Thursday, January 14, 2010

Making food taste good

I'm a big believer in making a big batch of something and then freezing up a few portions to have easy meals for later. However, sometimes this goes awry. Like the time that I made a huge portion of red beans that tasted absolutely terrible. Well, not inedible, but tasteless. This caused some strife in the house as I obviously couldn't throw 3 freezer bags full of perfectly edible food away just for lack of taste.

So, I experimented. The first batch we ate plain, yuck! Healthy, but gross. I tried adding more salt, but that only made things marginally better. The second batch got bacon, a good plan, but I burned the bacon, making salty and smoky into black and bitter. Ok, round three (I told you I made a ton of this!), bacon again, not burned. and Safeway's salsa verde. Much improved. Mostly because the salsa verde was over-powering all the bean taste.

Finally, I got it right. I buckled down and thought about the problem. When I made my mom's bean recipe, I didn't have a ham hock. It's a smoky thing that gives the beans all their flavor. While I didn't have a ham hock, I had something with a similar flavor profile: chorizo cantimpalo. Even better actually. So I dropped the beans in the slow cooker, added the chopped chorizo, some chopped carrots and potatos, let it simmer for 8 hours and voila! Deeee-licious beans. Holy crow, I could have served these to royalty.

So the moral of this story dear readers: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. It's bound to get tastier sometime.

No comments: