So last night I got myself together and I tried my hand at a Rachel Ray recipe.
It was not made of win, but it also wasn’t complete fail.
To be honest, I do blame myself for it not working. The recipe was for slow cooked turkey meatballs in a red pepper paprika sauce, served over spaghetti (recipe can be found in the March issue of Rachel Ray magazine).
I did not follow the ingredient list properly. The recipe called for: onions, garlic, olive oil, canned tomatoes, canned fire roasted peppers, salt, pepper, paprika, breadcrumbs, ground turkey & an egg. The ingredients I had on hand and used instead: onions, garlic, olive oil, canned tomatoes, canned artichoke hearts, salt, pepper, paprika, breadcrumbs, boneless skinless chicken thighs (that I ground myself) & an egg.
The meatballs turned out okay, but they were bland — definitely needed more than just salt & pepper to season.
The sauce however, was a disaster. It just didn’t taste right to me. Again, entirely my own fault, but do recipes normally call for 3 tablespoons of paprika as an ingredient? I am very willing to admit that paprika may not go at all with artichoke hearts, but there was still no real wow-flavour involved. In fact, it tasted rather bitter with a little too much smoke flavour. After we had had dindin, I threw everything back onto the heat with a bunch of random spices (oregano, basil, bay, garlic salt) and let it simmer for another two hours before bedtime. It tasted better, but there was still something missing and still slightly bitter.
When I went to bed last night, I think I may have figured out what was wrong with the sauce — there wasn’t enough fat to flavour. The only fat in the recipe was from the olive oil and what very little came from the chicken thighs. The Hubbs suggested that the sauce needed something a little bit sweetness, but didn’t know how to accomplish that. So as a once more around (this would be the third attempt if you’re keeping track) I’ve frozen the meatballs for another day and with the remaining sauce, I’ve added a package of pork breast bones and some extra water. The logic behind it is that the pork is kind of a sweet meat to begin with and with the extra fat, it might flavour it nicely. Plan is to eat the new mess with bread, perhaps garlic toast if I’m feeling ambitious.
Fingers crossed something vaguely tasty comes about.