Per the request of an old friend from high school, (hi Karen!) I will share with you one of my most epic kitchen fails. Please don’t delete my blog from your RSS after this post. Are you impressed that I know what RSS is?
It was probably two or three Thanksgivings ago when our besties from Fayetteville came to visit. Laura and I planned this grandiose Thanksgiving feast, not skipping a single staple, but of course doing it our way. On the menu was sweet potato gnocchi. “Total cinch!” we chirped. I’ve made gnocchi from scratch before. Laura has made gnocchi from scratch before. What could go wrong? Oh, the naivety of our souls.
Things were looking so bright for us in the beginning: the boiling of the potatoes, the pressing through the ricer, even the combining with flour to make the dough. “Everyone is going to love this!” we sang. The pillows of gnocchi were made. A pot of boiling water awaited the little guys for a quick swim, before being transferred to a hot pan for final, quick sear in butter. This is where things took a turn. Once we dumped the gnocchi into the water, the pillows decided to lock hands in protest of their fate and become a pile of murky mush. Our eyes widened as we exchanged a quick glance, panic setting in. “Quick, try and separate them. Stir it around. HURRY!” This can’t be happening. After a couple of minutes of unmitigated failure, we transferred the mush into the hot pan, hoping that we can once more attempt to separate the soggy mess and let the buttery sear save the dish…and the day. Oversized sweat drops fell from our foreheads and arm pits as reality sets in. We’re totally sunk. Like any home cook would do in a time of crisis, we swiftly renamed the dish, “sweet potato hash.” That’s it. HASH!
You guys, it looked like a mound of over-buttered, over-worked, over-done sweet potato poo. Let’s not discuss taste, shall we?
While serving each guest we reverted back to the golden trick of, “hey, what’s that over there!” while refilling all their wine glasses in the hopes that a Thanksgiving buzz would keep them from ever knowing the embarrassing truth of what occurred only moments ago in the kitchen. The end.
Ok now tell me yours! Don’t be shy.
Pork Medallions with Peppers over Polenta:
What it took for 2: (adapted from Cooking Light)
* 1 (1 pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and cut crosswise into 1-inch medallions
* 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 ½-inch strips
* 1 yellow bell pepper, same thang
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 tbs. anchovy paste, or 4 anchovies, drained and mashed
* 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
* 1 Tbs. fresh sage or rosemary
* 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium. Lightly season the medallions with salt and pepper. Add the pork to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the pork and add the anchovy paste, a pinch of sage, garlic and bell peppers. Cook an additional 7 minutes, stirring once in a while. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a little more herbs.
Serve over soft polenta. Or sweet potato hash. KIDDING.