Veggie 'Gordon' Bleu by Viana
I grew up in a small town and like most small towns having a choice of good hair dresser or great looking clothing stores were a bit limited but the one area of our town that was never limited was the restaurants. Thanks to the many Greeks in our town we had some amazing restaurants....One of these restaurants Our Flames Restaurant and Pub (if you are ever in Olds, Alberta you won't be disappointed) had the best Chicken Cordon Bleu....crazy good and I'm sure that I shouldn't have eaten as many as I did but what can I guy like me do, when something is so stupid good.
Anyways, when I came across this Veggie Gordon Bleu by Viana my memories instantly were transported back to eating that amazing dish so many years ago, covered in some kind of devil sauce and oozing with flavorful and wonderful cheese....shit just thinking about that dish my ass is getting fatter.
So expectations and hopes were high. Veggie Gordon Bleu is a completely vegan product which according to the picture on the box had some gooey amazing vegan cheese and my experience so far with vegan cheese is that it rarely oozed. So I was very excited. I opened the package and following the directions began to fry the cutlets....quick and easy. Well that's what the directions said but the directions were hardly specific. Five minutes in a pan.... that was it...sorry that wrong, there was picture of a pan and 5min written underneath. Did this mean 5 minutes a side or 2.5 minutes a side....As they started cooking, I decided that it was 2.5 minutes a side and was careful not to puncture the fillet so that the 'cheese' didn't ooze out. After the time, I cut into the middle to watch the cheese melt out onto the plate and nothing happened.
What did I do wrong? Maybe I didn't cook it long enough, so back to the pan it went. And after another 2.5 minutes a side, still the block of 'cheese' was still a block. Was this it? It was a far cry from the picture on the box. Maybe, I still hadn't cooked it write. So I on the package it had a picture of a stove, 10min was written underneath the stove. So, heating up the stove, I decided that it was best to bake it at 200C. Pretty hot (almost 400F for Americans and some Canadians). And after 10 minutes I took it out and made a little incision into the cutlet and nothing, no oozing. Okay, I tell myself maybe it needs a bit longer. Back to the oven it goes. Another 10 minutes and still no oozing....
My dreams dashed, I thought okay so no oozing cheese but it can still be f'n delicious. I gathered my ingredients.
Tomatoes always a good idea to cut through 'heavy' food, shallots make tomatoes that much better add a few mushrooms because why not, throw in some herbs (today I had a herb mix I bought in Scotland that I thought would work well), next had a bit of stock. I added about 1 cup of stock to 6 tomatoes but add less if you like a thicker sauce and more for a thinner sauce, add a little sweetness ( I used agave syrup but use what ever you want) and stew it all together for about 1/2 hour. Sticking with the fact that the product is vegan and well thought it should remain I added a hint of vegan cream at the end of the simmering but if you don't have vegan cream skip it or add cow cream.
After pouring the sauce over the cutlet, I added a salad and...
...it didn't taste bad but not great. And truthfully the problem I had was not the flavor of the cutlet; that was actually quite nice, it was simply with the 'cheese'. As you can see it still didn't melt.
Overall not a bad product and generally speaking I enjoy Vlanas' products but this one was a miss for me. The promise and the hope was bigger then the actual. My old boss used to say, "Under promise and over deliver" this was a case of over promise and under deliver.