Jackfruit “Pulled Pork” BBQ

I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time! Finally, I found cut up jackfruit at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market, so I picked up a 2-3# chunk for this! Jackfruit are usually 10# and UP, so finding them in chunks is awesome if you don’t need to make a ton of this BBQ. It’s so good, tho, that you might want to make a ton and freeze it! The “pulled pork” part of this recipe is vegan, but the sauce is not due to the butter I finished it with. You could sub margarine or just leave it off. I made this a berbere type BBQ sauce, but I think Korean style sauce would be very good as well. Use whatever you like! Just echo the flavours of your sauce with your cooking water for the fruit.

Vegan Jackfruit “Pulled Pork”
2-3# chunk of jackfruit (scale up recipe if you’re doing a whole one)
2.5 Tbl berbere
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbl salt
one dry guajillo (optional)
3-4 bay leaves

1 cup cooking liquid
3 Tbl ketchup
1 Tbl yellow mustard
1 tsp berbere
1/2 tsp black pepper
Finish with 2 Tbl butter if desired; leave off for vegan

First, you must prep the jackfruit. This is the most tedious part! The main thing to know about this weird fruit is that it is HELLA STICKY. The rind and parts around the seed pods have some sort of sticky stuff on them that is impervious to soap, alcohol and only mostly will come off with 100% acetone. WEAR GLOVES!! And lube up the gloves with food release or oil – as well as any knives you’ll be using. I think that oil will loosen the sticky a bit, but it’s serious stuff.

Jackfruit Chunk

What you’re doing is pulling out the seed pods and removing the seeds and their cases. The seed pods are the edible bits and they are not as sticky as the rest of the fruit. You want to have seedless pods like this:

Seed Pod w/out seeds

This 2-3# piece of jackfruit gave me about 3 cups of pods. So I guess you can figure about a cup per pound. Put the pods in a pot and cover with water. Add all the seasonings and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 45 minutes.

Jackfruit pods cooking.

Preheat oven to 350F. Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with food release. Use a slotted spoon to fish out the cooked pods and spread onto the sheet pan in a single layer. Bake for about an hour, or until the edges are getting brown. If you like burnt ends and/or a lot of bark, let the jackfruit get dark like I did. It is delicious!

Jackfruit “pulled pork”!

Scrape the jackfruit off the sheet pan and pull apart any large chunks with a fork. I got a little over a cup from the original 3 cups I started with, so LOTS of shrinkage. I think a 10# jackfruit would be the perfect size for a batch now that I have cooked with it. There is a LOT of waste and a lot of shrinkage.

For the sauce, put the liquid and next four ingredients in a small saucepan and cook down by 1/3 or until desired thickness. Finish with butter if you are not vegan and want that nice glossy, fatty buttery feel to add to the finished dish. I think the extra fat compensates for the lack of fat overall. I dressed the “pork” with a little sauce before storing in the fridge.

Finished Product

Buttermilk Pepper Soup

YES! I said buttermilk! This is a beautiful and light soup great in any season. To make vegetarian, use veg stock instead of chicken stock. I was inspired by these lovely “Aloha” striped bell peppers I found at the Farmers Mkt.

Buttermilk Pepper Soup
~2 cups large diced Red, Orange and Yellow Bell Peppers (about 3-4 peppers)
2/3-3/4 cup diced white onion (one med)
3 cloves garlic, minced (~2 tsp)
3 Tbl butter
2 Tbl A/P flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp chili paste (Amore brand is the one I use)
1 cup chicken (or Veg) stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Melt butter in a large soup pot on med; add onions and garlic and cook until onions are transparent. Add peppers and salt. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir thoroughly; cook another 3 mins. Add white pepper and chili paste, stir again. Add chicken stock, turn up head to med high and cook peppers for about 5-7 minutes, until they are softened.

Whiz the peppers with an immersion blender or in a countertop blender until smooth. Add cream and buttermilk and check seasoning – mine took another 1/2 tsp salt.

Cajun Shrimp Chowder

Cajun Shrimp Chowdah!

Angela’s Cajun Shrimp Chowder

3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ lardons
1/2# large shrimp or 1# small shrimp, cleaned (cut large shrimp into 1″ pieces), retain shells for stock
3-4 cloves garlic, whole
1 med onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2# baby yukon golds, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 sm pkg mushrooms, diced *ALL veg should be approximately the same size dice of about 1/2″
1 small banana or jalapeño pepper, seeded and very small dice (optional, but adds a nice level of spice)
2 green onions, 1/2″ slices
1 can sweet corn
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp smoked or plain paprika
2 tsp Badia cajun seasoning (more or less to taste; also, Badia is not very salty, so if you use a salty one, be careful with added salt!)
2 tsp Old Bay dry seasoning
1/2 tsp white pepper
Shrimp stock (below)
2 tsp L&P
3/4 cup heavy cream

Put shrimp shells in a 4 qt saucepan and fill with water, whole garlic and 1 tsp salt. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer uncovered until about 20% reduced. Strain out shrimp shells and set aside.

