I should have stopped when I couldn’t figure out how to successfully put the fish into the pan of hot oil.
One of tonight’s recipes (yes there are two recipes for tonight, both disasters) was Pesto Seared Salmon. Only I substituted the salmon for tilapia. I love salmon but seeing the skin on one side just grosses me out and the store didn’t offer any other cuts of salmon.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter what kind of fish I used. The problem was in the pesto. Normally, I make my own pesto but I opted for the pre-made jarred variety. Perhaps that’s what went wrong…..
I put the olive oil in the pan, heated it up (not too hot), smothered the fish in pesto, clumsily put it into the pan (after many prayers were said, we all know what dangers can occur with hot oil) then watched the calamity unfurl.
I believe that most specifically, it was the pine nuts that caused the complications. As soon as the fish hit the oil, the pine nuts were popping out of the oil left and right and landing all over the place. Bringing streams of hot oil with them and landing upon every surface in my kitchen, including myself.
I was armored with tongs, my biggest spatula and a paper towel shield. Nothing protected me from the fiery beast that is a pan of hot olive oil.
Once the popping subsided, I would flip the fish and it would happen all over again. Not wanting to burn the fish, I pulled it out of the pan, which was almost as difficult as trying to put it in the pan whilst avoiding injury. I set the fish aside and noticed it wasn’t cooked all of the way so I put it back into the pan, once again the popping ensues.
Repeat this process for three pieces of fish. After noticing the third piece was still raw after nearly getting hit in the eye with a hot pine nut, I decided that this dinner would not be eaten tonight. What a relief! Or so I thought….
Moving onto the second recipe. I call this one “Do you know how hard it is to put a Band-Aid on your dominant hand?”.
Actually, it was called “Creamy Tuna Boats”. I should have stopped there. What about that sounds safe? Nothing. At least this is what my right hand thought upon starting this recipe.
This recipe consisted of blended cottage cheese, onion powder, mayonnaise, milk and tuna. Simple enough…except the part about opening the cans of tuna. Like many Americans, I have enjoyed a tuna sandwich or two in my time. Never once have I ever injured myself while getting the tuna out of the can. But tonight is a night of firsts: first pesto dodging experience and first deep wound while opening a can. Despicable.
Let’s start at the beginning shall we.
Basically, put bread into a muffin tin, toast the bread (they are supposed to be toast cups or boats, if you will), mix together all of the ingredients over heat and then put the “creamy tuna” into the “boat”.
My injury occurred while I was scraping tuna out of the can into the saucepan. I quickly started bleeding. I grabbed a paper towel, ran to the bathroom, cleaned the tuna from the wound, inspected it to see how deep it was (it’s pretty deep), then attempted to open and place a Band-Aid on my right hand. It is extremely hard to do with your non-dominant hand whilst avoiding dripping blood everywhere.
Once the Band-Aid was applied, I head back to the kitchen. I looked at my newly bandaged knuckle and had noticed that I already bled through the Band-Aid. Back to the bathroom.
After my “Trauma: Life in My Kitchen” episode, the meal was complete. It was delicious but not that delicious. It was not worth the blood, sweat, tears and burn blisters that I endured.
Lesson Learned: I should have ordered pizza.
Positive lesson learned: Go with your gut instinct. If the recipe seems dangerous, it probably is and should be avoided at all costs.