As a science student, I've been reading Ben Goldacre's Bad Pharma, a terrifying look at the drug industry. One of the industry's flaws he picks up on - and there are many - is that they're very selective about the research they publish. They can choose not to release studies that they don't like, or ones where the target drug doesn't work. That's a problem, because even the studies that go wrong can be of enormous benefit to other scientists.
It was with that in mind that I was flicking through some photos of dishes I had made, but which I wasn't going to post because they didn't turn out that well.
In the spirit of sharing my research (!) I thought I'd post them anyway, and maybe you guys could tell me where I went wrong, or advise me never to make these things again!
First up - tartare potato salad. I like tartare sauce, I like potato salad - so my logic went - so if I put them together, they should work. Only they didn't, not quite. I guess this was a fairly simple mistake - there just weren't enough of the flavourings to do suitable battle against the blandness of the potato. I just couldn't taste any of the sharp vinegary ingredients - the gherkins, the capers - that make tartare sauce such a winner. I guess I'd make this again, just maybe double up on the tartare components.
Not a disaster by any means, but not quite a Flicking the Vs gold star recipe yet!
This is a recipe that clearly should have been brilliant and wasn't. I had a couple of roast beetroots in the fridge, and half a tub of Sour Supreme, and my way forward was clear - make a beetroot and vegan sour cream dip. After all, beetroot and sour cream are meant to be together - they're the consummate couple.
Only this couple was more like Romeo and Juliet (complete with depressing ending) than happy ever after. I blended up the two and a little garlic, and the end result was really wet and sweet, and generally not nice.
I tried blending in some sunflower seeds to bulk it out a bit, and then some tahini and lemon juice to try and balance the sweetness, but it still didn't recover from its inauspicious start in life. I ate it, because generally I can't bear to waste food, but I can't say I overly enjoyed the experience.
Anyone made a more successful beetroot and sour cream dip? Tell me how you make it, and I'll be forever in your debt!
This was the biggest fail I made of late - it was meant to be a sort of autumnal faux chicken salad. It ended up being more like vomit on toast.
After wondering what to do with some spare vegan chicken, I thought I'd chop it up and make a sandwich filling with some carrot and celery, and for bonus seasonal points, some figs and hazelnuts too. Add a bit of Veganaise, and you're away. Only, I wasn't. I really had to force it down, and I couldn't eat most of it.
The fig had made it slimy, and coupled with the chunky veggies, all I could think of was having a mouthful of sick! Not so good, Al.
But as I understand it, chicken salad is a popular sandwich filling in the US, so there's got to be something in it. What did I do wrong? Should I have chopped the veggies super fine? Used something else instead of chicken analogue? Answers on a postcard please!