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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Mojito Lime Quorn

This was a bit more experimental than some stuff I've done, but still on the simple side, because it used a ready-mixed Mojito Lime marinade, a ready-prepared salad, and ready-to-bake seasoned potato slices.

The marinade mix came from the Schwartz 'Grill Mates' line, but I chose not to follow the instructions completely (a) because this was Quorn, not meat, (b) because we didn't have all of the ingredients as listed and (c) because I'm like that, so there.

Note that these details are for the preparation of the Quorn fillets only, any accompaniment would be dealt with separately, according the the instructions on its own packaging.

Ingredients:
  • 1 sachet Schwartz Grill Mates Mojito Lime Marinade Mix
  • 50ml Oil (I used olive oil rather than plain cooking oil)
  • 50ml White Rum 
  • 2 tbs Balsamic Vinegar (original recipe specifies white wine vinegar)
  • 2 Quorn Fillets
Preparation Time: about 30 minutes, including 15 minutes marinating time

Tools Required:
  • Wide, shallow bowl
  • Frying Pan
  • Spoon (for mixing and basting)
The Process:
Pour the oil, rum and vinegar into your shallow bowl, then add the contents of the marinade mix sachet and stir thoroughly. Add Quorn fillets to the bowl, ensuring all surfaces are covered, spooning the mixture over the fillets where necessary, then leave for at least 15 minutes to marinate. I started with frozen fillets (all I could get my hands on at the time), and the marinating time allowed them to thaw slightly before being cooked, thus reducing their cooking time slightly.

Set the hob to a medium heat, then transfer the fillets into a frying pan. Fry for about 5 minutes a side, generously spooning over more of the remaining marinade after turning. The oil in the marinade is sufficient, so no more need be added to the pan.

The seasoned potato slices I mentioned at the start were baked according to the instructions on the packaging, and were put into the oven at the beginning of the process... the salad, obviously, didn't need cooking.

The Results:
The instructions for the marinade suggest discarding all but two tablespoons of the marinade, which is used for basting halfway through the cooking time. This strikes me as rather wasteful... then again, frying the Quorn fillets made it far easier to pour on additional marinade during the cooking process, so I was probably a bit trigger-happy with it. What can I say, I like a good, thick coating on meat, so I figured it'd be especially important on Quorn, which has very little discernible flavour of its own.

The results would be very different on any kind of meat or seafood, with much of the eventual flavour coming from the meat, regardless of how long it's marinated. With Quorn you get a sweet, sharp coating that isn't quite 'mojito' because the rum doesn't come through very well - either it doesn't mix in well or it was just burnt off in the frying pan. It's possible that balsamic vinegar has too strong a flavour in its own right for this recipe, but it certainly did the finished product no harm.

It turned out very well for such a simple process, and I'm very likely to try this again using Quorn nuggets, or possibly using the alternative recipe, for 'Honey Lime Marinade', which switches the vinegar for lime juice and the rum for honey. At the very least, the next time I try this mix, I'll try leaving the Quorn to marinate overnight, so it absorbs more of the flavour. Quorn, being rather more porous than most meat, will most likely end up completely saturated... which shouldn't be a bad thing...

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