i have been trialing a memphis-style barbecue sandwich, traditionally bbq pulled pork topped with cole slaw, for months now.
my first attempt utilized some morningstar farms beefesque strips, mainly out of laziness. it was a raging success, so i set out to properly recreate the sandwich without using super-processed frozen foods.
i am down with cole slaw, but i am REALLY down with celeriac slaw. it is tangy and tasty and really elevates this sandwich. there's a really good vegan recipe out there on the interwebs but i'm not going to bother linking to it. just search for "celery remoulade" if you're hot for it.
tofu, is there anything you can't do?! i cut a block of frozen, pressed, tofu into sort-of strips and marinated them in a bunch of junk: liquid smoke, molasses, probably a whole host of other things i can't remember. easy, check. cheaper and better than frozen "meal starter" strips, check.
but still, the feel of the sandwich was kind of...off.
i don't think i even bothered blogging round 3. i grated some seitan on a box grater and sautéed it in bbq sauce. it tasted grody.
i think i also was famished when i undertook round 3 and tried to throw together my slaw too quickly, ignoring obvious missteps in procedure.
i'm pretty sure i tried to pick the slaw off the sandwich unsuccessfully before finally giving up, in disgust, and eating angel hair for dinner. AGAIN.
my buddy mike has been promising to send me canned jackfruit in brine for months, but he hasn't because he's real-jobless in san francisco. i mean, mopping jizz at the lusty lady is a job, but it's not a good job-type job in an expensive city, so i haven't pressed him about it. PLUS, i have been promising to send him a bottle of brooklyn local one for months and have neglected to, despite the fact that i DO have a real job-type job and i live kinda close to a post office and work even closer to another post office. but, really, i've been BUSY! where am i going with this?
oh, i managed to track down some jackfruit here in NYC, at dual specialty products (formerly dowel quality products), an AWESOME indian grocery that stocks massive amounts of essential cooking supplies. (also, where i got my first indian mango.) so finally, today, the 4th of july, after i had spent 3 hours "cleaning" my kitchen only to find myself halfway through a major restructuring and reorganization process, i simultaneously threw my towel and my hat into the ring and decided the time for bbq jackfruit had come.
folks were making jackfruit carnitas like it was going out of style a few months back, with good results. i'm happy to report that my endeavor was typically successful.
i soaked and rinsed the jackfruit to remove most of the brine they were canned in, then marinated them in bbq sauce for a bit. then i fried up two thick slices of vidalia onion (untraditional, but delicional) before sautéeing the jackfruit pieces in some more sauce, breaking them up with a fork as they cooked. threw together a small batch of celeriac slaw and here, my friends, is what i ended up with:
easy, check. cheaper and better than frozen "meal starter" strips, check. better mouthfeel than tofu, check. just what the doctor ordered when you're gutting your apartment and reorganizing/cleaning everything because you're heading out of NYC for 7 weeks and it's the least you can do to leave a sparkling (all things relative) pad for your subletter, check.
i still have one more trial round, utilizing the ever-popular soy curls. if i don't object to them, as is the case i've heard with a few people, i have a feeling they will be the winner. the jackfruit is pretty awesome, but i think i'd like something a tiny bit sturdier for the memphis.
ideally, i'll make it sometime next week and i can put this project to bed.
in the meantime, however, i'm glad i decided to make this today because it's motherflipping july already and despite isa's nagging i haven't posted anything since may.
didn't i say i'd been BUSY?!