Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Caponata (Page 537)


  • Date: Thursday, November 6, 2008 -- 10pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: D
LinkI chose this recipe to make a couple weeks ago because I had made a component of it (Sicilian tomato sauce) a few weeks earlier, and I figured it was time to get the tomato sauce out of the freezer and finish this dish off. Wow, was this bad. Not only was it bad, but with an active time of an hour and a half, it was bad and slightly time consuming. Not a good combination. How bad was it? After my special gentleman tasted it he said, "Well, I'm not going to vomit. But I am also not going to take another bite." It wasn't good. I was skeptical just from the list of ingredients: eggplant, celery, olive oil, green olives, capers, oily tomato sauce, white wine vinegar, sugar, cocoa powder, pepper, salt, and almonds. I like each one of those items, but all together it just didn't sound good. And it wasn't. It was terribly odd: there were chunks of fried eggplant, and boiled celery sitting in a sauce that was vinegary, but also had cocoa in it. Additionally, the cup of green olives and 1/2 cup of capers that went into the dish contributed quite a lot of briny flavor. There was more acidity still from the tomato sauce. This whole crazy collection of things (minus the almonds) got cooked together and then chilled. The end product was meant to be served at room temperature, sprinkled with the almonds. To be fair, this didn't taste quite as bad as it looked (but that's not saying much -- it basically looked like vomit with almonds on top), but I took two bites and definitely wasn't willing to take a third. After my special gentleman and I each took our requisite bites, I put the whole thing down the garbage disposal, which was a shame, because there was a lot of it. My recommendation: don't make it. Actually if you have The Book, I suggest you put a big X through this recipe in magic marker. I think I will.

Lucky for you, this recipe isn't online.

Man it is good to be home. Don't get me wrong: to a certain extent I like to travel. But there is a point past which it becomes a little painful. One of the ways in which traveling is challenging for me, especially when I'm driving everywhere, is the food. I am happy to eat fast food every once in a while -- in fact I even crave a McDonald's french fry now and then. But the last few weeks I have been on the road so much that I have eaten way more fast food than I wanted to. My car became littered with McDonald's bags (My favorite order: 6 piece Chicken McNuggets, Small Fries, and Apple Dippers), Burger King bags (Gardenburger (no mayo), Small Fries, and Small Vanilla Milkshake), and Wendy's bags (Broccoli and Cheese Baked Potato, Side Salad, and Small Chocolate Frosty). Moreover, despite my caffeine-free lifestyle I found myself forced to go back on it (several times I was so tired behind the wheel that I was worried I would fall asleep. Drinking Diet Coke seemed worth it to avoid being in a fiery car crash). So add to the trash heap of fast food bags a bunch of empty cups that once held Diet Coke, and now you have a pretty good idea of my diet these last few weeks. Gross. Gross, gross, gross. But now I am home, and the last couple days I have been subsisting off of some old favorites: yogurt and granola, cottage cheese, carrots, etc... Basically I have been eating some of the simple foods I love which are hard to come by on the road. Man, it is good to be home!


Anonymous said...

Noooo...believe me, caponata is delicious, you just need to try the original one and you'll change your mind.

Anonymous said...

Well if the caponata turned out bad, there's no way I'm touching that cookbook!
Anyway every part of Sicily has a different dish. Around Palermo they cook everything in one pan, around Catania they cook it all in different pans and only unite the ingredients at the end. Some places have fish in it. etc. etc. Depends on what's available.

Kevin said...

Vomit merits a D? It sounds like you're in "not food" territory here. Too bad, I've been looking forward to making this one.

Teena said...

Ok, I will definitely keep my eye out for a different version of caponata! I believe it can be good, but this recipe certainly was not!

Kevin: If it had tasted like vomit that would have been an F, but just looking like vomit didn't bring it all the way down! I am anxious to hear what you think when you make it -- who knows, you may find something redeeming about it!

mike hill said...

Ugh. This is another example of your rampant grade inflation (damn that MIT). Give another F or two already!

And an A+. Those amazing cranberry cookie dreams come to mind...

Teena said...

Mike: I think my calculus students would more than disagree with your accusation that my grading is inflated!

Mmmm... those cranberry bars were good. Maybe I should make some more of those...