We all have our little quirks and idiosyncrasies.
One of mine is that I don’t like to handle raw meat. I think it’s kind of gross. I don’t know how I would have survived back in pioneer days or nearly any other time in history when the men would go out and kill their food and the women would clean it and cook it up into a meal.
I’m a bit lost when it comes to buying steaks, chops, roasts and the like. I even get nervous in the deli department at the grocery store. There are just too many choices involved in buying lunchmeat—cooked, baked, roasted, smoked, boiled, chipped, chopped, and sliced. Add in the pressure of all the people behind me waiting for their turn to order and I break out into a cold sweat.
If you’re thinking I’m weird, you’re not alone. My family of carnivores cannot understand how the apple fell so far from the tree.
Though I’m not much of a meat eater, the Big Man cannot survive on vegetables and couscous alone. I occasionally have to throw a slab of meat his way. Preferably cooked.
But before it’s cooked, it starts out raw; and raw=yuck.
So when the Big Man needs meat, I usually go for ground beef or sausage to make tacos, lasagna or stuffed peppers. This meat comes in nicely wrapped packages and looks nothing like its original animal body part.
I’ve found something that makes browning ground meat a breeze and works so much better than a fork to break it up—Pampered Chef’s Mix ‘N Chop.
This little kitchen gadget is my go-to choice for browning meat. It chops up the meat and mixes it with any other ingredients in the pan with ease. There are two main advantages that it has over a fork: 1) the long handle keeps your fingers away from the heat of the pan, and 2) you grip it with your whole hand like you would a bottle of water, thus allowing your arm to do most of the work. By holding it this way, you’re able to put more oomph into the chopping action. Another nice thing about it is that it’s made of plastic-y nylon stuff (that’s official cooking gadget jargon) that won’t damage your pans.
I purchased my Mix ‘N Chop at one of those lovely in-home parties where the hostess cooks all this food using Pampered Chef products and the guests get to eat it all. I love those parties. Unless I’m the hostess, then they’re a lot of work.
If you don’t want to wait for one of your friends to host a party, you can order one online from the official Pampered Chef web site. The cost is $10.50 and is, I think, worth every penny. The Big Man thinks so, too, since this means he doesn’t have to eat his vegetables.
Chickaliciousness: 5 for hands-off meat preparation