Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Testing another recipe

Monday night Marty and I, mostly Marty, tested another recipe for Cook's Illustrated.  (I was the wash up help) The recipe was for Szechuan Stir Fried Pork and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce.  It read yummy, we love to cook and eat Chinese food.  I thought this time I would show you some of the shopping we have to do for these recipes.

After Marty picked me up at the Marriage Factory, we were off to Whole Paycheck to buy ingredients, some of which we didn't think Safeway would carry.

Eggplant was the first ingredient we picked up.  Let's just say the globe eggplant was the most expensive in 9 counties.  It isn't called Whole Paycheck for nothing.

Next up boneless pork ribs.  How can they be ribs if no bone?  Just asking.  As for the specialty items we needed, they didn't carry them.

So  we go to almost where we started to China Town to get Chinese Black Vinegar and Asian Broad Bean Chili Paste.  The store we went to is pretty friendly to non Asians.  Some clerks speak English and some signs and products are in Chinese and English.  We still had to ask for help.  There were shelves of vinegar, and this was on the very bottom.

This is the wall of live fish, crab, lobster, and other interesting things that swim.  We get Dungeness Crab often.

Just a look at the signs.  Most stores in China Town do not have English signs.

Home, Marty is making one of the elaborate sauces.  One sauce has 9 ingredients and the other has 5.

Marty cutting the boneless ribs into small pieces.  Boneless ribs, that just makes me laugh.

Marty showing off flipping the eggplant. It is pretty impressive to watch.

Here he is adding the sauce to the stir fried pork.  It really smells yummy.

All ingredients are combined and ready to be plated.  Smells rich and spicy.

Ready to sit down and enjoy.  So we ate this lovely looking meal.  Did we enjoy it?  No.  It was bitter, little taste in spite of the 14 ingredients making up two sauces, and the texture was awful.  Szechuan food is hot and spicy, not this recipe.

Chinese food is multi textures, some soft, some firm, some in between.  This was just soft.  The eggplant was almost too soft (Remember we cook exactly as the recipe says.  We can not pull things out if we think it is overdone.).  The celery was firm, but there was too much of it.  The meat was soft with little flavor.  This was pork, how did this recipe kill the pork flavor?

Very disappointed by the meal.  Also it had some expensive ingredients.  It is one thing if the meal is good to spend money, but not OK if the meal is bad.  Marty threw the recipe in the trash.

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