Alan Ruins the Internet

I like internet recipes.  When cooking, I am often intimidated without something to start with.  But, at the same time, I find recipes too constricting.  I never listen to the recipes very carefully.  Sometimes, it works out, but not always.

I saw this recipe for some fresh marinara sauce.  But, it required four pounds of tomatoes.  I had a little over a pound and a half.  It asked me to mince my carrots, but I like big chunky pieces of carrots.  I also had some husk cherries, which are really just tiny little ultra sweet tomatoes.  While cooking, it smelled delicious: Fresh, and delicious.  It looked pretty good:

But, the taste was eh.  Not bad, but not great.  The husk cherries were just too sweet, and overwhelmed stuff.  And I think I cooked it too long, so the freshness went away.  I probably should have either cooked it longer to let the flavors really come together, or less to make it taste fresher.

Next, I tried to make some Moroccan Chicken.  This one was pretty much doomed from the start.  I didn’t have any chicken thighs.  I couldn’t find my oregano.  I didn’t have any preserved lemons.  A smart man would have given up.  I am not very smart.

I used chicken breasts instead of thighs.  I used real lemons instead of preserved.  The opinions were split on whether fresh lemons were appropriate:  “No, fresh lemons cannot be substituted for preserved lemons — they are totally different.” or “I just tried this dish with fresh lemons … and it came out quite well.” So, I was impatient and I made it:

It really had a lot of potential.  But it was just too bitter.  I am very touchy about bitterness, and I found it overwhelming.  I’m pretty sure the hour of cooking the lemon skins filled the entire dish with too much bitterness.

Next time?  I am going to try a different recipe for the tomato sauce, maybe this.  For the chicken, I think I’m going to try again, but with lemon juice instead of the whole lemons.

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