Replacing meat in recipes
Having recently discovered the wonderful world of Yves Veggie Cuisine, I am now wondering how far soy "ground meat" can go in recipes intended for cow. If I mince it, add seasonings, and roll it up into balls, and then fry them or bake them into meatballs, will they fall apart or burn? If I add it to a stew whose recipe calls for uncooked ground beef, will the stew turn out okay?
Any stories of using soy ground-meat as a meat substitute, and tips on anything I should or should not do with soy meat, would be much appreciated. Thank you!
I haven't used Yves before (mostly have used Gimme Lean, which is like raw meat in texture from the package). If it's already crumbled in texture, I imagine you'd have a hard time getting them to stick into "meatballs". I once tried making meatballs from the Gimme Lean product and didn't like the outcome- they seemed kind of mealy and didn't absorb flavor like I'd hoped they would.
Best way I've ever enjoyed soy crumbles is in Tex-Mex applications- tacos, burritos, on nachos.....I like to flavor it with sauteed onion, lots of cumin, garlic, coriander and chipotle powder. If the product is like raw meat to start, I find that a little water added in the middle helps in breaking the stuff into smaller even crumbles. If it's already crumbled, give it a little time to meld with the spices and pick up the flavor.
I have made meatballs from soy "ground meat" with moderate success. I didn't try to fry them but rather baked them after brushing with oil. They kinda fell apart but weren't too bad.
My advice would be to get more adventurous with legumes rather than using imitation meat products. Lentils, chickpeas, adzuki beans, etc. are so nutritious and very versatile.
I am wary of using fake meat in a stew or soup, I would think the long cooking time would make it kinda disintegrate. I suppose you could brown it, remove, make the rest of the stew and then add it back toward the end.
Good luck with your experimenting!