Of all the cooking techniques I have mastered, breading is not one of them. This evening's dinner was rather a miserable failed attempt at breaded cauliflower with garlic, capers and red wine vinegar, sauteed chestnuts and mashed fava beans with carrots.
The last recipe was my own invention and by far the most successful. I heated some olive oil and tossed in half an onion and let those soften. Then I added one chopped carrot to soften and followed that with a can of favas, liquid and all. Finally, in addition to salt and white pepper and 3/4 teaspoon of stock paste, I added some coarsely chopped garlic. Other two dishes were recipes from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. The chestnuts would have been fine, except that the chestnuts were old and dry, thank you very much Wegmans. Old chestnuts and the gone-off soy milk with a sell by date of February 2010 that you sold me 2 weeks ago which resulted in a full hour of me lying very still on the couch, willing myself not to vomit, have made me a little concerned about the drop in the quality of your merchandise. The real pity was that Ryan had never eaten chestnuts before, so his first experience was not starchy, sweet comforting nutty warmth as it should have been, but instead, a chewy and rather dry experience.
The breaded cauliflower, however was down to technique, which I do not have and am considering not trying to have anymore. It's so much mess that it doesn't quit seem worth it. The last time I tried something similar was when I attempted tempura vegetables. That was even worse than the cauliflower. Oh well. Live and learn.