Misadventures in the Kitchen
I haven’t posted or written a recipe in a while, but I’ve been doing some experimenting. Dinner every night hasn’t sucked, but I have had more failures than I usually do! There have actually been 3 different products/recipes I cooked with over the past week that have all been terrible. So terrible that I threw the rest away even though the products were expensive. I don’t want to go in guns blazing, complaining, but I don’t typically have a weak stomach.
Failure 1: Shirataki Noodles
First I cooked with shirataki noodles. I bought them on Amazon after reading about them on The Skinny Confidential. Lauryn raved about these miracle, zero calorie noodles. They had a few different varieties available, including fettucine, angel hair, and rice. I love fettuccine, so I ordered a 6-pack of them. Shirataki noodles are made from a tuber/root that grows in the ocean. I googled it, and it’s a konjac plant, which kind of looks like a radish.
When the noodles arrived, they were packed in water, which honestly turned me off immediately, but I had spent about $30 on the things, so I was determined to cook with them at least once! Googling around led me to some tips. First, beware the smell (not a great start. PS- it smells like dead fish). So the advice was to rinse them thoroughly under water, then boil them without a lid. After that, you dry-sauté them (no oil) until they’re less soggy. Then mix a little of whatever sauce you’re using into it before serving. It seems like a lot of work, and it was.
I ended up making this curry because the noodles look kind of like Thai noodles, so I figured it was a good jumping off point. I served the curry over the noodles, took my first bite, and tried to chew it. But it never broke down. It was like chewing rubber bands, and worse, it looked like tapeworms. Honestly I can see how these promote weight loss because the thought of them makes me physically ill, and I immediately threw out my curry and the rest of the packages. I got a new bowl of curry and put it over some jasmine rice that I had made for the rest of the family.
Some things just aren’t worth it. But like I said, if you keep these noodles around, you won’t be tempted to eat, so maybe they are good for weight loss!
Failure 2: Duck
I’ve always been an adventurous eater when it comes to exotic stuff, with the exception of less common meats and proteins. I’ll try any vegetable, grain, fruit, or international cuisine. But when it comes to meats, I don’t want to venture much farther than chicken, beef, salmon, and shellfish.
That being said, ALDI had duck. It came with an orange sauce, which sounded really good to me. Duck sounded really appealing, like kinda Christmasy, you know? It came shrink-wrapped, and I was going to put it straight into the oven like a rotisserie chicken. Except that is came with all the giblets inside, which I didn’t enjoy touching. It also had this huge ass flap of fat that I cut off with scissors before cooking.
The finished product came out like it was supposed to, I guess. But overall, it was too gamey. The skin was too thick and fat. And to compare directly, it does not taste like chicken.
My kids hated it. We collectively probably ate about 6 ounces of it, and I didn’t even save any for Jon (he was working that night). Luckily that night I made these peas and some really amazing polenta that I need to make again and write up for a post (they’re flavored with rosemary, cream cheese, and some other things…yum). So we were unintentionally vegetarian that night.
Failure 3: Truffle Mac & Cheese
This one wasn’t such a personal failure because it was just a boxed mix. But it certainly kept my appetite at bay. Again, ALDI had these prepackaged mac and cheese in some interesting flavors. The one that sounded the best was the Truffle flavor. One thing I like about ALDI (aside from the prices) are the specialty items they have. I love the kale salad kit, the pumpkin chipotle pasta sauce, and the pumpkin cider.
So you basically make this just like Kraft mac and cheese. When I make boxed mix, I always add sour cream and a little butter instead of just milk. But as soon as I opened the seasoning packet, I truly almost vomited. I’m telling you, I do not have a weak stomach, and I am definitely not pregnant. It smelled like old socks. I told my family I can’t eat it, and it’s okay if you don’t eat it either. They all gave it a good try, and Ben actually ate the most (he loves carbs of any kind).
Sorry ALDI, I can’t get on board with this one. They did have a pesto version and a mascarpone sundried tomato version, too. I feel like the mascarpone one would be really good.
Anyway, I’m definitely not an expert in the kitchen, but rarely do I have so many nights where dinner was not only inedible, but made me feel sick, too. Let’s hope this week is better for dinner!