Disaster in the kitchen

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  • Last night we went out for fugazzeta, and this girl managed to forget the stove on.

    I had spent hours making tomato sauce for an Indian recipe that I wanted to make in a large batch and freeze. As in: I bought the tomatoes, diced them, pureed them and let sizzle on the stove for at least two hours.

    Not only I almost ruined a pot with a 1 cm thick layer of burnt sauce.

    When I was cooking the garlic with ginger and onion, I managed to turn the garlic blue.

    I didn’t even know it was possible and I thought I hadn’t washed well the pot.

    It seems it is an acid reaction that can corrected with a base. Not knowing what ingredient was a base, I ignored the color issue hoping it would blend once mixing in the tomato sauce. It didn’t - it seemed a mosaic of blue and red.

    Then I burnt it. The house smell horribly and I spent one hour cleaning the pot.

    Now I am cooking the chickpeas, however, to be honest, I have no patience left to redo the sauce etc.

    Left: ginger, garlic and onions

    Right: tomato sauce

  • What a disappointment, serafina . All that time spent in careful preparation! And of course you’re fed up with the whole project.

    In the hope that this might make you feel not alone, if not exactly better, I’ll share a cooking disaster of my own. I’d just put a chicken into a pot of boiling broth, vegetables, and herbs. Should have turned the heat down to simmer immediately, but got distracted. My husband came home and suggested a game of tennis, so, forgetting ENTIRELY about the rapidly boiling pot of chicken, I dashed upstairs to change clothes and we left for an afternoon on the courts.

    Some hours later, we returned home to fight our way through thick black smoke, a black-charred chicken looking like a Georgia O’Keefe nighttime desert painting, a ruined pan, and a layer of greasy grime covering ceiling, walls, and floor of the kitchen.

    So I feel your pain!

  • Yes the acid reaction is a thing with garlic and I discovered it myself only a few weeks ago. I cook a white bean mash with garlic and lemon and paprika. I usually add the lemon at the end but this time I added the lemon whilst cooking off the garlic and it turned it blue. Lesson learned.

  • Have never heard of that. Does the chemical reaction affect only the color? Is it safe to eat?

    It is still safe to eat, according to the internet, although no food is naturally blue and hence it looks quite scaring.

    I am no chemistry gal, so I will leave the full reading to you, but this is the summary:

    When garlic is combined with an acid (such as vinegar), the allicin reacts with amino acids in the garlic to produce rings of carbon-nitrogen called
    Pyrroles linked together form polypyrroles, which throw colors. Four pyrroles clustered together create green (this is why chlorophyll is green). Three pyrroles linked together creates blue.
    A similar color-forming reaction can occur when the garlic is in contact with minerals from certain metals, including copper, aluminum, iron, and tin. The minerals can come from pots or pans made of those metals, or it can come from trace minerals in the water.

    In my case, I bought the garlic that morning and it seemed okay, maybe a tad young and pungent than old/aged garlic. I mixed it with ginger root and left it in the blender until it was time to use it (one hour approx. on the kitchen top).

    Perhaps the ginger caused the reaction or it was actually the garlic reacting to the garlic (as explained in the article). I threw the mix in the already sauteed white onion in a steel pan, and that's when it turned blue. So it could have been the steel pan.

    In the end, today I tried again the recipe (but I just made twice the regular amount instead of 5 times like yesterday) and the not garlic turned blue. It was a different head of garlic, though, which I also bought yesterday morning with the one that turned blue.

    Why Is My Garlic Blue?

  • This makes me feel better, but I can't help thinking about the smell of grease and burn after your return! Were you able to get rid of it? I have bought a small portable ozonizer (ozone generator) to neutralize smell. It is installed in the bathroom, where both us and the cat do their thing.

  • As I ran into the kitchen and rounded the corner, the atomized oil on the floor caused me to fall on my ass and slide across the kitchen, like some kind of misplaced baseball player sliding into 3rd base.

    Spent 2 full days washing down the ceiling, walls, floor, furniture, and all items sitting around the room. Then repainted. By that time, the burned flesh smell was gone.

  • Burning down your apartment was definitely a distinct possibility. (When we returned from the tennis game, our cats staggered outside as soon as we opened the door.)

    Your neighbors probably wouldn’t have been too happy with you!

  • Yes the acid reaction is a thing with garlic and I discovered it myself only a few weeks ago. I cook a white bean mash with garlic and lemon and paprika. I usually add the lemon at the end but this time I added the lemon whilst cooking off the garlic and it turned it blue. Lesson learned.

    I had never heard of this recipe, so I googled it up and made it for a quick dinner two nights ago. My husband was swooped by it and today he came home with a few cans of white beans because he wants more.

    I followed this recipe and I am noticing only now that yours has paprika in it, Bombonera . Do you add it at the end before serving or do you cook it?

    What is your bean/garlic ratio? Do you put onions, too? And broth? I am finding a few variations online.

    Also, is it a typical British side? Because I sold him this recipe like that, and I suspect this is half the reason why he wants more.

  • Hey serafina I learned the recipe from NIgella Lawson. Do you know her? Splinter and UK Man certainly will!

    I tried to find the video where she cooks it but I can't find it. Here it is on her website though.

    White Bean Mash
    This is a garlicky, lemony, ultra-fabulous, utterly addictive bean mash. For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

    I've been cooking it for years. But I adapted it by cutting out the rosemary and adding in paprika or even cayenne pepper as I like a bit of heat in there. It goes great with a pork chop or pork steak. Also I add lemon juice (as above) rather than lemon zest. And I don't season with salt. It is packed with taste from the garlic lemon and paprika. It's cheap, quick and easy.

    I wouldn't say it is a typical English or British dish, no.

    Let us know if you give it a try.

    Further edit and this is a good one!

    I also add some Colmans horseradish sauce to it as well. I don't know how I forgot that because it's transformational. It helps keep the mash moist and adds another level of flavour.

    I recommend this highly.