Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Food Disasters: So Sorry, Dave!




Chef Anne Feinman

As I was preparing to write a Chef’s Table story today, my son John came into my office to share an event that occurred last night at our restaurant. So, first off, in writing for the world to see….we are so sorry, Dave Purcell! You can keep the t-shirt, too!….oops, John just told me you need a different size, so stop in this week…and I promise all ketchup bottles will be restrained.

Most kitchen blow-ups are harmless, and can lead to a funny story to tell later. As, I hope Dave will be able to, once he gets the smell of ketchup off his face and washes his clothes.

Yes, summer is upon us, and exploding ketchup bottles (this one was plastic), remind me of 4th of July fireworks. Warm weather and ketchup bottles don’t mix.

So thanks, Dave, for the inspiration for this week’s story…your next lunch is on me!

How many times have you gone to shake a spice or bottle of hot sauce…and the cap was loose? The stories we could all share would make for lively reading, I am certain. I remember last year when I was preparing sausage gravy and New England clam chowder at the same time….and I picked up a bag of baby clams and stirred them into the sausage gravy…yech! Or try making salad dressings, and add ketchup to your blue cheese dressing instead of your thousand island. One of these days, I am certain I will create a fantastic new recipe, from a mistake. Wish me luck, because these two disasters aren’t even close!

Last week I was having a debate with my nine year old grandson, Frank, about who makes the best pork chops, and he was adamant that his dad, our son John, made the very best! Well, I was up for that challenge and went to furrow around in the pantry. I was committed to making pork chops, and I would use what I had on hand. No bread crumbs, but I had Club crackers that I crushed in a plastic bag. Next, into the refrigerator, no eggs and no milk, but I had mayonnaise and half n’ half creamer. The pork chops were going to become pork tenderloin sliced and slightly pounded. Then I dipped them in a blend of the creamer and mayonnaise, with a final coating of the cracker crumbs. I sauteed them in a hot skillet with a blend of butter and canola oil. Salt and pepper to taste, and voila… I took a bite of the most moist and tender pork chops that I would serve to Frank and sister, Rebecca. I plated these pork chops with love and served them up with great anticipation. Guess what? Rebecca and I thought they were delicious…but Frank had the last words. “Dad’s are better!” Well, that was a disaster for my ego!

Resist the urge to throw your disaster into the garbage and most of all don’t panic. Don’t think you’ve failed, you just haven’t succeeded yet. I am always looking for different ways of preparing my favorite meals. I blend flavors and textures, looking for the ideal combinations. Some I have deemed disasters and others have become your favorites on our menu here at Mangos Dockside Bistro at The Esplanade. Join us soon, for a great meal… We’re sure to make you smile. Wear red if you are intimidated by Dave’s ketchup disaster!

I look forward to seeing you soon in our new location at The Esplanade. Remember, Chefs Express has moved and is now enjoying a beautiful view of Smokehouse Bay, and has been incorporated into the catering division of Mangos and Lilly B’s Specialty Market. 239-393-2433.

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