October 9, 2009

Morningstar Veggie Sausages

This morning, we take on the important realm of breakfast fake meats, starting with Morningstar Farms Veggie Sausage Links. The first thing I'm going to say about it is that I'm glad that the word sausage doesn't carry any legally-binding meat connotations, so they don't have to change it to something weird. (like chicken becoming chik'n)

Okay - we were having breakfast for dinner (a.k.a. Brinner) the other night, so I was making some pancakes and eggs to go with these sausages. I went with the stovetop method of preparing these, hoping for a nicely browned, crispy crust. This I did not get. Here's what the directions say:

• Place frozen links in cold skillet.
• Add 1/4" of water.
• Cook over MEDIUM heat, allowing water to evaporate.
• Cook 2-3 additional minutes, turning frequently to allow product to brown.

I did what it asked of me. First, the water took FOREVER to all evaporate. I made all my pancakes while this was happening. Then, once the water was gone, the sausages started to stick really bad to my amazing non-stick skillet. Nothing I have ever made has stuck to this skillet, so I'm not sure what these things are made out of that caused them to stick. Due to the sticking, I didn't get a nice browned exterior. Well, I'm sure I did, but it tore off the sausage when I took it out of the skillet. In any case, the rest of the food was done, and the sausages were hot, so we went ahead and ate them.

The sausages on their own definitely did not taste like a real-meat sausage, although it was obvious that it was trying. Instead of the typical soy flavor, it tasted very strongly of sausage-spice. Mostly pepper, I want to say. The texture, though, was not great. Very mushy. At this point, I remembered my typical sausage-eating strategy of wrapping a bite of sausage in a bite of pancake and eating them together. This disguised both the flavor and texture problems. At this point, it was just like eating a real-meat sausage, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I highly recommend this technique.

The experience:
Texture - mushy - not great, but not as noticeable when combined with a pancake
Flavor - very peppery, not very soy-tasting

Final grade for this attempt: A-

4 comments:

  1. I thought that the taste and internal texture was pretty good, but without the hard crispy exterior that you get with normal sausages links, I can only give it a B.

    My ideas for future attempts would be:
    a) cook it in oil instead of water, or
    b) take a torch to the top of them to brown them with having them stick

    I was as surprised as you were that they stuck - that non-stick skillet is very high quality, and I've also never had anything stick to it before.

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  2. Water? What? just throw a little (tiny bit) of oil in, and it's fine.

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  3. Cook it in oil - now I've got the second attempt strategy figured out. :)

    I'm sure they went with water because it adds no fat, but sometimes you need just a little.

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  4. I concur that oil is the optimum vehicle, but you may not need any at all. I know with the sausage patties they're self-lubricating.

    In any event, 1/4" inch of any substance is total overkill.

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