and casserole, I return to those recipes. I did follow his banana ice cream recipe to a "t" though and it wasn't to our taste. Not awful, but not a winner either.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. Most recently, I made the Doughnut Bread Pudding from Michael Chiarello's show for a Christmas dessert, and it was a big hit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip... I did, though, cut the sugar of the recipe in half (since the reviews all said it was too sweet) and it was great.

                                                        In general, I've had good luck with all of Nigella's, Ina Garten's (even though she annoys me) and Alton Brown's recipes.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: JasmineG

                                                          Thanks for the feedback on the Doughnut Bread pudding (and the link!) I saw that episode, and I think my waistline expanded two inches just watching it! Good to know that you adapted the recipe as well - I feel like quite a few of the TV recipes need some modification.

                                                        2. Tyler's Ultimate Meatballs were really, really good. I'm not a meatball eater, but the parsley and parmagianno in those make them melt in your mouth delightful.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: MaspethMaven

                                                            Good to hear those meatballs from TU was good. I must say, that is why this show is one of my favorites - all the basic dishes he makes are so darn good! In addition to the Garlic Horseradish Crusted Prime Rib I mention above, I've made his Herbed Butter Parsnips, Honey Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes, and Horseradish Mashed potatoes all to great success! The man knows his starches!

                                                            Plus, I got a good tip from him on roasting the potatoes - put the sheet pan in the oven to heat up first, instead of laying the cubed potatoes down in a cold sheet pan, and they're less likely to stick.

                                                          2. There's been a lot, and to be honest, I've been trying to think of a *really* bad one since you posted and I can only think of one.

                                                            First, the *really* good, so good they've become part of my "routine recipes":
                                                            - Giada's Stracoto with Porcini Mushrooms http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...
                                                            - Michael Chiarello's Best Button Mushrooms http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...
                                                            - Ina Garten's Shrimp Salad http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...
                                                            - Martha Stewat's Cream Cookie Sandwich Hearts http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...
                                                            I've been making these for years; I first watched her make them on her regular MSL show when it was on network TV.

                                                            And the bad:
                                                            - Parker's Beef Stew, from Ina Garten, which pains me, because I normally love all of her recipes! http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip... This was way too 'winey' and my husband and I were absolutely sick the next day. I have no idea why this would have made us sick, it's probably not even the recipe, but of course, now I associate it with the recipe. It doesn't really matter though, because the recipe itself tasted awful to both of us. It's going to be a while before I can eat any kind of beef stew again.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Katie Nell

                                                              I have a question do you and your husband drink wine? If you do not that might explain why it was to winey I am not much of a wine drinker and when it is in something I taste it more then anything else in the product. When I do use wine in food I generally use a little less then what the recipe calls for. Another thing you might want to try is to cook the wine down some before you put it back with the meat. this will cook off more of the Alcohol and intensify the flavors.

                                                            2. Ditto on that banana pudding, but it's not her recipe.
                                                              Ever since 1999 I've been baking Emeril's chocolate biscotti for holidays and gifts. Who knew?

                                                              1. Tyler's Pulled Pork was a winner, complete with Carolina vinegar sauce. Wish I knew where I'd bookmarked it, I'd have to go digging around for it on the Food TV website.

                                                                Funny how many of us have referenced his recipes, and how many people made fun of him for jumping on the Applebee's bandwagon. But, I've made a few of his meals and all of them have turned out pretty well - but that Pulled Pork was really the best one.

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                  That pulled pork is a staple of my NYE buffet. It's amazing with just right vinegary sauce. And I'm really not a general fan of Tyler Florence.

                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                  1. re: celeste

                                                                    Yep, that's the one! Thanks for the link - I'll be sure to bookmark it now. I find Food Tv's website maddening to use - too slow to load, not a particularly good search and never mind those pop-ups!

                                                                    When I made it, I nearly ate the whole thing before it hit the table, all those darkened black outer bits - yum!

                                                                    1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                      I hate the food network site too - I copied and pasted the recipe into my email and sent it to myself so I'd always have an easy copy!

                                                                      1. re: celeste

                                                                        That's what I normally do also - but for some reason I couldn't find that one. So, many thanks for posting it here, it's now safe in my saved emails :-)

                                                                      2. re: sivyaleah

                                                                        You know if you sign up at foodtv, you can get a recipe box where you can store around 50 recipes. I have the same issue with their site. It can be difficult to go back and find a recipe you saw the week before unless you remember exactly which chef made it. But if you store them in your recipe box, you can always go back and log in to see what's in your box that you've saved for future reference. This is great- I was looking for a recipe for pulled pork and this one sounds easy to make.

                                                                        1. re: mschow

                                                                          I just created a gmail account to store all of my recipes in and am thinking of adding filters for ingredients and type of food (baked good etc.) I'm sure there's some kind of program I could use for this, but this seems to be working so far. My regular inbox really needed clearing out, it was half recipes!
                                                                          On another note, Tyler's Ultimate French Onion Soup has wowed people everytime I've made it and I love it. I'm making it on Saturday in honor of Bastille day.

                                                                          1. re: polyhymnia

                                                                            Haha, that is exactly what I do with my gmail account. I have lots of food filters, and it's really easy to organize them and search for specific ingredients, etc.

                                                                    2. re: sivyaleah

                                                                      That pulled pork is really, really amazing. I like to serve it with the vinagrette-based cole slaw recipe from How To Cook Everything.

                                                                      Every easter, we make Swedish Meatballs with Spicy Plum Sauce, which is from a Marcus Samuelsson guest appearance on some Food Network show back in 2000. The recipe is still available on the Foodtv.com website.

                                                                    3. Emeril's cornbread and andouille sausage dressing are now a staple at our Thanksgiving table. People request it.
                                                                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                      One flop was the french onion soup from Good Eats. I didn't care for the chicken stock base, I much prefer using beef stock in this dish. We love AB's baked beans, hamburgers (grind half chuck and half sirloin).

                                                                      Most educational was Good Eats Mayo Clinic. I can now make my own aioli and understand the emulsification process.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: lisaf

                                                                        Now that you mention Good Eats, I remember a dish that didn't go so well from that show - the Good Eats Chili.

                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                        I loved the episode, I thought it was hilarious, but right from the start the recipe didn't go well. First, when I started to heat the chilis in the pan to make the chili powder, the whole house stank of chilis and my wife was gagging.

                                                                        Second, when I added all the ingredients to my pressure cooker and started cooking, the tortilla chips added to the mix scorched and burned the bottom of the pressure cooker. I attribute this to not enough liquid in the mix. The comments on the Food TV site also show that others had this problem too.

                                                                        Another recipe that went well with modification is his fajita skirt steak:

                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                        The marinade for the steak is PHENOMENAL. I use it all the time for skirt steak as well as chicken. Alton's suggestion of putting the marinated meat RIGHT ON THE COALS, however, is not one I tried. Just read the comments on people having to pick grit out of their mouths convinced me that on the grill grate may be a better option. It is. Great recipe.

                                                                        1. re: Rocknrope

                                                                          I've tried Altons Flank Steak on the Coals...and both times, it was under done, so I think I'll be passing on that one in the future. I like Alton, but his coals must burn a lot hotter.

                                                                          1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                            I've made Alton's skirt on the coals several times. Man, is that to die for! We do keep the meat on the "fire" a bit longer than he does though. I'm drooling for it as I type! Also, it's great the next day for leftovers on salad!

                                                                            1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                              Use SKIRT steak....not flank steak. Most flank steaks are at least double the thickness of a typical skirt...that could explain your doneness problem. I have tried it right on the coals and it was delicious! And it kind of freaked out my guest...but they were won over when they tried it.

                                                                        2. I don't watch much TV, but when I was sick last year, I watched a little of the FoodTV and caught a couple recipes I just had to try. They were very good.

                                                                          Flat Iron Steak with Red Wine Sauce - Giada De Laurentiis

                                                                          Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake - Ina Garten (and I am not crazy about chocolate & fruit except the occasional chocolate-dipped strawberry). I made a few minor changes.

                                                                          1. Try following Alton's beer recipie. You beer will probably be infected, and not so tasty for sure!

                                                                            When my homebrewing husband watched that episode, he laughed the whole way through.

                                                                            1. Since so many people posted the GOOD, I'll post the only truly BAD one I can think of - Paula Deen's Mini Chocolate Eclairs. I didn't see her make them, but my mother did and she requested them for her birthday. I printed out the recipe and after reading it 5 times it still didn't make any sense, but I forged ahead. The cream puffs deflated, the filling was chalky and the icing melted all over everything, refusing to coat the eclairs. I threw them away and bought some from the store.

                                                                              Here's the recipe - maybe I'm just not an experienced baker (I don't claim to be) but I don't see how this recipe, the way it's written, would work for anyone: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: SarahEats

                                                                                Adding to the "bad" recipies: I went nuts looking for a sponge cake recipe and found one somewhere authored by Emeril. I thought it sounded wrong but followed it anyway. My "sheet cake" came out a sheet of scrambled eggs!! I swear to God, he did NOT say whip the whites separately then fold into the mixture: He said to put the eggs (whites and all) into a bowl and whip them. The hell you say!! Still looking for a really good sponge cake recipe. Anyone have one? I mean, I know that as a baker, I make a good plumber, but scrambled eggs??!

                                                                                 
                                                                              2. I can't think of any bad, though I'm sure there are (!), but this recipe turned out very well:

                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                Oh, and I didn't use store bought devils food cake. Of course I made my own!

                                                                                1. I wonder where she got the bannana pudding recipe. I just looked at a Paula Deen cookbook this week and didn't really see anything that hasn't been in any decent Southern church or civic club cookbook for years. Even Bisquick Sausage balls.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Betty

                                                                                    I think this is why I'm not as shocked by Paula's cooking (cream cheese + sour cream + butter + ...) as so many other 'hounds seem to be. I have my own collection of church/club collection cookbooks!

                                                                                    1. re: momjamin

                                                                                      Same here....growing up we didn't eat those unhealthy foods all the time but many of her recipes were seen on tables at potlucks, funeral dinners, holidays, etc. I've been eating those Bisquick Sausage Balls for at least the past 30 years...way before anyone I know heard of Paula Deen.

                                                                                  2. I scanned that other post of yours and was surprised that hardly anyone mentioned "Everyday Food" on PBS. Actually I noticed only one mention, and it was a favorable one. It's part of my Monday-night PBS food-show lineup, the only one I try not to miss. (Locally they're followed by Jacques Pepin - much as he still has "it" and that irrepressible charm after all these years, I had to break up with him once I started seeing Paul Ryan over on the DIY network)

                                                                                    I really like the recipes - the ones I've tried have been perfect for weeknight dinners. My standouts are their Hoisin Salmon & Moroccan Chicken, both from last season. They are frequent fliers in our dinner rotation.

                                                                                    After Jacques comes Daisy - one time she did a recipe she called "Crackerjack Chicken", which was a complicated construction something like a cordon bleu - the fillings (ham, cheese, etc.) in the middle of the rolled, breaded, fried, chicken breast were the "surprise", like in a box of Crackerjacks. Hilariously, my local cable listing described it as Chicken with Caramel and Peanuts. Of course, now she's on opposite the 2nd episode of Paul Ryan, so I'm not seeing her anymore, either.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Helen F

                                                                                      The chocolate chip meringues from EF are delicious and very impressive, and so easy that a child could make 'em. I subbed toasted coconut and chocolate extract in the last batch I made, and...*Homer Simpson drooly noises* Use bittersweet mini-chips for the tastiest and cutest results. ;o)

                                                                                      The link is WAY too long to post here, so just go to www.marthastewart.com and do a search for "chocolate chip meringues" - you want the May/June 2003 Everyday Food recipe.

                                                                                      1. re: sundevilpeg

                                                                                        I had to chuckle over this recipe--it's been around a long time! I made it in college in the late 60's. Very sweet, but unexpected texture.

                                                                                      2. re: Helen F

                                                                                        I like Jacques Pepin's recipe for cuban skirt steak. It involves lime and turned out great.

                                                                                      3. I've made Paula Dean's cheesy fudge, and I love it! YUM!

                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                        I remember that one day I was watching Lidia's Italian Table and she was making a lentil soup in a potato broth. I was salivating - especially when she through in the rind of a hunk of parmasian reggiano. I ran out to the bookstore, came home and made it, and I was so disappointed in the flavor - or lack thereof. I wonder what went wrong?

                                                                                        Those are the only two that come to mind right now, but I know I've made others! I tend to try more recipes from epicurious.com and Cooking Light, Everyday Food (the magazine) and some other internet sites.

