Jackfruit Tacos

Vegans are so clever. Making mock meat from canned jackfruit- it's just bananas. There are a few places in town that I've had jackfruit tacos- both Golden Road and Sage have really good ones. I was looking to replicate theirs at home (as I do), and found an archived Quarrygirl blog post pointing to this recipe for Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos. You'll need a crockpot for this recipe, but it's insanely simple to put together (essentially throwing everything into the pot- the only "work" is chopping an onion and mincing the garlic). After my first try at it, I'm not 100% that it's exactly what I was going for. It's really good, but I think I'd like to alter the flavors a bit. I suspect that my 'meh' feeling has to do with the tomatillo salsa. I think it's a bit bright and I'd like a deeper flavor to these, so maybe I'll experiment with salsas first and then spices if that still wasn't it. Overall, though, it's very good, and kind of a miraculous transformation from what you take out of the can to the end product!

Seitan Tacos

So, these are familiar, they're from RFD's book (p.155), but are very similar to the East Sider Tacos that I've talked about from Flore. However, as much as I love Flore's East Sider's (and my knock offs), the Seitan Tacos at the RFD restaurant are probably the best tacos that I have ever had ever ever ever... ever. If you are in Los Angeles, you must go eat them now. If you aren't in Los Angeles, this and the ocean are why you need to come visit.

So, despite having perfected my version of the Flore tacos, I had to try making RFD's at home. I should start this with stating the fact that mine aren't the same, and i will never do this again. But, they were good. I did two alterations to their recipe, I used taco sauce in lieu of Ranchero and made Meet Market knock off Cashew Cheese instead of the Tofu Cheddar. I will post that Cashew Cheese recipe when I iron it out, it's still not perfect. But, this was all very tasty.

The issue was that it's fried. Which is messy. And greasy. The restaurant has a fryer and can flash fry it. They get to the perfect level of crispy awesomeness without being greasy. In a pan, it takes a good minute per side to turn a corn tortilla into a hard shell taco. Thats a ton of time for the oil to seep all in to the seitan (you have to put the filling in before frying to keep the shape). So, they get pretty greasy, but I really wanted to try making hard shells, and it worked. But, we've been going to they gym, and that kind of thing makes you think twice about eating this kind of thing. At least at the restaurant, with the grease being absent, I can delude myself into thinking that they're healthy!

East Side-y Tacos

I semi-de-coded another Flore recipe. I have to add a disclaimer. Home versions are good in their own way, but it's just not the same. Going to Flore and partaking in their food pretty much can't be beat. But, if you don't live in L.A., or want to make knock offs at home like me, fakes are alright.

This also requires buying their brand of Cashew Cheese, which is sold at their sister café Meet Market east of Flore on Sunset. This stuff is awesome. For cheese eaters, or even anyone looking for a cheese substitute- you should know that this doesn't resemble cheese at all. It's its own thing. Its own wonderful thing. It's a spread (versus a shredded or grated cheesy substance), the flavor is nothing like cheese- which is not a bad thing at all. This stuff is spiced perfectly and has such a rich, amazing flavor. It totally makes anything you use it on. It's a crucial component of their East Sider Tacos, and although I'm not positive that the stuff at Meet Market is exactly what they use on the tacos, it's real close and just as tasty.

So, this is pretty easy peasy and good for a "tired after work" night. You'll need:

2 packs of Seitan (I buy the blue packs at Whole Foods)
1 packet of Whole Foods taco seasoning (I suppose you could use any brand you wanted though- but it's the powdered kind)
Cashew cheese to taste (I used about 3 t per taco)
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Hard corn tortillas

Prepare the taco seasoning according to the directions. Put both packs of seitan (broken up a bit more, the chunks in the pack are pretty big and these need to fit into the shells) into a large skillet, pour taco seasoning over. Cook until most of the liquid dissolves, but there's still a bit of sauciness in there. While seitan is cooking, shred lettuce and dice tomatoes.

Spread cashew cheese all throughout the inside of the taco shells. Put seitan in the bottom about 1/2 way up the shell, top with lettuce and tomatoes to taste.

Voila! Tasty amazing tacos that I'm betting even carnivorous friends would enjoy!