Saturday, September 26, 2009

Top Chef Shrimp & Scallop Burgers...

As a pioneer with educational technology in my building, I'm continually telling teachers that it is a good thing to struggle and make mistakes with technology, and that it teaches students an important lesson to see us growing and learning, just as they are.  In that vein, I'm writing this post, and you will hopefully understand my point by the time you get to the bottom of the text.

As part of my Top Chef dinner, I decided to make CJ's Scallop Mousse and Shrimp Burger with Tangerine.  All the ingredients were things that I like:  shrimp, scallops, lime, ginger, sugar, chile pepper, citrus...color me stoked.  The shrimp were halved lengthwise, and the scallops were pureed into a mousse with some pepper flakes, lime juice, and scallions.  Lining one of my Ateco circle cookie cutters with Saran, I layered 6 shrimp halves on the bottom of the ring mold, then spread over some mousse, then topped it again with 6 more shrimp halves.

Here's them wrapped up and ready for the fridge:

A close-up, ready for pan-frying:

Here's a picture of the garnishes, taken by Stephanie (she's rather proud of this photo).  Clockwise from the right is thinly shredded radicchio, thinly shredded spinach, and a sauce made from pickled ginger, pickled ginger juice, lime juice, rice vinegar, scallions and cilantro.  After that sauce came out of the blender, Stephanie started freaking out because of how good everything smelled.  She couldn't wait to eat, and I had to restrain her from just eating the sauce straight from the bowl.

So after the burgers were pan-sauteed, they were placed on a egg twist bun over a slice of tangerine, topped with the radicchio, spinach and sauce.  Looks delicious, right?

Problem:  I didn't like it.  I don't know what it was, but this did absolutely nothing for me, and in fact, I only ate half of it (much to Stephanie's delight, a surprising role reversal with her finishing all the food on my plate).  I don't know if it was the texture of the burger, or the flavor combinations, but everything that I had hoped this dish would be.  Needless to say, I won't be making it again.

I had not planned on writing about this - who wants to write about a dish that they didn't enjoy eating?  Well, Steph pointed out the whole "having people watch you struggle is good" thing to me, and so there you go.  What I want to ask of you, my hidden and silent readers, is this:  tell me about a time that you thought you would absolutely love a recipe and it came out terrible.  I'm curious to hear your stories about this.


Charli said...

My greatest disappointment wasn't so much with a dish as with my attempt to make my own chorizo to use in a dish. See, I LOVE chorizo; I often use it in a black bean and rice dish I make that leans more toward the Jamaican than the Mexican influence. However, chorizo is extraordinarily high in fat and calories, hence the attempt. I culled various chorizo recipes from the internet and used lean ground turkey to make the sausage. The result was somewhat bland; it was pretty much my beans and rice with ground turkey. I may try again, but this time I will definitely up the amps on the seasonings.

Anonymous said...

Just ask your father about the chicken I made for company..a long time ago in another universe. We thought it was absolutely hands down horrible, everyone else thought it was great. The recipe sounded great but yuk.

Stepha said...

Just want to put in my own two cents. I know Alex did not enjoy this recipe at all, but I would eat this once a week if I could. The tangy citrus sauce was delectable - I wanted to drink it out of the bowl. And the combination of the shrimp-scallop with the tangerine was bright and surprising.

If you have the Top Chef cookbook, I urge you to try this recipe. So far, it's my favorite out of the book.

Rob Timko said...

A glazed pork belly dish with caramelized shallots from Jean-Georges Asian flavors cookbook.....wanted it to be REALLY good.....turned out....REALLY not good.

Nan said...

Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the shrimp & scallop burgers (sounded delish to me) I can understand this somewhat. When I make a big labor- intensive meal, I rarely want to eat it at all. I will sit and pick, but don't enjoy it or at times even like it. Now if someone else is cooking it is a different story. I enjoy cooking, but my guess is that my senses are satisfied by the actual prep work. ?????