In a medium stock pot, cook bacon until all the fat is rendered out and it’s very crispy. Remove bacon and set aside for garnish. Add butter to the bacon fat over medium heat. Add onions, and garlic and sauté until onions are getting translucent. Add flour and cook for a minute or two. Add thyme, paprika, cajun, Old Bay and white pepper, stir. Add dry sherry to deglaze and add potatoes, carrot and banana pepper. Cook a couple of minutes then add shrimp stock, L&P and mushrooms. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Hold at medium simmer, partially covered until potatoes and carrots are cooked and soup is very thick, about 10-15 mins. When veg is cooked, add in corn, green onions and shrimp and simmer 4-5 mins. Lastly, add heavy cream and kill heat when it comes back to a simmer. Check seasoning. You might need more cajun seasoning, I used 2.5 tsp. Serve with crispy bacon garnish.

**Potatoes and cream will suck up all the salt, so you will likely need more when you reheat this soup.**

Summer Squash Casserole

Angelas Summer Squash Casserole

Angela’s Summer Squash Casserole
3 large or 4 smallish yellow summer squash, sliced into rounds
1 medium onion, frenched (halved then sliced)
2/3 cup half n half (or milk, whatever)
2 Tbl Mexican Crema (or sour cream)
1 Tbl garlic paste (or paste up 3-4 cloves)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg
1.25 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar and Monterey jack; use what you like)
3/4 cup panko
1/2 cup parmesan (grated or shredded)
olive oil

Cook the squash and onions in a large skillet with a little butter, water and salt, until softened; about 8 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F.

While the veg cooks, mix together half n half, crema, garlic, S/P and egg until smooth. Fold in cheese.

Drain veg. Spray 9×9 baking dish with food release and layer in one third of veg. Pour over 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Continue until all veg and mix is in. Cut up about 2 Tbl butter and put on top of casserole.

Mix panko and parmesan with a Tbl of oil until it’s coated. Put panko on top of casserole in an even layer.

Cook in 350F oven for about 30 minutes until panko is golden and casserole registers 160-170F in center.

Harissa Coconut Slow Cooker Pork Ribs

Harissa Coconut Pork Ribs

Harissa Coconut Slow Cooker Pork Ribs
2.5# boneless pork shoulder ribs (sometimes labeled country style)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 medium onion, large dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 Tbl harissa paste (You can find this at large Kroger stores. If you use powder, use 1 Tbl with 1tsp oil.)
2 small jalapenos or serranos, finely diced
1 small can coconut milk (unsweetened, or half a regular sized can)
1 Tbl soy sauce
1 tsp coriander
Juice of one lime
fresh cilantro for serving

Clean ribs of all surface fat. Combine next 5 ingredients in a large bowl and coat ribs thoroughly. Heat up a large pan with a couple Tbl of oil and sear the pork ribs. Don’t burn the sugar, but get them nicely browned; season lightly with salt and black pepper. Put ribs back in the spice rub bowl and set aside. Put 3/4 of the onion, garlic, harissa and chiles in the drippings from the ribs and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in coconut milk and soy sauce and bring up to boil, kill heat.

In a crock pot, spray the crock with food release such as Pam and put reserved onions in the bottom. Layer in ribs with any leftover rub and drippings. Then sprinkle second tsp of coriander and 1/4 tsp salt over ribs. Pour the veg and coconut milk mixture over ribs. Cook on low for 4-5 hrs or high for about 3-3.5 hours. Feel free to add a little water or stock if you feel they are too dry.

After the ribs are cooked and soft, remove from the crock pot and set aside. Put a screen sieve over a small pan and strain the liquids into the pot (OR if you like a chunkier sauce as I do, just leave all the veg in there and give it a quick whizz with the immersion blender to make the sauce). Let the sauce sit for 15 minutes or so, to let the fat rise to the top. Ladle off as much fat as you can, then put the sauce over medium heat and simmer until it thickens. If it doesn’t get as thick as you’d like, add a tsp of cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbl water and boil for 2 minutes to tighten it up. After the sauce is done and off heat, add the lime juice. (Adding lime juice before a boil will make it bitter.)

Serve over polenta or grits with the sauce spooned over and fresh cilantro leaves on top. Or serve with broccoli or other veg for low carb.