                                                                                        1. Good Eats...Thanksgiving Turkey. The bird came out Normal Rockwell painting perfect and tasted wonderful. Another really good one was Michael Chiarello's Italian Paella. It is very good.

                                                                                          Worst...Anything recipe that came from 30 Minute Meals.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: MacArthur Mike

                                                                                            MM, did you brine the turkey in a cooler?

                                                                                            1. re: Rocknrope

                                                                                              no, picked up the turkey brining bags at Williams Sonoma. They are heavy duty and hold up to a 25lbs. bird.

                                                                                              1. re: MacArthur Mike

                                                                                                I've made the Good Eats turkey several times and really like it. This year I just picked up some of the new Ziplock XL bags and the turkey fit fine (and are much cheaper than the WS ones. I did put the whole (bagged) bird back in a large stockpot to go in the fridge -- to keep it up and in case of leaks. But there were no leaks. The flat bottom of the bag made it easy to fill too.

                                                                                            2. re: MacArthur Mike

                                                                                              If this is the turkey Alton did a couple of years ago where you just put it in the oven and forget it (no basting, no letting the heat out), we found it to be very good too. And very easy.

                                                                                              1. re: MacArthur Mike

                                                                                                Yes! I know what you mean, that turkey was amazing and no Rocknrope, we did the the roasted tom turkey stuffed with onion, fruit and herbs. I made it at the last family Thanksgiving and there are lots of pics of the bird and not so much of anyone else. No kidding. It tasted a good as it looked and that's saying a lot for the free grocery store 20lb'er the inlaws got that year and will get this year. I've already had the request put in to duplicate the turkey. Exactly as previous. Amazing. Other than not having enough room in the turkey for all the vegatation, it worked out exactly perfect. I just distributed what wouldn't fit in the bird around it and I think it worked out fine.

                                                                                                I have always prepared the dressing separately anyway so that wasn't an issue. Pretty much everything Alton Brown does works. Our family favorite is his Welsh Rabbit. Make it Welsh and serve on bread, sub in macaroni and it's another dish change the beer to sautern or white wine and the cheese to swiss and gruyere and it's fondue. Very versitile.

                                                                                              2. My new favorite chocolate chip cookie is from Food Network Challenge: Cookies, with a few tweaks on my part -- Saptosa's Chocolate Chip Candy Bar Cookie:

                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                I use vanilla flavoring instead of chocolate, omit the caramel kisses and nuts, and cream softened butter and the sugars rather than melting the butter.

                                                                                                I haven't had any real disasters from TV recipes -- but I'm picky about which recipes I even try, so I guess I've been lucky at guessing the good ones.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                  Heh, this made me remember another recipe that has become so much part of my repretoire that I forgot it was from a cooking show: Alton Brown's The Chewy chocolate chip cookie. I have some cooling in the kitchen as we speak, actually: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                  I make them smaller than the recipe calls for (basically one tablespoon filled balls) and bake for ten minutes, and they're perfect.

                                                                                                  1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                    I've also had great success with "The Chewy" as well...

                                                                                                2. I'm also one who tends to modify or combine recipes somewhat based on personal tastes, but there are two whose recipes have always been 100% spot on, Alton Brown and Ina Garten. No need to tamper with them, they are absolutely perfect as is. (Although I haven't tried the beef stew mentioned above, but I'm going to try it myself since I just saw the same show the other day, so I'll let you know if I have the same experience.)

                                                                                                  Some examples:
                                                                                                  Ina's Lemon Yogurt Cake: soooo easy to make, and tastes more sinful than it is. Everyone I've shared this with has asked for the recipe, and it's become one of my husband's favorites.
                                                                                                  Alton's basic bread recipe: I had never even attempted anything involving yeast before watching this show (I dunno, maybe it scared me?) Anyway, this recipe is foolproof and now we make our own homemade bread all the time.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: chefwannab

                                                                                                    Oddly, Alton's bread recipe is the only one of his that's ever failed me, and I'm a bread baker (not professionally, but it's one of my favorite hobbies). It would not rise, and I know the yeast was fine because I gave up and made another recipe later in the weekend. My only theory is that the salt killed off the yeast before it had a chance to start burping (I love those yeast sock puppets of his). All the other Good Eats recipes that we've tried have worked like a charm, and I have a HUGE stack of them waiting for their turn.

                                                                                                  2. Alton Brown's macaroni and cheese, both the stove-top and baked versions, are family favorites.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: lucyis

                                                                                                      YES! Alton's Mac & Cheese is the one who made me stop searching... *Happy!*

                                                                                                      --Dommy!

                                                                                                    2. I have many successes and just as many failures. The one that truly sticks out in my head is from an Emeril restaurant cookbook. I made a chocolate cake - clearly this soemthing that in his restaurant is mostly prepared by others because the number of steps was enormous. I underestimated exactly how long it would take me to do all of them and forged ahead. I acutally cried twice during the process and burst into tears again when I handed it to my mother (made it for Mom's day, of all things). My sister-in-law took the rest to work with her and she proceeded to tell me it was her favorite cake that I "make." I promptly told her that this was a cake that I had MADE and would never make again! I will happily eat it at one of Emeril's restaurants, but anything with that many steps is not meant to be made by me...

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: amyvc

                                                                                                        What cake recipe did you use? The ones of his I've seen on the FN site all look pretty straightforward to me.

                                                                                                        1. re: amyvc

                                                                                                          I've tried two of his cookbook recipes - Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pie, and I can't remember what else, but the number of steps was just overwhelming. It seemed like they took every gadget and pan I owned to make - at least once, often requiring a cleaning in between shifts.

                                                                                                        2. Anything Rachel Ray does is pretty much guaranteed to be neauseating and disgusting.

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: DoctortedNYC

                                                                                                            I was watching her once when I was just getting ready to start supper, and she did some nice fish & chips, so I went in the kitchen and made them. They were pretty good, actually.

                                                                                                            I don't know about a "worst," but I made Elia's waffle concoction from the Top Chef episode when they were on the beach a couple weeks ago for lunch. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, except that I did a poached egg instead of a fried one. At the time I thought it was pretty tasty, but ever since then when I think about it I get this queasy feeling, "I can't believe I ate those things together!" I don't think I'll make it again.

                                                                                                            1. re: DoctortedNYC

                                                                                                              Actually, I scored a couple of great recipes from her Travel show. She has a great Kale Soup and Stuffed Clams recipes.

                                                                                                              --Dommy!

                                                                                                              1. re: DoctortedNYC

                                                                                                                Haha, this is so true! One of the nicest people I know is a terrible cook. She makes a lot of RR food. As it turns out, her husband is a very gifted baker and pastry chef - go figure So whenever we go there for dinner, the entree is usually weird and the dessert is killer.

                                                                                                                1. re: DoctortedNYC

                                                                                                                  I find some of RR's recipes are really good (buffalo chicken pizza, Italian chicken and dumplings) and some are awful (a chicken stir-fry that called for way too much tamari). I have issues with how she writes them too. One of my favorites is a white lasagna made with cheese ravioli, sauteed spinach and asparagus, and a bechamel sauce. I think someone using crack/meth must have written the instructions - it jumped all over the place - I had to rewrite it in order to figure out what to do when!

                                                                                                                2. I don't know if this counts because I didn't see it on the show, but Martha Stewart's Outrageous Chocolate Cookies are quite possibly my favorite cookies (although I'm really terrible at picking one single favorite anything).

                                                                                                                  http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...

                                                                                                                  The only problem is that they are far, far better fresh out of the oven than they are the next day. Freezing them immediately after cooling is the only way I found that I like them much after the first day. My mom loved them a day or two later, but I strongly prefer them same day.

                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: luv2bake

                                                                                                                    Martha's sugar cookies and royal icing are a standard Christmas cookie for all of my friends.

                                                                                                                    1. re: lisaf

                                                                                                                      I realize this is an old post, but I'm searching for a waffle recipe. I came across this post and thought I'd offer my two cents on a MS recipe. I stopped looking when I baked her blueberry muffin recipe. I make these all the time and sometimes switch out the fruit. Perfection. They're not only moist and tasty, not too sweet, they're tall, and beautiful. Also great using dried cranberries too. Just get really fresh dried cranberries, not those things in a bag.

                                                                                                                    2. re: luv2bake

                                                                                                                      Ok....so she's not on the Food Network but...... she's my guilty pleasure... I do kinda like Martha and the recipes I've gotten from her website are straightfoward and easy to prepare. They usually come out well even with a tweak here and there.

                                                                                                                      I love the Lighter Chicken Potpie (I used puff pastry dough instead of phylo) and the Braised Short Ribs Ragu with Pappardelle...I was in a comfort food phase.

                                                                                                                      ps luv2bake...she had a killer choc cake on today's show.

                                                                                                                      1. re: MSK

                                                                                                                        Thanks for the heads-up. It looks good. How can devil's food cake not be?

                                                                                                                        http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...

                                                                                                                        1. re: MSK

                                                                                                                          Wow! Thanks for the cake link. Devil's Food is my all time favorite - it was the cake of choice for all my childhood birthdays. That one looks very easy and the picture looks exactly like what I remember a Devil's Food should look like.

                                                                                                                        2. re: luv2bake

                                                                                                                          The secret to those outrageous chocolate cookies is to underbake them. Also, use really good quality chocolate- it makes all the difference!

                                                                                                                          1. re: chefmo

                                                                                                                            I do both. In fact, I have overdone it on the underbaking once or twice and ended up with cookiegoo (which made some family & friends quite happy! lol) I just strongly prefer them same day. The chips are gooey-er, the cookie chewier. I think it's probably just me, but they just aren't the same when they're not warm & gooey.

                                                                                                                            If I heat them up a wee bit, they're better.

                                                                                                                        3. RACHEL'S RAY'S OLIVE CHICKEN. I WON''T DO THIS ONE AGAIN
                                                                                                                          MOLTO MARIO'S PASTA WITH ESCAROLE LENTILS AND RED ONIONS AMAZING AND HIS CLAMS WITH PANCETTA AND CHILIES

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: FAL

                                                                                                                            Do you have a recipe or link for the pasta with escarole, lentils, and red onions? That sounds excellent.

                                                                                                                            1. re: FAL

                                                                                                                              watched RR do her pasta fagioli.
                                                                                                                              she said to toss in a few/couple sprigs of rosemary.
                                                                                                                              the flavor of rosemary is overbearing and can be very invasive, which this was.
                                                                                                                              really all you could do was toss it.

                                                                                                                              equally awful: the pot roast disaster from Shamdra Lee

                                                                                                                            2. As much as I don't like Giada (I'm prob jealous since my bf thinks she's hot), I have to say her dishes usually look simple to make and delicious. I've tried a few and they've always turned out great.

                                                                                                                              1. A friend brought left over (from a dinner cooked for her boyfriend) stewed fruit and creme anglaise over to my house, and as we were eating, she told me how easy the sauce was to make, because it used raw egg yolks!... the recipe was from a food network show, and on the website they had left out the step explaining how to cook the sauce.. fortunately we were both fine, as was her boyfriend!

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: harryharry

                                                                                                                                  Lots of recipies use raw egg yolks. Mayonnaise, for instance.

                                                                                                                                2. I'm surprised almost all of the posts refer to the FoodNetwork. My best recipes from TV come from America's Test Kitchen. Off the top of my head, these are:

                                                                                                                                  Roast chicken - butterflied and roasted at high heat on a broiler pan. On the bottom of the pan they used potatoes to soak up the chicken juices and fat. I've since amended the basic recipe but it makes fabulous roast chicken and roast vegetables.

                                                                                                                                  Butternut squash soup - the purest essence of butternut squash. Steamed until tender, blended with a stock made with the squash seeds, it makes an amazingly rich-tasting soup. I served this at a dinner party and everyone wanted more.

                                                                                                                                  I know there are others I thought really good, but my memory is failing me.

                                                                                                                                  The worst recipes are Tyler Florence's:

                                                                                                                                  Sausage and artichoke casserole (I think) - absolutely blecherous, strangely soupy mix of artichoke hearts and rubbery sausage. It took forever to prepare the artichoke hearts. And the casserole was cooked so long everything was overcooked. A total waste of time.

                                                                                                                                  Pasta with clams - I followed this recipe closely and ended up with a mostly tasteless pasta dish swimming in clam liquid. Another complete write-off.

                                                                                                                                  Gelato with "neutral stabilizing powder". Again I followed the directions carefully and the result was a slimy, softish gelato. The quantity of stabilizer was about 4 times what was needed. I worked this out by trial and error. The original had a texture some found quite offensive.

