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Jan 29, 2007 09:01 AM

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:

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's the link in case anyone wants to try it also!

        1. re: Val

          thanks for including the recipe!

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


          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.

                22 Replies
                1. re: operagirl

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


                    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.

                      1. re: RGC1982

                        It was probably the Cool Whip. I don't imagine it would take well to the oven. But I agree with you - amazing banana pudding.

                    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.


                                    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.