Sunday, January 1, 2017

Recipes: What Not to Make

Rather than creating a blog entry for the recipes that didn't turn out so well, I'll keep this blog post as the running list of recipes NOT to make again:

Cocoa-Carrot Cake with Cocoa Crumble
Food and Wine Magazine, May 2011, p.80
8/15/17 blog entry
- The title of the recipe sounded intriguing.  Overall, the cake turned out fine, but the recipe had the following issues:  definitely not enough carrots and not enough cocoa powder (there was barely a cocoa flavor) and the crumble on the cake is not a good idea.  It almost needed a layer of ganache before adding the crumble on top to help with the chocolate flavor and give a better texture to the otherwise cake + crumble.

Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Fennel and Mushrooms
Bon Appetit Magazine, Dec 2010
8/15/17 blog entry
- This recipe sounds like it would be delicious (ingredients include a fennel bulb, spicy Italian sausage, fresh cremini mushrooms, garlic, fennel seeds, heavy whipping cream, chicken broth, tortellini, spinach, Parm, olive oil), but the flavors were very muddy.  It may be because of the cream and broth mixture?  It needed something else like a squeeze of lemon or other acid to brighten it up.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Swiss Rolls
Food and Wine Magazine, Nov 2015, p.44
7/15/17 blog entry
- This receipt took a lot of time to make, but it was not worth any bit of the time or effort!  Too much butter in the buttercream, not a great flavor at all.  The end product looked nice, but it wasn't worth the calories such that I didn't even finish eating them.

Marcella Hazan's Bolognese Sauce
New York Times
5/28/16 blog entry
- I am not a fan of this "classic go-to" Bolognese sauce.  For all of the time (4.5 hours) that it took to cook this, the flavor did not deliver.  It was good, but I'd rather make Giada's recipe which only took an hour.

Cranberry Jewels
Better Homes and Gardens, Dec 2014, p.112
5/27/16 blog entry
- Perhaps it was user/cook error, but these did NOT turn out like the beautiful photo of the homemade jelly candies in the magazine.  Mine were sticky and way way way too sweet.  (For reference for when I make something like this again. . .  2 c sugar, 2 Tbsp regular powdered fruit pectin, 1.5 c natural unsweetened apple sauce, 2/3 c cranberry or pomegranate juice, 1-2 drops of red gel food coloring which I didn't use, 0.5 c sugar for sprinkling)

Rosemary Chicken with Rice Krispies
Food and Wine Magazine, May 2015, p. 84
5/18/16 blog entry
- Not good.  Thought this recipe from Roy Choi (of Kogi BBQ in Los Angeles) would be good, but no.  Not great flavor with all of the random ingredients on the chicken:  beer, rosemary, garlic, apple cider vinegar, Rice Krispies, Grape-Nuts, parsley and salt and pepper.  It has a 1 star (out of 5 rating) on the Food and Wine site.  I'd give it zero stars.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Tea Cake
Bon Appetit
5/11/16 blog entry
- Thought this was an interesting recipe -- it was almost macaron-like since it required beating egg whites and then folding them into the batter.  Perhaps, I should've ground my own almonds in the food processor rather than using almond flour; maybe that would have made it better.  (I did check online sources to determine how much almond meal to substitute -> 4 oz).  This was just 'eh.'  I'll try other recipes instead.  This took about 68 min baking time.

Garrotxa Bread Salad
Bon Appetit, Sep 2015, p. 20
5/11/16 blog entry
- This recipe was a r.s.v.p recipe that a reader requested from Bobby Flay's Gato restaurant in NYC.  Maybe I've been watching too much Beat Bobby Flay on TV because I had a lot of confidence that this was going to be good, and I was excited to use membrillo (quince paste) in the dish.  The salad was definitely left wanting.  Ingredients:  ciabatta bread, olive oil, prepared horseradish, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, vegetable oil, honey, membrillo, Garrotxa cheese, baby arugula, Kosher salt, pepper.

Seared Black Bass with Scallion-Chile Relish
Bon Appetit, Jul 2015
5/11/16 blog entry
- Thought this would be flavorful, but it wasn't.  The ingredient list looked fresh and simple: bass fillets, olive oil, scallions, serrano chile, cilantro, lime juice, sesame seeds, Kosher salt, pepper.  It was bright, but overall the dish fell flat.

Mushroom and Burrata Lasagnette
Bon Appetit, Oct 2015, p. 79
11/5/15 blog entry
- Dish sounds creamy and indulgent.  It's not.  It lacks flavor and creaminess and was a complete waste of good burrata.

Best-Ever Bourbon Brownies
Better Homes and Gardens
10/17/15 blog entry
- The "Best-ever" Bourbon Brownies are definitely not the best.  In fact, I'd say that it was the worst brownie recipe I've ever made.  Dry and more like cake than a brownie.  Also, there isn't even any bourbon in the brownie, just the frosting.

Tecate Skirt-Steak Tacos
Bon Appetit, June 2015, p. 12
8/16/15 blog entry
- This was a write-in recipe request by a reader who had these tacos at The Mission in Scottsdale, AZ.  It's a simple recipe with, well, simple, bland results.  The salsa includes tomatoes, chipotle chile in adobo, onoin, garlic and lime juice.  We've made other better taco and salsa recipes, so this one is going buh-bye.

Jicama, Radish, and Pickled Plum Salad
Bon Appetit, June 2015, p. 87
8/16/15 blog entry
- For all the ingredients (especially seasoning) in this dish, it was not worth all the time we put into it.  The flavor was one-dimensional.  It's too bad because we had high hopes for this interesting salad.

Rigatoni all'Amatriciana
Saveur, Issue #169, p.87
5/2/15 blog entry
- One word: blah.  We've made other pasta dishes that are much more flavorful.  Not making this one again.

Stewed White Beans with Green Chile and Herbs
Food and Wine Magazine, March 2015, p. 109
4/19/15 blog entry
- One of the most blah recipes we've ever made -- and I was shocked how boring, one-dimensional and flabby (as a wine somm might call it) this recipe was.  The ingredient list included cannellini beans, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves, poblano chile, dry vermouth, a mix of herbs, Kosher salt and pepper.  To me, it sounded like this would be pretty good and healthy.  The dish completely lacked acid and umami.  Adding a squeeze of lime and some leftover pork made it slightly better.

Curried Ground Shrimp and Noodles
Bon Appetit Magazine, February 2015, p. 10
4/19/15 blog entry
- This was a write-in recipe request under the 'r.s.v.p.' section in Bon Appetit and is a recipe from Peche in New Orleans.
- Not good at all.  I didn't even want to eat the leftovers.  It was so disappointing!!!  While the name of the dish sounds a little strange, the ingredients looked like the dish would be super flavorful (onion, jalapeno, garlic, curry powder, gochugaru, ginger, tomato paste, flour, chicken broth, lemon, lime, basil, rice noodles, shrimp) -- see what I mean?  However, it was pretty flavorless, and the ground shrimp texture wasn't good at all.

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts
Bon Appetit Magazine, February 2015, p. 12
4/19/15 blog entry
- This recipe was just, eh, ok.  It was write-in recipe request under the 'r.s.v.p.' section in Bon Appetit and is a recipe from Kevin Gillespie's Gunshow restaurant in Atlanta.  It was really hot (because of the sambal oelek and chiles de arbol) but despite that was pretty one-dimensional.

Potato Gnocchi
Bon Appetit Magazine, December 2014, p. 14
4/19/15 blog entry
- Adam Rapoport's recipe was a fail.  His proportions for the dough were 3 lb medium russet potatoes, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1 tbsp kosher salt.  I tweeted him asking what the secret is in getting the dough to stay together when boiling.  No answer.  On to the next gnocchi recipe. . . perhaps I need to get America's Test Kitchen's recipe.

Apple Sharlotka
Food and Wine Magazine, November 2014, p. 118
12/28/14 blog entry
- Easy and ok-tasting. One thing I liked about it was that it's very light -- there's no butter!  However, I'd rather have an apple cake or apple pie vs. this "Russian apple cake."
- The issues with the recipe:  The apple juice leaks from the springform pan, so it's imperative that you put the pan on a sheet pan (covered w/aluminum foil to make it easier to clean-up).  Also, this only took me 45 min to bake vs 1 hour.
Served it with vanilla ice cream

Rice Souffle
Southern Living, September 2014, p. 12
12/28/14 blog entry
- This side dish was fine; not amazing, not special.  Really quite boring which I should've expected.  It's basically a souffle with rice (imagine that!) and cheese.  I'd much rather have a real souffle and a side of rice instead.

Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake
Southern Living, September 2014, p. 110
11/22/14 blog entry
- We had all the ingredients to make this dish, so I made it;  it was fine.  There are just so many other delicious (delectable!) desserts I've made that this was just a bit boring which is why I wouldn't make it again.

Chicken-Andouille Gumbo
Bon Appetit, October 2014, p. 96
11/22/14 blog entry
- Just not very flavorful at all and more soup than gumbo.

Rosa's Biscuits
Bon Appetit, September 2014, p.98
11/9/14 blog entry
- We were excited to make these biscuits; they were featured as a famous recipe from Del Posto in NYC.  They tasted like cornbread cookies. Just not what I want from a biscuit.

Spicy Thai Tofu with Red Bell Pepper and Peanuts
Bon Appetit, Every Day Meals (little recipe book), p. 27
9/27/14 blog entry
- Not a great recipe, especially not one I'd serve to guests.  The look of the dish is awful -- looks soggy and tastes soggy too because of the spinach which releases so much water.  Perhaps we shouldn't have sauteed the vegetables for so long, but either way, the flavors weren't good enough for us to make this again.

Long Bean Salad
Bon Appetit, July 2014, p. 12
8/23/14 blog entry
- This recipe was in the "r.s.v.p" section where readers write to the magazine and ask for a restaurant's recipe that they love.  This long bean salad recipe is from Bun-Ker Vietnamese in NYC.  It just wasn't all that.  It was fine but I wouldn't take the time to make it again.  Moveing on to other recipes!  To give you a sense of what this recipe tasted like, the ingredients included:  Chinese long beans or green beens, watercress, red onion, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, lime zest, coconut flakes, roasted peanuts, salt.

Kitchen-Sink Soba Noodles
Food and Wine Magazine, July 2014, p. 211
8/18/14 blog entry
- This one is healthy and taste healthy, but it's missing umami.  In other words, BORING!!!  (Can you hear the Muppets Toyota commercial now?)  Lacks dimension and punch.

Chilled Thai-Style Heirloom Tomato Soup with Chobani Greek Yogurt, Yellow Lentils and Fresh Local Strawberries
8/2/14 blog entry
- I pulled this Chobani ad recipe out of either Food and Wine or Bon Appetit.  I like Thai and Indian flavors a lot, but this soup just wasn't good -- it was the first time I've ever not finished my meal and said, "I don't think I'll be able to stomach the leftovers."

Salad of the Month:  Avocado-and-Shrimp Salad with Red Goddess Dressing
Food and Wine Magazine,  July 2014, p. 124
8/2/14 blog entry
- One of the least exciting salads we've made.  The Red Goddess dressing was boring and bland even with salt.

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