                                                                                                                                  22 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: cheryl_h

                                                                                                                                    Cheryl,
                                                                                                                                    You should subscribe to Cooks Illustrated if you like Americas Test Kitchen.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: talanhart

                                                                                                                                      I have some of their books which are collections of recipes from the magazines.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: cheryl_h

                                                                                                                                      I can't speak for others, but here in Kansas/ Missouri, we get very, very, very few food shows on public television. Everyday Food once a week, Lidia maybe once a month it seems like, and America's Test Kitchen once in a blue moon.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                                                        That's very unfortunate. I find PBS much more interesting than FoodNetwork which gets dumber by the day. I like ATK but also Lidia, Daisy Fuentes, Ming Tsai and the Diary of a Foodie show by Gourmet magazine. We also get irregular shows by Steven Raichlen and Charlie Trotter which my husband likes (I think it's the guy factor). Todd English has a new travel and cooking show which looks interesting too.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: cheryl_h

                                                                                                                                          Speaking of PBS shows, what ever happened to Posh Nosh? It was such great food show parody. I saw it at 3:00 am one night and it was never shown again.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ramensaurus

                                                                                                                                            I saw the whole series, best cooking show ever. If you're computer wizzy, they're available on line via e-mule.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                                                                                                              I googled e mule and added posh nosh to the search bar,
                                                                                                                                              said 'sorry nothing found' :(

                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                According to IMDB there were 9 episodes made, all in 2003 by the BBC. YouTube has the videos of Posh Nosh.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: cheryl_h

                                                                                                                                            You can find all of them on Youtube.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: lulubelle

                                                                                                                                              OMG. Just watched the first 5 mins of the first ep of Posh Nosh on youtube, and it's the funniest thing I've ever seen! Thanks for the rec....

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alias wade

                                                                                                                                                ... and now I get all my vinegar from the marchmonts' supplier, je vinaigrette rien.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: cheryl_h

                                                                                                                                              Actually, her name is Daisy Martinez- she is oneof my favorites

                                                                                                                                              1. re: elismamie97864

                                                                                                                                                LOL (re daisy "fuentes").

                                                                                                                                                daisy martinez! yes, i love her, too. she has great recipes and a winning way about her ; there's such joy in her cooking! http://www.daisycooks.com/pages/main.cfm
                                                                                                                                                i rate her as one of my top tv cooking hosts!
                                                                                                                                                i wanted to go through the tv screen recently (createtv) in order to taste her preparation of yellow rice (one of my favorite foods): http://www.daisycooks.com/pages/recip...
                                                                                                                                                this is her photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daisymar... nice!

                                                                                                                                                <can i possibly use more exclamation marks?!! well, yes, apparently i can!>

                                                                                                                                                daisy is on facebook, and has a youtube cooking channel. it looks like she is about to make another of my beloved dishes, tostones! http://www.youtube.com/user/cheflatin...

                                                                                                                                          3. re: cheryl_h

                                                                                                                                            I watch ATK every week and subscribe to Cooks Illustrated online. While I trust them I have had a few less than stellar recipes.

                                                                                                                                            The best:
                                                                                                                                            Stovetop Teriyaki Chicken, All Beef Meatloaf, Chicken and Dumplings, Brown Sugar Cookies, Pad Thai

                                                                                                                                            The bad:
                                                                                                                                            Deep Dish Pizza, the dough would make a good Focaccia but was way too thick for us.
                                                                                                                                            Mac and Cheese, there are several versions but I think this was labelled classic. I didn't think it was possible to put too much cheese in mac and cheese but I was wrong.
                                                                                                                                            Potatoes Roesti. Following the timing exactly resulted in a burned bottom. With some modification the method is probably sound.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sharonanne

                                                                                                                                              I've made the deep dish pizza recipe, if it's the same one that was in CI. It's tricky, but the dough will cook through and be light and fluffy if you use an ovenstone, a good pan, and at least 2 tbsp. olive oil. I used the smaller baking pan variation, because I don't own a 14" pizza pan, and it was a hit with my family. The dough recipe made three pizzas this size. I actually put sausage and olives on it in addition to the vegetables, and the sausage cooked through pressed thinly, rather than dropped in dollops. Maybe the fat from the sausage helped the crust though, and that's why yours was so thick and doughy?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: amyzan

                                                                                                                                                The pizza dough was cooked through but just too thick. I also used the smaller pan variation. The ratio of crust to filling was way off for us.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sharonanne

                                                                                                                                                  Hmm, did you get three pizzas from the dough recipe? Was it the dough with the cooked potato?

                                                                                                                                                  Maybe adding the sausage and olives balanced out the thick crust on ours. It was good--my family asked me to make it again, and I usually make thin crust pizza. I will say, though, that this recipe was SO much more work than a simple thin crust pizza. Not worth it for me, but others here are of another opinion! (Maybe because they didn't prepare it!)

                                                                                                                                            2. re: cheryl_h

                                                                                                                                              I love America's Test Kitchen as well. The old fashioned chocolate cake is out of this world amazing!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: iheartzuul

                                                                                                                                                I love ATK too. Almost all of the recipes that I make from them turn out wonderfully. My favorites are: pan seared chicken with lemon and chive pan sauce, chicken enchiladas, fudge frosting, and Mexican rice (I add 2 TBS. of chicken bouillon powder to the broth-something I learned in Mexico). The Mexican rice recipe is fullproof and I have tried many.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: martink

                                                                                                                                                  Lu Malnati's pizza recipe copy cat courtesy of ATK.
                                                                                                                                                  really quite good.
                                                                                                                                                  love that show, even if I don't make what they showcase. wonder which of the tv chefs Christopher chooses is anyone's favorite. the blonde lady with the pony tail is enjoyable.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: cheryl_h

                                                                                                                                                ATK's French Onion Soup is awesome. Also love Tyler's Ultimate Meatloaf. Chiarello's button shrooms are the bomb.

                                                                                                                                              3. I have made Paula Deen's Black Pepper Shrimp and her Fiery Cajun Shrimp many times, and every time it is terrific. Every just loves it. It is so easy, and can be made for 2 or 20. It is a great dish to serve to a large crowd outdoors. You can adjust the level of heat to your own taste.

                                                                                                                                                This is my version:

                                                                                                                                                Black Pepper Shrimp

                                                                                                                                                serves 6

                                                                                                                                                3 pounds fresh shrimp, unpeeled
                                                                                                                                                8 tablespoons butter
                                                                                                                                                3 tablespoons chopped garlic
                                                                                                                                                4 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

                                                                                                                                                * Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
                                                                                                                                                * Wash and drain shrimp
                                                                                                                                                * Place in a shallow baking pan. I use a le Creuset oval or square baker.
                                                                                                                                                * In a saucepan, on low flame , melt the butter, add the garlic, and saute until soft and translucent. Do not allow it to brown.
                                                                                                                                                * Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp and toss to coat until shrimp are well covered.

                                                                                                                                                * Bake until pink, approximately 5 minutes, turn, bake a few minutes longer, and pepper again. Use freshly ground pepper. I grind my peppercorns in a spice grinder, really a little coffee grinder reserved for spices.
                                                                                                                                                Serve shrimp with lots of napkins, bowls for the shells.

                                                                                                                                                Nice with a big green salad and crusty French bread.

                                                                                                                                                *******************************************************************************************
                                                                                                                                                Fiery Cajun Shrimp For 2

                                                                                                                                                1/2 stick melted butter
                                                                                                                                                1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                                                                1 TBS fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                1 tsp- tablespoons ground pepper
                                                                                                                                                2 tsp- tablespoons hot sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                                                                                                1/2 teaspoons salt
                                                                                                                                                1 pound unpeeled medium shrimp
                                                                                                                                                1 lemon, thinly sliced

                                                                                                                                                Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

                                                                                                                                                Stir together the butter, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, pepper,
                                                                                                                                                hot sauce, garlic, and salt. Pour half this mixture into a large
                                                                                                                                                heatproof dish. Layer half the shrimp and half the lemon slices in
                                                                                                                                                the dish; then form a second layer with the remaining shrimp and
                                                                                                                                                lemon slices, and pour remaining sauce into the dish. Bake,
                                                                                                                                                uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink, stirring
                                                                                                                                                once or twice.
                                                                                                                                                Serve in individual serving dishes.
                                                                                                                                                A large tossed salad and French bread are nice.

                                                                                                                                                1. The only recipe I've tried from a cooking show lately was one of Giada's 'easy' recipes, involving spinach, ricotta, tomato sauce, and pre-cooked lasagne made into rolls. It's delicious, but so much work that I've only done it twice.
                                                                                                                                                  I can't remember any cooking show disasters, because I don't watch that many cooking shows. When I do I'm usually in spectator-mode. It's rare for me to think 'wow, I'd like to make that' because either I already know how, or I'm not interested (or it just plain sounds too hard for me...) The internet is a big help though, because you can often find the recipe online and you don't have to try to remember it from the five-minute demonstration.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Don't laugh...but, Sandra Lee's Chicken and Dumplings is SO good! Esp. when it's cold out. I generally don't like her show and don't like what she chooses to showcase on it, but this is a favorite in our house.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Did Alton Brown's panna cotta brain for a Halloween potluck once. It turned out like rubber. Way too much gelatin.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: duckduck

                                                                                                                                                        Ack! Thanks for the warning! We made his Creme Brule, which was AMAZING, but were originally going to make his Panna Cotta...

                                                                                                                                                        --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                      2. I adore Ina Garten. Here Lemon Cake is wonderful. I make it in a bundt pan instead of loaves:

                                                                                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                        Giada's Lemon Basil Eggs over Foccacia was nice. I added prosciutto.

                                                                                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                        Oh yes and Ming's Tsai's Potstickers.

                                                                                                                                                        Awful - Paula Deen's Sugar Cream Pie. What a waste of perfectly good food.

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mrsmegawatt

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, that is a fabulous lemon cakes recipe. But there was a tonne of sugar in the cakes, the glaze and the icing. I didn't even ice the second one and it tasted great.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Maxmillion

                                                                                                                                                            I looked at the link mrsmegawatt posted, and I like the look of the cake because it has LOTS of lemon zest and juice, but I immediately thought I'd want to cut the sugar back, as it looks like way too much - especially since I live close enough to my father now that I can get sweeter Meyer lemons from his tree. I don't like super-sweet sweets, and I often cut sugar in high-sugar cake and cookie recipes by 1/4-1/3 and find it doesn't adversely affect their texture or structure to my tastes, contrary to all the warnings (I don't do so when making delicate or finicky recipes, but things like this are not). My mother is an excellent baker, and she has always done the same when making simple cookies and cakes. In this case, I think I would probably skip the powdered sugar glaze, too!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                              I don't like extra-sugary anything either so I think I'll start doing this -- I've been a little bashful about cutting amounts of anything when baking because I just started baking a LOT this year. When I cook I subsitute and tweak often but I'm nervous with baking, so I might start just cutting sugar a little here and there.

                                                                                                                                                        2. It's great that you guys are including the links to the recipes you mention. Here are the ones I mentioned:

                                                                                                                                                          Good Eats:

                                                                                                                                                          Broiled Butterfly Chicken: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                          Free Range Fruitcake:
                                                                                                                                                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                          Tyler's Ultimate

                                                                                                                                                          Pot Roast:
                                                                                                                                                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                          Garlic Horseradish Rib Roast:
                                                                                                                                                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                          And mom just requested two more fruitcakes for Chinese New Years....sigh.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rocknrope

                                                                                                                                                            Good call!

                                                                                                                                                            Giada's Panzanella:
                                                                                                                                                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                            Emeril's Etouffee:
                                                                                                                                                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...
                                                                                                                                                            Also, I know y'all hate Rachael Ray, and she's not my favorite, but this soup is great. I make it with spicy Italian sausage instead of sweet:
                                                                                                                                                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                          2. My most memorable failure is from at least two decades ago. Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet, and his handsome young assistant cooked a terrine. I was young and poor, but my Oster Kitchen Center had a meat grinder so I spent a considerable amount of money and time buying and coarsely grinding and seasoning beef & pork, laying strips of ham through the loaf, compressing the loaf and baking in a bain marie to make....
                                                                                                                                                            SPAM! Tasted like f'ing SPAM!

