Cooking disasters!

I love cooking, and would go so far as to say that I am an OK cook.

HOWEVER. This past weekend I tried out some new recipes from a couple of well known chefs and NOT a bloody one of them turned out!!

Firstly, on Saturday night I thought I would cook Ian a delicious and labour-intensive meal. My menu plan included two recipes from Gordon Ramsey’s book, A Chef For All Seasons.

For our starter, I made potato gnocci. I have made gnocci before with great success with a different recipe, and the photo on this one looked gorgeous. HOURS later, having followed the recipe to the very letter (which is really unusual for me!) I discovered that the gnocci disintegrate to the consistency of wallpaper paste upon contact with boiling water. This did not amuse me because seriously, the recipe took an AGE to prepare.

For our main course, I made chicken tagliatelle, which was much nicer. The sauce was lovely, but I had to substitute a different kind of mushroom for the morels listed in the recipe as I couldn’t get any in Belfast. I was still a bit disappointed with the results though because the ingredients were very expensive and it didn’t TASTE expensive, if you know what I mean!

For pudding, I made chocolate mousse. This was my own recipe, and was the nicest thing about the meal.

I love the look of Gordon Ramsey’s book- but find the ingredients hard to come by in Northern Ireland. There are other recipes I will definitely try though. I don’t know what I did wrong with the fecking gnocci, but there is a note written in the book now to remind me- something I often do! 😀

THEN- last night I baked myself a trout, and used a recipe out of one of Rick Stein’s books. I love his recipes and they have never yet let me down. His recipe for mussel tart was a knockout on Boxing Day last year when I cooked for my family!

However I was in the middle of making the tricky and heavily butter-infested sauce for the fish when my gorgeous younger son started screaming down the monitor at me! Needless to say, by the time I came back downstairs, the sauce had separated and my temper evaporated!

Poor Ian. He has had to put up with a whole weekend of poorly cooked food and even poorer temper! 🙂

7 Responses to “Cooking disasters!”

  1. 1 Margie
    May 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    You poor thing. I was just about to settle on some fun Italian dishes I haven’t tried yet. But, something keeps telling me to just smoke those pork ribs we have in the fridge and keep it simple.

    Gnocchi are tricky little devils. I’ve never really made a batch I was totally pleased with. I’ve eaten great gnocchi in Rome. But, perfection at home has eluded me.

    Thanks Margie! Whoops, been missing the “h” out of gnocchi, lol! Send me your recipe for smoked ribs, it sounds yummy and we’re having my son’s 1st birthday party- a bbq- this weekend! 🙂

  2. May 26, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    This may go back to may inability to accept change, but I am never open to new things in the kitchen.

    Change is bad!

    I love new recipes, often for something I’d never have thought of myself. This weekend was a real cooking low spot though!

  3. May 27, 2008 at 6:08 am

    You should talk to Brian – I think I recall him making gnocci before one time and it was good but so difficult to make!

    Lou bought me Gordon Makes It Easy for my birthday and I’ve made some good stuff from it although I agree, some stuff is difficult to get (let’s not bring up the porcini mushrooms again!) so it’s difficult to pull off the meals.

    The cost of food is also ridiculous here so it makes it doubly difficult to make these kind of meals.

    FYI, I’m making this tonight:

    1 tbsp oil
    1 onion finely chopped
    500g mince
    1 tsp cumin
    400g can tomatoes
    2 tbsp tomato paste
    2 crushed garlic cloves
    1C water
    ½ C long grain rice washed
    6 lge peppers

    Heat oil. Cook mince, onion and cumin for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, breaking them up. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, rice and water. Simmer 25 mins. Add ¼ C chopped parsley. Season. Cut top off peppers, remove seeds. Spoon filling into them, place lids on top and stand in a baking dish. Pour in enough water to come a wee way up the peppers. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

  4. May 27, 2008 at 6:10 am

    oh man….this post is the very reason I hate trying new recipes. I always have high hopes and it rarely works out. ugh….

    oh and I made some pretty satifying gnocchi once with……ummm……dare I say it????? ummm……instant potatos. LOL I should make them again and make sure I wasn’t just really hungry the first time. tee hee

  5. May 27, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Oh, Suzy!! I feel for you!! I hate it when you put good money and effort into a meal and it doesn’t turn out as planned!!! ((((hugs)))))

  6. May 29, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Oh Suzy, that stinks! Especially since it is so expensive to buy the ingredients! I like to try new things, but I always stay pretty close to what I know, which isn’t much!

  7. 7 Margie
    May 30, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    About the ribs… I usually rub them down with a spice mixture of paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, brown sugar, etc. We put them on the smoker or even a normal grill with a low fire would be fine for about 45 minutes. You want to get nice seared coating on the outside and let the ribs pick up the smoky flavor. Then I seal them in a foil packet. You don’t want any of the juices to escapte. And I put them on a baking sheet in a really low oven for about and hour to an hour and a half. 300 to 325 degrees. The meat is usally falling off the bone by then. You might have to do some experimenting, depending on what kind of ribs you can get.

    Have a great bbq!

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