I was on a roll, a hot streak dating back to the Super Bowl, and—human nature being what it is—I got cocky. A little too comfortable. A little too cavalier. And when I finally missed, Lord Jesus on an underbaked tart crust Christ, I missed big.
Fish sauce. Fucking fish sauce did me in, or, more accurately, did my sweet potato curry in and then almost finished me off as an afterthought.
I was just whipping up something to go along with leftover Malaysian spice-rubbed chicken. Ho hum, toss together a raita, toast up some naan, yawn yawn, oh, here’s a sweet potato, here are some carrots, let’s curry that up and call it done.
A splash of fish sauce is all it needed. One splash. I inexplicably gave it four because I forgot I still need to think from time to time in the kitchen. Moments later, happy memories of meatballs in marinara, rosemary-roasted almonds, potato-leek gratin, and peach-blueberry pie were rudely shoved aside by a bowl of orange vegetable chunks that carried the unmistakable horrifying edge of my borderline incontinent elderly dog’s ass. There was not enough coconut milk in the world, let alone in my pantry, to salvage it.
Does comfort always breed carelessness? I hope not. But! Life lesson taken! If Top Chef hss taught me nothing else, it’s that you are only as good as your last dish. Do we have dinner guests coming over tomorrow night? Yes. Yes, we do. Time to focus, people!
The nam pla’s staying on the bench for this one.