It’s been a while since I royally messed up something in the kitchen. I’ve gotten good at salvaging curry that is too spicy, pastas that are downright bland, sauces that taste flat or too salty. I’ve learned to scrape the burned parts off bread and pizza (or just learned to like the blackened bits). I’ve figured out what to do with overcooked chicken, and I can even bring (some) sad greens back to life. But this past week, I screwed up bad, and even I couldn’t find a way to correct it.
I went to quickly broil some asparagus to nestle up next to seared scallops with balsamic pan sauce and rosemary roasted potatoes. (I actually overcooked the scallops, but the sauce was tasty and covered that up.) I tossed the asparagus in some oil, salt and pepper and stuck them under the broiler for a few minutes. When I checked them, they were starting to brown, but were still crisp. In the midst of the scallop fiasco, I forgot about the asparagus, and when I remembered them they were equal parts blackened and mushy. In short: not an awesome combination.
Seriously, even just trying to transfer them from pan to platter proved a challenge. They were long stringy spears of green mush. Yum! On a more creative day, and with a bit more time, I might have figured SOMETHING out. (Asparagus soufflés?) But, with the rest of the meal done and plated, there was no time avert disaster, just forge on ahead. So, I served them—with a hefty side of self-deprecation and apology. And, of course, the meal was fine,
But when it came time to make dinner the next night. I vowed not to let my skinny green nemesis get the best of me. This time, I wrapped them in prosciutto and grilled them lightly. But, I was a little grill-shy and pull them off at the slightest indication of doneness, so they ended up quite crispy (if we’re being kind). Of course, the now-crispy pork blanket I had wrapped the asparagus in saved me from another egregious cooking error.
So, I tried them ONE more time. Perfection!