Pibil Jackfruit and Throwing a Dinner Party for Non-Vegans
Before Phil and I became vegan, we were quite social creatures. We would often throw dinner parties, go out to eat with friends, and generally not be scared about either feeding ourselves or feeding others. When June arrived, I realized we were half way through the year and hadn't invited a single person over or accepted any invitations from others. Le Horrible! We had become shut-ins!
My biggest fear of throwing a vegan dinner party for non-vegans was that they would hate the food, leave feeling upset for having accepted our invitation, and never want to eat with us again. I know this seems irrational. It would seem even more irrational if you knew my friends-- they're textbook wonderful! I think even on their worst day they are gracious and kind. Phil and I finally decided to get over our vegan fears and invite two of our friends over for dinner. The funny thing about inviting this couple over for dinner is "B" hates fruits and vegetables. It's not that he doesn't like the idea of them-- it's something about the taste or texture that triggers his gag reflex and he can't keep them down. He told us the story of gagging after eating sushi with a little bit of cucumber in it. Once he took the cucumber out he was fine. Weird, right? And... terrifying, considering fruits and veggies are the bulk of what we eat!
We decided to make jackfruit because it has the texture, appearance, and (sort of) taste of meat. It was our hope to deceive B into not throwing up all over the dinner table. When you go into an evening with your main goal as not having someone puke what you fed them, you have nowhere to go but up-- right?
Fortunately, they loved dinner. Mission accomplished! To keep with our tropical theme, we served banana coconut cream parfaits for dessert and it was a hit, too. Whew! And... Hooray! We no longer have to be shut-ins!
4 (17 oz) cans of jackfruit (This is what I got)
1 cup of fresh lime juice
1 cup of fresh orange juice
1/4 cup pibil (sometimes called achiote) powder
3 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp salt
1 cup sugar
3 red onions, chopped in half and those halves chopped in four equal chunks
1 pod garlic, skins removed and cloves smashed
Flour tortillas, for serving
1. Drain and rinse your jackfruit thoroughly. Press out as much moisture as possible from the jackfruit.
2. Combine your jackfruit and remaining ingredients (except tortillas) in the slow cooker and stir to coat everything evenly. Be careful not to slosh it around too much-- pibil is DEEP red and it will stain!
3. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours, or until the jackfruit can be easily shredded with a fork.
4. Taste and adjust the sugar to your liking. I ended up using closer to 2 cups, but it was too sweet. Be judicious with it!
5. Serve with pickled red onions (see recipe below), mango salsa, quick and easy guacamole (recipe below), pico de gallo, and tortilla chips.
Pickled Red Onions
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 limes, juiced
1 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4-5 hours.
Quick and Easy Guacamole
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp cumin
1/4 cup pico de gallo
2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
Smash avocados; stir in your lime, cumin, pico, and cilantro. Season with salt to preference.
For a lighter and healthier guacamole, see this post.