Friday, February 02, 2018

progress report

I got through the making of the meat sauce and the pasta salad last night. The pasta salad is, at least right now, amazingly crunchy and fresh thanks to the minced veggies. The meat sauce, though, is another matter. I followed the Binging with Babish recipe pretty closely, but the sauce ended up tasting very weird to me, probably because of the incongruous addition of cinnamon and ground cloves in a mixture that, for the most part, reflects either a Tex-Mex or a Middle Eastern flavor profile (paprika, cayenne, cumin, garlic, onion, etc.). I ended up going off-script and adding chili powder to bring the sauce back from weirdness, but that might not be enough: I can still taste lingering wisps of cloves and cinnamon.* So I might have to buy another batch of ground beef and create my own meat sauce. We'll see. The sauce I made is sitting in my fridge; flavors are marrying right now, so things might be different by tonight.

Pasta salad: B+ (crunchy and fresh, although I regret using green onions, per Babish)
Meat sauce as it stands: C- (edible, but weird)

*Yeah, yeah—cinnamon finds its way into Middle Eastern food as well, and can even be an ingredient in Tex-Mex versions of chili. But it doesn't normally feature that prominently in those dishes, whereas the Babish recipe assigns the cinnamon and cloves the same proportion as all the other herbs. Yuck.

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