Drive-by Jackfruiting

Here we go with yet another method for making a generic jackfruit veggie ‘meat’. This time in beef flavor. I have read that roasting the jackfruit helps to give it a chewier texture, which is why I roasted the last batch. However, I think I probably should have shredded it prior to roasting to ensure that more of the moistness was removed. Onward to the cookery!

I marinated the drained & rinsed jackfruit overnight in a mix of beef stock (I like using these) and some worcestershire sauce.

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Yup, still looks completely unappetizing and brown to boot. Fear not, a little more work and it will be glorious…or something.

I then nuked the cold chunks for about a minute to make it easier to shred. After cooling I proceeded to have at it with my hands. I have never found the two fork method to be as efficient. Maybe meat claws would work better, but the chunks are small enough that using my fingers was zero problem.

At this point the jackfruit has a texture much like cooked crab meat, which is not bad at all and if you wanted to use it like this, it certainly would work. I think you could probably saute it up to get some maillard reaction going on and add a little crispy to it. I would probably do that if I was using it in a curry or other sauce to be cooked immediately. In this instance I wanted something I could freeze to be used at a later date.

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Now things are starting to look more meat-like producty. I drizzled on some really good Spanish extra virgin olive oil, shook on some smoked paprika and garlic, mixed it all up really well with my hands and proceeded to spread the mess onto a piece of oiled, heavy foil. I roasted for 10 minutes in a 350 degree convection oven. This is what I ended up with:

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I tasted a bit and while it still had a fairly neutral flavor, I think it should work well for whatever I plan to do with it. I bagged it, tagged it and froze it for later use.

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Experiments in vegetable ‘meat’ cookery #2

Jackfruit. I have heard it referred to as the ‘porcupine of the fruit world’ and I guess this is due to how it looks in it’s natural, unprocessed state.

Jackfruits grow on the branches and trunks of tall trees. You don't wait to harvest until they drop of their own accord — by that time, they'd be overrip

I suppose it was given this identifier because of the spiky outside, but I don’t get a porcupine vibe off that really. Maybe it’s the lack of foot long (in some porcupine species) quills that is throwing it for me.

At any rate, Jackfruit has been used as a meat substitute in many a vegan and vegatarian dish. It is native to parts of South & Southeast Asia, where the ripe fruit is used in desserts and candies and the young, unripe fruit used in savory preparations such as curries. What I will be experimenting with is the young, unripe variety.

Out of the can, it looks rather unassuming and unappetizing:

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But once you start working with it, it starts to resemble something you might want to put in your mouth at some point.

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BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

1-2 rbl extra virgin olive oil

granulated garlic

hickory Bacon Salt

1 can of unripe (or green) jackfruit in brine or water

3 tbl tomato paste

2 tbl mustard (I used this kind of sweet, kind of spicy Swedish stuff I get at Ikea called Senap Mild)

1/2 tbl of brown sugar

liberal shake of smoked paprika

1-2 tbl of worcestershire sauce

Drain and rinse jackfruit really well, especially if it comes in brine. Toss with olive oil to coat and sprinkle on the garlic and bacon salt. I use the bacon salt as it’s lower in sodium, vegetarian and also adds a little smokiness to the mix. You could also used some smoked paprika in lieu of the bacon salt or in addition to the other seasonings, if you want to up that smoky factor. Transfer the seasoned jackfruit to a baking sheet and roast in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes. Allow the fruit to cool before shredding with your fingers or two forks.

In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste, mustard, brown sugar, smoked paprika and worcestershire sauce until well blended. I then popped the mixture into the microwave for a minute or so to ‘cook’ everything a bit. You could cut out this step entirely and just use bottled sauce too.

Add the bbq sauce to the shredded jackfruit and mix well to ensure all the jackfruit is coated.

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I then heated the mixture for another minute to help the sauce soak in a bit, then refrigerated to allow the flavors to marry more. To use, simply reheat and pile on your favorite delivery method, bun, bread,. rice cakes…what have you. I plan to have some of mine open-faced on white toast with a slice of american cheese melted on the top. You can take the girl out of the trailer…

Experiments in vegetable ‘meat’ cookery #1

SO I have gout brought on by my traitorous kidneys. I know. I have the rich, fat, white, Edwardian man’s disease! For those not in the know, gout is a kind of inflammatory, arthritis-like disease that feels like gremlins with acid-dipped knives are repeatedly stabbing the affected joint. The causes of gout are an overabundance of uric acid that forms crystals in the joints. When your body tries to flush these crystals via white blood cells, the pain and swelling is the reaction. Or maybe it’s just the devil as this vintage illustration suggests. The devil and cello playing…while an incongruous grackle looks on…possibly looking smug, possibly laughing. Who can know the thoughts of Incongruous Grackle?

Gout

Moving on, I now have a new list of foods to avoid during an attack…none of which came from my kidney doctor but instead are the result of lots and lots of research on my part. Basically I should avoid foods high in purines during an attack and this should help mitigate the symptoms. So I have decided to finally just go vegetarian…anything to avoid that pain. If I had been told I was reduced to a diet of dirt and water for alleviation, this would be the best fucking mud pie recipe ever.

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Artichoke Hearts Taco Filling

1 can of artichoke hearts

2 tbl extra virgin olive oil

tajin clásico seasoning, the low sodium kind

ancho chili powder

chili powder

granulated garlic or garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)

oregano

Heat up an appropriately sized sauté pan and add the olive oil. Drain and chop artichoke hearts and add to the preheated pan. Sprinkle on all seasonings (use the amounts you deem fitting), mix well

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and saute until the artichoke hearts begin to brown and get a little crispy on the edges. Takes about 10 min or so. Basically you want a lot of that water that’s in them to cook out.

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Use as you would any other taco or burrito filling.