Jackfruit Fajitas

On March 21, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I first became aware of jackfruit after ordering vegan “carnitas” tacos at one of my favorite vegan restaurants in California – Hip Vegan Cafe in Ojai. What amazed me is how a fruit had a shredded meat texture to it which makes it really useful as a substitute to meat without being the typical “fake meat” in vegetarian cooking.

So what is jackfruit? It is a rather large tree grown fruit that is part of the mulberry and fig family. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh! Thank you Wikipedia.

It’s a fibrous, starchy fruit that doesn’t have that much flavor by itself. The stringy texture gives it the meaty texture that works great for vegetarian cooking. It is a really odd fruit and one you won’t typically find at a grocery store.

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I found some at Whole Foods from a company that sells packaged jackfruit with various marinades.

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The Jackfruit Company sells a Tex-Mex version I decided to try out for my first at-home jackfruit dish. There are curry, teriyaki and BBQ options too.

The packets contain enough for two. You would have to be pretty skimpy to get enough for 3 or 4 people out of one pouch of The Jackfruit Company’s product. The company says each pouch serves 2.5 per container which is what I pretty much found.

Jackfruit Fajitas
Serves 2

1 package of The Jackfruit Company Tex-Mex jackfuit
1/2 yellow pepper, thin sliced sticks
1/2 red onion, thin half moons
4 large corn tortillas
Oil for tortillas

Heat the jackfruit packet in a saute pan for about 2 minutes and then add the pepper and onions.  Mix and heat on medium heat for 5 minutes.

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While jackfruit is cooking, in a separate saute pan heat a thin layer of oil on high heat. When hot, add a tortilla and then flip in a 10 seconds.  Cook the other side for 5 seconds then transfer to a plate with paper towels.  Remove oil from tortilla by drying off with paper towel.  Repeat 3 more times.

Serve by adding jackfruit mixture to tortillas. If you want, you can add cotija crumbled cheese and some fresh chopped cilantro if you want. Some guacamole or sliced avocado would be good too.

 

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Sous-vide Carne Asada Street Tacos

On June 24, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I make a lot of vegetarian dishes during the week, mostly because anything with meat takes too long to cook from the time I get home from work. One of the ways to make using meat easier and ready when I walk through the door is to use a style of cooking called sous-vide. It is a French style of cooking a vacuum-packed meat or vegetable slowly in a water bath.

Unlike a crockpot where you don’t want to overcook too much, sous-vide allows for a wide range of time for when the meat is ready. In the case of this recipe, the meat can be removed from the water bath anytime between 7 to 24 hours. That means if I’m running late or early from work, it doesn’t really matter.

The green tortillas in the photo are cactus corn tortillas I bought at Super A Foods. You can use any tortilla you like.

I use a Sous-vide Supreme, but there are other sous-vide products on the market.

Sous-vide Carne Asada Street Tacos
Makes 12-16 tacos

1 lb flank steak
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, diced
corn tortillas
vegetable oil
2 limes, quartered
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
hot sauce

Season the flank steak with cumin, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Reserve remaining cilantro. Place seasoned flank steak in a vacuum sealed bag. Seal bag and place in sous-vide water bath. Cook at 145 degree temperature for 7 to 24 hours.

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Heat outdoor grill on high. After you have cooked the flank steak, remove from vacuum sealed bag and dispose of any liquid marinade.  Place steak on grill and grill for 5 minutes on each side (300 degree temperature.)

Meanwhile, heat oil in saute pan. When hot add a corn tortilla and heat for a few seconds on each side flipping using tongs.  Place finished tortillas on paper towel.  Pad off excess grease with paper towel. Continue until finished heating all tortillas.

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Chop onions and cilantro and mix together. Slice flank steak and rough chop into small chunks. Assemble tacos adding meat, onions, and cilantro to each tortilla.  Serve with a sliced limes and hot sauce.

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Coppa Street Tacos

On October 7, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Last weekend I had a chance to stop by my favorite LA butcher, Lindy & Grundy.  They carry a selection of local, pasture raised, and organic meats. Unlike most visits, I didn’t have a plan of what I wanted to buy and found a cut of boneless pork shoulder, coppa, next to my typical bone-in pork butt that I normally put into my smoker.

Coppa is a cut I wasn’t familiar with, or at least wasn’t used to seeing it at meat counter in its raw form.  That’s what is so great about visiting Lindy & Grundy, I learn about different cuts one usually doesn’t find; although, when I arrived at home with my Coppa in hand, I looked up the cut on Google and learned it most often used to make one of my favorite cuts of cured meat – Capocollo.

I had bought the meat to make some tacos so I decided to marinate the Coppa and smoke it the next day.

The tacos worked in the end. The smoked Coppa had a smoked, bacon-like, flavor that went well with the corn tortillas, onions, cilantro, squeezed lime and Tapatio hot sauce.

Coppa Street Tacos
Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds of Coppa, boneless pork shoulder
2 oranges, juice only
1 bottle brown ale, such as New Castle
4 garlic cloves, sliced in half

12 corn tortillas
1 red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 limes, quartered
hot sauce

The night before cooking marinate the Coppa in a bowl mixing the orange juice, ale and garlic cloves. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare a smoker. Discard the marinade. I used some Almond Wood and smoked the Coppa at 225 degrees for 7 hours letting it reach 160 degrees.

Once the Coppa is cooked in the smoker, it can be refrigerated and used the next day or diced into small chunks and served.

Heat the corn tortillas in a saute pan on medium-high with a 1/2 inch of vegetable oil.  Let the oil get hot and using tongs heat each side of the tortilla for about 10 seconds and then place on some paper towel to remove the grease. Repeat with each tortilla.

Add Coppa, onions and cilantro to each tortilla and serve with cut limes and hot sauce.

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