Last weekend, I was chief cook for a men's retreat and one of the dishes I served was my own recipe, Catican Bayou Gumbo. I had made gumbo several times and this was a synthesis of my favorite parts, at least those that could easily be scaled up to huge quantities and made in a sub-par kitchen.
When I went to the wholesaler who provides us supplies, he said he had andouille sausage in addition to the smoked sausage I normally use. Like an idiot, I got excited at the thought of using andouille and went with it despite never having cooked with it before.
Andouille sausage is significantly saltier and spicier than my standard polska kielbasa. It threw the taste of my gumbo completely out of whack. I stood there in the kitchen in a panic, wondering how to deal with the situation. In the end, as the gumbo simmered, the flavors melded and the andouille's influence waned. The end result was devoured with gusto by the men and I received many compliments, but it was not what I had hoped.
Don't experiment on your guests. You never know what you'll get.
|That gumbo was horrible!|