chicken, seafood

Day 30: Don’t be fooled by the title I’ve got…

January 30, 2007

This meal was the most expensive, labour-intensive, dirty-dish generating, overindulgent, misnamed burger and fries that we have ever had. I went to the grocery store today to buy the jumbo shrimp and chorizo sausage for the Paella Burgers and Spanish Fries with Pimiento Mayonnaise [recipe]. I picked up a loop of the hard Spanish chorizo for $6.99, and went to the fish counter. It seemed a little stingy to request 2 jumbo shrimp, so I asked for 4: it was $9.00. I am still in shock 5 hours later, $16 for burger toppings. I reasoned that we could use the other shrimp in another meal, but after looking through the book there is no call for jumbo shrimp for the next 100 recipes at least. So we just ate all the shrimp, in possibly the most unimaginative way possible. Ok, moving on.

For the meal itself, we made yet more chicken burgers, and oven roasted some frozen fries. The fries were ultimately tossed in butter, garlic, parsley and salt, transforming them, like magic, into “Spanish Fries”. Under normal circumstances, I’d have no idea if we’d eaten something similar in the last month, however this month I have some unavoidable evidence. We had these exact same fries 20 days ago, only then they were “Funky Fries” and the butter was melted in the microwave, rather than in a saucepan. Other than that, it was the exact same dish.

The chicken burger became a “Paella Burger” because it sat on a piece of fried chorizo, and was topped with a butterflied, fried jumbo shrimp. In taste, however, this was still a chicken burger. In practice, the burger was too tall to even attempt to eat within the bun. Unfortunately, this was another case of too many elements combining for novelty recipe value, rather than being a good, solid recipe. With such expensive ingredients, why not just make paella?

To be fair, the Pimiento Mayonnaise was named correctly. It was mayonnaise blended in the food processor with pimiento peppers, parsley and hot sauce. It tasted reasonable, but the use of the food processor pushed the dirty dish tally into the “far too much trouble” category. One bowl, one skillet, two saucepans, one chopping board, various utensils, and the food processor bits are all piled up in kitchen sink, where they’ll have to stay till tomorrow.

The individual elements were all ok; some were better than others. The charred bun was tasty, the burger was like a chicken burger (just like yesterday), the fried chorizo was salty and entirely unnecessary, the shrimp was fine but totally out of place, and the mayonnaise was better than plain but not worth the effort. The fries were nice, but oven fries usually are, even without the “Spanish” garlic butter.

Tomorrow, Papa al Pomodoro which is a tomato-based soup with stale bread and beans. Sounds pretty good, if only because it is made in one saucepan, and not even in one of the ones waiting to be washed. Got to be grateful for the small things.

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