What is Your Worst Cooking Disaster?

CraigC

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As a young wife in my early 20's I had a couple of epic failures that I shared with you in another post. Early in my participation in this forum there was a Beouf Bourganion challenge. I have made it many times. Because it was a challenge I went over board. Too many recipes and too many ingredients. A muddy mess. My most recent debacle was yesterday.
Tuesday evening George said he was hungry for a chicken and sausage gumbo . I pulled 2 packs of leg quarters, 2 breast, a rotisserie chicken carcass and a pheasant from G hunting trip in October. Yesterday morning G smoked the pheasant and cut the leg quarters. I went to the store for andouille, smoked tasso, fresh pork sausage , onions, celery, garlic and bell peppers. Lots of chicken broth.
When I make a gumbo I make a huge amount. I use 1 1/2 pints to 1 quart of dark roux.
I decided to make 2 quarts of roux. Plenty for the gumbo and plenty to jar and put in the fridge. Because of the volume I stirred that roux for 2 hours non stop. I thought my arm would fall off. When the color was a little short of milk chocolate I took it off of the heat and stirred for another 10 minutes
Perfect!
I put broth and vegetables in my gumbo pot then started ladling in the roux. It was BURNED!!
Mama was not happy. A run to the store for more broth and vegetables and jarred roux.
I was absolutely disgusted with myself.
When I got home sweet George had martinis ready .
I am ashamed just thinking about it. Seriously - I can make roux in my sleep.
Oh well. The gumbo turned out great. Plenty for the freezer.
You never get too old to make mistakes.



b

I've burned a roux before and it sucks!
 

ElizabethB

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There is no repairing a burnt roux. You just have to start over. If this was the first time I cooked a dark roux I would not have been so upset. My only explanation is that this was the first time I made roux on an electric ceramic cooktop. Not a problem. The gumbo turned out great.
 

Shermie

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There is no repairing a burnt roux. You just have to start over. If this was the first time I cooked a dark roux I would not have been so upset. My only explanation is that this was the first time I made roux on an electric ceramic cooktop. Not a problem. The gumbo turned out great.


That is the only time that I make a roux a little darker than peanut butter. To enhance the color & flavor of a gumbo. :wink:
 

ElizabethB

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I made bread yesterday and that reminded me of another debacle. My first attempt at bread making was just OK. A little dense. For my second attempt I followed the directions very carefully. Melted the butter with the milk, sugar and salt. Put it aside to cool. Weighed my flour. Gently warmed my mixing bowl and made sure the water for the yeast was at 105f. Followed the directions for mixing speed and time. Turned the into my proofing bowl. Covered, put in a warm spot and set the timer . After an hour I removed the tea towel expecting to see a lovely mound of risen dough.
The dough had not risen at all. I reviewed every step. Shock. I failed to check the temperature of the milk and butter mixture before adding to the yeast mixture. I killed my yeast. Too hot.
Live and learn.
 

Morning Glory

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Shock. I failed to check the temperature of the milk and butter mixture before adding to the yeast mixture. I killed my yeast. Too hot.

It should be just hand hot - its best to err on the side of cooler rather than hotter. If cooler the dough will take a bit longer to rise. At least bread ingredients are relatively cheap though, so the odd failure isn't an expensive mistake!
 

Shermie

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One of the times that I was making some gravy, I accidentally made it wicked salty!! I wondered what else to do with it. It was too salty to use alone or on something like rice, mashed or noodles.

Then later that week, I wanted a Philly Steak & Cheese sub. Instead of using the normal seasonings like I usually do, I just added that salty gravy to it & it tasted great!! It had seasoned the meat perfectly & nothing else was needed to season it!! :wink:
 

KitKat

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Decided to make cupcakes for my Girl Scouts troop. Added the oil TWICE as I answered the phone. Disgusting. What a waste of time and effort.
 

FowlersFreeTime

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Here's one of my more memorable cooking fails.

In Jamaica, we have a dish called "Stew Peas" which is basically a stew of kidney beans with beef and (often) includes pig's tail. Yes, you heard that right: pig's tail which has been cured in salt and then cut up and added to the stew.

Well, I attempted to make this for myself and the roommates when I was in college in Los Angeles and I did not know where to find "ethnic" ingredients so I tried to make a substitute rather than omit the flavor profile. I got corned pork instead. I made the rookie mistake of not boiling that pork first to remove some of the salt content. My final dish was sooo salty, none of the roomies would touch it! I had to dilute the dish and transform it into "Red Peas Soup" in order to not waste the meal (because you know, college student budget).
 

ElizabethB

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I have had so many failures that I can not pick one. I think of my failures as educational tools.
Failures are not always bad. They may taste good but do not meet your vision. Cooking is always an adventure and a learning process that includes failures.
 
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