Tuesday, 4 June 2013

When Experiments Go Bad

fermented black beans
Wanted Ingredient
I said last post that there may be a new recipe coming, but there isn't, I seem to have lost my kitchen mojo. It all started with the Fermented Black Beans that I'd been trying to get hold of for months. I eagerly anticipated using them and though the meal was okay, it wasn't post standard by any means.

prawns in black bean sauce
First Sign Of Kitchen Mojo Loss
I didn't get the flavour balance right, if my wilting memory serves me correctly it was too bitter. It had been a while since something hadn't gone right so I shrugged it off and stopped being annoyed at myself quite quickly.

Next were poorly marinated Chicken Wings. I don't know how I got this so wrong but the marinade was way too runny to stick.

chicken wings
Blip #2
Perfectly nice after I whipped up some sauce but non postable as a recipe. Still, I wasn't concerned.

The next few experiments went great, Cerviche, Thai Red Curry and Prawn Balls. All nailed at first attempt.

Then I had a problem with Pad Thai. The flavours were so wrong but again, it was edible but by no means authentic.

pad thai
Blip #3 Cooking In The Wok
It was only as I was about to make it that I realised I was out of the right sized Rice Noodles. Still, that wasn't the main problem here, I was.

Back to tried and tested meals and all was fine, then I experimented with a trio of flavour combination and the end result was pretty perfect in the flavour balance that I was aiming for, the method however was not.

prawn skewers
Lovely But Not Right
The problem I had here was that there was cheese involved and basically it leaked and ended up stuck to the foil. When scraped off and poured over the skewers it was the blend of flavours complimenting each other as I had wanted but the method needs tweaking. A lot. I'll be experimenting with this one further though.

The last experiment went so horribly wrong that I'm wondering if I'll ever be posting a recipe again. I tried to better my Southern Fried Chicken (which is always a winner if you follow the recipe exactly) with pieces on the bone but - and I only have myself to blame - I neglected to follow my recipe due to weekend laziness and left out an all important step.

floured chicken
Utter Disaster
There's no photo of the end result because it was that bad. Had I followed my recipe this wouldn't have been the case but I didn't and the floured chicken came out of the pan naked with no coating. Again, still edible, it was moist and tender but the whole point was the Southern style coating and that was residing in the pan.

I'm not giving up but I am a bit miffed, I want my kitchen mojo back.

On a better note my fingers are getting greener by the day:

Herbs, Chillies and Peppers are thriving but it's that time of year when I begin my melting phase. Already too hot for me.

*Winning vibes to Tsonga*

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