                                                                                                                                                            Since Rachel was dissed so badly here, I'll say that her Pasta Puttanesca is fast, easy & delicious, but admittedly not the "best" recipe I've learned from TV.
                                                                                                                                                            <http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...>

                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AreBe

                                                                                                                                                              Speaking of Jeff Smith, one of my favorite older recipes came from him - a simple mushroom/breadcrumb mixture done on the stovetop. It's just really very basic; chopped 'shrooms, the breadcrumbs, a lot of garlic, parsely and then sauteed in olive oil and served as a side dish but it's really addictive. I suppose it would make a really great stuffing for said mushrooms, artichokes, etc. too, but I enjoy it on it's own. I've made this a ridiculous amount of times.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                                                                                                                I`m just going through the best and worst list; this mushroom/breadcrumb/garlic/parsley thing of Jeff Smith`s sounds wonderful; could you post/email me the recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                                                                                                                  It does after you add proscuitto and fontina. Delicious stuffing in a mushroom and one I've made it for years. Also adding chives. Doesn't even seem like the same recipe but the origin was JS's. Just top them with more cheese, breadcrumbs and honestly they're a meal. I always get compliments and asked for the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                              2. I'm really enjoying this thread - it's interesting to hear about others' favorites. Me, I watch Alton Brown for techniques and tips, Ellie Krieger (annoying as she is) for stuff I'd make when I'm dieting, and Ina Garten for stuff I'd make when I'm not.

                                                                                                                                                                I would love to watch the Surreal Gourmet, but it's not aired in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                Notable successes:

                                                                                                                                                                Dave Lieberman's Chocolate-Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies. These sounded so good on the show that I ran right out for ingredients. I added dried cherries, and the results were spectacular.

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                Alton Brown's Guilt-Free Caesar salad dressing (tofu instead of eggs). I keep posting about how I love this recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                Ellie Krieger's Apple Muffins. Nothing earthshattering, but quite nice for a low-fat, minimal-cholesterol muffin.

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                In the "from a TV chef but I learned about it on Chowhound" category: Nigella's Watermelon-Feta-Olive salad. I ate this constantly last summer.

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.nigella.com/recipes/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                Here's one from the radio rather than TV (an interview on NPR with Ted Allen, from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) that a friend heard. This spinach-squash phyllo pie is quite fussy to make but is delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                                                                                                                                I've only had one failure (so far): Ellie Krieger's Green Pea Soup. It sounded so great that I made it right away, but the results were mediocre. Or maybe it's that I really don't like pea soup.

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                Note: The links to foodnetwork.com are to the print recipes, which are much easier to load. I, too, hate their slow, popup-laden web site!

                                                                                                                                                                Anne

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                                                                                                                  Nigella's Watermelon-Feta-Olive salad sounds great. Thank you. Speaking of Nigella, I made her pomegranate raita as a side to my tikka masala and it was really really good-and super simple.

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                                                                                                                    I don't find Ellie Krieger annoying at all! I love learning about the nutritional value of the foods we eat, since I don't know much about that particular subject. I like a lot of her methods too- instead of depriving, eat in moderation.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. The Naked Chef has a fantastic recipe for prociutto wrapped Salmon on a bed of "Herb-y" - Lentils -- Spinach, parsley, basil and mint, with a yogurt sauce. So simple, so good -- a fantastic mix of tastes.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Marianna215

                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, time warp-- the Naked Chef. On one of his first episodes, he made some rustic-looking tart shells in a muffin tin, filled them with custard, and "sealed" the top with a quick-hardening caramelized sugar-- voila, packaged and super portable. On the show, he wrapped them in foil and brought them for friends on a dog track outing. I did the same, minus the dog track. (Picnic, maybe.) Huge hit. Have to do that again-- ultra simple.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Failure: Christine Cushing's cabbage rolls. She didn't specify in her recipe that the rice you add has to be cooked rice (I hadn't made them before) - the crunchy bits were not great! I've since avoided her recipes altogether. I like the recipes from Ana Olsen's Sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: morebubbles

                                                                                                                                                                        my recipe for dolmas uses uncooked rice, they just cook in chicken broth a long time and soaks it up to cook nicely. It does work.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: toodie jane

                                                                                                                                                                          i'd LOVE that recipe. I bought grape leave to make them but i'm nervous!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lollya

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not toodie jane, but I do have my Aunt Nickie's Dolmathes recipe, which also has the rice cook wrapped in the leaves. My Aunt Nickie was 100% Greek and an excellent cook, so I hope you enjoy these. You can do half ground beef & half ground lamb if you want.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 pound ground beef
                                                                                                                                                                            1 large onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                            ½ cup rice
                                                                                                                                                                            ½ cup chopped parsley
                                                                                                                                                                            ½ cup chopped mint
                                                                                                                                                                            50 grape leaves
                                                                                                                                                                            2 teaspoons salt
                                                                                                                                                                            Pepper to taste
                                                                                                                                                                            3 Tablespoons butter
                                                                                                                                                                            Fry chopped onion in melted butter until golden. Mix with meat, rice, and seasonings. Take 1 teaspoon of filling and place in the center of 1 large leaf (or two small ones), being sure that the shiny side of the leaf in underneath, or on the outside when rolled. Carefully fold over sides and top, and roll up like a miniature football. Place a few coarse leaves in the bottom of a pot. Carefully arrange dolmathes on top, side by side, and in layers until all are used. Add 2 cups of water and a little butter and salt. Place a heavy plate on top and simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve hot with Avgolemono Sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: luv2bake

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks luv2bake!
                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not sure what a toodie jane is??
                                                                                                                                                                              I also am wondering if I can make without the meat or if that would be sacreligious to your aunt's recipe? And one last thing, what is Avgolenmono Sauce? I've never heard of it! Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lollya

                                                                                                                                                                                Look three posts above yours, and you'll find out what a toodie jane is.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lollya

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure you can make it without meat. I really like meatless dolmathes, too, although Aunt Nickie would probably roll over in her grave on that one. (Like My Big Fat Greek Wedding -- "YOU DON' EAT MEAT?! (pause) It's ok - I'll fix lamb.")

                                                                                                                                                                                  If you do vegetarian, it's not necessary, but you can add some pignolia or other good texture/flavor, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Avgolemono is an egg-lemon sauce. Basically egg (the "avgo" part), lemon juice (the "lemono"), and broth made similarly to and roughly the consistency of Hollandaise.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: luv2bake

                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks L2B!
                                                                                                                                                                                    (still not knowing what a TJ is)
                                                                                                                                                                                    I promise to do the veggie up right for Aunt Nickie's sake. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lollya

                                                                                                                                                                                      toodie jane was the poster here http://www.chowhound.com/topics/36543... whose dolmathes recipe you said you'd like to have. I said I wasn't toodie jane, but you could have my recipe. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: lollya

                                                                                                                                                                                    sure you can make meatless dolmas--just use a strongly flavored veggie broth. I had some killer dolmas from the Los Olivos Grocery in Calif not too long ago, and they were meatless. They featured mint and oregano, herb-wise, with a fruity, rich olive oil and the sweetest, slightly garlicky pinenuts. Fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                                                    ms. toody jane

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Some friends made a Paula Deen recipe for thanksgiving 2005. I don't know if it was from one of her TV shows, but I Iater found it in one of the cookbooks. Mashed sweet potatoes (perhaps mixed with coconut) with a regular-sized marshmallow in the middle. Roll in coconut and heat in oven. Utterly disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                                            On the other hand, in 2002 I saw a Nigel Slater show with Nigella Lawson as a guest. She made a pea soup with garlic (roast head of garlic, heat frozen green peas, puree with chicken stock, and serve hot). It was fabulous. It's in one of his cookbooks (Appetite or Real Food).

                                                                                                                                                                            1. The receipes I have tried from Everyday Food (PBS) have been very successful. Seasame Orange Shrimp is one of my favorites:
                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...

                                                                                                                                                                              And I love the Barefoot Contessa! Her turkey lasagna is tasty (not to mention huge) and the leftovers freeze well (perfect to take for lunch and zap in the microwave):
                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: citygrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                Ina is my absolute FAVORITE! I have to say that I made her turkey lasagna twice and didn't care for it though. The recipe is easy to follow, and turns out well, but I felt that it had too much cheese in it. The goat cheese was too strong for me in this recipe. The other two recipes that I was not happy with were Brown Rice, Tomatoes, Basil and
                                                                                                                                                                                Brownie Pudding.

                                                                                                                                                                                I have made almost all of Ina's recipes. My most cherished recipes are:

                                                                                                                                                                                lemon loaf cakes
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                roasted shrimp and orzo salad- my family always requests this at get togethers
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                outrageous brownies - these are more like fudge, and are FABULOUS
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                croque monsieur - as good as the ones I had in France (I think the cheese sause would be wonderful over pasta with ham in it
                                                                                                                                                                                )http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                French onion soup with parmesean croutons - To die for!!! Make sure you make the garlic toasts/croutons too!
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                Broccoli bowtie pasta
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                Tabouli - EXCELLENT (sometimes I use the recipe with roasted chicken

                                                                                                                                                                                )

                                                                                                                                                                                Old fashion potato salad
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                Brisket with carrots ans onions - a family favorite now
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                Garlic spinach
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                Coconut cupcakes - they can come out a little dry if slightly overbaked. I top with pastel colored jelly beans at Easter

                                                                                                                                                                                Mac and cheese (I have tried dozens and this is the best
                                                                                                                                                                                )http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                Individual meatloaves (I usually double the thyme that the recipe calls for
                                                                                                                                                                                )http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: martink

                                                                                                                                                                                  I am a huge Ina fan as well, Haven't tried the mac and cheese but now I will due to your post! I usually do Martha Stewarts.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: drewb123

                                                                                                                                                                                    loved Ina's fruitcake cookies for the holidays.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. I get inspired by cooking shows all the time but the only thing I can remember making as shown is Jamie Oliver's pork roast with peaches, butter and thyme. It was simple and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Grubbjunkie

                                                                                                                                                                                  jamie makes it look so easy (simple). I wonder how much editing goes on in his shows. It's funny you should mention this episode; it's one that I can still see in my mind. I thought "what lucky friends!"

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Grubbjunkie

                                                                                                                                                                                    I made that too. It's been a long time but I recall liking it quite a bit. I don't think I used a pork roast with skin as called for:
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                    I really liked this roasted lamb with tray roasted vegetables from Jamie Oliver too. It's clever in that 1/2 the marinade of yogurt, garlic, mint and smashed chick peas is reserved to use as a sauce. And that the lamb is roasted on a rack over the veggies so the juices drip down. Use any veggies you like, but I enjoyed the chickpeas in the mix. I think I used cauliflower and sweet potato instead of butternut squash and jerusalem artichokes.
                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.nibblous.com/index.cfm/Rec...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Grubbjunkie

                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't made this a while, but I thought it was a good recipe too. Although, I did not buy the pork with the skin on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I also enjoyed the tray baked salmon with green beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                      One of my go-to recipes for parties is his red chili salsa recipe...seriously great.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I tried his foccacia recipe, too...and had success.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I miss that show.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iphonechica

                                                                                                                                                                                        would love the red chili salsa recipe if you have it handy....

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Dave Lieberman's Silky Cauliflower Soup - incredibly easy and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I like Elie Krieger and I'm making this recipe for Turkey meatballs again tomorrow for my in laws. So tasty and somewhat healthy

                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, I made a Giada recipe with Fennel and pork but used chicken instead. I had never used fennel before and it was excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                                        I've tried quite a few of Alton's, Rachel's, and Tyler's and never been dissapointed, maybe I'm not discriminating enough or I alter all recipes to my taste and subsitute and add freely.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. A spectacular failure in our house was a lasagna prepared with a winter squash, smoked mozzerella, and ricotta cheese filling from Giada's Everyday Italian show. It looked so beautiful on TV, but ugh! Too gooey, too rich. Even my 3 teenage sons, who eat anything, took no second helpings, and the leftovers sat in the refrig for a couple of days until I put it out of its misery with a garbage disposal. Not to dis Giada, though, because I have prepared other recipes of hers with great success.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: martmurt

                                                                                                                                                                                            for whatever reason her recipes don't work for me.
                                                                                                                                                                                            I've done her tortilla chips they were not right.
                                                                                                                                                                                            did a cookie of hers a lemon corneal cookie, not good.
                                                                                                                                                                                            but DD lives her lamb stew recipe so...

