It is rare that I have a cooking disaster. Rarer still that I can’t figure out a way to recover from it. I have had my share of baking disasters, the cupcake nightmare comes to mind ( which has actually scarred me from making cupcakes ever again). But cooking? Rare, rare rare!
So, what happened with the coconut-lime scallops? I have no idea. I read and re-read the recipes and someone better cook than I need to point out my flaw.
Well, first of all, if you are going to make this recipe, you should really use the large scallops. I grabbed the smaller ones without thinking and they shrunk to the size of peas. But that was not the problem. The problem was with the sauce!
The recipe clearly calls for the zest and juice of TWO limes. With 1 cup of coconut milk. I don’t know if my limes happen to be the zestiest, juiciest limes in the world, but the proportion was clearly WRONG. The sauce was just too limey. No, not just too limey for me. Too limey for anyone! And honestly, too runny! Just a horrible, horrible combination. You couldn’t even taste the coconut. You couldn’t taste anything because your taste buds just shriveled up from all the tartness!
If you recall, I had my in-laws over for dinner. So this is where the word “disaster” comes in. Picture, guests, husband, child, fork in hand all patiently waiting for dinner. Hungry at this point because it is now past dinner time. I have quite delicious basmati rice and broccoli rabe, but nothing else! Yes, disaster!
I mean if it were just us, I could whip us something else fast. Heck, in a pinch, I could always heat up some canned lentil soup, throw it over rice and pretend we’re eating ghetto daal. But with my FIL, my very Italian FIL, who needs something more normal and more substantial, what is a girl to do???
I quickly open the fridge. Nothing. I throw open the freezer! Ah, chicken flautas! Thank goodness. Something tasty with enough flavors to eat with rice, albeit not yellow rice. Plus, my FIL likes them. Salvation!
Bless their souls, my FIL and SIL ate the meal without any complaint. Soso actually ate some of the tart pea sized scallops. I was just grateful that no one left my table on an empty stomach… well except for me. I was still so hungry that I did a rare thing and ate a snack after 8PM! Milk and cookies. Perhaps I got the better end of the deal. At least Soso will think so.
Mark Bittman, I feel that you led me astray! The recipe looked so simple! So doable without a trial run! Seriously, I challenge anyone to make that recipe and have it taste good.