As wee as enjoying the last throws of winter here in the Highlands, we have been preparing for a corporate catering event that we are super excited for! The brief from the client was to focus on trendy, fresh, colourful food that any Instagram-ers would be proud to post! Designing and testing this menu had been a blast! I shall pop some photos up after the event but I wanted to share all I have learnt with you about Jackfruit!!
It was touted to me as such a convincing alternative to meat that meat-eaters wouldn’t be able to tell the difference… I’m not sure that’s quite true but we did get some very tasty results. I think, as a good guide, jackfruit is brilliant as a vegan pleasing meat substitute in saucy dishes we would usually use mince or pulled meats in. I’ve made a very lovely pulled pork burrito, a chilli and a spaghetti bolognaise. The main thing that I’ve added to the process that wasn’t included on the recipes I could find on-line was in the prep of the jackfruit. Firstly its best to use the canned stuff! For use as a meat substitute you want to use the young, unripe fruits. They have a sticky sap that stains everything it touches!! The canned stuff comes ready to use but is often in brine. I soaked and rinsed the fruit chunks and that got enough salt out, however I didn’t add any other salt in the rest of the cook! Then I roasted the fruit!! None of the recipes I found out there suggested to do this first!! But I made a huge difference to my previous attempt. I roasted the oiled up segments for about 30mins on a medium heat, or until they started to brown and flake. Once out the oven it was much easier to pull the fruit flakes from the fibrous stalks left on the segments. I was also able to remove the little bean like seed pods that hide amongst the flakes. Its fine to eat them, I think they just distract from the meat illusion! Whilst the jackfruit is roasting, prep the rest of your bbq/chilli/spag -bol sauces, using your frav recipe and add the jackfruit to the mix at the last moment. Fold it through the sauce and allow to come back to heat and you’re ready to eat!!
I really enjoyed the jackfruit like this but it hasn’t made it into the cut for our up-coming event. Its expensive and fiddly and there was a lot of waist product after removing the stalks and the seeds. With 35 peeps to feed its just too time consuming and budget breaking!
For breakie we will be serving good old bacon and egg rolls to power the group through their highland adventure but also offering some smoothie bowls! I’ve been practising these protein balls to put on the smoothies, they are a whizzed up mix of dates, cashews, dark choc, maple syrup, peanut butter and shredded coconut. Make a stiff dough and pinch out portions to roll in to balls. I plated out some crushed freeze dried strawberry, pistachio and matcha mix, more flaked coconut and some cocoa nibs. Roll the balls in your preferred mix of the coatings and pop in the fridge over night. I’m loving these tasty morsels, they are refined sugar free, gluten free, vegan and so packed with goodness!! We’ve been eating them for an evening treat as well dipped in chocolate!!!
I shall let you know how the event goes and pop up some menu ideas that we did use towards the end of the month!
Another thing that has happened here and that has made Chef super happy is the signage for our refrigerated trailer being completed. Designed by a very talented chef and artist Tom Park and printed and put on the trailer by the very clever guys at 2K Customs in inverness. The photos we took our selves driving back from a private chef job on the north west coast of Scotland, on the North 500 route between Ullapool and Durness.
Thanks to everyone who made that happen, Chef is a happy boy indeed!!
At The Highland Kitchen, we provide a range of private catering services in Scotland, England and across Europe. Whether you are planning an intimate dinner party, a larger event or require a private chef to cater for your holiday, The Highland Kitchen will design, shop for and create food that will enhance your experience and thrill your guests. Find out more about our catering services or contact us today for more information.