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Apr 18, 2007 11:33 AM

Have you ever had a recipe disaster?

Or one that just bombed beautifully? And it affected your dinner plans?

Was it because you had never had the dish and being brave tried it out?
Or was it inexperience relying on a recipe for the correct spice and ingredient proportions only realizing later that the error was in the recipe, and not you?

Yes I have. I (and others) consider myself to be a fairly good cook. I can and do cook many cuisines pretty well. But my disastrous recipe, was a peanut sauce that was horrible to put it mildly and it ended up in the trash, ruining mine and everyone else's appetite.

It wa so bad the kids still talk about that sauce and have made me swear that I would not make that peanut sauce for them ever again. I can' t remember where I got the recipe, I just know it was way off, because I love peanut sauce (Thai anyway).

Well after all, I said that I would not make "that peanut sauce" again, and I am not a quitter.So needless to say, I have an ongoing search for that perfect peanut sauce recipe.
And now I think I know that I would know better...

So what is your recipe that went bad? And have you fixed it yet?

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  1. Olive Loaf substituting cornmeal for most of the wheat flour. Bricklike.
    And my ex-h makes it really well.
    I will also never eat pigeon because of the time ex-h followed a recipe that said, "Simply sauté the pigeons five minutes on each side and then serve." It was 100% caoutchouc (rubber) and we had guests!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Amanita

      Avgolemono - Greek lemon egg soup. It sounded great, but bleeech!!!!

      1. re: sheilal

        oh my and I have a Greek cookbook that has a recipe for that. Pass.

    2. I made a Mexican Chocolate Cake (Rick Bayless). Except, on my first attempt, I thought I would just go ahead and make recipe changes! I reduced the butter, sub'd prune puree for some of the butter, used half whole wheat etc, etc. Needless to say, the result was not great: dry, flavorless, we couldn't eat it. I was told not to make it again by the SO. I won't try it again, because the orig. recipe has too much fat and I'm very traumatized by the horribly bad result, which was my fault of course! Even worse for me, it made a large cake!
      some of the cake did go to the bin...

      chef chicklet, how about you, what wouldn't you make again?

      3 Replies
      1. re: morebubbles

        Sounds like you like to keep an eye on the fat in your recipes. If you're going to cut the butter, you have to sub another fat. Prunes are fat free because they're just dried plums. Maybe experiment with healthier fats like oleo, olive oil, etc. Mario Batali has some recipes where he uses olive oil in his baking.

        1. re: sgwood415

          a lot of people use milled flaxseed to replace some fats. i haven't tried it but i think they say it lends a nuttier flavor, which might be good.

          1. re: luniz

            I usually throw in some freshly ground flaxseeds into my muffin mixes. Haven't tried replacing fat with it though.
            sqwood415, I have made an olive oil cake which turned out delicious!
            Usually I try to find lower fat recipes, or cut back a little bit...this wasn't my best experiment to say the least.

      2. Probably quite a few things, I wouldn't make again but the funniest attempt was at a pie crust. Tried to follow Joy of Cooking recipe-keeping butter cold etc.-but couldn't form the crust into a ball-so I called my neighbor who was "the" pie crust expert. After an hour of trying to get the dough into a ball-we threw the mess away. Undaunted, I tried again but wound up with a tough,fall apart not flaky mind you crust, which was too salty and dry. No, I have not attempted to make a crust again thanks to ready made crusts. Too much frustation and a dirty kitchen to clean up to making matters worse.

        1. A recipe for Green Beans with Red Onion-Vinaigrette.
          The Red Onion-Vinaigrette was so vinegar-y that it completely overpowered the green beans.

          1. Last year, on a vegan kick I made quite a few "Magic Loaf" recipes, using this site:


            One loaf involving Gimme Lean sausage and oatmeal, among other things, tasted okay to me, but when my then boyfriend tried it, he immediately spit it out, pronouncing that it tasted "worse than vomit."

            I haven't been able to bring myself to make a magic loaf since.

            2 Replies
            1. re: operagirl

              wow what a jerk thing to say to somebody who cooked for you!

              anyway I made fish tacos once using the packet of seasonings...I forget the brand but it's at health food places, also has fajita and taco seasoning packets. Anyway I'm pretty sure I followed the directions correctly but it was terrible and the fish wasn't cooked enough anyway.

              So I made them last night basically going by a made up recipe and they were freaking killer, good enough to serve to other people. So I guess I'll throw away that last packet I have and just go by my own recipe from now on.

              1. re: operagirl

                I too once had someone spit out my food in front of me ... in this case it was a coworker (well, kind of my boss) and the food was authentic springerle made with anise oil (the traditional flavoring). I didn't like the flavor either as I've always hated licorice ... but I couldn't believe he spit it out. They're so beautiful, but it's a challenge to make them taste good. I usually do gingerbread with my cookie molds now ...

                My major disaster was just a couple months ago ... I was upset & unfocused while baking and left a cup of flour out of my cookies. When I tried to remove them from the cookie sheet with a spatula, they disintegrated ... not pretty. They were for a potluck, so instead of showing up with milk and cookies, I showed up with ... milk. All the more annoying because I took the afternoon off to bake fresh cookies and had nothing to show for it ...