Thursday, May 25, 2017

Slow Cooker BBQ Jack Sliders


Hello all, this is Malli and although I've handed the blog over to my lovely daughters, I dropped by to say Hi and share a few moments with you.  Hope your Spring 2017 has been filled with bright sunshine and delicious springtime dishes as it has been for me.....

My husband and I ‘ve been eating healthy these days but that doesn’t mean I don’t treat myself to the hearty feel of thick and sticky bbq sauces and fried finger food but minus the meat if possible. 
Recently,  I stumbled upon this article about jackfruit being discovered as the new meat “substitute”.  “Jackfruit”?  The name certainly suggests that it is a fruit and in the US it is available in most Asian stores covered in sticky syrup in a can. If you delve deep into some of the larger Asian stores you will find cans of young green jackfruit in brine or water. Rinse and drained, these chunks are conveniently ready for savory dishes.

The jackfruit is a very familiar fruit to all Indians since it grows in tropical climates only. It brings me memories of the spiky green fruits hanging from large trees in the backyard of my grandmother’s home. In Kerala the fruit, young jacks and seeds are all used in every which way possible sometimes for desserts, curries, mashed or seeds in thorans.  The jackfruit when ripe is soft, sweet and has a pungent smell and hence it is called ‘fruit’, whereas the ‘young’ version is firm, savory and meaty.

The firm version of this fruit has the flavor points and textures I would look for in recipes such as Mexican tacos or simple old Barbecued or shredded beef sandwiches, and can be turned into super juicy and coated in sticky sweet or spicy sauce. So I opened up my palate to a Western recipe with my Kerala favorite and it turned out so freaking scrumptious. Get ready to drool and try not to lick the screen if you canJ.  Now you probably have an idea why I had to share it with some of my vegan visitors so here it is………………….

Ingredients

1 20 oz can of young green Jackfruit in Water.

1 Tblspn Olive oil

1/2 onion sliced

3 cloves garlic

1 jalapeno sliced

¼ cup water

¾ cup BBQ sauce

 Method:

  1. Rinse, drain the jackfruit well and squeeze out as much water as possible.
  2. Cut the fruit cubes lengthwise into smaller pieces for the “pulled” look and then gril on a grilling pan with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Add olive oil to a pan and sauté the onions, garlic and jalapeno. Add salt to season.
  4. When the onions are tender, add jackfruit and water to a slow cooker. Cover and continue to cook until the fruit is soft and looks like pulled pork. (maybe about 30 mins or longer)
  5. When the water is completed evaporated, pour the BBQ sauce and toss. If it is too watery then place it in the oven for 10 mins to remove excess water.
  6. Make sandwiches and top with coleslaw
  7. I served this as slider in little buns with a side of Mango-Avocado salsa.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

#348: Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Basil and Olives


An Italian comfort food inspired by a gnocchi recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, this dish has been tweaked a little to add sardines, red pepper flakes and tons of garlic to create a spicy sauce.

Ingredients:

Gnocchi:

1 russet potato, baked and cooled.
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg beaten(use 3 Tblspns)
¼ cup all-purpose flour

Sauce:

Sardines (boneless) - 1 can
Whole tomatoes can- 1 large
3 large cloves of garlic chopped fine
A pinch of crushed red pepper.
Basil leaves-3/4 cup
Kalamata olives-1 cup
Lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon.
Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:
  1. Scoop out the flesh of the baked potato into a large bowl and toss the skin.
  2. Mash it well with salt and pepper and add 3 tablespoons of beaten egg into it.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the potato mixture and stir well to form a dough. Knead it until smooth for 30 seconds.
  4. On a lightly floured board divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each one into a ½ inch thick roll. Then cut each roll into 1/2 inch pieces. Place a fork upside down on a surface and roll each I inch piece over it to create grooves.
  5. Place a large pot of water on medium heat and let it come to boil. Add salt and the gnocchi and let it cook until they rise to the surface (about 1 to 2 mins).
  6. For the sauce: Heat olive oil and add the garlic, chili flakes and when it sizzles add sardines and do not stir too much or sardines will crumble. Add coarsely chopped olives and lightly crushed tomatoes and let simmer. Then add salt and pepper, juice and zest of lemon and gnocchi let gently heat the sauce
  7. Add pasta water if it gets too thick and when done, remove from fire and serve with torn basil and grated Parmesan (optional).








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