When a (Mark Bittman) Recipe Fails

I know it’s the holiday season when my family eats experimental appetizers as our dinner. With potentially over thirty guests coming for Christmas dinner, menu items must be tried out. One such attempt was Mark Bittman’s recipe for Sesasme Shrimp Toasts. I’m usually not a fan of fusion foods, such as this one which combines Italian bread with Asian flavors, but there’s no harm in testing the recipe out. 

The recipe starts off by saying to cut the baguette in half lengthwise, and to then put the shrimp mixture on top for baking. At the end, you slice the bread into toasts. One of the biggest problems with this recipe for me is that the image that goes along with the recipe on Bittman’s website shows toasts made of sliced baguettes, not lengthwise, but like bruschetta. I think this would be a better way to make the toasts, yet the instructions state otherwise.

My second problem with the recipe is that it’s not worthy of our Christmas dinner menu. Not that our Christmas is a particularly formal affair, but it just wasn’t good enough to eat. Maybe it was the expectation of eating some sort of garlic, cheesy, or buttery bread, since that’s what it looked like, and instead tasting Asian flavors. Or maybe that it was simply not satisfying in ways I don’t know how to describe.

A recipe should be coherent, as well as aligned with the images of the food, or else people (or maybe it’s just me) get misled. I think I will stick to a simpler tomato, garlic, basil bruschetta next time.

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