Friday, October 23, 2009
Top 5 Dinner Fails
Don't you hate it when you have a fantastic idea for dinner and it turns out to be a bust?
You find a recipe you are excited about. You buy all the ingredients, usually expensive ones. You slave diligently over the stove, excited to share your delicious meal with your loved ones.
Then there is that moment...
You know the moment I'm talking about.
We all know that sinking feeling that occurs when you suddenly realize that your delicious meal is not delicious. It can happen when you taste the recipe to see if you have the right amount of spices. It can happen when you get a whiff of something that doesn't smell quite right. It can happen as you see the look on the face of your dinner partner as they try it.
All cooks, veterans and beginners, have those moments. So tonight I wanted to share with you our 5 top Dinner Disasters:
1. Korma Catastrophe
Our favorite Indian restaurant in Maryland has a delicious korma dish that Brandon loves. He wants nothing more than to replicate it at home. He had already tried making two or three mediocre replicas when, at an Indian market, we found a korma mix packet that was vegan! He was so excited to get home and try it. We bought a bunch of fresh veggies and rice and we were ready to go. The packet said to only put half of the powder in if we wanted the dish to be mild. That was the plan. Brandon forgot and the whole packet went in. When they say that Indian hot is way hotter than American hot, they weren't kidding. That was the spiciest meal we had ever eaten. We tried all the tricks - putting a potato in the sauce to soak up the spices, using more rice than veggies, drinking soy milk on the side. Nothing worked. It was inedible.
2. Seitan Cordon Blues
Brandon wanted to replicate his chicken cordon bleu recipe, but in a more compassionate manner. So, he tried a boiled 'chicken' seitan recipe, with faux ham, and 'cheese,' baked it in the oven. He served it to me and my Mom. It was a bit dry, a lot chewy, and a bit tasteless. We haven't tried it again, but one day I think he'll get it!
3. Crunchy, Basil-y Lasagna
Back before I was vegan or even vegetarian, I had a vegetarian friend. I liked vegetarian food and cooked it at home often, so I thought I'd make her a dinner one night. I had made this delicious lasagna with basil and cheese for Brandon and we had loved it. So, I decided to make that dish for her. I was still new to cooking and when I couldn't find real basil, my innocent, new-to-cooking plan was to use dried basil instead. Now I am horrified at the thought of using dried basil in the same amount as the recipe originally requested of fresh basil... If that wasn't bad enough, I didn't get the right kind of pasta. My friend was a trooper though. She crunched through the uncooked lasagna, the cup of dried basil, and drippy (ew!) cheese with a smile. Poor thing!
4. Blueberry Parfait Horror
Last Fourth of July, my Mom and I made these delicious looking berry parfaits from My Sweet Vegan. It had complicated ingredients, like agar, but we were excited about making them. For whatever reason, whether we cooked the agar wrong or bought a bad batch or the arrowroot was bad, the parfaits turned out chalky and horrible with bits of congealed agar floating around with the blueberries.
5. Curried Pumpkin Black Bean Soup
Sounds good doesn't it? I should have known that the recipe wasn't a good one when the recipe said to garnish with sour cream and eat with tortillas. I didn't listen to my instinct though, and made this terrible, watery soup that didn't have much of a taste at all. Luckily, we were able to make it edible with a lot more spices, some peas, and hot sauce.