Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A recipe for disaster

Last week we were doing our usual last-minute mulling on who we could invite for dinner. We settled on some people and Ben invited the guy, who tentatively accepted pending his social secretary's approval. Then we mulled over what to make. Ben suggested Indian food, so I told him where to find the cookbook. He found a recipe that sounded good and went off to buy the few ingredients we didn't have.

I got home a bit after six and found things not quite as far along as I'd hoped, though fortunately (and I really mean FORTUNATELY as you'll soon see), our friends couldn't make it for dinner after all. The thing is, this recipe turned out to be one of the most time- and labor-intensive recipes I'd ever made. Which might have been OK if it had turned out sublimely, or even pretty tastily, but this... this mess was basically inedible. It was actually three recipes, which obviously accounted for the time factor: spiced meat (tasty enough in itself) and mint-coriander sauce (delicious) completely torpedoed by a substance that was meant to be, I guess, a gnocchi-like potato-based dough surrounding the meat to make pan-fried so-called "cutlets," but it more closely resembled Elmer's glue mixed with flour that failed to get cooked, so the whole affair resembled shepherd's pie made with wallpaper paste with some crispy brown greasy bits at the edges. But with delicious sauce.

The thing is, I don't think we screwed this up -- the recipe for the "cutlets" really does yield breathtakingly bad results even as it consumes several hours of time and every clean dish in your kitchen. But judge for yourself. Sorry for the tiny text -- both Blogger and I have our limits when it comes to images.

Part 1 -- somewhat labor-intensive but pretty yummy when all was said and done:

Part 2 -- The vortex of despair. Bad news right from the innocent-sounding but totally misleading title. Since when is ground meat covered with sticky white goop called a cutlet? note that it takes the better part of three pages in the cookbook.

And here's part 3 -- the dip. Easiest and by far the tastiest segment of the whole fiasco. Make it yourself!

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