Sunday, March 2, 2008

Icebox Experiment: Fake Chicken is Still Chicken

I had always assumed that Belle was adverse to meat because of its texture. Our non scientific study came this week. I had purchased Yves Lemon Chicken Skewers on a whim at Whole Foods. I had been reading a book by Naguib Mafouz and as I had a vague interest in doing something to Middle Eastern, they called out to me.

This week was a difficult cooking week. While my husband and I have been working more, we have not lost sight of creating healthful family meals. We are just doing them more quickly. So the other evening, we pulled out a box of grape tomatos, mushrooms, the Yves, and macaroni. My husband fire-roasted the tomatoes in a skillet and then sautéed the mushrooms in another skillet.

Then we broke out the “meat.” Each packet of 2 skewers came in at just under $4, so we decided to stretch it and only use one for our pasta. We added the “meat” to the mushrooms and continued to sautee. Carmelization is always a good thing, if you ask my husband.

The whole thing came together in a pasta dish. The tomato sauce was rich and tasty and Belle loved it. But, the “chicken” was surprisingly chickeny in flavor and texture…and not a single bite was swallowed by Belle.

And in many ways it was lucky that she didn't like the "meat", because I had had a clear lapse in the grocery store--the "chicken" was made with eggs. I know that sounds like I am about to go into the birds and the bees, but what I mean is that eggs were used in the production of the "chicken." Don't they always, you ask? Isn't it a bit comical. One buys fake chicken only to find that it is made with eggs. I reminds me why for me (an omnivore) fake meat doesn't really make sense. I don't need a simalcrum when I am perfectly happy to consume the original.

No comments: