You know that feeling: the thrill of a beautiful photo of food on Pinterest, the flutter of optimistic certainty (I could make this!), the diligent determination when hunting for the required ingredients (all of which, even if you’ve never liked them in the past, suddenly take on a new, dew-dripping freshness that makes you hold that rutabaga or celery root and think, Where have you been all my life?). You roll up your sleeves and set to work, grinding and chopping and peeling and boiling and mashing, and as you work, you think, This is going to be a-MAZ-ing.
And then you hit reality square in the face?
Ugh. There is also nothing worse than that awful, awful feeling of having slaved away on something for over an hour or two, and realizing with slowly settling dread that somehow, SOMEHOW the recipe writer must have skipped a step, or used some kind of magical stove that actually *works*, or–you wonder maliciously–maybe they just store-bought something completely unrelated and labeled it “magical vegetable food your kids will love!”
I’ve never quite gotten the hang of breadcrumb crusts. I’ll admit that. I’m a pretty darn good cook most of the time, and pride myself on delicious meals, but every so often, there’s a recipe that I just. cannot. get. right. Potstickers? Sure. Enchiladas? Definitely. Fancy roasted veggies with some delicious, unusual sauce? Tempura? Fried tofu buffalo bites? You betcha. PAN-FRIED BREADCRUMBED ANYTHING?
Yeah, no. Apparently not.
I must have made a mistake somewhere, though at every step, things seemed to be coming together just as expected. Ah well. It happens. And now I know what recipes not to bother with. But let me just say, if you struggle with beautifully crispy browned bread-crummed things…don’t bother with veggie nuggets. No matter how lovely they look on Pinterest.