Wednesday, September 14, 2016

About Preserved Meats



Where I do not have good refrigeration at present, I have been eating a lot of preserved meats.  We all remember Vienna sausages, Deviled Ham and Chicken.  There are a number of alternatives available including potted Corned Beef.
These and other canned meats(and fish) are excellent substitutes for fresh meat if, as I am now, it is distant from grocers or if there is limited refrigeration.  Where I am, the list includes Salsiccia Piccante(Pepperoni), Salamis in bewildering array and a number of salted, dried and smoked meats.   These are good until you cut into them, then they should be chilled.  In my case I often have to opt for ice chests for these, and locals often get away with hanging the sausages, even cut, in a cool dark room.  I suppose if you cover them with a cheese cloth to keep pests off, you may get away with it.  After all, it was done for centuries before the refrigerator was invented.
But you must avoid salting your food in any way when you are using these.  This is especially true if you are prone to hypertension.  The salt content is very high.
The other drawback is calories.   These meats tend to be high in fat as well, and you really should not be eating a meal that has more than 30 percent of calories from fat.
The idea then is to find some way to serve these with low fat and salt accompaniments.
Crackers are available without extra salt, but still, the calories are there and sometimes fat.
Some breads are fairly low in salt and fat, and the bread you make yourself can be made that way.

My thought for this post is however, to try something completely different.

Slice cucumbers, top with a dollop or piped mound of the meat, then top that with a black olive or a cherry tomato and or bell pepper.
Use cherry peppers by cutting the tops off and piping the meat or chunk of meat inside.
Stuff them with water, wine or balsamic vinegar dampened bread crumbs with a bit of meat inside.
Hollow out cherry tomatoes and fill.
Roasted pepper sheets rolled up around the meat is a good choice.  If you have a long roll, slice them into chunks.
If you are going to serve something in say an hour, you can freeze chunks of the potted meats in a shape that can be put into a vegetable, then stuff or wrap them up much more easily.
Hollow half a cucumber or split a long thin pepper, a spear of celery or tomato, stuff, chill and slice to make canapes or a lunch entree.
Sliced fruits make a good vehicle for many of the meats that might ordinarily appear on crackers...apple, pear, peach halves will all work well.  You could even stuff canned pears or peaches.

The way around calories, fat and salt is often just a little creativity.