Be Prepared for Disapointment
Inigo Montoya: Who are you?
Man in Black: No one of consequence.
Inigo Montoya: I must know...
Man in Black: Get used to disappointment.
According to my kids, The Princess Bride is widely accepted to my favorite family movie. Actually, it is. There are so many great lines - we repeat them all the time around the house. "You keep using that word. I don't think you really know what it means". "Anyone want a peanut?". "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line"!
As I was preparing to tell you all about a truly bad dish I made last week, the phrase "Get used to disappointment" came to mind. However, in the kitchen you don't want to "get used to", rather, you want to "be prepared for" some unexpected results
It happens to the best of us.
To me, it usually happens when I improvise too much or too quickly. But sometimes I take what appears to be a great recipe and really foul it up. Usually, I missed some critical ingredient, measurement or step without realizing it.
With that in mind, sometimes it doesn't matter if you've got all the other elements of good cooking in order: fresh ingredients , a good recipe, sound techniques and good tools. There are times you just plain mess up, and can hardly recover, if at all.
I was making a Spicy Sicilian Chicken dish from a Molto Italiano recipe (Mario Batali). GREAT fresh ingredients - as you might even see above on Kindle in B&W. Peppers, carrot, celery, potato, eggplant and even a few tomatoes are buried under that mound in the picture.
The dish included a hearty handful of dried hot pepper and a few glugs of red wine. Fresh oregano too. How could this go wrong? I don't know. But,well, yuck. OK flavor, but not awesome. Texture - a little mushy (clearly my mistake). Color - Arggghhh. Pink potatoes and eggplants from the red wine.
I'm still not sure what I did, but I'm in no rush to try this again soon. Not because of the recipe - it was me. I'll admit defeat, swallow a little disappointment and maybe try again in the winter. Yuck.