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I've always loved just about every recipe of Tyler's.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: uptown jimmy

                                                                                                                                                                                              I made TF's meatloaf as posted on the meatloaf thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I swear I'd never watched this show before. But one rainy day I was home and channel surfing, and Rachael Ray was making a soba noodle bowl on her talk show. Now....I know it's not a tough thing to figure out, but the recipe was so simple and looked so good. I made it immediately, and have had it several times since. She substitued whole wheat spaghetti for the soba. I've done it both ways. But it's healthy and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I made this Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb recently, courtesy of Gordon Ramsay's F Word, and it came out great. Very easy to do, and the green herb crust looks fantastic on the lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/159...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I had great success with Paula Dean's Chicken on the Grill. She uses her fathers grilling sauce recipe of Worchestershire sauce, butter and lemon. We cooked on a covered gas grill in a large alum disp. pan. Finger lickin good, especially with cold beer during the summer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. i am an avid viewer of foodtv and all the pbs cooking shows and have had success with tyler (although the transcribed recipes on the foodtv website can be a little iffy), jacques pepin, lidia bastianich, and michael chiarello. in fact, of all the foodtv chefs, i find chiarello's recipes to be the most successful in my kitchen. and they are relatively good for people who enjoy both entertaining and have busy lives!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    as for failures, i have really only had one truly spectacular disaster--and it came courtesy of the otherwise divine nigella lawson. she featured a "quick" penne alla vodka in her new york times column many moons ago where you added the vodka directly to the just-drained penne and the heat of the pasta cooked off the alcohol. then, you mixed in this lovely creamy tomato sauce. the whole thing was supposed to be done right before serving--and seemed like an ideal recipe for feeding many people on a weeknight. seemed like a dream come true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    i was so taken with the idea that i decided to try it for a dinner party that week...i guess that in my zeal to entertain my guests while i was cooking, i didn't really pay close enough attention to the recipe and failed to notice what must have been a mistake in the measurements noted in the recipe, adding the suggested 1 cup of vodka to my penne. about 15 minutes into dinner, my guests and i were all spacing out, staring at the votive candles on the dining room table. the heat of the pasta was definitely not enough to cook the vodka and the relatively mild flavor of vodka was well-masked by the tomato. the voluminous amount of liquor had just settled into the penne tubes, giving us mini-shots of vodka with every bite! before we realized what was happening we were all well on our way to blasted...on top of the wine we'd all had with the first course, the penne shots kept two of my guests from driving home!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    the next day, i ran into one of my guests at the local starbucks, finding him looking gray and haggard. i wasn't feeling too hot either. we agreed that we were both suffering from our first pasta hangover...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    this misadventure has faded into lore in our house--and although i love her whole schtick, i have been a bit skeptical of nigella since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sfaj

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh dear!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Forgive me, but I am giggling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sfaj

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm sorry, but your story is too funny and has me laughing out loud. It reminds me of a party I attended about three years ago. It has gone down in history as "The Incident".

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sfaj

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am going to try this - but exactly the way you made it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sfaj

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The whole point of adding vodka is to release the alcohol-soluble flavors in the, uh, tomato sauce. Not the pasta. Maybe Nigella had had a wee nip herself when writing this
                                                                                                                                                                                                            recipe. Great story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sfaj

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Believe it or not, Rachael Ray has a simple, tasty, and fast pasta w/vodka sauce recipe that's been a standby of mine for the last 5 years. Unfortunately, you will have to look past the name - "You Won't Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta"

                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kasiav

                                                                                                                                                                                                                While I find Rachel Ray annoying on television, her recipes are not necessarily all the bad. She's got many many of them amongst all of her books and shows, so not all will be hits for everyone, but some of her stuff just flat out works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kasiav

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of the best, easiest Vodka sauces I just made is from ATK. It's one of those recipes where afterwards, you're like "why would I ever buy vodka sauce?" 20 minutes - 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup vodka, 3/4 cup cream, basil, garlic, red pepper flake and parmesan. Easy peasy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rocknrope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In what order do the ingredients go in; after the vodka incident described above, I want to make sure I am doing it correctly! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: sfaj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What a story! I've made this recipe with incredible success. If I recall correctly, the full recipe calls for 1/2 cup vodka. I usually half it and use 1/4 cup. Any chance you used a bit too much?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I cook out of NL's books all the time, with the only failure of sorts being the risotto-style rice pudding out of Nigella Bites -- not sure if it's been on TV. It was far too rich, and I wasn't sure that was even possible. If I ever make this again, I'll have to seriously adjust the fat content of the dairy products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: slowfoodgrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love Nigella's books too. I might cook my way through Forever Summer over the next few months --- including the ice creams!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Could you suggest a few of your favorite Nigella recipes? I love her Ritzy Chicken Nuggets (from her show, not sure if it's in a book). Nigella's ricotta hot cakes are just divine sunshiney bliss on a plate. mmmm. My mom ordered ricotta pancakes out at a snazzy brunch place noted for excellent food, and I'd say their cakes weren't even half as good as Nigella's!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I watched her curry feast today and I'm going to make it as my next big splashy dinner - creamy curry chicken, peas with paneer, pomegranate raita with a gorgeous swirly blushing color. Mmmm. I tape her shows because I adore watching her interact so lovingly with the food. I love how she sneaks into the kitchen at night to grab a midnight snack too -- my sweety always does that too and if there aren't any treats in the fridge, I get a sad face in the morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My favorites:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [Grilled] Halloumi with Chilli (Nigella Bites)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tomato and Halloumi Flatbreads (Forever Summer)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Red Soup, made with beets and cranberries and equally good hot or cold out of the fridge like gazpacho! (Feast)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Creamy Potato Gratin (Nigella Bites)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Green Cilantro Chutney (NB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Penne Alla Vodka (Feast)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've made more of her recipes, but these are standouts. Cheers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        try her clementine cake, with the orange ice cream,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: madi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ditto on rec for clementine cake! Amazing and delicious. I love that it has no "real" flour, just ground almonds. Lots of folks serve it for passover because of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also love her chicken tikka with the onion salad and her zaátar chicken with fatoush salad. I think these recipes are either on her website or in a newspaper like the NYT. The can be searched for online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: foxy fairy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't know if you've tried any of her ice cream recipes, but the Pomegranate Ice Cream is tdf. Be sure you serve it with the pomegranate seeds. It needs the tartness of those, otherwise for me it is too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: sfaj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        wow! sounds like some party at your place!! LOL!! (in reference to sfaj's post)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sfaj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OMG that is a classic! It sounds like something that would happen to me. Thanks for sharing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sfaj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I LOVE this story - it's 3am and I'm laughing out loud here! And I'm definitely going to try this one...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Toots4120

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I missed that story the first time through this thread. While it is an entertaining story and one that is now almost 5 years old, it doesn't add up. For a dinner party to be a dinner party at least 6 people, or three couples have to be present, otherwise it's just 2 couple having dinner together. That makes the single cup of vodka equal to less than 1 mixed drink apiece. I think it was the several bottles of wine that gave them the hangover and not the small amount of vodka consumed with the pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is what I was thinking....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Not fancy, but Alton Brown's cheese grits were amazing comfort food for a cold day. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Even though I criticized Ming Tsai's show before for using ingredients too hard to find and exotic for the typical home cook, I watched and made almost every recipe from one recent show - Ginger Syrup master recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.ming.com/simplyming/showre...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The syrup was easy to make, and the ginger candy made with the leftover ginger is a great idea. The Ginger Beef with Leeks was great, as is the Glazed Chicken Thighs and Carrots. I even made both drinks - the Blue Ginger Gimlet and the Ginger Limeade. All terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My only problem is that the leftover syrup I put in a squeeze bottle and into the refrigerator crystallized abit. Annoying!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. O.K. Don't puke. When it is cold and nasty outside, my husband does request the chicken and dumplings dish that I picked up from Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Show. I have modified it a bit, but...yummy! I must confess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I made the Barefoot Contessa's Shortbread Hearts and took them to work, everyone raved about them for days. They were fun to make, too. My four-year old loved the process. I've heard wonderful things about Ina's turkey lasanga so I'm going to try that next. Everything she makes looks wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alton Brown's homemade pancake mix is legendary in our house. My husband makes them for brunch all the time and recently our nine-year old nephew asked his mom why her pancakes aren't as good as these. Alton's brines for pork and turkey are also staples in my house. I swear, I'm like a brining evangelist because of this man. Makes such a difference in the finished meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. So its not so much a recipe, but I basically learned to cook watching the Great Chefs Great Cities and Great Chefs of the World series when they used to run on Discovery Channel. They'd run one of each show and then an episode of Graham Kerr's Minimax driven show. Then a few hours later they'd run another, different, set of the same 3 shows. Picking up actual recipes was hard but the techniques were clear and right there to see. I started trying things I'd seen and, as one would expect, ran into more early failure than success. But, ultimately, it started to work out. Now that many of the recipes can be found online, its interesting to go back and look them over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I made parathas (Indian-style stuffed flatbread) from Bittman Takes On - great technique, very simple and versatile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great luck with the Molto Mario shows . . . artichoke-lamb stew (learned how to cut up artichokes by rewinding three times...), and zucca in agro, a honey/vinegar quick fry of diced butternut squash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I just made Tyler Florence's Ultimate Roast Chicken - chicken stuffed with lemon, onion, garlic and thyme, trussed, and covered in bacon. Although it was pretty straightforward (it is afterall, a roast chicken) it turned out pretty damn good. The bacon definitely kept the breast meat moist, moreso than putting butter under the skin, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Some staples in our house include the sesame noodles from America's Test Kitchen, Paula Deen's previously mentioned banana pudding, and Grilled wings with a chipotle sauce that Bobby Flay did on Boy Meets Grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JCap

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I second the ATK Sesame Noodles. Great balance of flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The recipe I've gotten the most comments on is Ina's outrageous brownies. Heavenly. It made a HUGE portion as most of her recipes seem to. I think I even halved it. It was wonderful though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. The worst recipe I have ever made was Paula Deen's mac and cheese...Who knew how bad mac and cheese could be? Anything I make from Ina Gartner's recipes always turn out delicious...Emeril as well...Now, I do not consider Sandra Lee a cook, so I would not consider making any of her things..Anyone who used frosting out of a can, is out in my book...I like Rachael Ray, but her recipes do not look good to me on TV, so I probably would not try them...Am not a shortcut kind of cook...Think it usually does not mean good cooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jinet12

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you mean Paula Deen's mac and cheese that, for some reason, was made with egg, I completely agree. It was disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: glacier206

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree, Paula's Mac and cheese was nasty and such a disappointment! Her lemmon blossom cupcakes are good though:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Anything I make by Ina Garten is great (I'm dying to try her brioche). I did make two of Giada's recipes which turned out wonderfully - crostini with fig jam, apples and pecorino (sooo good!) and Panatone bread pudding. Will make both again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I made Nigella Lawson's lemon fettuccine and it was awful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sure I've made lots more but my mind is a blank.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KeriT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I really like Nigella's lemon cream sauce! I have made it on Ricotta Gnocchi but I can't think of what difference that would make, I guess our palates are just different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I love to cook and I only cook from scratch. I don't understand the hatred towards people like Sandra Lee or Rachel Ray---I guess I'm just not a food snob. Sandra Lee actually did go to cooking school. I hope everyone here who continues to put her down takes the time to watch her Chefography this week. While I don't ever use any of her recipes, I respect her for what she is doing. I think her idea of offering fast, easy short cuts for busy people who wouldn't be inclined to use their kitchen at all is wonderful---so many people live off fast food these days. Growing up in a very poor household, I learned how to cook using shortcuts because we didn't usually have fresh ingredients---now I only use fresh, because I can. Not everyone can do this and Sandra Lee and what she developed is perfect for people like that. While I prefer not to cook like that, I certainly wouldn't look my nose down at someone who does. I know I managed to make some decent meals back in my lean days using items in my pantry---just like Sandra Lee does. I don't watch her show but I have a huge amount of respect for her after watching her Chefography. Same for Rachel Ray who I really didn't like before I watched her Chefography. These people have worked hard and have come a long way---and not everyone HAS to learn good cooking from a chef, I've gotten more great meals out of recipes from Ina, Nigella, Alton and even some from Paula and none of them are professional chefs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here are some of my favs:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From Ina--a wonderful cheesecake--I don't usually make the raspberry sauce because my family prefers a good, plain cheesecake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alton Brown's Stovetop Mac and Cheese--a family and potluck favorite!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nigella's quadruple chocolate cake--not overly sweet and very chocolatey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Paula's Pumpkin gooey butter cake---yes it's BAD for you--but OH so good!! She is about true southern cooking---butter, mayo and all. It's all about moderation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The best beer can chicken, the chicken is tender, juicy and oh so tasty---I've never used the bbq sauce---this was on BBQ with Bobby Flay but the recipe is Steve Raichlen's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One more---This is an Emeril recipe---any recipe I have used of his has been a hit, this is no exception. I haven't tried the fried pickles but the pork and the cole slaw are to die for---cut back on the red pepper if you have kids or people who can't handle hot stuff. WOW!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I really haven't made anything bad from any of the food network cooks---except for some sammie recipe of Rachel Ray's that I was sure the kids would like--which they didn't, at all. Oh well, not everything can be a hit!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: marsaili

