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Worst dish(es) you've ever made


Kevin72
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All right, I can't believe this hasn't already been done here, but I did a number of searches and didn't come up with anything. Still, feel free to merge this topic if I'm just a search engine dolt.

What are the worst dishes you've ever made? Maybe this is along the lines of the "I will never again . . ." thread since most of our worst dishes come from a mistake somewhere along the line (right? :wink: ).

My top three, no order:

Fennel and Broccoli Rabe Soup My first experience using broccoli rabe. I wanted to make a double batch so just double the broccoli rabe, right? WRONG! Insanely bitter. Dumped the whole thing after two bites. Looking back though I can't see how that soup is supposed to work, though.

The Horseradish soup mentioned in the Horseradish thread. Again, too much of a key ingredient.

Squid ink risotto All together now: too much of the main ingredient. This was just oozing the ink everywhere, gave it a tarry consistency.

At any rate, all three of these were so bad that I'm not sure I can ever even attempt them again without dredging up unpleasant memories. Really the only one I'd want to try again is the risotto but I don't think the wife would go along. Fortunately, I've not yet >furiously searches for some wood to knock on< had a dish go massively wrong for a large crowd or dinner party.

Step up to the mic!

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Do we mean worst as in worst results, worst tasting, or worst in terms of classiness, etc? Horrible but good?

The worst thing I ever made I actually made several years in a row for Superbowl Night. I made a "Nacho Lasagne" which consisted of layers of store bought tortilla chips with browned ground beef seasoned with "taco" seasoning and salsa. Then I would add chopped canned jalapenos and use several different types of commercial shredded cheese. Bake the sucker in a Pyrex dish for about 20 minutes or so, serve to guests with hot sauce and cold beer.

Actually, I want to make it again. Its been at least 7 or 8 years. But I am considering the Ms. Lucy Zaunbrecher Tater Tot Casserole instead.

Jason Perlow, Co-Founder eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

Foodies who Review South Florida (Facebook) | offthebroiler.com - Food Blog (archived) | View my food photos on Instagram

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Do we mean worst as in worst results, worst tasting, or worst in terms of classiness, etc? Horrible but good?

The worst thing I ever made I actually made several years in a row for Superbowl Night. I made a "Nacho Lasagne" which consisted of layers of store bought tortilla chips with browned ground beef seasoned with "taco" seasoning and salsa. Then I would add chopped canned jalapenos and use several different types of commercial shredded cheese. Bake the sucker in a Pyrex dish for about 20 minutes or so, serve to guests with hot sauce and cold beer.

Actually, I want to make it again. Its been at least 7 or 8 years.

Jason, you could class that up by layering corn tortillas, beef and stuff, with other corn tortillas, topped with cheese and perhaps onions and bake in a spring-form pan. Bake about 35 to 40 minutes, let rest 5 minutes, remove the spring-form, cut into wedges.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I agree, the Nacho Lasagna sounds pretty tasty, actually.

My worst:

When I was around 12 or 13 I embarked on my first attempt to make gravey. I had seen my dad cook many gravey-like things in the past, but didn't really know what recipe went with what kind of gravey, and since he never cooked from written recipes, I didn't have any to go off of anyway. So, in my quest to make some sausage gravey top some pillsbury biscuits, I combined all of the gravey knowledge I had, which involved elements of recipes for sausage gravey, red eye gravey, and ham glaze. The finished 'product' contained coke, frozen orange juice concentrate, jarred turkey gravey, flour, sausage, coffee grinds, and bacon grease. Despite the presence of bacon grease, it was pretty damn foul, even the dog wouldn't eat it.

Another experience from my HS days: I was trying to bake gingerbread to sell at a bake sale/concession stand type thing that was running during a drama production I was involved in. Well, who needs recipes? Having never made gingerbread before I was obviously an expert, and just went at it, mixing this and that, spices that smelled good, sugar, baking soda, eggs, whatever. Well, into a pan and into the oven it went, but it never actually set, just became sort of like a thick custard... but it did taste really good. Thus, it was relabled 'gingerbread pudding' and sold in little dixie cups.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I came home hammered one evening and made spaghetti and put anchovies and Nutella in it.

Sounds like something that would be inspired by other types of substance abuse... ;)

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Potato puree with smoked trout. Conceptually, it sounded ok, there is a greek appetizer where you pound smoked trout and add it to potatoes to use as a dip.

Anyways, tasted kinda scary...too much trout, and it didn't seem promising enough to retry the experiment.

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Never use recipes from in-laws that can't cook. Tried to make a rice-paella-type thing for my ex that his mother used to make all the time. It never cooked. I think it was in the oven for 4 hours and the rice was still crunchy, and the entire "finished" product tasted something like paste. It got tossed and I think we had carrots for dinner.

