Serious Eats: Talk

When was the last time a dish went to hell on you?

For me it was tonight. I took a little bit of a flyer and decided that since I was post call, I'd cook something new. I recently saw a smoked salmon blt on a menu and decided I'd give it a shot.

I fired up the smoker, applied the usual suspects to the salmon and put it in. I lovingly fried up some of my favorite thick cut bacon and sliced up a beautiful brandywine heirloom and got the spring greens ready. I selected some Dave's Good Seed bread and thought I had a slam dunk.

I started out with lovely ingredients. I ended up with a very off putting sandwich. It was offensive, and that's the first time in a long time I've made something truly awful. I knew it was because my wife, who is usually complimentary, was silent. I asked what she thought and she just shook her head.

Ouch.

I screwed up the salmon. My wife had asked me to run some errands with her when I was planning on cooking the salmon. I should have stuck with my gut and stayed home. Instead, I decided to go with her and try to cook it a little faster. The texture/doneness of the fish was not bad, but something went horribly wrong with the garlic in the rub.

It wasn't burned, and it looked like it had turned the lovely caramel color I'm used to seeing. It was incredibly acrid. To make matters even worse, I made a sandwich for my parents and sent them with my mom for their dinner.

I'm certainly not perfect, and I have both good and bad days in the kitchen. This, however, was reminiscent of when my wife and I were first married and she decided to make crab cakes from Simple Living with imitation crab and potato chips. Nothing could have saved that meal. It is the only thing my wife has cooked that we've thrown away after one bite and gone out for dinner. (thankfully, she now is able to read a recipe and suss out whether or not it will be good; and she knows that imitation crab is always the wrong answer).

When was the last time you felt like an utter failure in the kitchen?

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