Ameteur Chef’s Tip: If you buy a new meat product, either read the ingredients list before you buy it or don’t read it at all and live in ignorance.
I found a new recipe to make this week, and am I sure glad I tried it out…when The Husband was away on business. I like to keep my culinary failures away from my love.
Anyway, this was a recipe for a take on bean dip, and it looked delicious on Pinterest. I thought the kids would like it, so I bought the ingredients, one of which was chorizo. I had never bought or eaten chorizo before, but I had seen it in the meat department. It looked so delicious, and conveniently cheap as well.
I am a rockin’ mama, making this awesome and vaguely exotic bean dip for my kids! I got this!
I heated up my very best pan and squeezed the chorizo into it. It looked just like the cheap ground beef you get out of the tubes. As I was tossing the tube into the garbage, I nonchalantly glanced at the ingredients list. I froze, my body seized up, and my eyes widened.
I can’t tell you what was all on that list, because I stopped reading after the first two ingredients out of fear. But I can tell you that I have never heard of anyone eating these cow parts.
Now I’m facing a huge mental and moral conundrum. Do I pretend I never saw the ingredients and serve it to my kids as if it were normal, while eating none of it myself? Or do I bite the bullet and just throw it away?
While I was repulsed beyond anything in my recent memory, my ancient Midwestern instinct to never waste food took over. I smiled sweetly at my daughters, who were “assisting” me (read: touching everything, doing dangerous things, and asking irrelevant questions incessantly), and proceeded to break up the “sausage” (if you could call it that) with a wooden spoon.
What happened next would have been confusing as hell if I hadn’t known that this wasn’t actual meat. The “sausage” actually sort of melted in the pan, turning into what looked like a red sauce with finely ground “meat” in it. At this point my oldest daughter is dubious about this fauxsage. So while I’m trying to figure out how to tell when cow yik-yak soup is done cooking, I tell her that this is the “cheap stuff,” and that if I’d known it would do this I wouldn’t have bought it. “Oh, well!”
This seemed to satisfy her, so after doing a quick Googling, I drained it in a bowl. It looked like red cat barf. Munchkin quite willingly gave it a taste and proclaimed that it was edible. Great, I thought. You can eat it all. Her little sister thought it was delicious, too. Brother was another story, but he’s a pretty picky eater anyway.
I ended up spreading a thin layer on half of the dip, and serving that part to the girls. Like just about anything I cook, it was only picked at half-heartedly at the table by the younger two. I didn’t mind mine, because at least it didn’t have the gross stuff on it. It’s not often I can empathize with how my picky eaters feel.
The best part was the commentary provided by Munchkin at the dinner table. Like some Cutthroat Kitchen judge, she bolded stated, “The dip was good…except for the cheap chorizo. Why did you use cheap chorizo? Don’t do that next time.” Ha.
So there you go, ladies. Do not trust the mystery meat, but feel free to serve it to your unsuspecting children. And as for what the those two terrible ingredients were: beef salivary glands and beef lymph nodes. I told you.