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Worst meal cooked in recent memory.

I think most of us here consider ourselves very good home cooks. But occasionally something goes wrong, sometimes horribly wrong. My worst meal in recent memory was a halibut that I intended to bbq but then it stormed so I decided to bake it with some garlic paste on top. I wayyyy overcooked it, it was like dry rubber, terrible, and the garlic paste went weird, bitter, yuck. On the side was mushy minty peas. I had bought some peas from the farmers market, got them home and shelled them to find them old and dry, thought that they would make great mushy peas, I guess not. Maybe if I had soaked them first, the mushy peas were starchy, didn't mush up right, no matter how long I steamed them and added butter and water. Horrible. Only saving grace on this meal was some nice crisp roasted potatoes. I threw most of mine away, the SO ate his out of hunger.

Fess up.....what is your worst???

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  1. It was a beautiful night out, so I made grilled shrimp, baby bok choy and corn on the cob to eat out on our terrace that has a a view of the Hudson River/NYC. Perfect weather, amazing view and the meal looked great (see picture)... but it tasted horrible! The shrimp had that disgusting iodine taste you sometimes get, the corn was mealy and tasteless and the bok choy was bland. I was so disappointed. The shrimp and the corn were beyond my control (they were both bad to begin with, but still, I picked them out and felt responsible), but the bok choy was all me; I totally underseasoned it.

    The gin & tonics were good though! :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: ttoommyy

      My worst meal in a while was also related to a metallic fish taste. The plan for dinner was seared tuna and scallops except that SO decided at the last minute that we should get more scallops. My usual stores are about 20 minutes away so I made a quick run to the Safeway and happened to spot ginormous sea scallops. Well, as I sat down to dinner and took my first bite of the scallops I was mortified and stunned by this awful metallic taste which nearly induced immediate vomiting. For some reason, I tried again and then SO tried and we both sat there revolted. I quickly grabbed the plates, discarded the scallops, replated the tuna and picked up new utensils and all was well with the rest of the meal but those few bites were quite awful. I now only buy scallops at my usual stores as I know that they are dry scallops and not bloated wet scallops full of phosphate.

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        I, too, bought the shrimp at a place I usually would not buy them. Lesson learned for both of us!

    2. Just last night my normally delicious go to salmon recipe ended up turning into salmon jerky. I lost track of time watching the Angels play and there was no rescuing it.

      Luckily my twice baked mashed potatoes were superb as was the corn on the cob so all was not lost.

      1. It was a dish I could probably make in my sleep: fried rice. I was doing the dreaded combo of drinking beer, chatting, and cooking. A way too huge glug of soy sauce accidentally went in and then I did all sorts of things to try to balance it out, but I just did not have more rice, which would have been the proper cure. So, the salty and sour pile of crap hit the garbage.

        1 Reply
        1. re: alliegator

          I don't know..I find fried rice extremely hard to cook. The result is always so different...so with scrambled eggs.

        2. Three cooks seasoning French onion soup was our disaster.

          Wife and I, just married, moved home with my parents to find jobs, apartment, etc. Brought east a fabulous FOS recipe and wanted to cook a nice dinner to show our appreciation for taking us in.

          Spent two days making a great beef stock and Demi-glace prepping for our dinner.

          Hand peeled and sliced 7lbs of onions, sweated them, carmelized them, deglazed them, added in wine and stock then seasoned with black pepper to simmer and reduce....

          and my wife seasoned with black pepper

          and then my father, who deplored bland food added his own share of fresh black pepper.

          Our highly touted dinner was completely inedible but we enjoyed the wine and made grilled cheese with the leftover slices of a baguette covered with gruyere while laughing about how many cooks it took to season one soup.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ThanksVille

            A true life example of " too many cooks spoil the soup!"

            1. re: ttoommyy

              The Japanese version of "too many cooks spoil the broth" is an expression which translates as "too many captains and the ship will attempt to climb a mountain."

          2. My stir fry. It's so gross.Runny and tastes like chalk.I'll leave it to the pros.

            1. Just about a week ago, a tofu vegetable stir fry. I put too much rice wine vinegar in the marinade, so that was all that the tofu tasted like. The broccoli I used was kind of old to begin with, and then I overcooked it. To give you a sense of what it looked like, when I put it on the table, my very sweet son said in great earnest, "Yum, I've never tried brown yellow broccoli before!" He and I agreed, it was awful. The only part that was remotely tasty was the baby bok choy.

              I choked some down the next day for lunch, but I had to call it quits after that.

              1. I tried making home made saurkraut, fermenting it myself in mason jars. It came out terrible and tasted awful. I'm lucky I didn't get sick off of it.

                1. Pho. On my birthday of all things. I decided that that was what i wanted (never attempted before) i made the stock with oxtails the day before and by the time i was shredding the meat i was over it. Something about the gelatinous goo that coated my hands and the smell of meat that i could not get off of me for what felt like days remdered it completely inedible for me

                  1. I slow-cooked a very good piece of pork into oblivion. It was actually crispy in spots. I couldn't bear throwing it out so I ground it up and made pork salad sandwiches.

                    1. About a month ago, I cooked a large roast beef dinner for five of us. I had a 2.5# tri tip, which I dry rubbed and left in the fridge uncovered for a day, a practice I've done hundreds of times before. For some reason, this particular roast dried out too quickly, and even though I roasted it at the same time & temp I always do, it came out waaay past medium.....totally overcooked it. Even when we sliced into it, there was barely any juice left in the poor thing..... Everyone else had no problem enjoying it, but I found it barely edible....good thing I had made a bunch of sides. At least the mashed potatoes, steamed green beans, salad & garlic bread were all fine.

