Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Jackfruit Adventure

I'm a vegetarian. For some reason, typing that proclamation makes me think of Zed in Police Academy proclaiming "I'm a vegetarian" in that crazy voice. I just did a Bobcat Goldthwait imitation for my husband and he doesn't remember that part of Police Academy. I also tried youtubing it, to no avail. So maybe I am crazy and just have a screechy man voice in my head that says "I..I..I'm a vegetarian!"

I've seen several jackfruit recipes lately. I had never heard of jackfruit until a few weeks ago when I started seeing jackfruit posts while browsing the food porn. I was intrigued by recipes such as Tender Pulled Jackfruit with Gravy , and BBQ jackfruit sandwich. I decided to try this barbecue jackfruit recipe from the blog Vegangelical. It has a home made Irish coffee barbecue sauce with Irish whiskey (I used scotch), coffee (acidic, that will come into play later), ketchup (again, acidic), and apple cider vinegar (very acidic).

I thought I would try to contact the author of the blog, to get her permission to post her whole recipe on my blog, rather than just post a link to it. When I went to the blog, I realized that the posts were almost a year old, and after some reading, discovered a new blog had taken its place, called Hezbollah Tofu, which apparently is an anti-Anthony Bourdain blog. And I quote, "Little Tony Bourdain may have started out like a nice normal little guy, but then he started playing with entrails. End of normal. Now he's kind of pushy. He has meat fascist followers. He is allowed to say fuck without being raked over the coals for it." I'm kind of a fan of Anthony Bourdain, but whatever. I figured I could still contact the blog's author about getting her permission about the recipe. But after some reading there, I learned that she is not reading any emails because she is getting a lot of hate mail about her agenda and now has a different blog called cupcakes and liquor. This looks like a nice blog, but by that point, I was exhausted and just decided to post the recipe and give her credit.

It was a good recipe. The jackfruit was interesting. Apparently here in the US you can by canned jackfruit, either young jackfruit in brine or ripe jackfruit in syrup. For this recipe, you need the young kind. Here is what it looked like out of the can.

As it cooked, it became very tender and pulled apart, eerily looking meat-like.

But do you notice what I'm cooking it in? A cast iron skillet. I know you are not supposed to cook tomato based things or acidic things in cast iron. When recipes call for a non-reactive pan there is a reason for that. My barbecue sauce kind of reacted with the pan and left the jackfruit with a metallic aftertaste. I couldn't get past it. My husband, grandma, and Little E finished their sandwiches. Little E pointed out that I get a metallic taste in my mouth from using my laptop, so maybe I am ultra sensitive to it, or maybe I am just weird. True. All and all it was a great experiment and I can't wait to try it again, or another recipe, in a non-reactive pan.

Recipe from Sarah of Vegangelical, Hezbollah Tofu, and cupcakes and liquor. (Notations in the recipe are her comments)
Irish Coffee Jackfruit Barbecue
For the sauce:
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup Irish whiskey
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
cayenne to taste (I used about 3 teaspoons, but I like things to be lethally hot)
3/4 cup ketchup (and all you Easterners can SUCK IT)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup strong black coffee
1 tablespoon liquid smoke

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, add the onion and saute for a few minutes. Add the whiskey and saute for a few minutes more, until the onion is soft. Stir in the spices, then add the remainder of the ingredients and mix well. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Some swear by letting it sit refrigerated overnight so the flavors can develop more, but I'm too impatient.

For the jackfruit:

2 1-lb cans green (young) jackfruit in water (NOT cooked jackfruit in syrup)
2 tablespoons canola oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 recipe Irish Coffee Barbecue Sauce (above)
1 tablespoon liquid smoke (more or less if you prefer)

Saute the jackfruit in the oil with the salt and pepper over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Pour in the barbecue sauce and mix well. Add more liquid smoke to taste. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 1 hour.


Brick said...

Jackfruit. Interesting. I'd never heard of it before.

If I were vegetarian, I'd eat lots of falafel. Heck, I'm not vegetarian and still eat lots of falafel. I'd have a hard time giving up beef tacos. But who knows, perhaps jackfruit tacos would rawk.

Vanilla Bean Counter said...

I am metallic sensitive too! It is the weirdest sensation and my family thinks I'm nutty too. I usually run into it if I eat things with chickpea flour, gag.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reinforcing omnivorous nature with your tale of vegetarian trial and tribulation.

Secret Server said...

IDNKM, to each his own.

Jennifer said...

I am curious about the texture of jackfruit, a slimy texture is more off-putting to me than most flavors...
Oh, and I don't think you are crazy with the metallic taste thing. Sometimes I can pick up on that, too, so I know what you mean. I just think you might be more sensitive to it than others...

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

Well I have to say the end result looks alot better than righ out of the can. My sister is a vegatarian so I am gonna pass this along to her! Oh and cant wait to try your muffins. : )