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Recipe DISASTER!! Help needed!!!

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Mr PG, bless his furry little toes, decided to cook me dinner last night.

He's not a bad cook.. but he's a better eater....

His range of culinary offering usually run to wraps, nachos, spag bog... that sort of thing, but he does love to watch me cook..

So last night, I worked late and he decided to cook a **ahem** chicken stew....

I opened the front door of The House Of Purple Lerve to be greeted by a decidedly fishy smell, and Mr PG bouncing around, waving a ladle gaily and talking about Chicken.. while the strong smell of FISH permeated my nostrils..

Mr Pg had browned cashews and garlic and onion and chicken, added zucc's and spinach and mushrooms and sun dried toms, and some chicken stock and creme.

And then he turned to me and said proudly"

"And I know you like to add anchovies because they make your sauce richer, so I did that too!!"

Umm.. No.. he'd found FOUR salted and breaded SARDINES and added the lot to the stew.

He's so proud of it, but it is seriously inedible... is there ANY way I can save it, tone down the fish, so I can eat it and beam proudly at him???

I skivved out last night, by only having a mouthful or two and then claiming tiredness due to work, but he cheerfully informs me that "you tell me things get better when you let the flavours marry overnight, so we';ll have it tomorrow and it'll be even NICER!!!!"

I'll be home and hour or so before him tonight.

Please PLEASE tell me there's something I can do!!!!

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  1. Accidentally drop it and be very very sorry because you were so looking forward to enjoying his delicious stew that he worked so hard on, then go out for pizza.

    Are the sardines still in discernable pieces that you can remove? And potatoes, lots of potatoes, they're the solution to everything, right?

    4 Replies
    1. re: babette feasts

      No piece de sardine to be seen.. they've all melted, leaving nothing but their fishy memory lingering in the air.

      I'l try the potatoes, and maybe a little vinegar....

      And then drop it.

      1. re: purple goddess

        Nah...just drop it first thing. No sense wasting good potatoes (or risking a burn from hot stew.) Then greet him at the door in the altogether. He won't remember there was a stew. LOL

        1. re: OldDog

          Doggie.. that exact thought HAD crossed my mind.

          1. re: purple goddess

            Trust yourself. ;-)

    2. Impossible. Impossibly hilarious. Hilariously impossible. Plan:

      Fish out the chicken pieces and incorporate immediately in a (new) chicken stew as per Mr pg's original intent (w/o sardines).

      Then add lime juice, lots of chili, cilantro, ginger, fish sauce, and so on to the existing sardine/fish stew. Add sliced olives and the like.

      When the hero of this tale comes home, you'll have two perfect dishes to choose from.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Sam, darling...

        Could I leave the chicken in AND add your suggestions??

        1. re: purple goddess

          Same to you...

          Maybe possible. If you give it a try, shred the chicken and balance with lots of the stuff I mentioned above. The fish sauce and sliced olives can easily work together (remembering Roman times) and could serve to bridge the ingredients and flavors.

      2. This reminds me of the type of thing my dad will concoct from time to time. My mom tries to outlaw him from the kitchen, but he loves cooking. Sometimes, she will partake in his food and inevitably get sick.

        I actually like dad's concoctions. Sometimes, they are pretty good. You do need a tough stomach, though. :)

        Good luck. I would say, have a small, small bowl, and then say that you are full.

        1. My SO also makes wraps and nachos and seems, oddly enough, to think that this is dinner. I'd love to know what spag bog is, though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Glencora

            spag bog = Aussie slang for Spaghetti Bolognese.. but the sort of Bolognese that can really only be called spag bog, is the stuff where mince is browned with an onion, some garlic, a jar of Leggo's tomato paste and a bottle of cheap plonk and left to stew for a couple of hours.

            I have dogs.. 2 very bouncy dogs..

            Tripping could be VERY easily arranged.

          2. First of all, please tell what PG means!
            Second, are you dating my father? 72 year old Irish American, horrendous cook, 6', grew up in the Bronx, still married to my mother? Because that is the kind of meal he would make AND expect you to eat.
            We call them 'concoctions'. He literally will go into the refrigerator, take the last dregs of whatever is left in a jar, combine them, and cook it. His favorite condiment? Saucy Susan slathered on....well, anything. Since he retired he has taken over all the cooking at my parents house. The meals are horrendous beyond belief! He also does not believe in seasoning. Just a shake of salt and pepper. HATES GARLIC with a passion. The meals are inedible. And, he won't let you go anywhere near the stove to help.
            He overcooks everything. For example, fresh asparagas...cooked in a boiling pot for at least 30 minutes. Fresh farm picked green beans: cooked in a gallon of boiling water for 45 minutes.
            He likes to eat at 6:15 exactly; with the meal completed by no later than 6:30.
            All meals include meat, veg, starch, bread and salad. No deviation.
            Here's an idea? Why not buy some cooking classes for you and your PG to attend together? You can say it's because you want to learn to cook better and maybe he would like to join you. That way, he might learn some new recipes and food combinations that go together.
            BTW: there is no saving that disgusting meal PG made.
            and
            Leave my dad alone, will you!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: mschow

              Mschow,
              Since her screen name is "Purple Goddess," I assume Mr. PG stands for Mr. Purple Goddess.

              1. re: GSDlove

                Thanks..! I did not pick up on that. Thought PG was a new bit of internet abbreviation that I did not know about!

            2. Sorry to disagree with so many, but gentle honesty is called for here. Reheat the mess. I'll bet that it has gotten saltier overnight. Call Mr. at office and inform him of the toooo salty state of the stew. Ask what he wants you to do. Give him a couple of options, if he doesn't have any ideas. Later, weeks later, tell him that you have been thinking about his stew and that the anchovies were the culprit and next time for richness he could try, _______(fill in the blank with your preference).
              I just hate to see someone's joy of making a surprise meal squashed, but I couldn't eat that either.

              1. I would tell him it was absolutely awful after one mouthful but that you love and adore him and let's get a takeout and make whoopee!

                1. Can you pick the meat off the bones, boil a bag of egg noodles, mix it all together, cook at 350 for 45 minutes and serve it as a casserole? Maybe TWO casseroles if it's that salty. Does the concoction taste any good beyond the saltiness and fishiness?

                  1. Ok... here's what I did.

                    Didn't pick out the chicken, shredded the meat and added lime juice, white vinegar, coriander (cilantro), canned tomatoes, chilli and black olives.. reheated and served on fusilini, tossed in butter, back pepper and lemon juice.

                    I told him that the sauce had thickened overnight and I needed to thin it back down.

                    It was surprisingly.... umm... not inedible.... if ya knows whats I mean....

                    He was as proud as punch, I ate the lot (with a very VERY good bottle of cab sav by my side), He is chuffed at his attempts, my marriage is intact and all is right with the world.

                    He wants to attempt something else this weekend, so I suggested we do it together.. the whole shopping/cooking/preparing/eating thing....That way I can gently and lovingly guide him AWAY FROM SARDINES!!!!!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: purple goddess

                      Fine ending indeed. Standing ovation for you. If that was an Oz cab, which one?

                      1. re: purple goddess

                        aww...you are too sweet! I am a day latge on the suggestion, but I would have just redone the lot myself and left out the sardines. You are hilarious! Congratulations on being a charming poster and saving a meal.