Friday, July 10, 2009


I'm always on the lookout for recipes in our local paper, especially since they published one of mine from my Simple Cookery blog. This weeks food section had a long article on MSG (monosodium glutamate). I was surprised to find out the flavor enhancer has been around since 1908. Personally, I don't really get along with this additive or with sulfites. While I won't fall over with an allergic reaction to either, in moderate quantities, my face will flush almost immediately. Eventually I'll end up with a headache. Small quantities found in soups or other foods don't seem to bother me much. It's probably more a matter of 'layered' exposure to MSG. For instance, I probably get a lot more exposure at a food buffet than in a can of cream of mushroom soup.
Growing up, we always had a can of Ac'cent in the kitchen. Mom and Grandma used it a lot in their meat dishes. I always thought of it more as a meat tenderizer for cheap cuts of meat than a flavor enhancer. At some point Mom stopped using it, and I've never used it in any recipes. I was surprised to find that a lot of my friends still use it. In one of Mom's cookbooks every meat, poultry and fish dish calls for Ac'cent. I always just omitted the ingredient not knowing what to substitue for it. Lately I've been thinking maybe I'm missing something. A little tenderizing, a little flavor, a little trouble breathing.....Next thing you know someone will tell me Worcestershire sauce has anchovies in it.
Meat Muffins
1 and 1/4 pounds ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
3 slices bread torn into pieces (about 2 cups)
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Accent
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix all ingredients together and divide into 12 equal portions. Pack lightly into muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, blend together 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1/3 cup ketchup. After about 20 minutes of baking time, spoon 2 teaspoons of ketchup mixture on top of each muffin and continue baking for another 20 minutes. Total baking time approximately 40 minutes.

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