The Faux-Sus Scrofa Domesticus Principle

I would say that, as a former meat eater, the only things I possibly miss are roast beef and of course, the usual one, bacon.  I no longer miss roast beef but veggie bacon was always a let down for me.  I can handle that sausages are not porky or horsey.  The beef slices from Quorn are not amazingly beefy.  The chicken pieces, like real chicken, have their flavour changed with a good bit of stock and 20 minutes thought.  But the bacon… this was never really a winner… until I analysed it.

Talking to people who know another secret recipe, I have finally cracked how to make a Quorn Bacon sandwich taste like the real thing.  So – for you, exclusively on my blog until I copy and paste – here is how to make a really tasty Quorn Bacon sandwich.  You need a frying pan, a hob and if possible to do the de-frost, a microwave.

Ingredients:

  • Quorn Bacon – 1 frozen packet from the freezer in your local supermarket. Must be Quorn, must be frozen. Any other brand tastes very different. Did I mention it must be the frozen variety, not the fridge?
  • Salt – preferably sea salt in the grinder
  • Olive Oil
  • Sauce – your choice of
  • Bread – two slices minimum
  • Salad (Optional but I like it)
  • Hot beverage (Tea or coffee)

Methodology:

  1. Quorn Bacon in SaltingDefrost the Quorn Vegetarian Bacon in the microwave – two minutes and then leave to stand for 15 minutes.  If you are re-freezing 4 slices, take the 4 off you want to use and put the rest in the freezer.  You can also leave the pack in the fridge over night or put it in the sun for an afternoon or in your polytunnel for the week.  There’s room for a bit of freestyling here.
  2. Heat your pan and add two teaspoons of olive oil at most.
  3. Lay your veggie bacon out on a chopping board and crack salt over the top of the bacon substitute to ‘cure’ it.  Not sure what we’re curing it of but comments welcome on that.Turning the bacon
  4. Put the bacon into the frying pan salt down and cook until you suspect it is crispy or burning.  Salt the now-top side and turn.  Not toss – that could result in no one wanting to try your sandwich if it all goes wrong… which it will.
  5. Take the two slices of bread.  Check for mould and then place them on a plate.  Put your chosen sauce on each slice.Quorn Bacon Sandwich
  6. Take the cooked bacon out and add to the sandwich. I like 4 slices with some salad between them but that’s just me.  Some people prefer cheese, but they’re not here to argue the case on that one.  Freestyle a bit more with it.
  7. Eat, with a beverage of choice.

Sandwich with CoffeeBon appetite.  The secret ingredient, much like the Colonel?  It’s the salt…

 

An amazing meal (or: How I’m worried I messed dinner up)

I am the most amazing chef.

No, really.  Everybody tells me so – Nuzzle’n’Scratch do.  Monkey does. MBW does. Sheila who ordinarily wouldn’t eat veggie food reckons so, too.  Bob and Bill both swear by my cooking.

Yes, I only hear what I want to hear, but I don’t care – my point is I’m amazing and that is what I go into the kitchen believing every time I cook dinner.

So, tonight I decided I’d pre-fry slices of courgette, procured from the Mother-in-Law, with a tomato and veg sauce, baked in the oven for about 30 minutes and served up with rice.  I can’t go wrong… I know I can’t.  I’m invincible!

Courgettes

So, I slice up the courgette, get out the garlic and… it’s gone off.  Not to worry, add some herbs and mustard seeds to the hot oil, start frying until they are golden brown… get a saucepan going with some chopped onion, peppers – heck I’m so confident at this point I take photos of the capers and the courgettes and – yeah I’m good.

I’m Legen – wait for it…

Capers - See, not kidding about the images

So, I’m popping the courgette on a plate to sit for a moment whilst I work on the sauce – my test pieces are incredible!

… dary – Legendary.

Whilst I am patting down the courgettes and popping them into the dish, I’m feeling good – I’m so good in fact I’ll try another bit… oh.

Not sure about this bit.  Slightly bitter.

Pre Sauce stuff - I added tomatos to this

I try another bit… not too great, either.  I make the sauce up and simmer it for a bit and think.

Eeek.

I’m worried.  I pile the sauce in, put it in the oven and sit down and blog.  If I don’t update in 24 hours, please contact my next of kin, who will be dining with me tonigh…

I’ve not thought this through, have I?

Molecular gastronomy for a Saturday

Monkey and I cooking

Monkey and I cooking

Tonight, following a trip with the troupe to Toys-R-Us about 30 miles from us, we needed to perform the gastronomic escapades that is our evening meal.  Naturally, I am rarely without my little sous-chef, who was more than willing to assist with this evenings experiment.  And our choice?  Baked Cheesy Mushrooms with salad and a jous of balsamic glaze, roast veg pizza and garlic bread.

Monkey tearing up the basil

Monkey tearing up the basil

Monkey and I set to work, cleaning up some portabello mushrooms (organic, of course) and taking some of the not so clean skin off before removing the stalk.  Mean while, I chopped up a load of garlic (which was really strong tonight) and prepared two dishes for the large mushrooms to go in.  But – we feel a vital ingrediant is missing here – basil!  I set the sous-chef on to this at once – tearing up some basil for me whilst I sorted the cheese to go on top…

Found a cup of juice

Monkey finds a juice in her pocket

Successfully done, as you can see – I mix this with the garlic and piled onto the mushrooms, cheese, a splash of oil and a stint in the oven with a pizza and garlic bread is required.  But what to do mean time?  You see, I’d find this a problem but not Monkey – she likes to do magic tricks that surprise even her!  Yes – a juice in an apron pocket trick!  I was so surprised I took a photo.  We laughed and laughed… for about 20 minutes.  And the outcome?

Dinner - mushrooms on salad

Dinner is served

That is our dinner – the Pizza and Garlic bread was on the table already…