When mature but not completely ripe, breadfruit can be used like potato, like wheat products, like kalo (as poi), and like corn masa flour (as you will see below). I've heard that prepared some ways it is like freshly baked bread, but I'm still looking for that recipe. Ripe breadfruit is sweet and can be used for dessert recipes. Like many high starch foods, breadfruit can be a blank canvas taking on other flavors depending on how it is prepared. In my - very limited - experience, I've noticed that it can have an artichoke-like smell and flavor.
|a 2.5 lb breadfruit steamed for 1.5 hours|
All this coming from a girl who had barely heard of breadfruit a year ago. Recently, I've been inspired to try my hand at preparing breadfruit. The Breadfruit Festival gave me courage me to tackle some breadfruit recipes. Since our beautiful, keiki Ma'afala tree won't be giving fruit for 2-3 years, we have some time to develop some favorite preparations.
Sonia Martinez has posted recipes from the Breadfruit Festival's cooking contest on her blog. Of the recipes she posted, the breadfruit tamales caught my attention. In this recipe, which won culinary students of Kua O Ka La New Century Public Charter School and their kumu Mariposa Blanco first prize, breadfruit completely replaces corn. The outside of the tamale contains only breadfruit and oil. Since the options for the filling are limitless, this could be a fantastic meal that needs to be in every sustainability-seeking tropical gardener's recipe box! If it actually is yummy, that is. We attempted to find out.
We loosely followed the recipe, putting a small amount of steamed breadfruit (about 1/3 of 1 2.5 lb fruit) in the mostly-green-with-dark-lines-between-the-plates state of ripeness into the blender. Blending it really did not work. We moved the mixture of crumbles and chunks to a hand-crank food processor, which did much better. After it became ground and crumbly, we added some olive oil until it seemed that it could be formed into and hold together as a tamale shape.
We cut some banana leaves and used them to mold the breadfruit shell. We filled the tamales with cheese, red bell pepper, and tomatillo, and molded more breadfruit crumbs to finish the shape. It took a bit of experimentation to get the wrapping to work, but soon we had pretty packages.
|breadfruit-shelled tamales wrapped in banana leaves and ready to be steamed|
|unrapping breadfruit tamales|
Looked great! Added homemade guacamole from our avocados and veg chili from a can (Amy's) to get this feast:
|breadfruit shelled tamale dinner|
The result? Ono! It really was amazing! I could not at all tell that this was breadfruit and not corn flour. Truly a success! And so filling.
This is our third success (out of three tries) with breadfruit dinners. Breadfruit already rocked us in soup, where it was like a cross between a potato and a dumpling, and a stir fry, where - fried in oil and soy sauce - it was like delicious nuggets of fatty, salty baked tofu.
More breadfruit experiments are scheduled for next week.
This post was dded to Attainable Sustainable's Blogging Bee. Click to see more blog posts about living simply and sustainably.