Blanquette is my grandmother's signature dish, it's probably the dish she makes the most often, along with caramel rice pudding, beef stew, potato fries, and apple pie. Officially, a blanquette refers to a meat stew, usually veal, cooked in a white creamy sauce flavored with herbs, white wine, and other aromatics like onions and optionally carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. According to my grandmother, traditional blanquette doesn't contain carrots, but we are not doing the traditional one here!
As a kid, I never liked meat stews. I'm not sure why but anything cooked in a Dutch oven or cocotte was unappetizing to me. Well, I'm happy things have changed since then! I still don't eat meat stew, okay? But I'm loving Dutch ovens. Yes, they are heavy, but slow cooked food is really the best, especially when it's cozy like this jackfruit blanquette.
To give this stew a meaty texture I went with jackfruit, which has the perfect tender texture. The thing is, jackfruit is pretty bland if not well seasoned. So first, we marinate it in almond butter, toasted sesame oil, nutritional yeast, and some spices to give it a rich flavor.
Here's a quick tip: you don't want to mash the jackfruit or stir the stew too often, otherwise it will pull apart and your blanquette will have a fibrous texture. You want whole pieces of jackfruit! Now if you don't have access to jackfruit, or simply want more protein, I suggest using tofu or tempeh.
Next, we have the aromatics: white wine, onion studded with cloves, and a bouquet garni (thyme sprigs and bay leaves). For the veggies, I went with the basic carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. Hearty vegetables for a comforting dish.
As the blanquette slowly cooks, the broth absorbs the flavors of the jackfruit marinade, white wine, and herbs.
Once your carrots and potatoes are cooked, it's time to stir in the cashew cream. It consists of soaked cashews blended with yogurt and lemon juice to give it some tanginess. Do not omit the cashew cream, it's the key to a thick and creamy sauce.
You can serve this blanquette with rice, quinoa, or pasta. It is always best served the same day as the sauce has the tendency to thicken as it cools. To reheat, simply add a bit more water until you get a creamy consistency.
This comforting jackfruit blanquette makes the perfect dinner to have on cold winter nights. It's rich, creamy, and has that stick-to-your-ribs factor.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
- 2 20-ounces can young jackfruit
- ¼ cup almond butter or cashew butter
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon water
- ¾ cup white wine
- 2 cups water
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced (½-inch thick)
- 3 small potatoes peeled and chopped
- 4 white button mushrooms quartered
- 1 onion poked with 8 cloves
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 thyme sprigs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup raw cashews soaked overnight
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoon vegan yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Start with the jackfruit: Drain and rinse it. Cut off the hard core parts and discard. Do not pull apart the jackfruit, keep the whole pieces, you don't want to make shredded jackfruit. Transfer to a small baking dish, or mixing bowl, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the almond butter, sesame oil, nutritional yeast, ground cumin, soy sauce, and water. Pour over the jackfruit pieces and stir gently to coat. Let marinate at least 15 minutes.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the marinated jackfruit and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.
- Pour the white wine and water over the jackfruit.
- Add the sliced carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, onion, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and salt. Cover and let simmer over low-medium heat for about 1 and ½ hour, checking from time to time to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
- Remove the onion, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs and discard. Then, stir in the cashew cream and carefully mix to combine. You don't want to stir too much or the jackfruit will pull a part and you will end up with a fibrous texture. You want to keep whole pieces of jackfruit.
- Serve immediately over rice or quinoa. This jackfruit blanquette will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stove and add water as needed to make the sauce creamy again.
- Drain the cashews. Add all the cashew cream ingredients to the bowl of a blender and blend on high speed for 1 minute, or until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. You should get a thick and smooth cream with a subtle tanginess.
- If you don't have jackfruit, use 2 cups diced firm tofu or tempeh. The texture will be different but it's still delicious!