When good recipes go bad… Or when bad recipes happen to good people.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I’m not quite sure what to name this blog. Maybe, its subtitle should be that being a keen and able cook does not protect you from kitchen failures. And I had one of epic proportion last week!


I bought myself a magazine called Cook Vegetarian and saw a recipe I was really keen to try straight away: Aubergine No Meat Meatballs.

So off I trotted to buy my ingredients then eagerly prepared my aubergine meatballs.

Here is the recipe as written in the magazine:
Serves 4
Ready in 45 minutes

A few splashes of olive oil
2 aubergines, cut into small cubes
1 smallish onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
A handful of pitted black olives
1 red chilli, finely chopped
A large handful of fresh basil or 1tbsp rosemary leaves
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 mug of breadcrumbs
4 tbsp toasted pine nuts (optional)

1- Place a large frying pan over a medium heat. Sizzle the aubergine and onion in a bit of oil.
2- When they’ve picked up a little colour and are almost done, add the garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice and grate over a good bit of zest.
3- Tip into a food processor with the olive, chilli, herbs, balsamic vinegar, breadcrumbs and pine nuts, if using. Whiz until everything comes together. Or chop everuthing up on a large chopping board and mix. Season.
4- Taste. Add more herbs or spice if needed. If it is a bit dry, add a splash of olive oil. If it’s too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Shape into balls (two aubergines will make about a dozen rounded tablespoon-sized balls.)
5- Fry the balls in olive oil. When browned all over, serve with spaghetti and tomato sauce, or have them on their own.

I followed the recipe to the letter but after I blended all the ingredients together, I ended up with something I can only call slop. I tried adding some breadcrumbs, but no amount of breadcrumbs was going to dry out that disaster of a mix.

I was determined to salvage this recipe so I decided to put the slop – I mean mix – into my silicone muffin cases and bake them.

Despite a long baking time, only the outside cooked and the inside was still completely sloppy.
My son and I braced ourselves for absolute awfulness – I mean, if they were going to taste as bad as they looked, we were in for a bad time!

Despite everything, it tasted absolutely… DELICIOUS! We were no expecting that. Which really makes me want to have another crack at this recipe + I’m not used to kitchen fails and I do NOT like them.

So I’ve been thinking: how would I prepare a traditional meat ball? I’d get my mince meat, my spices, herbs, etc. I’d then mix in bread soaked in a little milk, then bind the whole thing with an egg before cooking.

Well then, I guess I’ll have to apply the same system to my aubergine meatballs and blend all the ingredients BEFORE cooking them, and make sure I use an egg to bind all the ingredients together.

I shall not be defeated! I shall try again!! I shall master aubergine meatballs!!

Have a lovely day Sparkfriends! emoticon
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Glad you enjoyed them! There is a site called The undressed skeleton that has some
    good vegan recipes.
    1650 days ago
    I'm glad they tasted good!
    1653 days ago
    I would recommend the salt and drain method too! Eggplants have so much water. Let us know how it goes because I would absolutely try these myself.
    1653 days ago
    Maybe salt and drain the aubergines before you use them?
    Let us know how the next batch turns out!
    1654 days ago
    It looks really good! I don't follow the exact directions myself - so I'm always surprised when things come out tasting very good!
    1654 days ago
    Vegetables have a LOT more water than meat, so you would have to compensate with a lot of absorbable product like breadcrumbs. The mix isn't just flavor, but fat, liquid, starch, protein and sugar. A food chemist can look at a recipe and know if it will work by checking the relative amounts of those components. The rest of us learn by error.
    1654 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/12/2013 8:34:52 AM
    Who knew!

    Make Today a Great Day!
    1654 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.