Friday Fuck Up: Bobby Flay I’m Not

Sometimes, you can pinpoint the exact moment when a dish goes wrong. Other times, you get to the end, give the food a taste, and think, “What the hell happened?!” And then, there are the times when things are bad, bad, bad, from start to finish. And even though you see it coming, you are powerless to stop it. Yep, that was me in my attempt at a chile rellenos of sorts.

It began with a trip to LA Mart in Silver Spring, my favorite spot for out-of-season produce from exotic locales. I usually stop in sometime during the dead of winter when I just can’t eat one more carrot. This time, I picked up some pointy, green, poblanno-esque peppers, figuring I could stuff them, cover them in cheese and call it a dinner.

I got home and the trouble began. I roasted the peppers on the stove, where they got all blistery and black looking. Not sure if that was good or not, but I soldiered on. The recipe I used directed me to scrape off the black bits and core the peppers, leaving a nice, smoky shell. What I ended up with were several limp, slimy green sheets. But I continued. The filling would redeem them, I figured. Plus, they would be covered in cheese.

The filling was about what you’d expect—black beans, tomatoes, spices—with one addition: grapefruit. A bit odd, I thought, but I was willing to give it a try. It could be one of those surprisingly delicious combinations, like pickles and cream cheese wrapped in corned beef.

Nope. It was just bad. It was hard to nail down what exactly was bad about it, which means it was also impossible to correct. But I now had about four cups of the stuff, so I stumbled blindly on. I “stuffed” the slimy pepper sheets with the grapefruit-black bean blend.

For the grand finale of this whole disaster, I tried to bread the damned things. I had my stations all set up just like Rachael Ray. But the breading wouldn’t stick, probably because the peppers were so slimy. At this point, I was well aware of the ridiculousness of this endeavor, but I couldn’t stop.

I stuck the whole pan in the oven and prayed for some kind of miraculous alchemical process to turn my leaden concoctions into gold. No such luck.

My husband put his game face on, I swallowed my pride, and we ate the poor things, mainly to put an end to their miserable existence. At least the cheese was good.

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  • B May 20, 2011  

    What a weird recipe. My roasted peppers always come out kind of slimy, definately not stuffable. I feel like it should have just been slightly cooked before stuffing and not peeled

  • BS May 20, 2011  

    wow, your final fuck up photo is amazing. I don’t think you messed up the roasting phase. Every time I’ve made chile rellenos that’s exactly what you do – char the peppers til black and peel off the skin. Big question is why the breading didn’t stick. The recipe I use here: calls for a fairly crazy method that involves separating the egg whites and yolks, beating the whites til stiff, then mixing back together, so that it’s all fluffy and amendable to sticking to slimy peppers – it’s a process, but it works pretty well.

  • Michaela May 20, 2011  

    The first picture looks like food that’s gone down and come right back up again… gross!!!

    Also, grapefruit?? I love grapefruit as much as the next guy, but cooked? With peppers, beans and cheese??

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