Trust Your Instincts
More times than not, I find that when the little voice in my head starts talking, I should listen to it. For example, when I get in my car and I think to myself, Did I bring my sunglasses? but I don't check immediately to see if I did, I didn't bring them. By the time I finally look in my purse, I'm half way to work with the sun glaring in my eyes. Should've listened to The Voice.
Why don't I learn from my mistakes? The other day I was looking for a recipe to use the shrimp and Chinese noodles that I bought and came upon one for which I had every single ingredient- YES! Spicy Chinese Noodles With Shrimp sounded fresh, healthy and delicious. I could also add the nira chives that I had to it as well as some leftover cilantro. I was excited to try it and got to work.
Did I say I had everything in my pantry? Well, the recipe called for hot paprika and all I had was regular, Hungarian smoked sweet and Hungarian smoked hot. The hot one sounded good, but then The Voice started murmuring, "You know how strong Hungarian Smoked HOT paprika is...." but then the Other Voice said "Oh, just use it- it's the closest thing you have to regular hot."
After spending 25 minutes beheading and shelling the shrimp, I mixed all of the spices together, chopped the nira chives and onions and got my wok blazing hot. It smelled good and looked fantastic- visually it looked just like Pad Thai, even though it was a completely different dish. I piled up two nice portions on my new, square white plates (you'll be seeing more of them!) and proudly took them out to the table.
Looks good......tastes bad.....
One bite in, I could feel the burn of the paprika but couldn't detect any of the other flavors. What happened to my best friend, Garlic? Where was the freshly grated ginger? They were all sucked up by the Hungarian, that's where. It wasn't Chinese at all- even the usually powerful fish sauce was only faint in its presence. I knew I should have listened to The Voice.
Two isn't better than one....
We picked out the shrimp and left most of the noodles. Sure- it looks great but mentally, you almost want it to taste like Pad Thai since it looks so much like it. The blast of spicy, smokey paprika is not what you expect from a dish like this.
Must listen to The Voice!!!