Every week I say to myself: Self, this week you are posting at least four times on your blog. Then, inevitably, it’s already Wednesday and I haven’t posted since last week. I never wanted to be one of those bloggers who never updates her site. And well, here I am.
But, I have been busy. And in a food kind of way.
Our pal DL has finally returned from China and has, in fact, just moved to Portland. Not only does he bring his amazing charm and wit to our fair city, but also his big appetite and joy of cooking. He celebrated his move this past weekend by barbecuing thirteen pounds of ribs (yes, you read that right) on our backyard grill.
DL was not so pleased with the results of the ribs. But that’s probably due to his having never grilled on our grill before. Oh wait, I take that back. He was Grill Man at our wedding. Anyway, ribs are such an art, right? I’m looking forward to his future experiments and the official DL’s Chinese Ribs Recipe.
After we gnawed our way through the pig carcass, we desserted on the largest fruit known to humankind, the mighty jack fruit:
This thing is a beast. DL said that this is one of the smallest ones he’s ever seen. Uhm, yeah. In China, they can be five feet long and the size of a person. That’s a lot of fruit.
This is not exactly a recipe for jack fruit, but here are some helpful hints in case you get a hankering for one:
- Buy jack fruit at an Asian market (which is probably the only place you’re going to see one anyway) so that you can ask a clerk to help you find a ripe specimen. Generally speaking, jack fruit should be finger-press soft at the bottom of the fruit (opposite end from where the stem is). If you knick the skin, you should smell a really sweet, tropical-fruity fragrance.
- Invite over all of your friends. This thing is huge and you just won’t be able to finish it yourself. Plus, it’s a great party fruit, like watermelon in the States. I mean, look how much fun DL’s having hacking away at this thing. You really have to manhandle it to liberate the fruit from the “peel”, so to speak, and you need your pals to help you with this task. The part that you eat are those orange pod-looking things. You don’t eat the seeds.
- Before you cut into it, oil your knife and your hands well. Jack fruit has a very sticky sap that makes cutting and dealing with it kind of fussy. Even trying to clean the cleaver later in very hot water was difficult.
- I suggest first cutting it in half so that if you just can’t eat the whole thing in one sitting, you can wrap up the leftover half and let it sit out on your countertop to ripen even more.
Jack fruit tastes somewhere between a cantaloupe, honeydew melon, mango, and a pineapple. If it weren’t so fussy, I’d probably like it a lot more. DL says it’s terrible in a can, so I’ll avoid that form factor.
Here’s the take from just half of the jack fruit. We had two plates like this full of pods.
It would have been nice if this little soiree were accompanied by some fine weather, but clearly that is just too much to ask in June in Portland.
Until next time…which hopefully will not be next Wednesday.