Thursday, March 13, 2008

So, here are some samples of the online reviews of the dinner we made tonight (the link will also take you to the original recipe):

As the one star rating denotes, this dish was just okay. Edible, certainly, but nothing that knocked anyone's socks off.

Horrid. Kung pao should be nuclear hot so a real misnomer, the photo looks nice though. Blander than eating wallboard, if I ever had to eat that when I was starving. I even put 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes in it to spice it up since we only had plain sesame oil and it was still bland: a real loser, skip it or add like a TBSP of red pepper flakes or some sechuan peppercorns.

Really? "Blander than wallboard??? Then why are you eating it? Tasting what you're cooking is integral to cooking. If you don't like what you taste, work on it! Don't accept wallboard for dinner. Too bland? Try adding spices or pungent ingredients (like ginger and garlic). Salt is often called for (in moderation), especially if your recipe is denoted as "healthy", which can be code for bland. A small amount of salt (or soy or another salty ingredient) can make a world of difference. Something M and I are only just realizing is that sugar can also be (in small doses) an amazing flavor enhancer. It's especially good to help soften anything that is too tart or sour or bitter.

This all said, too spicy (or too sweet) is FAR harder to fix then too bland, so go easy with your modifications and wallboard can be a thing of the past.

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