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Why Would I Trust Michael Milken?

July 14, 2009

Michael Milken, the man known as the Junk Bond King in the 1980s, would not be a man from whom you would think I would take food advice.

But he would not have been the Junk Bond King if he were not very persuasive.  And that is indeed why I listened to his food advice.  Plus the potential reward far exceeded the risks.

I read this article on him in Esquire magazine, and here is a brief synopsis of what it said.  Milken had a personal chef make healthier versions of his favorite foods.  These replications were so good that he claims to have tricked people into thinking they got the real deal when instead they were given the healthy alternative.

One of these dishes was the Reuben.
And the article included a recipe.  I ask you, how could I not give it a shot?

I was naturally suspicious.  But given the boast of fooling carnivores into thinking a vegetarian sandwich was a bona fide Reuben, I rolled up my sleeves and went shopping.  Finding tempeh bacon was not easy, even in the Bay Area.  But after two days of shopping I had assembled all the ingredients needed to start the sandwich.

The first step was to make the “thousand island” dressing out of silken tofu, ketchup and a few other seasonings.  It took a fair amount of time, but I suppose it made enough dressing for dozens of applications.

Crisping the tempeh bacon in the oven was next, followed by assembling the sandwiches.  The assembly was no small task given the specificity of it all.  I wanted to make sure I was making the dish perfectly.

Then the sandwich got baked in the oven for 20 minutes, to melt the soy cheese and “grill” the bread.

Before I got to sit down for my sandwich, it had taken me two days of shopping and almost two hours of preparation.  And I have to admit it was a tasty tasty sandwich.  No joke.  Especially considering how little saturated fat and cholesterol it had.  Honestly, if I had a personal chef to make this for me on a regular basis, I too would eat it with reckless abandon and be a very happy man indeed.

But a Reuben it was not.

It really made me wonder about the taste of the people Milken fooled in his kitchen.  But then again, I trusted him enough to go through with this experiment in the first place.

I am glad I did.  But I never made the sandwich again.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 15, 2009 9:13 am

    erm silken tofu. not a fan.

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