Flop (Pt 2)

I told you this week has been a doozy. It produced not one, but two flops in the kitchen as well as having the effect of demoralizing me in the process. One recipe disaster was due to my own hubris (assuming I knew better than an established, well-respected canon of culinary recipes.) The second one… That was an entirely different issue. And I’m still not entirely sure what went wrong where.

When we got married, my MIL gave me a copy of a tried and tested Brazilian cookbook. The Mr’s step-father is Brazilian so they were all accustomed to mixing good ol’ American cuisine with splashes of Brazilian. To this day, special occasions are celebrated at a wonderful local Brazilian restaurant. If you’re ever in Arlington, TX and want a more low-key Brazilian experience, Chamas do Brazil is where it’s at! Texas de Brazil is fantastic for an upscale night out, but Chamas is super-accessible and you won’t have to wear a tie!

Delightful Brazilian Cooking by Eng Tie Ang hasn’t let me down… before. Every other recipe I’ve made has turned out perfectly. I don’t really know why we didn’t like this recipe. It was pretty much a Brazilian version of a chicken pot pie. Sounds good, right? I thought so too. Everybody likes a pot pie! I’m even down for a few different ingredients thrown in usually. We’re fairly adventurous, but this chicken pie was for the birds!

Let’s just say everything was going fine until I got down to the middle of the recipe and things took a sharp left turn when I hit “2 tablespoons ketchup.” Ketchup. In a chicken pie. Huh? I sallied forth however, blindly accepting the recipe as written. All the ingredients were good in and of themselves, but combined… I’m not so sure. Another recipe I found suggests sauteéing a chopped tomato with the garlic and onion. I think I would have preferred this method. Also, warm hearts of palm, and hard-boiled egg, and olives in a chicken pie… Not that appetizing.

I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned before, but I’m still struggling with the perfect pie crust. Couple this with a problematic recipe and it was a disaster waiting to happen. I think my eggs were too small. That’s all I have for that. I don’t know. I cut in the butter like one should, but it never quite came together. So added in the egg whites, but it never quite came together. So I cut in another couple tablespoons of butter, but it never quite came together. So I drizzled in some heavy whipping cream and it still didn’t quite come together. It was too dry any which way I worked it and it didn’t roll out with the smooth elasticity one would expect. I would have been more successful to have just relied on Pillsbury. Pillsbury has never let me down… yet.

The only redeeming thing about this dish was the chicken. I seasoned 1lb of chicken thighs with Sazón Goya con Azafrán all over — oh I swapped out chicken breast for thighs to maintain flavor and tenderness during a second cooking — and The Mr grilled them. It was so good and would have been great with just a side of white rice! Don’t let this tarnish your view of the cookbook. Its actually quite good! The feijoada is amazing! There’s always one dud, right? Rework this recipe and drop your spin in the comments or in my DMs by Saturday, April 18th, 2020. The best one gets a prize from me!

Ingredients (Filling):
2tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1lg onion, finely chopped (I used half an onion and half a shallot)
2c cooked chicken thighs, grilled & cubed
2tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
2tbsp white flour
1tsp salt
2tbsp white pepper
2tbsp ketchup
1c chopped palm heart
1/4c milk
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/4c green olives, sliced

Ingredients (Crust):
2-1/2c white flour, sifted
1/4tsp salt
1/2c butter
3 egg yolks

Instructions:
1) Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the butter in a deep pot and sauteé the garlic, onion, and shallot until tender and brown.
2) Add the chicken, parsley, flour, salt, pepper, ketchup, palm heart, and milk. Stir well for a couple minutes until the mixture is creamy and well combined. Remove to a bowl and cool slightly while making the crust.
3) In a large bowl, make the crust by mixing flour, salt, butter, and two egg yolks. Divide the dough into two equal portions.
4) Roll one portion into a 12in circle. Place the 12in disc into a 9in pie plate and fill with the chicken mixture. Layer with the sliced eggs and olives over top.
5) Roll out the second portion of dough into a 10in circle and place over the filling. Fold the upper crust under the edge of the lower crust and pinch together to make a raised edge.
6) Brush with one beaten egg yolk and bake the pie for 30min or until the top crust is golden brown.

Yes, this week has been long and truly humbling. What a way to go into Easter weekend. Time to focus on what this weekend is really about. Now it’s your turn. Rework this recipe for me. And please don’t just copy-and-paste from another internet source. Get creative!

What is something that sounded exciting that turned out just. plain. awful?

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