Are Accent and canned sweet potatoes devils?
- VAfoodie Nov 23, 2008 12:25 PM
I was originally going to just ask about Accent, which I know is just MSG. When I was growing up, I remember my parents tenderizing tough cuts with this stuff, but I know the recent buzz has not been good. Is there something else one can use that works as well (Adolph's meat tenderizer?)
Seeing all the sweet potato recipes posted got me thinking about how lazy I am when it comes to peeling potatoes. Are canned sweet potatoes unacceptable for most of these recipes?
I always thought I hated sweet potatoes, as I had the canned stuff every Thanksgiving. Once I tried a fresh one as a teenager, I realized I loved sweet potatoes. The canned ones have an off taste (to me at least) and are nothing like fresh. Two different animals.
As for Accent, I've never had it but I find meat tenderizers unnecessary if beef is cooked right. If it is a tough cut I either braise (like a chuck steak for pot roast or beef stew meat), or I cook quickly, leave rare, and slice thin (london broil, flank).
Never had canned sweets, so I can't say. As for Accent, it definitely gets used a lot as a flavor enhancer, but I've never tenderized meat w/ it. I just put a pinch in sauces, stews, braises, gravy, scrambled eggs. As long as your'e not MSG sensitive, I say go for it. Adam
Now here's my secret for sweet potatoes.
Scrub, but don't peel them.
Roll them on your counter & notice where they stop.
Poke the top with a knife in a few place on top.
Rub with oil and bake in your oven for an hour on your pizza stone.
Let them sit on the stone for 20 min after the oven is off.
Pull them out and slit the SP horizontally. Eat as is.
Or scoop out the flesh or just peel. The skin will come off easily now.
Ditto Mels on meat. Never use the stuff. Marinating helps, try using something acidic.
Vinegar, wine, lemon, lime, orange.
I have one or two old recipes that I use Adolphs to tenderize the meat, it's made of pineapple extract I believe. But I also use bourbon or scotch to moisturize the meat first as called for (it calls for water, but I figure add a little flavor), so who knows what does it. My grandmother always tenderized with just scotch, so there's an idea for you. I also have Accent on hand, I use it in Chinese cooking just because. A little sprinkle, reactions are from using too much of it.
I know plenty of people that prefer canned, above fresh, so that's up to you. I like fresh and it holds its shape better after cooking, but on the other hand, they take a long time to be done.
Accent, MSG, is a flavor enhancer, mainly adding a 'meaty' quality. Some have (or think they have) an adverse reaction to it, often called the 'chinese restaurant syndrome'. Judging from what is available in groceries, it is more commonly used in Asian and Latin cooking than American (US) home cooking. For example, 'dashi no moto', the Japanese instant fish stock mix is mainly MSG.
It is not a meat tenderizer, though there may be tenderizers (usually based on a papaya extract) that include MSG.
I occasionally buy canned sweet potatoes, preferring the dry pack ones to the ones with syrup. Dry pack will work in many recipes, as long as you take into account that they are already cooked.