I have a habit, as I’m sure many of us do, of only sharing what we want people to see. Because I share a lot of recipes and love food, I only share ones that taste great. I don’t share a cooking fail. I also edit the photo’s so they look better than they probably did in real life (not always. Most of it really does look great. Honest). But, I think it’s really important that we try to be honest online. That we take selfies with no filters or photoshopping and that we share our failures. No one is perfect. It’s great to admit it.
I’m a good cook. But, I’m not overly good at following a recipe which can occasionally lead to a cooking fail. If I’m making something new, I’ll do a quick Pinterest search and read few a few different recipes for similar things. I’ll take bits I like, get rid of things I don’t and add things I think could work. As I cook, I then change my mind or taste it and add more of this and that. I make notes as I go so I can both blog and recreate it later. This works for me.
This week, I attempted to follow a recipe almost exactly. I’m having a bit of an Aldi love affair at the moment (I blame that Gin!). I’ve always liked Aldi but there isn’t one within walking distance so it’s always been easier to pop to Asda for bits and bobs. Now I’ve got a car I suspect I visit Aldi at least twice a week!
In this week’s Aldi special buy book, there was a recipe for Tandoori chickpea burgers. I thought they sounded brilliant. I love a good veggie burger and the flavour of anything tandoori. I’ve also got turmeric and other spices from all my curry adventures. So, I decided to have a go.
The first fail came when I went to Aldi to get the ingredients for their recipe. They didn’t have any courgettes. So, I had to go to Asda too.
When I got home, I started preparing my burgers. I didn’t really have any ideas of my own and hadn’t looked at any other recipes. I was, for a change, going to stick to one recipe exactly.
It did not work!
- Half a Courgette, grated
- 1 Clove garlic. Finely chopped
- 1 Onion
- 400g Chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1tbsp Almond milk
- 0.5tsp Cumin
- 0.5tsp Chilli Powder
- 1tbsp Peanut butter
- 1tsp Turmeric
- 50g Oats
- Cooking oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper
So, when I say I stuck to the recipe exactly. It wasn’t quite exact. The Aldi recipe was gluten free and mine isn’t. But I can’t see why that would make much difference?
The Aldi best buy book instructed me to fry my garlic and onions until they were soft. This bit went fine.
It then wanted me to put all of my ingredients in a food processor and blend. At this point, I kinda thought I should maybe squeeze out the courgette a little bit. As they are incredibly watery. I’ve squeezed one before and got about a gallon (what is a gallon??) of water out of it, just like a cucumber. But, I was sticking to the recipe.
We don’t have a proper food processor, but we do have a stick blender with a food processor type attachment. So I put it all in the stick blenders bowl. It looked incredibly cool I must say.
I blended as instructed. Not too much, as I wanted to leave chunks and a bit of crunch in my burgers.
Aldi then instructed me to make burger patties with it. I couldn’t handle it at all it was so wet, so I used a spoon to shape them on plates.
The instructions did say to leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. So I thought “it’s ok that they are wet, they will firm”
They did not firm. I ended up leaving them for about 3 hours in hope of firmness, but still, when I tried to get them into a pan to fry they were slop.
I was meant to fry them for a few minutes each side to seal them and give the outsides a crunch before putting them in the oven. At this point, I knew it wasn’t working. I did a few minutes on one side and tried to flip them over. Still mush, just completely breaking apart.
So, I wrestled them into the oven, reshaping as I went, and baked for 30 minutes.
Then, when I tried to get them out, they again broke up into a sloppy mess. We left them on one side and made something else for dinner. However, it’s now a day later and they’ve been in the fridge (because I can’t give up and hate wasting food!) they’ve solidified into burgers and taste really good!
This means it sort of does work eventually. But you have to leave them to cool first. Which isn’t very burgery. If anyone else has made these please let me know how it went. I’d love to know if it was just my inability to follow a recipe at play!