Saturday, October 24, 2009

Breadfruit

Last week- if you follow me on Facebook- you know that I was cooking for 12 people on Sunday. (Again this week... but I am not so nervous. This week I've decided we are having "Spaghetti Dinner.) My husband is working with a Student ward at BYU- H and we would like to get to know the students better- by having small groups come over for Sunday dinner each week. (I think my husband is delighted that this also insures we have a Sunday Dinner. Normally on Sunday I cook one meal. It might be lunch, it might be dinner. )

ANYWAY Last week I was attempting Roast, Mash potatoes, Gravy, Peas and Breadfruit. (An island traditional side)


So this is what Breadfruit looks like hanging on a tree.

It's a big fruit. Like the size of a pineapple.









Here is one that is ripe and ready to eat!
Where we live- there are lots of people have these trees in on their property. For a week- I was trying to get the nerve up to ask someone if I could pick from their tree.

Finally I just called a local friend and asked her if she knew anyone who had a tree. And to my delight-- she has one in her backyard! But she warned me. ... a Marshallese family from town drives in on weekends to pick from her tree and they had just come.. so she might not have any ripe.
That is how popular this fruit is!
People DRIVE to get it. I have never seen it sold in grocery stores or one side road stands.
Ya have to know someone who has a tree...

I wanted to try my hand- because one of the students who was coming for dinner was a student from the Marshal Island and fresh off the boat. (PLUS : I love it. )

But once I got it-- I was still unsure of what to do with it. There are no detailed explanations on the Internet about how to cook this very versatile fruit (which actually tastes more like a starch/sweet potato.) I asked my Polynesian friends and they would just gloss over

Cut it up
boil it, or fry it or bake it.
(then give me a look like- "comm-on sistah-- it's not that complicated!" )

If you don't know -- Polynesians don't cook with recipes, measurements, etc. It's all taught by cooking as a family and eye-balling it. I've tried to get recipes before for different local favorites like: Coco-Rice and they are always taken-back when I ask. They have never thought about it- the process. It's just tell a list of ingredients and say-- then make the coco rice! easy!

I like details steps - people! I like pictures that go along with each step! I like someone to hold my hand and walk me through the process.
I would have preferred one of my friends to have offered to just make the side dish for me and bring it over when dinner was ready... but no such luck! I was lucky to even get 2 breadfruit!



So- I decided to treat it like a pineapple- cut the skin off

(don't mind the blender in the background- that was for the mash potatoes)
then slice down-- around the core

I found a bunch of interesting seeds
(at this point-- I was loosing my confidence. It looked a bit scary to me.)


But I plugged along-- I cut it in strips and chunks.
Shapes and sizes I remember having eaten.



My favorite way to eat it - is the kind baked in coconut milk. But I didn't have any coconut milk.
(of course)
I did have coconut syrup (to use on banana pancakes--so yummy) so I put milk in the bottom and then poured the syrup over top.
Covered and baked at 350 for 45 minutes. It was so tasty!

The students loved it! My husband even liked it! (He had told me earlier I didn't have to worry about not having enough breadfruit side dish- he would stick with the potatoes and gravy and leave all the breadfruit for the students. But after hearing them RAVE over it.. he had to try it.)

We've started our Family Fitness teams again.
(My 7 year old requested it! He is Captain of the QuickSilvers-- I'm on that team along with my 10 year old.) Then our competition is the Volcum team- consisting of my husband, my 12 year old and 3 year old.
There was a little bit of good humored trash talk between the teams as we picked team names and made the score sheets. My 12 year old was saying what a strong player my 3 year old will be with eating vegetables.
(Which is true!)
But I retorted under my breath, "I can control THAT this week."
( My husband gave me a quick look-- to make sure I was teasing!)
Of course I was..
the Quicksilvers don't have to sabotage the other team to win !
I love our Fitness teams- they are just goofy and playful. But a fun way to motivate us to eat healthy and exercise. So this morning-- my husband and I both woke up at 5:15 AM to go on a walk.

5 comments:

Emily said...

I'd love to try that! wonder where you can get breadfruit in maryland?

Amanda said...

Ack! I forgot I follow a blog of a Samoan woman (I think she may have been one of Crash's counselors) who has a recipe for breadfruit with step-by-step directions....oh well, here it is if you ever need it for future dinner parties:

http://samoancooking.blogspot.com/2008/10/fa.html

I'm glad it turned out so well....good job!!

Carmen said...

I'm from Puerto Rico and people here eat that all the time! I love it, but we eat it with meat or fish. We call it "pana" or "panapen". We just cut it, and cook in water, with salt and oil. When we serve it we pour olive oil on top of it. My mom cooks cornbeaf, is that how you write it?, with tomato sauce, I think heh, and serves it with "pana", it tastes so good!! I'm actually looking at a breadfruit tree (that's a weird name, we don't think of it as a fruit at all!) and it has many "panas"! So look it up as Panapen or Pana, and you'll find thing related to it, of course they'll be in spanish but you can hope the google translator does a good job, sure... hehe!

T said...

yummers - anything soaked in coconut syrup sounds delicious to me... apparently I need to follow you on facebook to keep up better, and to know when you are cooking for an army :)

Christi said...

You are so full of good ideas. Someday, when I finish having babies and feel some spark of energy returning to my life, I'm going to try some of them! I love fitness teams! And I sooo agree with only cooking one meal on Sundays! If it happens to be waffles for breakfast, that counts!

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