I was so excited all day to make the great dinner that I had planned. I had bought a pork loin last week when they were on sale and have just been waiting for an evening when I had enough time to prepare the recipe I had found. Tonight was the night. It may sound ridiculous, but I love food so much that I often times wake up in the morning thinking about what I’m going to have for dinner that night. So, I’d been thinking about this meal all day. On the way home from work, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up the remaining ingredients. I hurried home and got started. First, I made some of Emeril’s Essence. If you’ve never made this, I highly recommend making a batch (it makes about 3/4 cup) and keeping it on hand. It is technically a Creole seasoning, but we put it in practically everything. It adds a really great flavor and so much easier to toss in some of that than opening a million spice containers. We had run out, so I made up a new batch.
The smells of the Essence already had my mouth watering. I went to the fridge and grabbed the pork loin I had waiting for me. I opened it up and was smacked in the face with an unfamiliar odor. Was I about to cook pork or seafood? I looked at the packaging and checked the date: yup, August 22. It should still be good. Just in case I was crazy I asked Ross to come take a whiff and he quickly agreed; our pork was no good.
I was so bummed.
I definitely didn’t feel like going back out to the store at this point, it was already 7:30 and the recipe said it took 45 minutes to prepare and 55 minutes to cook. We usually eat late, but a 10:00 meal was not what I had in mind. I headed to the pantry to see what I had to spruce up the chicken breasts that were defrosted in the fridge. In the back, Ross found a box of Shake ‘n Bake. I figured it would be quick, so I grabbed it. I happened to glance at a recipe on the back that suggested coating the chicken in BBQ sauce first, so I thought we’d do that. After having a flavorful pork loin meal in mind, breaded chicken alone wasn’t going to cut it. I decided to throw some Ranch in with the BBQ. I first coated the chicken in flour (with a little Essence mixed in, had to put it to good use after making it!) and then dipped it in the BBQ/Ranch mix, then in the Shake ‘n Bake. We slapped it on a baking sheet and cooked it about a 1/2 hour. While it wasn’t the gourmet meal I’d daydreamed about since 6 AM, it was surprisingly tasty and super easy.
Hopefully in the next few days I’ll be able to post Plan A!
**Update** When sharing this frustration with my co-worker, Linda, she told me that the smell was probably just from the packaging. Did I really waste ALL of that meat for no reason? Does vacuum packing cause pork to smell like seafood? Enlighten me, please!