Well, I promised this blog wouldn’t be all successful recipes and here we are. Right out of the gate, we have a failure. This was not disgusting but also … not good. It was edible enough, but no one was going back for seconds after choking down our first helpings. But look how pretty it turned out!
Many times, Steven Michael will find a recipe online and use it as a jumping off point to cook something for the family. He will take the base recipe and tweak it in the process of making it to fit our palettes. We love ethnic food, so when he found a recipe for Peanut Stew with Chicken Meatballs, we decided to give it a try. The original recipe was similar, but called for more spicy ingredients and, as I’m a complete wuss when it comes to heat, Steven Michael made this mild for me. Honestly, I don’t think all the spice in the world could have saved this one. Unless, it was so spicy you lost your ability to taste and just assumed it was delicious. He also substituted ground turkey instead of chicken for the meatballs and spinach for kale, but let’s be honest, that’s an improvement. Kale = eww.
We had really high hopes as the cooking process began. He started with the meatballs as I got out my pad and pencil to document the recipe and propped my feet up on the chair next to me.
I’ll admit, I was excited to try the meatballs because they had big chunks of onions and garlic in them. If I had to name a single ingredient that gets me super pumped to eat a dish, it would be freaking onions. Full disclosure, I “hated” onions for over half my life because my mother hated onions. As a kid, I constantly listened to her order everything without onions (or tomatoes), and so I assumed they must be gross. WRONG. There was a time when I would lie to waiters and tell them I was allergic to them to make sure they didn’t forget to remove them from my food. That worked out pretty well for the most part, until a super concerned waiter at a BBQ place informed me that I couldn’t have the BBQ sauce because it was cooked with onions in it. That lie really came back to bite me in the ass. I awkwardly explained that BBQ sauce onions were just fine, just not other onions (cough cough). Fast forward to a few years into dating Steven Michael, when he forced me to try onions and BAM! Life changed.
Sorry, I got a little off topic there … back to the stew. Once the meatballs were in the oven and smelling great, Steven Michael moved on to preparing the Peanut Stew. This is where things get weird. At first, the kitchen smelled amazing as the onions (yay, onions!) and other veggies were being sautéed. Then, very slowly, it started to smell like the barn at my Aunt Marion’s horse farm that I used to visit as a child. Not a good sign.
When the stew was plated and ready to eat, Steven Michael and I looked at each other, counted to three and took our first bites. Nope. Despite being full of highly flavored ingredients, the end result was bland AF with an undertone of gross. As I said earlier, it wasn’t inedible, it just wasn’t enjoyable. The bites with a little bit of meatball and an actual peanut in them were almost good. Almost. We ate our bowls, and immediately went to the cupboard to find something tasty to cover the blah.
I know I just spent six (well, five if you don’t count my onion rant) paragraphs telling you how bad this was, but I don’t want to discourage you from trying it for yourselves. Do what Steven Michael did and use this as a jumping off point to create your own version of this (horrible) meal. There is definitely a way to make this delicious, we just didn’t hit a home run this time. If you do, let us know how it went!