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Old 05-18-2019, 02:10 AM   #1
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Oops!!! Almost screwed up dinner.

Last night was my daughter's last night home before she moved to Baltimore.
Her request for dinner was Chili. With my son having just graduated, and my daughters boyfriend , we were having a full house for dinner, so I had to double up.

The chili I make is a vegetarian chili ( using the vegetarian ground meat stuff for texture, along with a variety of beans and all the basics).

Cooking with the vegetarian meat , at some point you have to deglaze the pan a bit so I usually use a splash or two of water , which I have carefully labeled in its designated bottle next to the stove. Because I'm making a double batch, I needed a little more than usual to deglaze, so I quickly reached for the bottle and as a few more splashes before it started ti burn. At this point I thought something smelled a little different. Thats when I got that Oh Crap feeling, looked on the counter, and realized that I added vinegar instead of water ( which is in a clearly marked bottler, clearly marked differently, but same size , shape and color as the water bottle). In the rush so things wouldn't burn, and being a double amount, I did add enough to make a significant difference. Of course I had no more 'meat stuff', so I was now faced with the challenge of masking enough of the vinegar flavor so it was edible and to avoid having to order in a pizza for her last home cooked meal.

This meat stuff is pretty absorbent, so its not like I could have drained the vinegar out. I continued adding the ingredients ( tomato puree from last years garden, herbs, spices, more spices. beans... The obvious would have been adding more tomato liquid to dilute the vinegar, but then it would have been too soupy ( not that I mind, cause I like soupy chili and often make a chili soup). But, I did add a little tomato paste, to keep the chili thick, yet allow me to add more tomato flavor to dilute and additional beans to aid in maintaining the thickness. Touch of sugar to counter a bit.

As dinner approached , I made some Polenta with cheddar cheese and a Spanish rice and beans to be served along with the chili. It was still a secret that I only knew about. Served everything up, and waited for the response. I sat and watched everyone eat with delight, even getting a few compliments ( as we hadn't had chili in a few months). I tasted it, and I could taste the extra ' twang' of the vinegar. It was subtle , but I knew it was there. My wife said ' the chili is really good". So my immediate response was "no its not, I screwed it up, I just didn't want to tell anyone, cause I was curious how everyone would respond". With a confused look, they all asked how I screwed it up. I replied by asking " what do you thing I did ? " . At this point they are all studying it, my sone asked if I used the wrong beans , to which I replied " Nope". They continued to study it. Finally, I explained what had happened . To that, my wife answered " well, maybe you should add a little vinegar next time you make it, cause it taste really good!" .

Anyway, not sure Ill be adding vinegar to my chili ( definitely not as much as I did this time), but Im glad I was able to salvage dinner. Sometimes were are our own worst criticts.

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Old 05-18-2019, 04:14 AM   #2
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I was wondering what you use as "meat substitute"?


I make veg chilli often, I use TVP, textured vegible protien.


It is avaiable most anywhere, has really no flavor, but absorbs chili spices very well.


When my friends eat it they all say, " This Chili is Great" but what is in here, Rice?


Eric, Austin Tx.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:28 AM   #3
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Morning Star Farms makes a Meat Crumblers, or something like that. They just recently changed it from vegetarian to vegan ( used to have egg whites in it). I wasn't too worried about the taste, as chili has quite a bit of stuff to mask almost anything , But was more concerned on the texture. Ive used other meat substitutes and they kinda dissolve in the liquid, almost making it pasty , which clearly is not what im looking for. So I gave it a go ( with a plan B dinner on deck , just in case). The consistency was fine. It did taste different from its vegetarian predecessor , but not enough to make much of a difference. Need to fry it up first ( kinda like chopped meat) to kinda create the texture, then add everything in afterwards ( although I first sauté an onion, then some garlic, then add the Meat Stuff in afterwards. Once that is cooked to my liking, in goes the tomatoes , beans and whatever else. If im using fresh peppers, ill sautéed them up with the onions. In this case, I have some grilled peppers I froze from last years garden, so I tossed them in later on in the process. by volume its probably about 3 to 1 meat stufff to beans.

Ive tried the TVP in the past, and the consistency isn't bad. The meat stuff adds a little more chew and some flavor. I try to keep TVP on hand cause sometimes I will add a handful if I feel the ratio is off a bit and don't feel like opening an additional bag.

I ll also used the meat crumbles for Lasagna, taco's, meat sauce, sloppy Joe and even stuffed cabbage . it has no binding properties at all, so meatballs,, meat loaf or anything that needs to stick together can't be accomplished without adding a bunch of egg, cheese or some other kinda binders. My wife, being a vegan, throws all those options out. But, with the new beyond meat burgers, and impossible burgers and sausages, its kinda opened a whole new door for her / us.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:54 AM   #4
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One of my favorite recipes for chili has 1/4c of cider vinegar, in a recipe using 6 lbs of meat. So using vinegar is not so far fetched.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:34 AM   #5
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I started adding a splash of cider vinegar within the last few years and it definitely makes my chili taste better.
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:07 PM   #6
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Phew, glad it was vinegar you added by mistake rather than a cleaning product in a similar bottle.

Reminds me of the time I sprayed my hair with Dow foaming bubbles Bathroom Cleaner instead of hairspray.
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Phew, glad it was vinegar you added by mistake rather than a cleaning product in a similar bottle.
Yeah, that could have got ugly!!

What im going to do is just change the vinegar bottle to a different size and shape. Now its exactly the same as the water , but just a marking on it to tell the difference, but sometimes ( as we all know) when cooking, you just need to grab and splash to avoid burning or whatever. I f I would have felt the difference in my hand, I would have stopped. Didn't realize it until after I smelled what I had put in ( and then ultimately tasted).

But as mentioned above, and from those who ate it, the vinegar actually did add a nice element ( only after I diluted it quite a bit).
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Old 05-18-2019, 02:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Phew, glad it was vinegar you added by mistake rather than a cleaning product in a similar bottle.

Reminds me of the time I sprayed my hair with Dow foaming bubbles Bathroom Cleaner instead of hairspray.
I do believe everyone of us have had our own boo boos we have made. At least you ended up with clean hair.
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Old 05-18-2019, 03:09 PM   #9
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For my wedding, I had a hair dresser come and do my hair and my sister's hair. My sister was afraid the 'do wouldn't keep, so she wanted to put more hair spray on it. She sprayed her hair with room deodorizer. She not only looked a bit like a wet cat, she sounded like one too.
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Old 05-18-2019, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Yeah, that could have got ugly!!

What im going to do is just change the vinegar bottle to a different size and shape. Now its exactly the same as the water , but just a marking on it to tell the difference, but sometimes ( as we all know) when cooking, you just need to grab and splash to avoid burning or whatever. I ).
Or you could change the label on the bottle you have. One with a bright color would help. Or wrap some duct tape around it in a way that would let you know it's different.

Just looking for ways to avoid buying something new when you have something that pretty much works already.
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