Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vegan MoFo Day 21: Cheesy Jackfruit Chimichangas

Whenever I'm super stumped about what to make for dinner, Andrew always says in a mocking voice "Chimichangas". I think it's because the word sounds so ridiculous. Either way, it never helps and it just frustrates me. So, when I was super stumped last night, I decided "F it, I'm making chimichangas". And I did.

We had this lingering can of jackfruit in our cupboard that Andrew usually makes amazing BBQ "pulled pork" with but since he hasn't been in the kitchen since his green thai curry adventure, I decided to use it. I wanted it to be sort of carnitas-flavored, this time, which I hadn't done before. The results were very successful. I think this deep fried beauty has taken the place in Andrew's heart that my creole once held. And I'm ok with that.

I felt a little guilty about making these. But if you think about it, jackfruit is like a whopping 30 calories a serving. And vegan cheese is hardly something to worry about. I'm reaching-- but I never said this was a diet plate. At least the tortillas are whole wheat.

[[Jackfruit Carnitas]]
I read a lot of jackfruit failures online, and it usually because people buy the wrong kind of jackfruit. Use YOUNG GREEN JACKFRUIT IN WATER-- NOT BRINE! I can't stress that enough. And if prepared properly, I guarantee it's delicious.

2 tbs vegetable oil
2 tbs chili lime cholula
1/3 cup beer, I used my trusty magic hat #9
a few shakes of liquid smoke
1 chopped roma tomato
seasoning: chipotle powder, ancho chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
* a small dash of cinnamon -- small!

-- Heat the vegetable oil on medium heat.
-- After draining the jackfruit, keep the pieces whole and let them cook in the vegetable oil for a few minutes.
-- Some may feel soft enough to pull apart. At this point, add the cholula and allow it to saturate into each piece, flipping them over to fully coat. Coat each piece with a little seasoning-- all but the salt and cinnamon. Simmer for a couple more minutes.
-- Add the tomatoes, beer, and liquid smoke. By now you can probably break them apart. Some may be more easily broken than others. So, as they simmer in the beer mixture, break them apart, using the back of a fork for the harder parts. Partially cover, leaving an opening for some steam to come out, and allow to simmer on medium low-heat for 10-15 minutes.
-- The beer should evaporate and the tomatoes show have dissolved into the sauce. Add another layer of seasoning, including the salt and cinnamon. Taste. Keep on low heat and mix every so often until ready to serve.

[[Cheesy Jackfruit Chimichangas]]

1 recipe for jackfruit carnitas
1/2 cup daiya or FYH cheese
4 medium sized, whole wheat tortillas
1/2 inch of vegetable oil heated on high heat.

-- Place the tortillas on a baking sheet, top with cheese substitute of choice. Under a low broiler, melt the cheese. Keep an eye on them so you don't dry out the tortiallas
-- Remove from oven and top with jackfruit carnitas.
-- Closing the ends, roll the tortilla up and place in heated vegetable oil FOLD SIDE down first. Allow to brown about 20-30 seconds. Flip and brown the other side.
-- Remove chimichanga and place on a paper towel or a brown paper bag to drain.
-- Serve with guacamole or tofutti sour cream or salsa... or eat it by itself.


Andrew Warner said...

yes. it was the best food ever.

evolution said...

OK, you may have solved my jackfruit problem. We have tried it many, many times and never liked it - but we used the young jackfruit in brine. I was always suspicious that it was the brine that was giving it this nasty aftertaste but no matter how much I soaked and squeezed the jackfruit, the flavor never left. I had only seen jackfruit either ripe in syrup or young in brine. Can you recommend somewhere in Columbus to find it in water?

Looks amazing!

Unknown said...

Evolution -

I haven't been able to find it in Columbus, unfortunately. I order it online:

Good luck!

mollyjade said...

These look fabulous!

Tami said...

I've never made chimichangas. This must change.

laura said...

i don't mind the brine taste, but i think my bf doesn't like it. i always like an excuse to hit up all the ethnic markets.

Anonymous said...

Can I substitute the beer for something else?

Unknown said...

Anon -

The beer is really just to tenderize and bring out the flavors. If you can't access alcohol, give vegetable broth a try. :)

evolution said...

Finally found jackfruit in water locally. Its in a dreadful Asian market across Dublin-Granville from the Whole Foods. Going to try it tomorrow and see if it's the brine that was wrecking my jackfruit experiences.

evolution said...

That was it! Jackfruit in brine...yuck. Jackfruit is water...yum! Thanks!