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do think people overdo the bashing here, but I take issue with the idea that Paula Deen's recipes are true southern cooking! I see her as a mishmash of southern style and the convenience cooking that took hold in the 1950's. She cooks the way my paternal grandmother did when she began working full time, (according to my mother, as I wasn't around yet.) I take no issue with convenience cooking as a whole, but please don't mistake it for truly southern, okay? Take a look at Bill Neal's Biscuits, Spoonbread,and Sweet Potato Pie for a good intro into southern foodways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: amyzan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh gosh I second this. Paula Deen is not representative of Southern cooking. Her southerness is low country cooking. The South is a lot bigger than that one small area and her cooking doesn't represent the rest of us. Certainly not those of us who grew up in Louisiana. Of course, we have specialties, too, but I would never presume to try to convince people they represent all Southern cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i think low country cooks would be resentin' your attribution to paula deen of doing low country cuisine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        her cooking is mostly, if i had to guess, some amalgam of s. georgia/alabama kind of stuff, but augmented by some low-country food after her move to savannah when she was struggling to start a business to support her kids and herself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        her original show was not nearly as in your face as it is now -- but, that being said, it seems to have toned down a bit since the "paula's party" days (holy smokes!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Paula's Party was horrible. And I apologise if I offended any low country cooks. Some friends and I were talking the other day about how her show has morphed over the years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: marsaili

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree with your sentiment, Marsaili. I absolutely cannot *watch* Rachael Ray, and I don't use her recipes, but I don't hate *her*, and I certainly think what she does is useful. And I have also read a little about her and she really is pretty legit - she lived in a 1-bedroom house with her Mom and brother (when she and her brother were adults, that is) and was working multiple shifts when she came up with her time-saving, inexpensive ideas for dinner... I really respect that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do have a tendency to drift in the direction of the purists (which is to say, it should all be from scratch, it should all be authentic, etc) but then I think -- at once time, people who read books in their original handwritten or single-print forms believed that books shouldn't be mas produced because it would water down their intellectual value. And now, that sounds ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Adrienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I find Rachael Ray incredibly annoying and I never watch her show, but I occasionally run across recipes from her show on the Food Network website that have good ideas or can be a good jumping off point for something more interesting. There is one exceedingly trashy recipe of hers though that I love and make all the time, called Pizza Dip or something like that - cream cheese, Italian sausage, tomato sauce and mozzarella all baked together into an amalgam of gooey goodness. A friend made it for a party and asked me what I thought, and when I said it was awesome he took great delight in informing me that it was a Rachael Ray concoction. I hate it when I'm wrong. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't feel too bad, even a stopped clock is right twice a day..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: marsaili

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree with you about Sandra Lee, I don't understand the bashing, never did, and like you I gained so much respect for her after watching her Chefography. I'd like to see anybody (i.e. all the bashers) take on what she has on her life and do as well as she has for herself. It takes a very special person to have the strength and character she has. She is very sweet and genuine. Her cooking, recipes etc. may not be for everyone but they fill a certain niche. Why someone would say they would not even try something because it was a recipe of Sandra Lee's is just completely childish (to say the least). More power to her!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: marsaili

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The dirty little secret is that 95% of America cooks like Sandra. Most don't have the time, money or inclination for intricate or costly recipes. My mom's sauces were not exotic, the dishes didn't take hours and she didn't spend a fortune on ingredients. She was a great Southern cook (NOT like Paula Dean).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's 2010, midst of recession, and folks are rediscovering frozen foods. Fish is 40% cheaper and fruit and veggies often taste better since they were picked at their peak rather than green as in stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For some reason, the Food Network is dumbing down the shows - Sandra (Sorry), Rachel, 5-ingredients gal, 30 minutes, recipes from the pantry, down home, simple, etc. The only shows that teach are/were Moto Mario and Barefoot Contessa. I love Flay's food & fix it constantly since the grill is next to the kitchen. Anything from Ina or Mario is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. worsts: Carmelized pan seared salmon from Emeril. I don't know what I was thinking to follow this recipe, which involved a skillet on high heat and sugar coated salmon. We ended up with burnt sugar in seconds. At least we could scrape it off and salvage some fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Turkey burgers" from Cook's Illustrated (ok, from the magazine, but it must be on the show, too.) You grind your own turkey and and flavorings. Dry, tasteless, and inedible. One of the few dishes we could not finish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cocktailhour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Can't recall too many dismal failures....certainly a few I would not repeat. Best (and still the favorite Easter dish) is Emerill's leg of lamb stuffed with crawfish and sorel. My family revolts if I don't make it for the holiday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. No one watches Steven Raichlen (BBQ University)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've had his beer-bath brat sandwich, freakin' awesome! I've also made his Tennessee Pork Loin, which was fabulous- actually started in smoker for more smokey flavor than just from the barding bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dude

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I want to like that show, but the formality and stiffness he brings to a fun topic like bbq is infuriating. He's educational and knows his stuff, he should just smile and drink a beer once in a while!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JCap

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tell me about recipes turning out bad! I made bread pudding after watching emeril live and it turned out to be the farthest thing from tasty,I also recall making cookies after watching another cooking show that turned out solid rock! I did make chocolate cake following martha stewart's recipe though that turned out great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (quick tip: after buttering the bottom of the pan,coat it with some cocoa powder as well)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Worst: Peanut Butter Bread from Paula Deen. I love you, Paula, and I love peanut butter, but this just did not work for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Best: Pork Burgers Indochine from a grilling competition on Food Network--unquestionably the best sandwich I've ever tasted. Makes great meatballs for an appetizer, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Provencal Baked Vegetables from Nick Stellino (it's in the Mediterranean Flavors book.) Always the first empty dish on the holiday buffet. Leftovers make stellar omelets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamaciita

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Any chance you can share the Pork Burger Indochine recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. One of my favorites was a *gasp* Rachel Ray recipe - her blue cheese spaghetti. I'm guessing it had to have been on her show but I actually got it out of a cook book. It's basically a cream sauce with blue cheese thrown in at the end - and then tossed with arugula and bacon right before serving. It's pretty much my go to pasta accompaniment when I'm also serving flank steak or petit sirloin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Something that went horribly wrong...ah...well anything that I've tried to bake. I have too little patience for measuring things which doesn't exactly go with baking. But that's my fault. I tried to replicate a poached fish recipe that I saw on Food Network, can't remember the show, but it wasn't very good. Too bland for my taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: redgypsy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Blue cheese spaghetti sounds good... am I picturing it right to think it would be a little like a stovetop mac'n'bleu? Like, that type of flavor and texture of a sauce?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Adrienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Two recent successes would have to be Giada's Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabiata Sauce. What a fabulous recipe. I've made it twice, now. It's time-consuming, but manageable if you make your marinara sauce a day or two ahead. It makes so much that you can distribute to the neighbors, fill your freezer, and still have meals for two or three days! The other is Ina's Outrageous Brownies. These are actually addictive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree with another poster regarding Paul Deen and her "southern" cooking. Years back, Nathalie Dupree was on T.V. (must have been PBS as there was no Food Network then), and she was a true Southern cook. Everything Paula Deen makes lately seems to have canned soup in it. It seems to me that the T.V. chefs from "yesteryear" were more instructive than those today...except for Alton Brown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cookingschool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I miss Nathalie! She was great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On one of Paula's shows she confessed to giving a recipe to a magazine that she had never made, she made it in her head and figured it would work, it was never tried. So, she cracks me up, but I don't trust her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tobycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I used to love to watch Nathalie Dupree with my mom -- we would watch every show carefully to see how many mistakes Nathalie would make. She was constantly burning something or overcooking something or forgetting to add something and then saying something like, "Don't do what I just did." She seemed like such a warm-hearted person, but oh, did she have a hard time on a cooking show!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bards4

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mom would always comment about how glad she was that she didn't have to clean up after Nathalie Dupree. She was a messy cook!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: tobycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          She's done the same things with recipes in her cookbooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: cookingschool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good to know the stuffed shells were good, my husband and I saw that episode yesterday and he and I both thought it looked good (now all I need is my kitchen renovation to be complete).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KeriT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We went through the kitchen remodel about a year ago! Thought it would never end! Anyway, next time I make this, I plan to complete the Arrabbiata Sauce ahead of time. I made the marinara ahead, before, but was still making sauce (to turn it into Arrabbiata) while doing the other parts of the recipe. I believe the completed Arrabbiata could sit in the fridge for a day or two. That eliminates one step from the recipe. Happy cooking....soon, I hope!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. re: Adrienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Adrienne - i think that sounds right. Very simple, saute some shallots in butter, add flour, make a roux, add cream and then when it bubbles add the crumbled blue cheese. Then toss the pasta with the sauce. And then add the arugula and crumbled bacon tableside. But...I think you could probably add the sauce to the pasta in a casserole, maybe toss on some bread crumbs and broil? Maybe add the bacon and then the crumbs? Oh man -- that sounds good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5. re: redgypsy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          why bother with the pasta and the arugula? i mean, if you're going to smother it in a blue cheese cream sauce and bacon, why not just serve the blue cheese and bacon? that's what they'd do at jack in the box!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6. My favorite is Ina Garten. I've had success with her recipes and have a long list of ones I still want to try. Some of my favorites from food tv:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ina Garten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spinach Gratin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perfect Roast Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Coconut Cupcakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Banana Crunch Muffins
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sauteed Cabbage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Garlic Roasted Potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Turkey Meatloaf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Paula Deen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marinated Tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fresh Green Bean and Tomato Salad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Squash Casserole
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Old-Fashioned Meatloaf (I use 1-1/2 lbs. of beef - cook same time and temp.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Alton Brown
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stove Top Mac N Cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Giada
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lemon Pasta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ellie Krieger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chicken Cacciatore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lemondrop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am absolutely in love with Ina Garten too ... I've made those coconut muffins too and they are excellent. I will also second the lemon poundcake referenced way up top -- very, very sweet, but I have an awful sweet tooth, so I thought it was just fine .. LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had a hard time with the jam thumbprints recipe though -- for some reason my dough was way too dry, so maybe I didn't measure something correctly - too crumbly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lemondrop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ina Garten is also my favourite. I haven't made anything of hers that was bad. My favs are:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Turkey Meatloaf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lemon Cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Roasted Brussels Sprouts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Herb Roasted Onions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Herb Baked Eggs (I do cut that down to two per person)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Panzanella
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Salad with Warm Goat Cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Goat Cheese Tart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Herbed Goat Cheese Sandwiches
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mussels in White Wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lemon Chicken with Croutons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Coeur a la Crème with Raspberries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pineapple Margaritas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cosmopolitans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lemon Drops

