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Old 05-20-2008, 08:04 AM   #1
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Don't make this recipe!

How about a new thread warning people away from a recipe that just doesn't work? I like to try new recipes, and found one in an old issue of Sunset Magazine yesterday that sounded intriguing, if a little offbeat. It is called "Macaroni and Bacon Salad." I had alot of bacon to use up, so I made it, starting in the morning, so it could be well-chilled for dinner.

This recipe involved frying 8 slices of bacon, then making a roux of flour and sugar from the drippings, adding water and vinegar and then cooking it for a few minutes to get rid of the flour taste. You let this cool, then add it to cold, cooked macaroni, chopped onion and celery. That's it. I also added some chopped hard cooked agg and diced red peppers.

When DH tasted it, he said, "What's in this?" I told him.

"Hmmm," he said. "Tastes like cold bacon gravy."

That's just what it was. Blecchhh.

The dogs loved it, and we had the rest of the home made vanilla ice cream for dinner.

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Old 05-20-2008, 08:36 AM   #2
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Well...since taste is a very personal thing I wouldn't want to be influenced by someone's indifference or dislike to a particular recipe. I was told one time not to order this particular shrimp and pasta dish because it was too spicy. I ordered it anyway. Yes, it had spices in it, but, it by no means was too spicy (I thought heat spicy anyway and it had NO heat at all) and was actually quite wonderful. Apparently the person who offered up this "advice" didn't like much flavor.

Was your recipe supposed to be served warm/room temp versus straight out of the refrigerator? That would make a HUGE difference.

OK, I just looked up the recipe and I do believe it probably shouldn't be served cold. If you have any left I would heat it to melt the dressing a bit.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:52 AM   #3
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Yes, you are right about personal taste, Kitchenelf. There are plenty of things that I like that others might not - I would have enjoyed the spicy shrimp, for example. Maybe serving it at room temp would help the gluey texture of the dressing, and I know that there is a popular cooked salad dressing that came out of the 50s-60s (or maybe earlier). Nope - none left. The three dogs ate it enthusiastically.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:55 AM   #4
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I guess the waitress that described the shrimp salad to me used the term "spicy" differently than I would use it. I was expecting it to be hot spicy - not just spicy as in a bit of old bay
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:12 AM   #5
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I always make a point of asking for clarification when someone asks if a particular food is "spicy". I'll ask if they mean "spicy hot", or "spicy flavor". Take, for instance, a couple nights ago. One of the waitresses asked if a new menu item, our "Spice Grilled Chicken", was really spicy. I asked for clarification, stating that while it's not "hot", it is full of flavor from sweet and savory spices and herbs (the dish is north African), and has a definite, unique flavor. The question was asked on behalf of a 12 y.o. child. They ended up ordering something else.

I guess some folks cannot separate "spicy flavor" from "spicy heat".

If I make a recipe from my files, and it doesn't work out, I'll make a note of it on the software copy, the results, why I think it happened, and what action should be taken next time (if ever).

If I make a recipe that is NOT in my files, and it doesn't work out, it usually goes to File 13. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:21 AM   #6
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I'm getting there with my 8 year old. Spices are not always spicy hot. Cinnamon helps with that lesson. He loves it, it's a spice. So he's learning the difference between seasoning spice and spicy hot.

ANyway we made a casserole from Allrecipes a few years ago, DH picked it. I think it was called Aunt Flo's Shipwreck.
I don't like to post comments on things when I have nothing good to say, I feel bad. But, that was BAD FOOD!! Supposed to be an embelleshed goulash I think. Yuck. DH is not allowed to pick without running it by me to this day. :)
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Old 05-20-2008, 01:45 PM   #7
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The sauce for the macaroni sound like the same you make up for German potato salad. Try using hot macaroni, the flavors will be absorbed into the pasta, and serve it warm.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:01 PM   #8
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I did mix it into hot macaroni...I guess it's just a matter of personal taste. After DH said "cold bacon gravy" and I realized that's basically what it was, it was over for me!
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenOK View Post

I guess some folks cannot separate "spicy flavor" from "spicy heat".
I think that is the difference when on a menu I would put "Moroccan spiced" v. "spicy Moroccan"

If I see spicy, I want a kick, if I see "spiced" I know it is "in the theme of".

As for do not make recipes, I never look at one and think not to make it, or if I have made it and feel it is going south, I just tweak it to suit my needs.

A recipe is not a blueprint, but a suggestion, imo.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MexicoKaren View Post
I did mix it into hot macaroni...I guess it's just a matter of personal taste. After DH said "cold bacon gravy" and I realized that's basically what it was, it was over for me!
I thought the issue though was that you served it "well chilled". That would make a huge difference in mouth feel, especially! Warmed bacon grease, i.e., hot bacon spinach salad, would be terrible if the bacon grease was cold. I would think the same would go for serving this chilled.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:39 PM   #11
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Yes, you are right, of course. That's what made it taste like cold bacon gravy - LOL. If I ever made it again, I'd do it differently, but I probably won't make it again. There are too many good macaroni salad variations to keep trying with this one. It just surprised me, because I usually have good luck with Sunset recipes.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:57 PM   #12
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I'm not saying that this happened in this particular case, but many times, recipes don't work or come out simply because the person making it doesn't follow it like it should. I don't agree with having a forum or thread warning people away from a recipe because there are many variables that can influence the result, like the level of cooking expertise, proper cooking technique, and availability of ingredients. I've seen many cases where a person rates a recipe poorly, and in their review states that "they changed this, or they didn't add this because they didn't have it, etc. etc.". To me, it's stupid to even rate a recipe, especially when it wasn't followed and it doesn't come out like you think it should.

