Friday, April 12, 2013

Holy Salt-Bags, Batman!

Woah. Jerusalem and I are having some problems. Tonight, I made Lemony Leek Meatballs (pg 44, 9 points, I think, though nothing about the recipe seemed right, so I make no promises.)

I couldn't help but feel, all the way through, that something was wrong. First of all, I was a little short on leeks. The recipe calls for 6. I had about 4. When the steamed, pulsed leeks were mixed together with ground beef, a cup of breadcrumbs, and eggs, this was still a big bowl of meat, given that it was only meant to make eight 2 3/4 by 3/4 inch flat patties. I don't understand. Mine were giant hamburger size, and would have been even bigger if I'd used the correct number of leeks.

As I added 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, I thought, "Hmm. That looks like a lot," but I forged ahead and followed instructions.

Once the patties are browned on both sides, you add chicken broth and lemon juice and simmer it for half an hour. Fortunately, I tasted a patty at this point, because the instructions say to add another half teaspoon of salt to the broth. I couldn't see why I would possibly want these patties any saltier than they already were, so I omitted that round of salt.

Again, the instructions seemed off. I needed to use more stock than specified to "almost, but not quite cover the patties."
After 30 minutes of gentle simmering, covered, you're supposed to remove the lid and cook for a few more minutes until almost all the liquid has evaporated. There was nearly as much liquid in the pan as I started with, and I didn't feel like boiling away nearly 2 cups of stock, so I just plucked the patties out.
I meant to put this on top of a salad, but my lettuce was all moldy in its bag. Yuck.
The recipe intro says "what makes these fritters so special is how well the flavor of the leeks holds its own against the meat, while the latter is more in the background..The result is featherlight texture and a sharp lemony flavor."

Um. Okay. I didn't get any of that. I definitely found the beef to dominate the leeks. All the leeks seemed to contribute was a mushy, though not unpleasant, texture. There was no lemon flavor, much less a sharp one. Perhaps if I'd boiled away all that broth, some lemon flavor would have materialized. I don't know. What I expected from this dish did not in any way match the turnout. Definitely wish there was a photo of what these patties were supposed to look like.

My tongue is salt-swollen after eating 1 of 8 patties. What's left after Matt eats will likely dawdle in my fridge, then get tossed.

Conclusion: Like the idea, and maybe it would be good with major tweaking, but dislike how this turned out. Bummer. I will not be making these again.

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