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              From Giada we like her Butternut Squash Lasagna. I use low fat dairy products in this and it's a great vegetarian main dish. We served it for our entree this past Christmas for dinner. It can also be made with canned or frozen butternut squash if the squash are out of season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              At the top of my list of TV recipes, though, is one I got from Sara Moulton on Cooking Live: Tomato Caramelised Onion Tarts. It tastes divine and is just gorgeous made in the summer with different coloured heirloom tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Giada's Lasagna Rolls. Take too long to make on a weekday, but very easy for the weekend. And it's awesome. And every time I make it for company it gets devoured in about 30 seconds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Shazam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Fusilli with Arugula....my husband and son would eat it every night...it is a sure winner!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I once made Sarah Moulton's stuffing for thanksgiving it was TERRIBLE. I thought I messed the recipe up. A few years later while at a party in NYC around thanksgiving, Ms. Moulton catered the party and made the same stuffing, it tasted the same, TERRIBLE. LOL. I learned a valuable lesson, sometimes it is not YOU, it IS the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. A family favorite is Giada Lemon Spaghetti and Shrimp Fra Diavolo. I use more crushed pepper then it calls for. The spicy with the flavor of fresh lemon..yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We also love Martha Stewarts Meatloaf 101.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mbfergie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I made Rachel Ray's Chorizo and Shrimp quesadillas with smoky guacomole on Monday and my kids loved them! I also tried Emeril's pizza dough recipe a few weeks ago and that was the best homemade pizza I've ever made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't try very many recipe from Food Network. Mostly, I watch it to get ideas. Many of Paula Dean's recipes are foods I grew up eating so I already know how to cook those and have my own versions. Others, I get the ideas and then wing it in my own kitchen. That's the same thing I do with most of the recipe books I own, as well as searchign online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mbfergie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I second Giada's Lemon Spaghetti. Adimittedly I did it slightly from memory after watching the show, but I think that is often the best way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also love most of the things I've cooked from Ina Garten's shows/books, and find that she calls for good ingredients without trying to be too flashy. One of my favorites is her roasted red pepper and eggplant dip. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated sweet potato casserole. It had roasted sweet potatos, half and half, brown sugar and a pecan praline struesel topping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I made it for the family thanksgiving. My sibling's refused to try it (We grew up with canned sweet potatos, the horror the horror!) and my folks and I didn't push them to try it. We ate it all instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It was fabulous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Giadia DeLaurentis Lasagna, the worst I've ever tasted. Was it the recipe? No, it was me and my reaction to baschemel sauce. It's a tomato custard. I made it perfectly, and I hated it with the white hot heat of a thousand supernovas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. My boyfriend and I really liked Ina's Challah French toast, that orange zest makes it delicious! And we also really liked Giada's Stracoto. The porcini make the sauce really delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. This weekend I went the dessert route, and made Lemon-Blueberry cheesecake bars from Tyler Florence's Ultimate:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Very easy and tasty, people were wolfing down 3-4 bars each. I also made Key Lime Bars from America's Test Kitchen, which were equally easy and delish - great for a summery citrus dessert. I used regular limes instead of Key Limes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rocknrope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just made the ATK key lime bars and they were AMAZING. The little bit of cream cheese makes all the difference from all of those recipes out there that just use sweetened condensed milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. For a get together on Sunday, I made, for the first time, Ina Gartner's pan-fried onion dip...Killer stuff...It was a huge hit...It is no longer on food network...google it...One change...up the cream cheese to 8 oz, as it is, IMO, a bit "strong" with just 4 oz...This absolutely puts any other onion dip to shame...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jinet12

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree, the pan-fried onion dip is fabulous!! I cut back a bit on the oil and butter though, and it's still awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jinet12

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Was just going to post the pan-fried onion dip--love it! The recipe is still on FN--I have it saved in my recipe box. With pita chips it is a great app...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. BEST:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dry Aged Standing Rib Roast with Sage Jus (Alton Brown): While you will not get a butcher/restaurant quality dry age, it will still taste great. I have made this at least 3 times for holiday parties. I always end up screwing up the timing...make sure you let it sit out of the fridge for an hour or it will take longer to cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OK:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cakes: came out great but too sickening sweet to enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WORST:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alton Brown's Humus recipe: used peanut butter as a shortcut, which made it taste like peanutty bad hummus. gross.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HONORABLE MENTION:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alton Brown's recipe for City Ham: Also done many times for holidays. Interesting (but difficult) crust of brown mustard, dark brown sugar, spritzed bourbon and crushed ginger snap cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jugo703

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I tried that City Ham once...all of the crust basically just slid off the ham while it baked...what did I do wrong?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's one of my fav recipes too, when I'm in a ham mood. I didn't have that sliding crust problem, maybe you piled it on too thick, or didn't press it into the mustard enough?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rocknrope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Possibly...I remember even watching the episode of Alton making this ham, too...well, it's worth trying again once it ever gets cooler here (FL).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Jugo703

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I believe Alton suggested peanut butter for those who didn't have tahini at home, or who didn't want to buy a whole jar of tahini just to use a little bit. I use his recipe all the time - sometimes with creamy natural PB and sometimes with tahini - I like it both ways. Though I can see how it would be gross with "regular" sweetened PB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. The best? Tyler's French Onion Soup....COMEONNNNNNN WINTER!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: crosby_p

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh man!!!! I know!!!! Just this past Saturday I said "Screw Seasonality, I"m making that soup...for Bastille Day!!!!" It was much appreciated by all who consumed it. That is one of the only times I have seen a cooking show and said "I have to make this dish." I dreamed about it for a week before I made it the first time. Man oh man is it good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: crosby_p

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Two recipes titled French Onion Soup come up from Tyler. Which one do you use? - I assume the one from Tyler's Ultimate rather than the one from Food 911... Is that right?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -- and do you make your own beef broth or use store bought - canned?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I saw the title of this thread and immediately pulled it up to comment on Alton Brown's Free Range Fruitcake. One of the best recipes EVER from that show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The roast chicken from Everyday Food is failsafe and amazing. It's my go-to recipe for any time I need to make someone a meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Emeril's beef stew - the one with red wine and tomato paste mixed together is also really really good. I'm not a big Emeril fan, but this is one recipe I make all winter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As far as worst, Alton Brown seems to produce a high failure rate in my kitchen. I think it's because I hate following recipes exactly and his non-baking recipes are more like baking (which is why the fruitcake is wonderful) than cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dalaimama

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've probably only made 10 or so TV recipes..(not counting Jacque Pepin..I've made lots and lots of his recipes and have said so on this forum. I just don't really think of him as a TV recipe kind of guy.."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Best: Lidias spareribs w/vinegar and red pepper (great way to make ribs in the oven..) the recipe's on her website. I highly recommend it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Worst: Paula's chicken w/Aunt peggy's grilling sauce. Sorry aunt Peggy but these were nasty..To her credit I've made Paula's french toast casserole w/sausage. I had to make some pretty major alterations to this recipe but it's a great brunch dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cherrylime

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't made it in a while, but one of our favorites is Emeril's Barbecued Shrimp, though it is not barbecued at all!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: dalaimama

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also find Alton's recipes to either be awful or fantastic. His mac & cheese? Divine. His french onion soup? Putrid. First of all, his statement that you should burn through and ingest the teflon coating on a new electric skillet every five years or so doesn't sit well with me. And then the addition of balsamic vinegar I could handle, but then the half cup or so of apple cider? Eeeeyurgh. It tasted like rotten meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also may be the only person ont he planet not enamored of his brined turkey. I think it just comes out soggy -- I prefer really crisped skin, and there doesn't seem to be any way to get that after such a long soak. I gave up on that recipe a few years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Interesting that you thought the cooking time was off on the roasted chicken. Hubby and I were watching the garlic episode of Good Eats the other day, and he was inspired to try the 40 Cloves of Garlic and a Chicken recipe, below, surprised me with it after work one day:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is rated moderate, though I can't imagine why, as it is a very easy, simple recipe....BUT....results were very disappointing! Wayyyy overcooked...Hubby was very bummed, as he isn't much of a cook and thought it was yet another failure on his part...well, I took a look a look at the recipe, and immediately understood the problem: an hour and a half is much too long for this recipte. However, I suspect it would be quite good if not overcooked. BTW, I haven't made Alton Brown's brined turkey, but my BIL did for Thanksgiving one year and it was very good...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Excuse me, but if I recall you were at Thanksgiving at my house last year, where I made the same turkey recipe I've made every time I've done Thanksgiving in recent memory: Alton Brown's brined turkey! And I seem to recall you liked it.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (I think Alton's turkey recipe is definitely a keeper.....)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I haven't had any real disasters with TV recipes yet, but once I tried to recreate a chicken recipe from a book....(The Sweet Potato Queens). It involved bacon, and apparently way too much bacon. My husband accused me of attempted murder...(because of the fat level....)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He he - I think she was saying that the chicken recipe was not so hot, not the turkey one! I'm often accused by my husband of attempted murder, but more due to excess quantities, not fat level.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    actually, I was talking about another BIL. I forgot you did it too. I guess it is now a family tradition :-) and yes, it is a good recipe! actually, the chicken recipe has potential too, if one ignores Alton's suggested cooking times....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I've made Alton Brown's meatloaf so many times that I've memorized the recipe, and do it strictly from memory these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The posts here are wonderful and, for the most part, personal admissions of great success in finding and following recipes that we all enjoy. You'll notice, however, one glaring omission, given the number of replies, and that is the blogging of the number of failed attempts. I suppose we'd have to conclude that we're all great recipe followers and/or cooks with few, if any disasters to record. I would like to add that being critical of a television personality cum cook is not synonymous with being a 'snob'. Personally, I felt that saying one was being snobby by criticizing the methods etc., of a television cook was a way of stifling comment. Everyone, particularly on these incredibly wonderful 'public' forums is equally entitled to express their opinion without fear of verbal condemnation or retribution. After all, what are these forums for if not an equal amount of give and take. Let's all have fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DrBehavior

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I could tell you tales of culinary disasters until the sun came up, but I can't think of a single one of them that has anything to do with a TV cooking show. So there you go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I have made Giada's chocolate chip hazelnut cookies! And they are delicious!!! A totally fail proof recipe!! I have used the same base recipe and made orange cookies, and pistachio almond cookies, m&m cookies! and my husband loves them all;) I have tried her Orzo salad, its delicious, very summery and tastes so good with a good white wine. Also tried, Ina Garten's brownie recipe! Its been a hit every single time I have made them....made sizzling brownie sundaes on a fajita plate;) with warm chocolate sauce poured over the brownie and vanilla icecream. YUMM!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: amishad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I second that - Giada's chocolate chip cookies are to die for! By grinding oatmeal and adding it to the flour, you get a wonderful texture. They turn out perfect every time and everyone asks for the recipe. I often omit the nuts and they still taste delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. My vote is also for Ina Garten, without hesitation. I've made many of her recipes and they need no tampering or alteration. I find her food to be consistently good, simple to prepare and the flavor of the food really shines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Her Brisket with Carrots & Onions is now our family favorite. You won't believe how mouth-watering this is:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Add to that her crispy, comforting Oven Fried Chicken:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The essential Challah French Toast:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And, her exquisite Lemon Pound Cake:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www2.oprah.com/foodhome/food/r...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the great discussion!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        p.s. As for failures, sadly I've found Sandra Lee's recipes (especially her Chocolate Buttermilk Pie: http://www.semihomemade.com/cooking/c...) to be disasterous and darling Rachael Ray is very hit-or-miss.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Nigella Lawson's shrimp fritters are stellar!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (Fried shrimp cakes)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I don't much watch tv and so I haven't tried many food show recipes. But while in the hospital for surgery some years ago, I saw a Paula Dean program in which she made "country fried steaks." In her version, she used plain water for the braise. I've made some minor changes: I add a tablespoonful of tomato paste to the onions and some garlic and then either a scraping of lemon zest or some crushed coriander seed to the braise. For the liquid I like to use broth with a bit of white wine added. And I use a sprig of fresh thyme and bay leaf and as well as pepper. I don't remember what seasoning she used. This is real comfort food, like a good meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Best: Corn Fritters, America's Test Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Worst: Alton Brown's homemade pancakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree on Alton's pancakes. They were horrible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                His brined turkey is amazing though. I made it for my family last Thanksgiving (I hadn't been home for T-day in a few years), and it was gone in minutes. My mother's traditional (aka bone dry) bird only started to be eaten after the brined one was gone. At the end of the day, she gave my grandmother the traditional bird's bones for stock and kept the brined bones for herself. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. In deciding to write about what happened to me, I'm beginning to feel that confession might just possibly be good for the soul. Yesterday, I searched various and sundry Blogs to find an 'attractive' sounding recipe for making Challah (Egg Loaf) in my brand new bread making machine. Finally, with tears in my eyes and joy in my heart, I found one very specific recipe - one in which the Provider said that she had tinkered with the various amounts of ingredients for months in order to find the exact proportions for perfectly braided loaves. Step by step and cautiously my wife and I followed the recipe until, at last, all of the ingredients were in the machine and then we turned it on to wait the hour and a half for the processing to be complete. The first indication that all would be well was when we removed the dough from the machine and the color was reminiscent of the shade of ochre I had seen time and time again in my grandparent's bake-shop. We divided the dough, as instructed, into four parts and methodically braided each piece, sprinkled them with seeds, let them rise covered for an additional half an hour, washed them with egg was, then proceeded to bake them for half an hour. It was almost with a sense of glee that we removed the loaves from the oven. Each of them had turned a delectable golden color with just the right amount of sheen and, in terms of appearance, they had transformed from dough to photogenic wonders. The anticipation to pop a tasty morsel into our respective mouths was starting to get to us and, finally, they were cool enough to slice. Who says that adults don't cry when a recipe doesn't turn out? Well, whomever that was didn't spend hours and hours in the kitchen testing and retesting recipes in order to bring smiles of delight to their family's faces. We cried. The texture of the bread was highly reminiscent of what sandpaper would taste like on a good day and the appearance totally belied the taste. I'm not certain whether or not I ought to take responsibility for this fiasco or pass it along to the bread machine and/or the recipe. All I know is that I don't have a beautiful Challah to gaze upon or eat and there's literally no place around where I live to buy one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DrBehavior

