Radical Radishes (and cremated chips)

This week I made the Spicy Plantain Chips from Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give A Fuck. I also made the Braised Radish Bites from Thug Kitchen Party Grub. Some of it went well. Some of it, not so much. The Thug aren’t to blame. Nope, this one’s on me.

Let me set the scene for you:

We are having guests over for dinner. One is a new friend who we haven’t had over before, and two are  my in-laws visiting from abroad. I decide on a three course meal, because this is gonna be fancy as fuck, and I want this shit to go down well. A real crowd pleaser. I’m aiming for perfect. Not like migraine-perfect, but normal person perfect. I even threw on a table cloth. (I didn’t bother ironing it, but that’s a different story. Life is just too short.) (Relax. Stop judging me. There were napkins.)

First course: Carrot and ginger soup, with lemon cream.

Second course: Moroccan vegetable dish with rice and the braised radish bites from Party Grub.

Dessert: Tangy stewed rhubarb with vanilla cream, and sprinkled with licorice powder.

I’ve prepped what I can in advance and dressed that shit up. The dessert is dished into tall glasses, all fancy-schmancy (I like my guests to have to dig for their dessert) and is waiting in the fridge for the right moment to be unveiled.  I’ve made the soup in advance and served it into bowls sprinkled with just the right amount of fresh parsley on top. The Moroccan stuff is also home made, and just needs reheating. All I needed to do was make some rice to go with it, and the radish bites.

Simple, right? Seems so.

*shakes head regretfully*

If ever there’s some way for things to get fucked up on my watch, then that’s what will happen.

The radishes were easy. Once again the Thugs knows their shit. I applaud those fuckers. Very unusual dish. Totally creative. If you haven’t tried it, you totally should. Also very easy to make.

First spanner to be thrown in the works was when I realised that I didn’t have one of the key ingredients for the radishes in-house. Whoops. That bottle at the back of the cupboard was soy sauce. Not balsamic vinegar. Shit. So that delayed things a bit. Didn’t wanna risk a substitution when I’d never made it before. On another day maybe, but not fancy table cloth day.

Anyways, the radishes are doing their thing in the kitchen, and we are all sitting down eating soup when I suddenly hear a weird ‘Pop’ sound. I go check what it is, and realise it is the sound that burnt rice makes. My culinary education continues because I  did NOT KNOW that rice could make that sound. I go back, smile at the guests, tell them I’ll be two minutes and close the door to the kitchen. I then run to the stove, arms flailing, and yank the rice off the heat. Switch off the cooker. Crank up the extraction fan and open the window. All the motherfuckin’ way.

I assess the damage. The bottom of the pan is totally cremated. FUCK. I don’t think that thing will ever be clean again.

I have a minor panic for five seconds and then give myself a mental bitch slap. Pull Yourself Together!

I scrape the ‘okay’ bits of rice off the top and rinse the shit out of them in a sieve. I throw them into a new saucepan with fresh water. I give it a taste. Hmm. Not sure. I throw tumeric powder in the saucepan to disguise any burnt-coloured rice snitches. I just know those little two-faced fuckers are waiting to rat me out the first chance they get.

I realise there is now waaay less rice to serve with the meal because half of it has been charred to fuck. I frantically grab some salad from the fridge and start washing it, when my three-year-old suddenly comes running into the kitchen. Just to play. He leaves the kitchen door wide open. I call to him to shut it, then change my mind and escort him out of the kitchen, back to where the guests are smiling none the wiser, closing the door firmly behind him. I start slicing bread, because I’ve forgotten that I’m washing salad.

I dish up the rice I have, which is now a crazy yellow, and carry it through to the table with the bread and the salad. I go back for the radishes and we all sit down smiling. On the inside I’m giving myself mental high fives because I’ve managed to pull it off, and no one knows the rice was burnt. I’ve even hidden the burnt saucepan under some other stuff in the sink. There’s no trace. I’m a fucking kitchen genius.

I raise my glass to propose a toast.

The fire alarm goes off.

I have to laugh.

I gotta  come clean with the guests. We joke that those burnt undertones in the rice are actually there on purpose to add depth of flavour.

All’s well, that ends well. (And with a few bottles of wine).

However, I also managed to burn the shit out of the plantain chips this week. Here’s a series of images capturing the experience:

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But can I just say in the plantain chip’s defence that they really are a hearty and strong motherfucker. They really won’t break in a chunky dip. Just like the Thugs said. And also in the plantain chip’s defence (or my own?) that they were only in the oven HALF of the time the Thugs suggested. But my oven really is a maniac. Moral of the story: Never trust an oven. Especially if you’ve had a whiskey and 7up.

Anyways, the ones that weren’t too badly burnt were really good. So I’ll be making those again. For sure.

Tonight I’m making the Tempeh and Carrot Sandwiches (p.55). So I’ll try and get that out to you tomorow.

I’m also getting excited about the Thug Kitchen 101: Fast as Fuck book. It should be arriving soon. Bit nervous that it’ll distract me from cooking and blogging the first book. I suspect I’m already behind on the recipes, if I need to meet my target. But fuck it. All’s well that ends well.

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