Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Apocalypse Chow

Food blogs are full of great recipes, fun food experiences and the best restaurant ever.

However, we all know it ain't always so. Occasionally you have that great idea that turns out not so great, like Cayenne Ice Cream, the soothing burn.

Although I have a hankering to roast vulture, I fear getting the spice mix just right would be a problem. It doesn't help that TV cook shows aren't always rooted in reality. I recall the Cajun Chef with Justin Wilson in which he prepared Cayenne Pork Chops and basically dredged the PC's in cayenne pepper, then broiled them in white wine. I know, it doesn't make any sense at all to mix cayenne pepper with white sauce, but I was young, jotted down the recipe and tried it out. You guessed it: inedible. In fact, down right nasty. Deep down I had been hoping for a miracle because that was a whole lot of pepper!

Other memorable forgettable meals include:

Lamb Neck Curry with Honey. Skip the cup of honey next time.

Cabbage/Apple/Pork casserole. Don't let it boil dry, then sit in the oven for an additional two hours.

Toxic Waste Hot Sauce. Yes, it's too hot for human beings. No point in being that hot.

Fennel Parsnip Salad. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Yogurt Drinks. Simply against Nature.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream. It's just not possible to do it right.

Peanut Butter Salsa. The perfect way to ruin a good salsa.

Seafood Gumbo with Frog Legs. Generally good, except for one particular member of the family who Fairly Freaked Out.

Cat Food on Ritz Crackers. Hey, you gotta try it at least once.

Peanut Butter Margarita. What is it with peanut butter?

Monk Fish. Poor man's lobster. Nothing like lobster. One should never be that poor.

That's not a bad list for a bad list. Over the past 30 years or so since I've been cooking, excluding burned stuff, I've developed an awareness of what might turn out OK. Occasionally you have to try new things just to keep from getting stale and going against your instincts can bite you.

I'm interested to hear your stories of food disasters just for fun.

And finally, can someone tell me how to saute an eggplant in a tablespoon of oil? The stuff is like a sponge. One second and the oil is gone. So many recipes say "saute the eggplant in a tablespoon of oil" and it's obvious they've never done it! More like "gallon of oil." End of rant.


Anonymous said...

Holy crap - I had the exact rant yesterday afternoon when I prepared eggplant for my grill. Someof it soaked up way too much oil. I have been fond of using the "cooking spray" on my eggplant to try to moderate this effect. If you want to try something tasty use italian dressing as a marinade for the eggplant and grill til a bit carmelized. I like the old school Good Seasonings mix-it-yo-own-damn-self dressing. Fabulous. : )

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I love duck so we decided to follow Alton Brown's recipe that we saw on his show. We watched "Good Eats" a lot so we figured his recipe would be good otherwise it wouldn't be on tv. Big mistake. Brown said to steam the duck first, for some reason I forget, and it made the duck disgustingly hard and rubbery. From then on, we swore up and down that we would never trust him again. Instead, we have placed our faith in Christopher Kimball. Hooray!

Anonymous said...

Now, wait a second... Alton Brown is right more often than he's wrong. Don't give up on the man over a rubbery duck. (Incidentally, you should try contacting him. Food Network has a show feedback form. In the past, he's been willing to admit when he was wrong.)

Anonymous said...

I just took a cooking class (The Chopping Block in Chicago rocks!) and Chef gave the advice when concocting an eggplant caponatta to use a small amount of oil and add water, wine or tomato sauce to keep the eggplant moist. They are like sponges, but if you keep adding oil, it will be like eating your deep fat fryer drippings.