Tuesday, July 7, 2009

At least it was pretty.

For my birthday I decided to cook salmon. Unfortunately, the store was out, so I had to work on the fly. I ended up with this oh-so-pretty dish of lamb:

Sadly though, it did not leave me satisfied. The problem? My brain was in a million places OUTSIDE of the kitchen while I was cooking it.

In short: it was a disaster.


Undercooked artichoke that was nearly inedible?


A wet and tasteless mass that was supposed to be couscous?


Coriander crusted lamb that was perhaps a bit too rare. As in; it wasn’t even warm in the middle?


Blackberry Sauce that, although tasty, could have been much more?


The mushrooms were decent at least.


It almost felt like I was eating the fake food that they use for magazine ads. It looks great, but that’s about it.


So, how do you cook an abomination like this? Oh, let me tell you:

- First, take a big box of blackberries, put them in the blender until smooth, then run through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds. This sounds easy, but takes FOREVER. Best to start a week in advance for this one. Once strained, add some sugar (because those berries aint ripe), some ginger, and a dash of salt. Put on the stove to warm.


- Because you don’t have a pressure cooker, setup a steamer with some garlic cloves, bay leaves, and lemon juice for the artichokes. Cook them like they are in a pressure cooker: about 30 minutes, so that they will be rock hard when it is time to serve.


- Forget that you set your lamb pan to SUPER high heat to pre-heat it, put lamb in until they start to burn, flip, and turn to medium. Allow to sit until the outside looks edible, even though the inside is still raw. Quickly remove from heat and set aside.


- Whip together some mayo, dill, and black pepper. This is a dipping sauce for the rock-hard artichokes, and the only thing that will make you want to put them in your mouth.


- Slice a billion mushrooms, set in saute pan with butter, salt, pepper, dash of sugar. This will be the only good part of the meal, so don’t mess it up!


- Forget about couscous until it’s almost time to serve. Rush through it without reading instructions. Don’t wait for the water to boil first, just throw everything together, and THEN bring to boil. Add more spice than you should, because it’s turning to shit anyway. It won’t matter, no matter how much spice you add it will still somehow end up being flavorless.


Plate it all together. Add fresh blackberries, that will make it look REALLY tasty and will make it so the sauce doesn’t look like blood. Giggle maniacally at whoever is going to have to eat this thing; they are in for a surprise!




Catalyst said...

Ouch! And the picture looks so pretty.

TomboCheck said...

Catalyst - Yep. Pretty sad turn of events. Even sadder because I'm eating leftovers for lunch today...

megan said...

i loved this post...i've totally been there. more than meets the eye!

Chickenbells said...

Precisely why you shouldn't DO anything on your birthday...birthday's are sometimes too challenging...and you should be waited on instead...which is why I usually starve (just kidding!!)

TomboCheck said...

Megan - yep, more than meets the eye. Just not in a good way. :)

Sadira - Yeah, I didn't want to go hungry... and Ramen only holds so much appeal on a birthday.

Melissa said...

You should have ramen here at an actual ramen shop. Them's good eats, even for a birthday.

This post was absolutely hilarious. We have all had epic fails. I've undercooked artichokes, I've undercooked meat and I've made mealy mush out of grains. Check, check aaaand check.

Kudos for doing it on your own and being creative. I always want to do berry sauces, but feel like I will fail... though as of late, I am much freer in my thinking and more adventurous thanks to cleaning out my blog list and not worrying what people think of me.

One last thing - you need a meat thermometer. Or, if you already own one, you should have, you know, used it. ;)

TomboCheck said...

Melissa - I'm down for a ramen shop. Sounds good!

And for the sauce - I normally just end up making pan sauces. I don't know where the berry idea came from, but the flavors seemed like they would work together. And flavor-wise the dish was great. If only anything had been cooked correctly...

I'm glad to hear you are feeling freer in your kitchen. That is when the cooking really starts to get fun! Sounds like you just might be feeling a little freer outside of the kitchen too...?

And yeah, about the meat thermometer? I have one, but normally I use the push test. These chops were so small though, and with a bone running down the middle, I think I might not have been getting accurate readings. And the whole not having my brain on cooking probably didn't help either when it comes to accuracy. :-D