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My copper pennies don't taste so great. What can I do?

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Hi,
Just made copper pennies and I'm disappointed in their taste. Maybe bland - I'm not certain how to describe them; just not so hot. I am making them for a family member who loves them,I myself am not a big fan in the first place, so that makes it harder to figure it out.

Ingredients: two -pounds par-boiled sliced carrots, 12 ounces tomato sauce, 2 T. sugar, 2 T VOO, 1 T red wine vinegar, 1 T cider vinegar, 2 T. chopped parsley, 1-2 T. Worcestershire sauce, 1 chopped green pepper, a few shakes of black pepper.

My family member can't eat onions, so that's out.

What can I do?

I'd appreciate any suggestion. Thanks!

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  1. I've never heard of copper pennies (I thought you were joking when I read the title) and have no idea how they should taste. Obviously, I'm going to give you my advice. =)

    Is there enough salt? I don't see it listed as an ingredient, and that's usually my problem when a tomato-based dish falls flat.

    1. The recipe calls for tomato soup, not tomato sauce. You probably need more sugar to fix it ... What about some dry mustard to spike it up?

      1. your seasoning proportions are off based on the other recipes i've seen for this dish. you need more sugar & vinegar and less worcestershire, and you need to add a little salt and some dry or prepared mustard. also, it usually calls for tomato *soup* or *juice,* not sauce (and only about 10 ounces of it) - so you may be missing some salt from that as well.

        Paula Deen's recipe on the FN website gets [mostly] rave reviews, so maybe take a look and try to tweak yours a bit...? personally i'd probably cut back on the oil and sugar, but that's just me :) anyway, you can read the comments/reviews to guide you:
        http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

        1. Thank you, everyone.

          First, I did double the amount of carrots, but there is still plenty of "dressing." However, that may have thrown the overall result off.

          Second, my recipe does call for sauce, not soup as some do, and I remember my family member having told me that she preferred the sauce version. Wish I could remember why. It's been some time, probably a year, since I made it.

          I had wondered about dry mustard, and since more than one has suggested it, I'll try it.

          I'll also try a little more vinegar, then a little more sugar.

          The sauce has a whopping 1646 mgs sodum per cup, so I can't bring myself (yet) to add salt.

          I'll definitely take a look at Paula Deen's recipe.

          In a way, I think what it is missing is onions...but that's not an option.

          Thanks to all for your prompt help and great suggestions. Much appreciated!

          3 Replies
          1. re: laredo

            Ohmygosh! I looked at Paula Deen's recipe (thanks, goodhealthgourmet) and realized I made a dumb mistake! I forgot to cook/boil the sauce before adding it to the carrots. How dumb can I be!

            Do you think I should now try to drain the sauce or just bring the whole thing to a boil. Fortunately the carrots are barely cooked, so I think they could easily tolerate the heat without getting mushy.

            1. re: laredo

              so sorry i didn't see your question earlier. if it's not too late, i'd strain out the carrots, boil the sauce & reduce it a bit, then add the carrots back in and let them cook in the sauce for a while until they reach the consistency you prefer. if you boil them with the sauce it's likely you'll turn them to mush.

              oh, and in terms of the sodium issue, i assumed you added plain, unseasoned tomato sauce (a careless assumption on my part), so now that i know better, i certainly wouldn't suggest adding more salt :)

              anyway, i hope it works out!

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I did boil the sauce, goodhealth, with good results. It now tastes much, much better. I feel like an idiot!

                Many thanks to all for your help!