Then there are all the recipe blunders that I have made. I think the absolute worst was not really a cooking oops, but I had a really bad migraine one night and was loopy with painkillers and decided to just throw a steak in the oven. Fast, easy, don't have to think. Sitting on the couch, I could smell something funny. Thought that it was time to flip the steak, that must be what I'm smelling. Since I had a migraine, I thought the odd smell was just something to do with that, it had nothing to do with the food. Took steak out, looked gorgeous, but smelled just foul, oh well, eat it anyway, the steak was sour! I think that is the worse thing that I have ever made.

**Side note, My dad is a butcher, normally I can spot bad meat a mile away**

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A little over 20 years ago, when I was not long out of college and determined to learn to cook, I found a recipe in either Bon Appetit or Gourmet for a salad of mushrooms in aioli. So I purchased fresh mushrooms, garlic, and whatever else I needed, and set to work with my trusty Cuisinart.

The stuff was so garlicky it was inedible. Still, I was determined to forge ahead. I was not going to waste what were, on my meager Campbell's-soup-level salary, expensive ingredients. Over the next couple of days, I ate 3 or 4 servings of it, and each time, a couple of hours later would have a horribly uncomfortable belly. Not to mention the ...shall we say... outward-directed physical manifestations one has, following having a horribly uncomfortable belly. I reeked of garlic. I finally threw the stuff out.

Years later, when thinking back on the whole sordid affair, I realized that at the time, I hadn't understood the difference between heads of garlic and cloves of garlic. Considering that each head has roughly 10 cloves, I literally would have used 10 times the amount of garlic the recipe called for.

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Has anyone else ever made that tuna fish/potato chip/cream of something soup casserole? They actually taught us how to make it in Girl Scouts (in Pensacola, Florida if that explains anything) when I was about 9. It was the first thing I think I cooked by myself. I just loved it. My mother used to throw it away when I wasn't looking.

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Do we mean worst as in worst results, worst tasting, or worst in terms of classiness, etc? Horrible but good?

The worst thing I ever made I actually made several years in a row for Superbowl Night. I made a "Nacho Lasagne" which consisted of layers of store bought tortilla chips with browned ground beef seasoned with "taco" seasoning and salsa. Then I would add chopped canned jalapenos and use several different types of commercial shredded cheese. Bake the sucker in a Pyrex dish for about 20 minutes or so, serve to guests with hot sauce and cold beer.

Actually, I want to make it again. Its been at least 7 or 8 years. But I am considering the Ms. Lucy Zaunbrecher Tater Tot Casserole instead.

that's not too far from frito pie, actually.

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Once, I found a recipe for a very low-fat mole type sauce online--the only fat was from a tiny bit of chocolate added at the end. I made a special visit to a Latin grocery and bought all the tomatillos, chiles, etc. For two nights after work I dutifully roasted, pureed, chopped and otherwise processed various vegetables. On the third night I invited a good friend over to join me and my then-boyfriend, now-spouse. We were all vegetarians at the time, and I thought this might not be bad over some chewy tofu--so I made tofu enchiladas and dumped the sauce on top. It was TERRIBLE. Nothing like the darkly mysterious mole I'd had in restaurants, nothing unctuous or flavorful--just crappy pureed veggies with a bit of chocolate and no fat. The tofu just sucked it up and looked dry. Ick.

Lessons: Don't make low-fat sauces expecting the original recipe to pop out of them.

Tofu belongs in Asian cuisine or otherwise in an intelligent starring role, not as a sub for chicken.

Mole belongs on chicken or turkey or maybe pork, and there is no good vegetarian substitute.

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I tried to fry up some small, peeled fingerling potatoes that I discovered in the fridge way back when I was in high school. I sliced them up, threw them in the pan, and cooked away. No browning, no tenderizing. They were damn water chestnuts, something my mother never EVER used in the friggin' house.

Speaking of my mother, she tells a great "worst dish" story. I was but a babe, and my mother was making pork chops, holding me on her hip. With 3 older brothers running around the house, she'd easily get distracted. However, she continued to make the chops, adding some water from time to time from a styrofoam cup she had sitting on the counter beside the stove. As dinner time approached, one of my brothers came into the kitchen, crying. My mom asked him what was wrong, and he said, "Someone stole all my fishing worms that dug up. I had them in a styrofoam cup."

Well, my mom turned white as a sheet. She took the lid off the frying pan, and there you had a typical example of her culinary genius: pork chops a la earthworm. I don't recall what we ended up eating that night. :wink:

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Dean, what a great story!

Bwahahaha. :laugh:

My worst was just the other night, easiest thing in the world. Sectioned grapefruit with cinnamon sugar on top, broiled for a minute or two.

My son (age 5) took one bite and made the "yuck" face. Thinking he was just being picky I scolded him for it and said "See, it's delicious!" and took a bite myself. Then promptly made the yuck face too. Salt and cinnamon on top of grapefruit tastes absolutely horrible. Sometimes you need to believe your kids.

