Sometimes You Just Need to Vent

9.10.10 § 9 Comments

Usually, when I try out a recipe that doesn’t measure up, I groan about it to myself for awhile and then attempt to salvage the leftovers because I can’t afford to throw out food. That’s what happened awhile back when I made Lime-Curry Rubbed Hanger Steak with Fresh Mango Melon Chutney. It sounds great. I was so excited about it. It really sucked. So, I complained in my head and I never wrote about it. No need for recipe bashing around here. Plus, I figured that maybe I did something wrong since it got so many good reviews on Epicurious. Anyway, I let it go without making a fuss.

However, last night, something was up (my friend Sally mentioned something about Mercury being in retrograde…?) and for some reason, a mediocre recipe combined with a variety of other factors to result in a laughably bad evening, and you know what? I want to vent about it. So here goes.

I decided to try my first Tyler Florence recipe: Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Crispy Prosciutto and Roasted Red Grapes. Sounds good right? I know. I thought so too. To be fair, this recipe wasn’t bad enough on its own to warrant a brief little tirade here. But it was severely disappointing. That, combined with a temperamental smoke alarm in my new apartment that went off at least six times, a severe burn to my hand resulting from my own stupidity, and the internet in my apartment being prematurely disconnected (that really isn’t related to cooking but it did exacerbate my bad mood) led me to judge the dish harshly.

Seriously, Tyler Florence. Prosciutto costs $20 a pound. Why the hell would you want to put it in the oven to “crisp,” making it taste like cheap bacon that’s been burnt? Some of us consider prosciutto a luxury and it would be really nice if it tasted like it. The grapes were the best part of this dish, so if you’re looking for something creative to do with grapes, you’ve found a winner. Other than that, I’d say don’t bother. Especially if your smoke alarm is a screamer.

I think I’m going to take Sally’s suggestion and blame last night’s fiasco on Mercury. I just googled it and it’s in retrograde until September 12th. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but evidently, “bad things happen to earthlings during this period.” I think I’ll hide out until it’s over.

ps – I know it’s pretty. Don’t let that fool you though. And please, for heaven’s sake, DO NOT put prosciutto in the oven.

What do you think? Has Mercury’s unfortunate position in the heavens affected your cooking? And you thought it was just you…


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§ 9 Responses to Sometimes You Just Need to Vent

  • I made a honey cake and left it in the oven for 10-15 minutes longer than the recipe said, and it was STILL undone in the center. If that’s not Mercury’s doing, I don’t know what to do. The edges are delicious, but man! Honey AND nice whiskey in the recipe…

    At least your plate looks purty! Sorry about the prociutto 😦

  • Jess says:

    Too bad about the prosciutto. A life lesson learned at $20/lbs.

    I had a similar experience two days ago…

    I attempted to make one of my favorite Indian dishes, Vegetable Biryani. It was soooo time consuming that I didn’t eat until 10pm. It didn’t turn out horrible, but it just wasn’t…that good. and now I have enough in my fridge to feed a couple families but I can barely pawn it off on my boyfriend or roommates.

    Mercury indeed!


    PS– Started reading your blog a couple weeks ago. I’m also in my 20’s, living in a city (SF), and trying to cook as much as possible. Love your honesty. Cooking results aren’t always perfect.

  • Travis says:

    I think this post wins a prize — first time anything has ever been associated with bacon to negative effect. I think crispy prosciutto just tastes like really fancy bacon…. mmmm….

  • Traci Haros says:

    Hello Miss Megan! Oops! I mean Tyla 🙂 I don’t know how I stumbled across your blog but I’m so happy that I did! Hope you remeber an old friend from Drill team lol


  • Ben says:

    Bad things always happen when I try to bake something. I guess that’s why it’s never bothered me when the contestants on Top Chef complain about having to make a dessert. Since I started cooking more seriously, I’ve simply stopped eating dessert in an attempt to convince myself that I don’t like it, just to justify my inability to create it.

    It’s never occurred to me to blame my mistakes on planets, though.

  • Hil says:

    Ugh, I so agree about the prosciutto. I would never cook it! Waste of delicious meat.

  • Jen says:

    I have kitchen flops all of the time. It makes the successes so much more enjoyable!

  • Rachel says:

    Yikes, crisping prosciutto, come on Tyler. I actually stress out less about baking since everything has to be carefully measured. It’s when recipes call for “a dash” or “a glug” or “to taste” that I worry that I’m doing something wrong.

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