As a teenager, I had an entire list of things that I wanted in a man. He had to be tall, dark (preferably greek), funny, read Eastern philosophy, dress with style, play soccer, have bigger arms then me, and like every song ever written or sung by Robert Smith. After a few broken hearts and years of figuring out what I don’t want, that list began to read more like a post office job application and benefits package: must pass a drug test, must offer proof of clean driving record, has 401k and stock options, military experience preferred, and has never been convicted of a felony. Yet after 3+ years of relationship bliss I have some advice for things every person must add to their ‘desirables’ list. The person must:
1. Challenge you to think differently with kindness and humor
2. Like every song ever written or sung by Robert Smith (will make every list, every time)
3. Be able to make an amazing breakfast and/or homemade BBQ sauce on cue
Trust me, these things are critical to happiness. Oh, and the 401k and felony things are good too.
BBQ Jackfruit with Pickled Onions & Wasabi Potato Salad *v/gf
Our first experience with Jackfruit was at the Green Owl Cafe in Madison, WI where we had our minds straight blown off. The texture was so much like shredded meats that we were suspicious, and you can tell how excited we are by a meal when we begin using all available table ‘instruments’ to conduct a full-on biologic dissection of the food in hopes of recreating the dish at home.
Jackfruit grows in clusters of giant pods hanging from a tree most commonly in the Philippines, Jamaica and India. Everything from the seeds to the ‘bulbs’ or meat of the fruit to the inedible rind can be used, yet the common uses are canning the ‘bulbs’ (as you see below), grinding down the seeds to be used for flour, or cooking the bulbs down in coconut milk to be made into ice cream, jams, or chutney. Most often you will see Jackfruit listed on a Thai menu but, much like tofu, Jackfruit takes on the flavor of the sauce and closely resembles the texture of pulled pork in this dish.
Ingredients in BBQ Jackfruit:
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Whisk above ingredients into a bowl, then add:
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
- 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not making gluten-free)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Hot sauce, to taste (we heart Siracha)
- salt and pepper, to taste
To complete the jackfruit, dice 1/2 a large onion and saute for 4-6 minutes in a deep skillet. Meanwhile, drain the jackfruit and use fingers to separate until appears shredded. Once its broken apart, add the jackfruit to the skillet of BBQ sauce and simmer until jackfruit softens, another 4-6 minutes.
Ingredients in Pickled Onions:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cold water
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp sugar or agave
- 1 hit of Siracha, or other hot sauce to taste
- 1 red onion, sliced thin in rings
Wasabi Potato Salad *v/gf
As lame and adult as it sounds, I promise you that you having one go-to dish to bring to a friends barbecue is WAY cooler then showing up half-ass with store bought stale, tasteless cookies or some dumpy noodle salad. Nothing says “I’m hear for the beer” like not making any effort. This potato salad takes about 10-15 minutes start to finish and gives us crazy party cred.
- 10 medium red potatoes, golf ball sized, boiled
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/4 cup green onions
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 4 chopped sweet pickles
- 1/2 dijon mustard
- 2-3 tbsp wasabi paste
- 2 tbsp veganaise
- salt and pepper
Mix together in a bowl and apply directly to the inside of your mouth.