Wednesday, March 16, 2011

people-tested, Angst-approved

There are certain things I know Angst likes.  Spinach, hummus, jalapeno potato chips, pretzels, and spice cookies are a good start, and over the past six months or so I learned that he also greatly enjoys crumbs of pain d'epices, tofurky, cabbage, and TVP.  Yes, tonight, I learned that Angst loves TVP.

There are certain meals that Angst relentlessly bothers us to share and other meals he can't get far enough away from while we're eating.  He's not as big a fan of curry as Mister, but he loves pasta nights just as much, ever hoping that "real" Parmesan cheese will find its way onto our table again.  He knows the sound of a bag of baby spinach opening and recognizes the scent of hummus from a room away.  Tonight, though, he really surprised me.

Tonight was a fast-cooking dinner night, which left me only two options.  I chose Sloppy Joes from The Urban Vegan because it appeared to only take about 30 minutes from washing the pepper to toasting the buns (optional, but my preference).  I am truly fascinated by textured vegetable protein (TVP) because I never expect it to reconstitute/soften as easily as it does.  It also has a remarkable texture, reminiscent of the shredded chicken in chicken cheese steaks.  In fact, it reminds me a lot of the steak analog in the veggie steaks at Steve's Steaks (7th & South), come to think of it.

The diced red pepper added a sweet and subtle crunch that only further enhanced the chewy texture of the Joes and I was in shock and awe of how the strange melange of seasonings worked together with a couple of Tbsps of the first BBQ sauce I have ever actually purchased - Annie's Naturals organic BBQ sauce.  I had some trouble deciding which flavor (darned gourmet BBQ sauces), but decided the Smokey Maple sounded fun and would probably best complement the other flavors in the recipes.

I was pretty happy with this, although I'm not sure I would use it on its own as a condiment of some sort.  The flavor was pretty strong and I'm looking forward to seeing how much that affects the other recipe, since I'll use the rest of the bottle and it will play a pretty integral role in the dish.

Anyway, the most stunning part of the evening was when Angst came to the table, insisting that we share with him.  Not just begging, I tell you, but feet up on my chair staring at my Joe with hungry eyes that would make Johnny Castle proud.  I gave him a little piece of Mister's leftovers and he went nuts.  I gave him a second piece and he ate it right out of my fingers!  He helped polish off the little bits that fell out of Mister's sandwiches, which gave me just enough time to finish eating my own dinner unperturbed.

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