What's wrong with me? F'real. The more ridiculous an idea is, particularly when it comes to food, the better I think the idea is solely on the merits of its ridiculousness.

For example: A can of El Mexicana-brand Campechana---a seafood salad of mussel, clam, shrimp, octopus, squid and Neptune knows what else---for a buck-ninety that I found on the Mexican food aisle at Smiths.

This was an idea so horrible that my roommate asked me to text message him advance of my plans to cook it up so he could be prepared to take me to the ER.

Here's the photo documentation of my cheap campechana experiment.

Second Street Brewery, the closest place to my home for a hearty meal, serves a dish called "Paella Mexicana ," which is essentially Spanish rice with a variety of random sea creatures mixed in. I love Spanish rice. I love sea creatures. Consequently, I love Second Street's Paella Mexicana and that's what I set out to recreate with my $1.90 can of campechana.

Notice I use Zatarain's brand Spanish Rice mix, which is both more credible and a bigger pain in the ass because, as opposed to other instant Spanish Rice mixes, you have to buy a can of crushed tomatoes separately.

I open the can and receive the first indication that this is not going to turn out the way I hope. Unidentifiable, but clearly long-dead, organisms float in chum water.

The picture doesn't improve when I lift out a scoopful. There wasn't any yellow and green goo on the product label.

I assume that a drain and a rinse in the colander will help. It does not. This looks like the stuff that explodes out of the chubby inflatable guy from Big Trouble in Little China when he blows himself up. My roommate may demand I replace his colander.

This is what canned octopuses look like. This picture is perfectly appropriate for a pro-life activist's picket sign.

A friend recommended that I overcook the campechana just to be safe.

Does that look overcooked? Or overpuked?

Absolutely no comparison to the picture on the label. I taste a forkful and it's salty, chewy and tastes like death. My own.

Campechana goes into the garbage. I make chicken and Spanish rice instead. No complaints.

Crossposted at Maassive.com