Day 2 of Project 365: Chili fail.

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2016-01-02 20.54.11

Sometimes recipes don’t work out. This was a tried-and-true chili recipe that I decided to adulterate when my quest for turkey mince came up short. (I would have settled for chicken mince, but couldn’t find that either.) The cookbook I used has provided me with many excellent meals so I felt confident that I could make a substitution without much loss in fidelity.

Quorn is … interesting. I want to like Quorn because it is a gluten-free meat substitute and I’d like to eat less meat. However, substituting Quorn for meat in this recipe resulted in a bowl of chili that looked right but was texturally weird and pretty bland. If I were a more accomplished cook, I’d be able to determine if this is a Quorn issue or if I could have helped it along somewhat.

Failed recipe aside, I tried to savour the experience of grocery shopping in Scotland today. Perusing different brands of haggis and black pudding in the deli case is something I doubt I’ll be doing back in the States. (Yes, I found vegetarian haggis, but I have yet to find any vegetarian haggis that is also gluten-free.)

Don’t let my failed experiment deter you from Cybele Pascal’s excellent “Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking”. Quite a few of her recipes have made it into our regular rotation, especially the paella. To level up my vegetarian cooking skill, I think I need Anna Jones’ “A Modern Way to Eat” which is filled with gorgeous-sounding vegetarian recipes.

Tell me all about your favourite vegetarian dish.

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6 thoughts on “Day 2 of Project 365: Chili fail.

  1. I’d say it’s a Quorn issue. I like the stuff, but while it adds texture it doesn’t really have much of a flavour itself, so you need to make up for that with more of the other tastier ingredients.

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  2. kierangerman

    I cooked with Quorn for years but because I have been vegetarian for so long I cannot really compare it with meat. I think it is great that you’re keen to eat less meat and Quorn products are a great substitute.

    I found that Quorn mince works really well in the Anna del Conte bolognese recipe. Because Quorn behaves in a slightly different way to meat (it doesn’t reduce, or introduce oils into the mix) I think it is best to add less than the recipe calls for (say 250-300g for this recipe). You will still have more than enough for two generous portions. Add your favourite gluten-free spaghetti and you are laughing.

    http://www.countrylife.co.uk/life-in-the-country/greatest-recipes-ever-anna-del-contes-ragu-bolognese-sauce-19788

    Recently, however, I have been cooking less and less with Quorn and making much wider use of lentils, chickpeas, beans and so on. A few weeks ago I made lentil burgers using the Scott Jurek recipe and they were awesome. What’s more, if you follow the recipe you end up with like eight or nine patties, so you can pop some in the freezer and they make really tasty, nutritional convenience foods. I trust you will be able find gluten-free breadcrumbs.

    http://scottjurek.com/eatandrun/recipes/

    Stoked that you’re doing #project365 again. Good luck!

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