It’s taken me almost a week to write this.
[Insert overly dramatic tone for the remainder of this post.]
There are nearly three hours of my life that I can’t get back. Wasted to the devastation that was Queen of Quirky’s attempt at Chile Rellenos.
Hindsight bias is 20/20.
Because despite Fry Fest, I am a horrible fryer.
Here’s what happened.
I started off strong…thrilled to use my new gas stove to char my fresh poblano peppers.
I placed all four of them in a paper bag to steam and cool.
I carefully peeled the charred skin off each delicate little pepper.
For some reason, it was that part that made me the most nervous.
Then, I threw shalots, corn and black beans in a frying pan with some olive oil, cumin and salt & pepper, warming all the ingredients.
I had already shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and crumbled some fresh Mexican queso into a big bowl.
I was ready for the stuffing part.
Things were going so well.
These were going to taste so good – filled with yummy cheese, beans and corn. How could anything go wrong?
QoQ meet batter. Batter is not your friend.
I’ll admit that I tried to use my own recipe using corn meal, flour, beer, salt and eggs. Batter fail.
Everything that could go wrong began to go wrong when I started frying.
They didn’t keep their shape when I tried to cover them with batter. The oil wasn’t the right temp in my cast iron skillet and they fell apart. The batter tasted bad. Do I have to go on? It’s really embarrassing.
Here they are. Miserable little suckers.
Notice there are only three? Oh you did, did you?
Yeah, see one had a blow out in the oil and I had to scoop what was left of it out and toss it.
Want to further criticize them? Ok, I’ll play too…they didn’t brown up. They didn’t hold their shape. They look gross. Tasted pretty much how they look. Total and utter fail.
Luckily. (And I think I’m a pretty special person for this)
I had this guy. This amazing guy. Who swept in after it was all over and I was sulking on the couch with a margarita wondering if I would ever cook again.
“Get outa here,” he said.
And he made it all. go. away.
(Well, most of it. I found batter spatters in my stove a few days later. )
Ok, and on the wall. I said it. Are you happy now?
After spending a few days pouting and retelling the story slightly more dramatically to any of my friends who cared to listen, I decided that I can’t be the only one who has ever ruined a perfectly good dish. So I put a tweet out there asking “am I alone?”
Austin foodie @ATXfoodnews wrote: I once unknowingly used mildewed banana leaves 2 bake cochinita pibil. My apt smelled like wet dirty dog 4 weeks. Inedible mess.
She added: I’m surprised my landlord (lived below me) didn’t complain. Truly stinky.
@AmandaMichelleM wrote I once made soap minestrone soup! Didn’t wash all the soap off my pot before spending 2 hours cooking the soup! Tasted terrible!
Ahhhh….relief. I was feeling better already. Then, a running buddy of mine wrote a comment on this post saying:
Didn’t really ruin the recipe but I caught the tip of an oven mitt on fire while making BBQ tofu and carrot fries. I was so concerned when I was checking the tofu baking and all of a sudden noticed that the tip of my oven mitt was aflame! Oops! Probably one of the few times when the smoke alarm did not indicate a charred dinner.
Again, relief. Because lord knows, I have caught items in my kitchen on fire too.
The moral is: Everyone fails at cooking every once in a while.
I should never be left to my own devices when it comes to frying.
Please share your stories in the comments…