Very sad, I ruined two lovely texas ruby grapefruits.

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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A few years ago I made a Turkey-Mustard Meatloaf. My husband took one bite, ran to the trash can and spit it out. That's rude isn't it? It was truly awful though. The recipe used to be on-line but I can't find it now. I'm sure a pizza-delivery company was responsible for it because after making the vile concoction for dinner thousands of families had to call out for pizza after tasting it.

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my worst: In college, enthused by cooking, decided to make lentil soup for some friends. Gathered my meez, followed the recipe to a tee. I don't still have the recipe but i know it was tomato based broth. Decided to cook the soup in my brand new cast iron dutch oven (yeah, i know..but i was still too green to see the big flashing neon sign saying "BAD IDEA") The soup wasn't altogether inedible but it had an awful tinny taste. Afterwards one of the girls started laughing and said my teeth were grey. I was shocked because i thought HER teeth were REALLY grey. Nice girl, bad hygene was what i thought. Well, ALL our teeth were grey. Soup went in the trash. Teeth were fine in a day or so, but there was some consternation on when and if this color was going to go away...and i didn't have an answer. i was SO mortified. Trying to show off i thought i ruined all our teeth! Still have that dutch oven tho :biggrin:

...and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce it tastes alot more like prunes than rhubarb does. groucho

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While I was learning about sauce thickeners early in my cooking life, I made an inedible version of chicken and snow pea "stir-fry" that was known among my college roommates as "chicken with corn starch." :huh:

edited to fix a pesky preposition -- ca

Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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My hands down worst was a LARGE pot of cream of crab soup from some food magazine that I tried making several years ago when I first started getting into cooking. I don't remember the exact recipe or amounts, but of course it called for a small fortune in crab and, more importantly, some flour as a thickening agent.

It might as well have called for a sack of Quick-crete from Home Depot.

I've heard of soups being described as being as thick as wallpaper paste, but this ended up thicker and more resilient, almost like a dense ball of bread dough. I'm sure if I put it in a bread pan with a little yeast I might have had something. But it sure wasn't soup.

And the scary thing is - I'm sure I followed the recipe faithfully.

Bill Russell

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To this day I don't know what went wrong with the fish in question, but my husband tried making his standard fish recipe with a different fish than usual. It was something innocuous: cod, perhaps? The sauce is a butter-lemon-garlic-mustard thing more or less lifted from a favorite restaurant in Egypt, and we generally have it on something like salmon that will stand up to the sauce. Whatever the problem (fish getting old?) the fish went indescribably bitter, and the smell was horrible. Being thrifty souls, we ate it anyway and suffered no ill effects - but the leftovers languished in the refrigerator until I took them to work for lunch. The smell from the microwave oven wafted down both floors and along both halls. It was months before I lived that down. I wish I knew what went wrong so we could avoid a repetition of that fiasco, but all I really know is that if we ever get that smell again I'm breaking out the cheese for the night.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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The worst dessert I ever made was a double chocolate cake from my grandmothers cookbook. The book gave a list, incl. measurements, of the ingredients and the oven temperature and approx. time to bake it. I put all the ingredients in a large bowl, mixed it up a bit and put it in a pan and into the oven. I took it out of the oven and it didn't look as high as Mom's so I put a LOT of frosting on it. This was a special surprise for my parents at dinner that night. It was quite a surprise......I'll never forget the look on my fathers face when he took the first bite -- chocolate lead was more like it! Nobody had mentioned that you have to beat cake batter. :blink: I was forgiven as I was only 10 at the time.

The most recent worst meal resulted from a discussion between my SO and I about how I NEVER follow a new recipe because I have training (that is not the real reason, of course) and proceeded to tell me he wanted Osso Bucco made from a particular recipe. Well, the recipe in question had a LARGE amount of orange zest in the recipe, not just the gremolata and just by looking at it I worried. But, in the spirit I made it as directed. At first, disgustingly orange-y but not awful. However, we all know what happens to zest when it's cooked in a sauce for a long period of time while braising the meat....it was the most bitter, God-awful shite I have ever tried!!!! :shock::angry: Needless to say, my wonderful :huh: SO has never forced me to follow a recipe against my better judgement again. :laugh::laugh:

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Tomato surprise. Basically a homemade version of Skillet Lasagna. We bought the ground beef from a small market on the way to Yosemite in March. Eat dinner, drink the rest of the wine, and so to bed as it starts to snow. We are in a tent sleeping on the ground. Minor stomach discomfort, worse, worse, where the hell is the bathroom? 50 yards in a snowstorm out of a sleeping bag. Repeat 4 times that night. Since then I've always been real careful about were I buy my meat. It also affected my tent mate the same way. :laugh::laugh::laugh: Now

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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