                      1. I concocted a real lulu last Saturday night. The entrée was supposed to be cheddar-stuffed fried Dominican potato balls. In theory, this sounded great. Just boil some quartered potatoes to the mashing point, mash with some milk, mozzarella, and a little salt, then cook some more until the potato mixture becomes stiff and dry enough to shape into balls.

                        Then I was supposed to insert cubed cheddar into each ball, dredge through a mixture of flour and scotch bonnet powder, dredge through beaten eggs, and then breadcrumbs. The final step was frying until golden brown.

                        Problem was, the potatoes refused to stiffen and dry, consequently they were impossible to work with. Instead of Dominican cheddar potato balls for dinner, we had gummy mozzarella mashed potatoes.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                          Haha! It does sound delicious and simple. But you just never know where it can all go off the rails.
                          Hoping you have better meals this weekend :)

                          1. re: alliegator

                            "Hoping you have better meals this weekend :)"

                            That shouldn't be hard. ):

                        2. Skate. I love skate and it is hard to come by. Well...almost a year ago, I purchased some at the Farmers Market in Wayne, PA. I was so looking forward to my dinner of beautifully prepared Skate...I know that if the skate isn't fresh it can taste like amonia. Anyway, I knew this would NEVER happen b/c this fishmonger was supposed to be great. Lo and behold, as soon as I started to cook the fish, I could smell that amonia---but I was stubborn. I still made an attempt to eat it. It ended up in the trash and I have not had skate since.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: jarona

                            "It ended up in the trash and I have not had skate since."

                            Which makes me think of my incident with shrimp up above; I have not purchased shrimp since. Even from a more reputable source. It just takes one bad experience to turn you off to something for a while.

                            1. re: ttoommyy

                              Exactly! I saw the post regarding your shrimp..and no matter how beautiful the setting (i.e. terrace overlooking Hudson/NYC--I'm envious!), one bad food item can ruin an entire meal. In fact, I am petrified to purchase Monkfish when I see it...it's also not easy to get it where I live--and I love Lotte/Monkfish so much. I do NOT want it to turn into the skate experience!

                            2. re: jarona

                              I had the same stubbornness problem with a pile of shrimp recently. Caught the whiff of ammonia when shelling, but since it was late and had I had no other options (and I was dead set on a shrimp fest) decided to do a quick brine to see if I could make them palatable. Nope. Nope. Nope. It was painful to dump all that shrimp into the trash, but: blecch. I should have known, but we were really in the mood for shrimp. I'll never even attempt to combat the ammonia aroma again.

                            3. I did a brie en croute out of the seat of my pants. Puff pastry, brie, an expensive mustarda. Didn't get the oven heated hot enough and the whole thing dissolved into an oily mess of semi-cooked puff pastry and melted cheese. Tasted pretty good though.

                              1. The one that comes to mind is shrimp fried rice. The shrimp smelled just fine but when i put it in the wok the smell was a bit off but spending what i spent on the shrimp I pushed on. The taste of the chemical from the shrimp was in everything in the dish. Lucky it was mostly rice and veg and not more expensive ingredients.
                                Also I had a package of cubed steaks that smelled like curad bandaids that looked just fine and didn't smell off until it hit the heat. Those just hit the trash.
                                I over worcestershire sauced a beef stroganoff recently. Not inedible, just strong. Even more sour cream couldn't save it.

                                1. Back in 1983, in Perth, Australia. I attempted to cook Singapore-style Hainanese chicken rice for my Aussie classmates in college. The rice came out mushy (too much chicken stock), bland (Aussie ginger and garlic were not as assertive as the varieties we have in Singapore) and the chicken was tougher than I'd have liked. And no way I can procure pandan leaves (essential for the fragrance) in Perth in those days.
                                  My lunch guests lapped it all up anyhow, thinking it's some Asian risotto (the phrase "fusion food" was probably not even invented yet then). I never forgot how *bad* it was compared to the real thing one gets in Singapore.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: klyeoh

                                    My friend, I'm sure I would have happily gobbled this dish up.

                                    1. re: alliegator

                                      You're too kind. But that was the worst kitchen fiasco in my memory.

                                  2. I made a really bad clafouti recently. Got some nice figs and raspberries, used mostly almond flour plus some elderflower liqueur. The batter tasted great. I had high hopes.

                                    Once baked, it was just gooey mush. Probably too much fruit, and I didn't really measure the cream, so probably too much liquid as well. The delicate fig flavor was totally lost, couldn't taste the almond either (it wasn't toasted or anything). Just gross, and a waste of good ingredients.

                                    1. Of course no where near the worst kitchen disaster I've had (I think that would be from when I was 12 and made home made pizzas - didn't understand why the cheese wasn't brown, baked the damned things for an hour) but last night I made something I must have thrown together 50 times.

                                      Macaroni and cheese stovetop style - cook pasta, mostly drain, leave up to a cup of the cooking water in and throw in some butter, herbs and shredded cheeses - whatever scraps are in the fridge - and maybe a dollop of cream cheese or mascarpone if you have it. Last night I had some parmesan, emmental and a handful of mini-mozzarella balls leftover from making arancini.

                                      Threw it all in, started stirring and ended up with a big glob of the mozzarella, which all the herbs had also stuck to. It did not melt into the sauce at all. I basically had to fish it out, add some more herbs to the pasta and resentfully eat my macaroni with little cheese.

                                      Lesson learnt on that one - those tiny cheese balls have their purpose, and it isn't lazy cheese sauce.

                                      1. Forgot to rinse the inside cavity of a whole chicken. and cooked the neck, and organ meat with it. No fuss really, but was wrapped in some kind of cloth/paper bag. Ahhh. Chicken Salad then.