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Failed experiment

Saturday, February 02, 2013

I had most of a big bag of corn getting old in my freezer so I decided to make Southwestern corn chowder. I put the corn in my biggest saucepot and added a chopped onion, poblano, cumin, salt, pepper, and ONE canned chipotle. I thought in a big pot of soup the chipotle would provide a nice background heat without being overpowering. Boy, was I wrong! I'm a heatphobe and should know better (although I AM trying to expand my horizons). But even the steam cooking off of it made me cough. I ended up having to dump the whole thing, which is depressing. Right now I feel like a candidate for Worst Cooks In America!

I'm getting my groceries on Friday and I'm going to try again, although I won't use the chipotle this time. I will use the poblano, which is not too hot for me, and maybe some smoked paprika to give it the smoky taste?

Gee, do you suppose this happens to Bobby (or any of my other Food Network "friends")?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm sure even the best chefs have mishaps. Good luck with the second batch

    1391 days ago
    I remember making stuffed corn bread once. Well I thought I would give it a little kick by using red pepper flakes. Boy did it kick, I couldn't even eat it. My heat loving family members loved it
    1400 days ago
    We learn from what doesn't work as much as we learn by what does. Sorry for the disappointment.
    1401 days ago
    I'm sure this happens to everyone who ever cooks. We all learn from our mistakes and go one to do better.
    1401 days ago
    Those big stars had to start somewhere. And I know you watch Chopped an how many times those chefs burn stuff. Keep trying until you fel it is perfect, but get other opinions each time, too.
    1401 days ago
    sounds like some of my cooking experiments..but practice makes perfect and sure it is the same with those on the cooking channels.
    1401 days ago
    I'm pretty sure every cook has a pretty hefty list of *fails* in his/her past, and I'm really sure that includes Bobby, along with just about everyone else on FN! It's just what is possible when you try something new. I'm sure it'll turn out much better next time, since you now know what not to do. Other than the extreme heat, it sounds delicious. Let us know how the next batch turns out.
    1401 days ago
    I puree the whole can of chipotles in adobo sauce, keep them in the freezer, and then just use a bit at a time. It keeps for awhile and adds that smoke when you want it, without the heat. I don't like hot foods either but DH thinks the hotter the better. He just adds extra chipotle hot sauce when he needs it. The amount that I add to things is way less than one full pepper but it does make a difference. Good luck with the next batch!
    1401 days ago
  • LIS193
    Things like that happen to anyone! Chipoltes are very hot - hope you have more success with the milder chiles.
    1401 days ago
    I suspect that any good recipe has undergone many revisions, with the "duds" being truly inedible. I can't stand spicy heat in most anything, so I try to redesign recipes to avoid that stuff. Unfortunately, I'm not really good at choosing what might be a good substitute, so lots of my attempts are one-shot deals. This doesn't prevent my continued forays into recipe makeovers, though!

    I'm sorry to hear about your chowder. I think chicken corn chowder has to be one of my very favorite soups! ....sans peppers, however! LOL Anyway - don't give up. You'll find the right mix for you. Stick with it.
    1402 days ago
    1402 days ago
    Putting heat in something can be so hard! Patrick loves it but the kids and I are more conservative about it. You almost can't go backwards huh? Once you have to much no matter what you do it just seems to expand! I have done what you did for sure. Good luck with the next batch!
    1402 days ago
    Absolutely, yes, food flops happen to even the best of them. Did you know that fudge was discovered by mistake when someone did something wrong with the chocolate candy they were making? It takes the experimentation to learn what works, what doesn't, how things work together, and more.
    1402 days ago
    Of course they made and probably still do make mistakes here and there. I know you will find your way with the corn chowder, Make sure to put that recipe up.
    1402 days ago
    I have had a few cooking mistakes myself. The best thing to do is to learn from the experience and keep trying.
    1402 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    How about some ancho chili powder instead of the Paprika or you could use Smoky Paprika. Yes, I think they've all had disasters too. Bobby on Throwdown makes several attempts before he gets what he thinks might have a chance against his worthy opponent. I have had more than my share of failures, too - we all do. Chalk it up to experience.
    1402 days ago
    It's not a failure if it teaches you something, even if it's only what NOT to do! Any cook/chef who denies having had any failures is a liar!
    emoticon emoticon
    1402 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/2/2013 11:34:47 PM
    I am sorry about your soup. There are two chefs in our family and they are REALLY good cooks, bakers, one can't make biscuits that don't turn out like hockey pucks, and the other, well, he has never been able to boil and egg properly, but what they do make is exquisite. They are well known around here, and have good followings. SO, Yes I am sure ALL chefs have their days when nothing seems to work out quite right. You just had one today. Trials make the seasoning right. If you didn't try, you wouldn't be able to do some of the great things that you do make.
    1402 days ago
    maybe one chili would be OK for me but we all make mistakes
    1402 days ago
    Sometimes I think we would be quite wealthy if we had all the money from all the food I have ruined over the years. I could probably compete for the title of worse cook in the world.

    I like hot stuff though. Before my son was born, if I fixed chili, or Mexican, or Chinese food, I would make it so hot, we would have to keep a box of kleenex on the table while we were eating. Had to tone it down, but we are slowly acclimating him to the hotter side of life.
    1402 days ago
  • LINDAF49
    We all have those trial and error things that just don;t turn dear husband eats a lot of them but a few we just quietly toss and have a dish of cottage cheese or can of soup. But by trial and error, we find some really good things too!! I have done a lot of trials since diagnosed celiac and have had to go gluten free...still good many things do turn out well and my dear husband is very brave!

    Keep on doing and succeeding will happen more often.
    1402 days ago
    Sorry for the mishap and the waste of food. I'm sure all of your 'guys' have had disasters worse than that, but of course, those get cut out of the final edit of the show, when someone brings a picture-perfect version of the dish out of the back kitchen.

    Peppers are a funny thing to work with anyway; this is chile country, and a chile grower once told me that chiles are so sensitive to growing conditions that the soil on one side of the field may make the plants much hotter or milder than the other side of the same field. Even they don't know what a particular combination of conditions will give them.

    As for Worst Cooks in America, you'd have some awfully strong competition. I've made a few things so bad the dog wouldn't eat them, and he drags home road kill. emoticon

    1402 days ago
    Okay, so it was too hot for you... I'm sure there are lots of others (and possibly me) who would have thought it was perfect. That diversity can make it hard for any cook to please the masses.

    And I'm sure that your heroes have disappointments every day they are perfecting a new recipe. I see that you are already thinking about trying something different with it. That's a good thing...

    1402 days ago
  • LINDA!
    I do think that the famous chefs have terrible disasters. You never know how a dish will turn out until you try.
    1402 days ago
    I feel relatively sure Ted Allen, Bobby Flay, Alton Brown have had there share of failures. If they had not they wouldn't be. The great chef's they are. We all learn by our mistakes. You could also add a small amount of the adobo sauce the chipotle are in for spice. That would also impart some smokey flavor, but Addams tiny amount and continue to taste till it's the right taste for you. Good luck.
    1402 days ago
    I bet they have as many failures as success. We never see their failure.
    1402 days ago
    Seriously?? YES! I'm sure hundreds of failures. Really!!! That's how recipes are perfected! Keep on trying. The basic recipe sounds good!

    1402 days ago
    I think all cooks make mistakes through trial and error. Even the best!
    1402 days ago
    thats alot of different flavors you have more guts than i do
    1402 days ago
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