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Reminiscing: Odd recipe results [Jul. 6th, 2008|12:02 am]


[mood |embarrassed]

I think that most people have some sort of major flub if they do any kind of expermintal cooking. In my case I learned that while fried pickles may be good, fried pickles in tomato sauce and cheese.. not so much.

I'm one of those people who likes to try to cut corners whenever she can but also thinks that if a little of something is good, then more must be better! So many years ago a friend shared an eggplant parmisean recipe with me that involved salting and pressing the eggplant slices for an hour before frying them, layering them with tomato sauce and mozzerella and then finishing them in the oven for about 30 minutes. The results were amazing, but the whole process took so long that if I tried to make it after work I wouldn't get to eat until after 10 pm. I was determined there had to be a better way.

I decided I obviously needed to figure out how to do some of the prep work in advance. I didn't want to fry the eggplant the night before. After all I would lose the crispy texture if I put a break in anywhere after that step. So the clear break to me was the last step before frying; the salting and pressing. My friend explained that by salting and pressing the eggplant (and then rinsing the resulting liquid off) that I would remove the bitter juices. So if an hour is good, then over night's great right? I picked my eggplant, salted the heck out of it, weighed it down with milk jugs and stuck it in the fridge over night. The next day my eggplant rounds were thin as paper but, undaunted, I decided to rinse and fry them up anyways. They fried up beatifuly crisp and golden, I layered away and less than an hour after getting home I put a dish of homemade eggplant parmesean on the table. Or so I thought....

You see if I hadn't had my mind stuck in Italy I might have remembered some of my Japanese recipes. Specifically the one for refrigerator pickles where you salt and press them and pickle them over night in their own juices. Yup I had accidentally pickled the eggplant. Can you imagine the 4 of us sitting around the dinner tables with these gorgeous plates of Italiany goodness only to do a unison spit take? It was one of the most awful things I've ever tried. It was salty and sour and yet had that sweet, cheesy tomato sauce on it and a crispy coating. Seconds later my dad walked in the door and in the spirit of shared misery everywhere we smiled and handed him a fork. I'm rather impressed that he actually managed to swallow it before commenting "...That was rather unusual." Mmmmm pickled eggplant parmisean.

Thankfully I've learned to pay attention to things like that a litte better now.

So I've gotta ask. What was your most unusual accidental result?