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AIBU or am i just a shit cook

(24 Posts)
Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Tue 23-Aug-16 10:27:23

I have tried out Annabelle Karmel's recipes so many times but they never turn out properly. Made a chicken and potato pie this morning and the potato wouldn't even sit on top because it was swimming in so much sauce, even though I measured everything. I also made salmon balls and the little bastards fell apart. Anyone else have the same problem or am I just a shit cook?

MrsFarm Tue 23-Aug-16 10:29:39

are you sure your scales are right? I've made a fair lot of stuff from annabel books and while they mostly ended up on the floor (heartbreaking!) they looked like they should, and taste good ( To me)

Hassled Tue 23-Aug-16 10:33:26

Try a different recipe book - sometimes there are ones I just don't get on with. It could be a subtle difference in scales or oven temperature or the explanations/phrasing isn't quite clear enough. If you're a fairly inexperienced cook, I really recommend Delia Smith - her wording is always crystal clear, there's no vagueness and the recipes always work.

Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Tue 23-Aug-16 10:44:28

I always set the scale to zero but they are very cheap and cheerful ones so it's a possibility as the same ones have gone kaput on me before. The stuff tastes good but it looks awful - the pie is more like a chicken in sauce. Thanks for the recommendation hassled, will give Delia a go!

Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Tue 23-Aug-16 10:47:11

This is exhibit A confused

MumiTravels Tue 23-Aug-16 10:48:31

That looks nice. Just call ot stew not pie.


mrsnec Tue 23-Aug-16 11:03:18

I tried the apple and honey cupcakes for dd"s birthday and they were awful. I also did a lentil puree and you could have re pointed your brickwork with it. I've not tried any since.

Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Tue 23-Aug-16 11:35:47

Stew or soup I think Mumi. Glad it's not just me then, it's so infuriating especially when each recipe requires a very long list of ingredients

mrsnec Tue 23-Aug-16 11:38:26

Her recipes are the only ones I've ever had a problem with but I still use her website for ideas for presentation and cake decorating etc.

acasualobserver Tue 23-Aug-16 11:45:48

Whenever I have a recipe that needs mashed potato on the top of something sloppy (like cottage pie or fish pie) I let the wet bit go cold first. This seems to stop the potato sinking.

Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Tue 23-Aug-16 14:24:54

Good tip casual, the filling was still got so that could be why. Ta very much

Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Tue 23-Aug-16 14:25:17


Coolhughie Tue 23-Aug-16 15:52:14

Use Delia her recipes always work.

PJBanana Tue 23-Aug-16 16:08:19

Check the basic stuff like oven temp etc - I have a fan oven and quite often recipes only give you the temperature for a conventional oven, so I have to reduce this by 10 or 20 degrees. Also, invest in some new scales just in case smile

I've also had SO many experiences with recipes that tell you to add way too much water/stock. Most of the time I halve the amount the recipe tells me to add, then just add a tiny bit more if needed, but I've never gone wrong with this method!

user1471552005 Tue 23-Aug-16 16:24:22

I rarely follow a recipe, I find many of them flawed. Op like your recipe, clearly too much sauce. In that case I would have strained off a lot of the sauce until the topping could sit easily and served the sauce on the side as a gravy. I often find I have to modify or use a bit of common sense as I go along. Jamie Oliver's recipes are bad for that.
I tend to read over a recipe, get the gist of the flavourings and trust my judgement. I never take any heed of amount of water or stock to add to a dish, nor to cooking times. I take all this info as approximations.

It takes practice, that's all.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Tue 23-Aug-16 16:39:08

With cookery writers, I find that you need to find one that suits your style of cooking. I could never get a Delia recipe to work for me, but Nigella does. I did try some Annabelle Karmel recipes once and the results were grim. Someone gave me The Contented Little Baby Book Of Weaning (or something like that) which assured me that all babies love macaroni cheese with spinach in it. Wrong again! I tasted that one myself and I wouldn't have eaten it either.
With fish pie or cottage/shepherds pie, it helps if the mash and the mince/fish bit are both cold when assembled. I don't know why, but it does stop the whole thing dissolving into a pile of gloop.

Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Tue 23-Aug-16 18:54:01

Thanks for the suggestions, I agree about modifying them and will go with a trial and error approach. Dd tried the pie/stew/soup and she seemed to enjoy it confused

Gardencentregroupie Tue 23-Aug-16 18:59:10

Sack it off and buy the annabel karmel ready meals instead. By the time you've shelled out for fifty thousand ingredients it costs about the bloody same, and it's not half as heart breaking to see it chucked on the floor if your emotional investment = 2 mins 30 on full power. <slattern> <shit mum>

Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Tue 23-Aug-16 20:05:03

I like your way of thinking grin

Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Tue 23-Aug-16 20:06:47

It also eliminates a shitload of washing up at the end!

Historygeek Tue 23-Aug-16 20:09:05

Did you need to simmer the sauce to thicken and reduce it?

FeelingSmurfy Tue 23-Aug-16 20:18:39

Definitely let it set in fridge before adding potato if you make it again

Don't set your heart on one thing, I don't say what I'm making until it's finished if it's something new, if it doesnt turn out quite right nobody but you knows and it will probably still taste great because it's the same combo of ingredients grin

Tastesjustlikecherrycola85 Tue 23-Aug-16 20:49:26

It said to just about bring it to the boil and then remove from the heat, the sauce seemed fairly thick but in hindsight it just seemed to be too much sauce in relation to the rest of the filling.
Definitely Smurfy, I think I'll experiment a bit. If all else fails, I'll just smother it in ketchup, she won't care grin

Historygeek Tue 23-Aug-16 20:51:26

It's annoying especially when you've bought all the ingredients!

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