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is a shame. I made a recipe of Wolfgang Puck's, or his pastry chef's anyway. It is delicious and easy. No bread machine just my hands, and it was perfect. I can't speak as to why your bread disappointed you, I just have never been a fan of the bread machine I much prefer to get my hands in the mess!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm with you, girl! I think I "lost" my bread machine (which one of my daughters gave me) when we moved a couple of years ago. I mostly use Julia's recipes when I bake bread. The satisfaction to me has always been in the kneading...you know...up to your elbows in dough!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Do I hear a theme beginning - one that has to do with the efficacy of needing your hands to do the kneading opposed to using the fantasmagorical electronic paddle in the new-fangled bread machine in order to get really good bread? I actually thought that, given the fact that virtually everything has gone high-tech these days, a machine that actually took the pain from my somewhat arthritic fingers while still giving me melt in your mouth bread was a huge step forward. I was after becoming 'modern', or so I thought. However, now I'm not certain and I can certainly stand all the feed-back I can get before I once again spin the paddle or dig in, so to speak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: DrBehavior

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the original 1970's Tassjara Bread Book has a great challah recipe if you are still looking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. As much as I hate to say it, Alton's ribs were the worst. WAY TOO SALTY. Nearly inedible. I had to drown them in BBQ sauce to choke them down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On the plus side, I modified the rub using his info, with way less salt, and have come up with one that I really love. With that and a change in the braising liquid, they have gone from worst to first on my list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In my experience, the way-too-salty effect comes from using far too much of AB's rub, a slight variation of which has become my standard rub for pork products of all kinds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You are probably right, which I suspect is why in his later shows, he recommended leaving the salt out of the rub and salting separately. I find this to be a much better system, since I like to really jack the flavor and spice on my ribs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Best: Alton's Sauerbraten. It was like butter and the gravy was devine. It's a keeper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Worst: Alton's baked apples. I didn't like the stuffing which turned out cookie-ish. The others liked it, but I didn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mar52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Totally agree with you about the AB sauerbraten. Both the easiest and the most delicious I've ever made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. a few weeks ago, I made Emeril's recipe for baked ziti with sausage and eggplant...there are no words...have been dreaming about it ever since - I think the bechamel sauce is the key!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Most of my success has been with ATK, Good Eats and Ina Garten's recipes. Here are some highlights:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ATK: Butterflied Chicken under a brick, Baby Back Ribs, Pecan Pie, Coconut Cake, German Chocolate Cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good Eats: Cinnamon Rolls, Fondue, Biscuits, Waffles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ina: Panzanella, Apple Crostata, French Toast, Hashbrowns

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also find that Nigella's recipes are pretty good, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I did not enjoy ATK's Mac & Cheese recipe, the few recipes from Giada that I thought sounded interesting, most anything from Rachel Ray and especially Sandra Lee. I tried a recipe from Martha just the other day and it was a disaster: Eggs poached in Tomato Sauce. It was a nice idea in theory, but just wasn't good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Best:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Giada's Farmer's Pasta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Giada's Pancetta Wrapped Pork Roast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Giada's Garlic and Citrus Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (You can tell Giada is one of my favorite cooks on TV for no other reason than I love her recipes. I really don't care about her head/teeth/cleavage. I just don't let them get to me. They're easy to ignore.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tyler's Jerk Chicken (from one of his 911 shows)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              *Whispers quiety and cringes with shame* Rachael Ray's Sherry Cherry Tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Emeril's Gumbo Ya-Ya

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Worst:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Altons' free-form pie. The crust was impossible to work with.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Emeril's Spaghetti Pie (totally non-cohesive)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Alton's Brown Rice method

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Avalon, are you talking about Alton Brown's baked brown rice? Wow, we totally adore it...comes out so fluffy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ever tried his method for couscous? Also incredibly fluffy. I'm just not sure that when I want couscous "fluffy" is what I'm going for. But if anyone wants fluffy couscous his method will result in every single grain being separate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tyler's clam chowder is fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I'm not saying it's bad, but you're not going to catch me making Rachel Ray's latest recipe: Chili-cheese fondue. Make a white sauce, add cheese, chili powder and mystery meat (meaning "anything") and viola, you have an all-purpose material. Dip, coat, combine, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. alton brown's baked beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    best i've ever eaten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: beelzebozo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Alton's BB are the best ive ever had also. Tyler's Ultimate shrimp bisque is a perfect soup as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mlukan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Alton's Baked Brown Rice and Baked Barley have become recent favorites of ours, also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Absolute Worst Corn Muffins- right out of Paula Deen's autobiography, billed as world's best
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of baking powder or soda I forget which, but for 12 muffins that is way too much. It sounded strange when I read it but decided to do it anyway, Big Mistake. the muffins tasted very strongly of soda. I emailed her questioning the possible typo, must have been 2 teaspoons, but no response.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great Recipe needs heat adjustment - Sarah Moulton does a chocolate bread pudding which is divine, but she says to bake it at 425 and that burns it , so just reduce to the universal 350 and it comes out great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bottom line is if it sounds off, check a similar recipe online to see if you need to adjust

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sandra Lee's semihomemade usually uses so many semihomemade ingredients that it is easier to start from scratch and go ina's way!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I'd say that the absolute best so far is Alton Brown's Roast Turkey (Romancing the Bird). The "turkey triangle" has now become an annual holiday tradition in our house!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Another fave, also from AB, is the duck from the episode "Mighty Duck" He dismantles a duck, steams it, and then finishes in a "NASA Hot" cast iron skillet in the oven...legs first, since they take longer to cook. That show is what made me give up on my cheap *poultry shears* and go to Home Depot to buy a paid of ten-buck metal snips, to use for dismantling poultry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Really good topic, however I am wracking my brain trying to recall if they were actually recipes used on the show or just from some where else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I mean I was watching Bobby, "Grillin & Chillin" and I loved his show with Jackie Maloux (sp) I have so many of their recipes for drinks, salads you name it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I also watched Emeril, Michael Chiarello Yan Can Cook. Now that's really going back a ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          From Michael Chiarello:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Focaccia with Blue Cheese and Honey- wonderful bread & I add bosc pear and figs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Emeril Live:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Seafood AuG Gratin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pork Po'Boy with shoestrings - excellent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fresh asparagus and lump crab salad with sauce ravigote - yummy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          his Bernaise sauce- pefect
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Creamed spinach - really good
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bobby Flay Hot off the Grill:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grilled salmon with sherry vinegar-honey glaze and spicey tomato relish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          passion fruit sangria
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Paula Deen:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Garlic Grilled Tomatoes- Excellent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Baked Spaghetti- really a crowd pleaser.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chocolate Almond Pie-rich
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kylie Kwong:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jelly Cakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Martin Yan - I hve made his Chinese Spaghetti since forever

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And I can't find where I put the recipe, but the Hearty Boys have a recipe for Spaghetti Pie that's just perfect for leftover spaghetti.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          All of these recipe have been excellent, these are some of the keepers. I actually have so many. I don't make AB's or Ina's recipes. There just isn't much appeal for me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nigella, or Rachael, and nothing of Sandra Lee's.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maloof! thanks I could not remember her name. I always wondered what happened to her and I secretly wondered if she and bf had a thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Re her book, no I hadn't seen this, but you can bet there will be a market for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                met Jacqui Maloof at work.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                adorable

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. The _worst_:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              During one of the episodes of Giada De Laurentiis' "Everyday Italian," she made a tuna and white bean salad. It _seemed_ like a good idea so I immediately made it for the daughter-units. <sigh> It was _so_ bland and boring the girls wouldn't finish what I placed in front of them. I ended up eating the remaining portion (as the flopping cook) so that it would ingrain it on my psyche. That was four<?> years ago and I still won't mix beans with tuna!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In another show, Michael Chiarello made a grilled pesto with blue cheese steak. Too many competing flavors with too-strong-a-cheese created a no-win for me. Again, as the flopping cook, it was my duty to prevent leftovers from clogging up the refrigerator. <sigh>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The best:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jacque Pepin's "Fast Food My Way" is awesome. So far, everything I've tried from that show has worked. One of the first, and most requested recipes is his heavy cream and vinegar salad dressing. So simple, 1cup heavy cream; whipped into standing peaks. Add in 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar, 1 clove crushed garlic, salt and pepper to taste, folding ingredients in slowly with spatula. Adjust vinegar to preferred strength.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nick Stellino's "Cucino Amore: Glorious Italian" allowed me to test Chicken Paprikash and also "40 Clove Garlic Chicken." Both are regularly requested items on our menu rotation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Ranger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So glad this post was revived, I have bookmarked a ton of recipes and I look forward to trying them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As for my best and worst list, here goes:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Best:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Michael Chiarello's Aranchini
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ina Garen's Rugulah
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jan Bernbaum's Cowboy Steak with Tomato Relish (guest of Micheael's, above)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nigela's Roast Lamb for One marinade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ina's Banana Sour Cream Pancakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ina' s Croque Monsieur
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tyler's Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Michael's Tomato Carpaccio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Michael's Blue Cheese Cesar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Michael's Basic Poletna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Worst:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anything semi homemade (I am sorry, I have never seen one thing made on that show that seemed remotely appealing).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Otherwise, my only criticism is that most of the recipes I have printed off the site have errors in them. Either they leave something out, or tell you to do things in an entirely different order than how it was done on the show. I have learned to keep the show saved on my DVR until I test out a recipe, so I can "proof" it against what was shown. That way I can confirm that what was listed on the print out matches what they did on the show. I often have to retype the recipe, but I find that when I take this extra step, the recipes come out great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Ranger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Amazing! I don't know De Laurentis' recipe for tuna with white beans but mine is fresh cooked beans, good quality tuna, a vinaigrette made with lemon juice instead of vinegar, herbs, and salt and pepper. The beans are wonderful with tuna. Can't imagine what's lacking in hers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rainey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Can't help you there. It's just not worth putting myself through it again to find out the whys and wheres. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Emeril's Garlic Studded Pot Roast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bobby's Balsemic glazed meatloaf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I've really liked pretty much all the Ina Garten recipes I've tried.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    some favorites:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wild Mushroom Soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lemon Cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Coconut Cupcakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Scallops Provencal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also love Cooks Illustrated recipes:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lemon Bars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pan Seared Thick Cut Steaks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chicken and Dumplings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lentil Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The only cooking show recipe that stands out in my mind as being really bad is Bobby's Goulash from Paula's Party. It had so many rave reviews. Looking at the ingredients, it doesn't look like much, but with some recipes sometimes something magical happens when you put everything together That definitely did not happen with this recipe. It pretty much tasted like ground beef, tomatoes and macaroni and not much else. I couldn't bring myself to eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Don't know that I have any Worsts memorable enough to write about but I think my Bests would be Alton Brown's sauterbraten and his banana ice cream. I've got a lot of AB recipes in my data base but those are the ones that I'd go back into a burning kitchen to retrieve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al... This sauerbraten has enough brine to do two rounds then split the brine up and put one round in the freezer vacuum packed. The gravy is fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al... When this is soft frozen and I'm transferring it to an airtight container to harden off in the freezer, I layer in chopped nuts and drizzles of fudge and caramel sauce. It's to die for !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Most recent: Guy Fieri's Chipotle Mango BBQ Chicken! Just the right balance of spicy, sweet and smoky flavors! SUPER EASY, too! The recipe also uses cilantro, which is a great, subtle flavor addition. It calls for chicken thighs and drumsticks, and my local grocer had leg quarters on sale for a whopping $.88/lb!! I stocked up the freezer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gu...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tip: Get the OXO Mango Splitter ($12.95 at Sur La Table). Makes working with mangoes a dream, rather than a nightmare! Really! Yes, it is a uni-tasker (nod to AB), but worth it! Per Cook's Illustrated, cut a flat on the bottom of the mango first, so that it has a stable base before using the splitter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.surlatable.com/product/oxo...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DigitalVelvet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder if that would work as well with my fuyu persimmons...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Ranger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Seeing as I have NO idea what a fuyu persoimmon is... send me one and I'll check it out! <VBG> ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DigitalVelvet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PRC laws prohibit transportation of fruit across our borders upon pain of death, or something like that...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.tonytantillo.com/fruits/pe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Ranger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow!! You folks are a WEALTH of knowledge. Never ceases to amaze me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds to me, possibly in my ignorance, that the mango splitter wouldn't be necessary for these persimmons?