There's also personal tastes. Someone might really like a dish that you may not, but by saying not to try it, you're discouraging them from experimenting and trying something new which to me, is totally inconducive to expanding one's culinary horizons.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:51 PM   #13
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Ironchef, I can certainly see your point of view. I especially like a couple of recipe sites that feature reviews of the recipes. It irks me that some people will rate a recipe poorly, and then add, "I used skim milk and cut the butter in half and used Splenda instead of sugar," or something like that, and then express their dislike for the outcome. I can assure you that I am a pretty accomplished cook, and I followed the recipe and process exactly. I don't mean to discourage anyone from experimenting and spreading their culinary wings: I just think this recipe's whole concept doesn't work well. Didn't mean to start a kerfuffle - mea culpa.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:08 PM   #14
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Karen, I very much appreciate a negative review of a recipe when the review includes the reasons why the person didn't like it: "too bland", "too watery", "too dry", etc.

And when several people say the same thing, I don't make the recipe.

Even we experienced cooks choose bummer recipes to try, and I think it's great to post negative opinions. Perhaps, we can just say "IMO, this was a loser".

When I first started here on DC, I tried a LOT of recipes people posted here. Loved most, and didn't care for a few. I posted both my positive and my negative opinions and the latter were not well-received (the "each to his/her own taste" thing, when it's negative). So, I went with the culture of positive-only comments on posted recipes from members.

As much as I am a bacon-LOVER, I won't be making that recipe, based solely on your and your DH's opinion.

So, thanks!

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:00 AM   #15
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I am still fairly new here, and I am beginning to appreciate the culture of positivity. Seems I may have made a mis-step - if so, I apologize to all. Thanks for the encouragement, Lee, and thanks for the guidance.
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:11 AM   #16
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I personally enjoy seeing negative reviews of recipes. I do not think there is any reason to not post those. They can be a learning experience. If someone posts about a recipe they made and why it did not work out well then I can learn from them and if I choose to make that recipe I will be armed with more knowledge then if I just went into it blind.
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:38 AM   #17
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If no one seems to have a problem with FOOD reviews, they shouldn't have a problem
with RECIPE reviews.

For example, I am not a fan of "foam". Looks like someone spit on my plate. Regardless
of how good the spit-upon food is, I would not review it nicely........
But others would.

There are threads here rating snack foods and restaurants, and we all know that some
will like and some will get good service, while others won't.....

So why not recipes? I have one I would not recommend.... my Dad's peanut laden
hamburgers....
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MexicoKaren View Post
I am still fairly new here, and I am beginning to appreciate the culture of positivity. Seems I may have made a mis-step - if so, I apologize to all. Thanks for the encouragement, Lee, and thanks for the guidance.
I don't think you did anything wrong by posting this Karen. I just tried to see why it didn't turn out favorably. Being served cold is what I came up with. I must say I can feel that cold bacon grease in my mouth just thinking about it!

It is, however, a very personal thing - - - - taste. If a recipe has all ingredients we like then why is it we didn't like it? I have a recipe like that now. I made it one time and will never make it again and it's full of stuff I like. I guess I just don't want these things in the same bowl at the same time . The friend that sent this to me (many, many years ago) LOVES it and raves and makes it all the time and it darn near made me hurl. I sent her my macaroni salad recipe and she said it was very mayonnaise-y - well, yea, the dressing is made with mayo (among other things) so it's not going to be anything BUT and don't eat the dressing not mixed in. This macaroni salad recipe is one that people have me to make all the time and have even come to the house to watch me make it so they get it right. "To each his own" comes to mind (I did that for you Q ).

I would view this as a place to figure out "what went wrong" and how could it be made better. Again, personal taste plays a part but something might just hit the nail on the head and solve the issue. Tweaking - either with ingredients, or it could be tweaked right into File 13
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillingFool View Post
I have one I would not recommend.... my Dad's peanut laden hamburgers....
...........really???? Peanut laden hamburgers?
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:55 AM   #20
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in light of this post, i'm not going to submit the recipe for my norwegian meatballs that i made last night.

boy, did they suck!!!! way too much thyme.

as qsis mentioned, the "positive only" culture bothered me a lot when i first joined. it seemed too fake, or at best "disney-esque".

so i went to other sites (and back and forth ) and realized that if i wanted a serious or critical review, i could post my recipes on many other sites. (i'm not that good of a cook, so i don't want serious reviews too often... )

i came to think of the folks here as friends, and as such, i was more careful if and when i was going to make any negative comments outside of a joke. it's not that's it's being fake, but rather tactful to a fault so as to keep the friendships in the foreground, as pure, sometimes brutal honesty takes a back seat.

this doesn't mean that dc isn't a serious cooking site. it is.
but the kitchen is open, and you know or are related to all of the people cooking there.
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