pineapple

Grilled Crispy Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

If you’ve never tasted grilled pineapple, you’ve missed a real treat.

Cut into thick slices, it’s a fabulous side dish for dinners of grilled or roasted chicken, lamb, duck or fish.

But it has a sort of rum-like flavor, so I also think of it as a “solid cocktail.” Which makes it the perfect accompaniment to such items as grilled chicken wings and other savory nibbles. In that case, cut the large slices into cubes and skewer the chunks onto toothpicks.

OR — this dish is so versatile — top each slice with whipped cream, ice cream or sweetened mascarpone cheese (garnish with some chopped pistachios or mint) and use it as a dessert.

Any way at all — you can’t go wrong.

Grilled Pineapple

  • One whole pineapple

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, vegetable oil, melted butter or a mixture of these

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

  • sea salt

  • mint for garnish, optional

Cut the leaves off the pineapple. Remove the outer fibrous rind. Cut the peeled pineapple in slices about 3/4-inch thick. Set aside in a single layer in a pan. Heat the brown sugar, coconut oil, orange juice and orange peel in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the pineapple slices, turning the pieces to coat both sides. Let macerate for about 45 minutes. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium (or use a grill pan or the oven broiler). Grill the slices for about 4 minutes per side or until well glazed and tender, brushing occasionally with some of the liquid. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Garnish with fresh mint if desired.

Makes 6 servings

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple

It seems to me that vegetables are more well-loved these days. Or at least less hated.

I'm not sure why that is, but I haven't seen many food articles lately about trying to get your family to "eat that broccoli" or "try some of those string beans."

I once posted that giving a vegetable dish a cute name such as X-Ray Vision Carrots may inspire kids and other nay-sayers to try vegetables. But I also think that, as a whole, we are making vegetable dishes more interesting nowadays and that's why people are more likely to eat them.

I mean -- Roasted Green Beans with Aleppo Pepper tastes better than plain old steamed string beans. Broccoli with Lemony Bread Crumbs is much more delicious than boiled broccoli. 

And so, those vegetable side dishes become big winners. It just takes a bit more effort.

Like this sweet potato dish (which you can also make with winter squash). The pineapple chunks are a nice, tangy balance for the sweet potato. Orange peel and fresh ginger give the dish a refreshing zip. I sometimes sprinkle in a pinch or two of cayenne pepper, but it isn't essential.

This dish is perfect with roasted chicken or turkey.

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple

  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • salt to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the potatoes and cut the flesh into bite sized chunks. Place the chunks on the parchment. Cut the soft flesh of the pineapple quarter into bite size chunks. Place on the baking sheet. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, orange peel, ginger and nutmeg, stir and cook over medium heat just briefly enough to melt the coconut oil. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and pineapple and toss to coat all the pieces. Salt to taste. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender, tossing the pieces once or twice.

Makes 4-6 servings

Baked Marinated Pineapple with Meringue Top

Marinated Marinated Pineapple with Meringue

Marinated Marinated Pineapple with Meringue

After a big, heavy meal -- like the kind we usually eat for Rosh Hashanah or any other holiday (Thanksgiving, for example) -- I like to serve a fruit dessert. I'll also serve Honey Cake and Plum Torte but not everyone can stuff cake in right after dinner.

So, fruit.

This is a pretty way to serve fresh fruit, festive enough for any holiday table. You can use any cut up fruit you like in addition to the pineapple. 

 

BAKED MARINATED PINEAPPLE WITH MERINGUE TOP

·                1 large pineapple

·                1 cup berries and/or grapes or cut up peach/plum/apricot

·                1/3 cup confectioner's sugar

·                3 tablespoons rum or orange juice

·                3 tablespoons brandy or orange juice

·                4 large egg whites

·                1 cup sugar

·                1/2 cup melted apricot preserves

 

Cut the pineapple in half, keeping the leaves intact. Cut out the flesh (use a spoon to scoop portions you don't reach with the knife). Reserve the pineapple shells. Cut away and discard the hard core in the center of the flesh. Cut the pineapple into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Add the berries, confectioner's sugar, rum and brandy. Toss the fruit and let rest for at least one hour in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating constantly until the whites stand in stiff, glossy peaks. Place the fruit and accumulated juices back into the reserved pineapple shells. Spoon the meringue on top, spreading it to the sides, making sure to seal the edges. Place the pineapple halves on a cookie sheet. Cover the leaves with aluminum foil. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned. Remove the foil from the leaves. Drizzle the melted apricot preserves on on a serving platter and place the pineapple on top or serve the sauce separately.

Makes 6 servings

 

 

Roasted Fruit Cocktail

No matter how close you and your significant other are and how long you know each other, you didn’t discuss  everything  and so, when you finally settle into daily life together there are always some new discoveries.  Like, he looked in the cabinet for Wise potato chips but you bought Herr’s because that’s your favorite.  Little stuff like that.  With Ed and me the first difference we noticed were the assumptions about dessert that we had brought to the marriage.  I came from a coffee and cake family, he came from a canned fruit family. My mom baked often so there was always some wonderful pastry or other at the end of a meal (like her famous Fannies ( butter cookies ) or  apple pie ). Ed’s mom was a good cook, but not a baker. Their go-to dessert was canned fruit cocktail because it was Ed’s favorite.  Of course my mom served that occasionally too. Every kid I knew asked for extra of those carcinogenic red dye #2 maraschino cherries (of which there were always too few to satisfy all of us).  To this day Ed passes up the cakes, cookies and pies (which I find astonishing) and prefers the fruit cocktail. Although I have to say, in an effort to be a good wife I bought lots of that stuff in the early days and even he got sick of it.  But he does love fresh fruit cocktail and it is amazingly easy to make: cut up fresh fruit.  There, that’s the whole recipe. Fresh fruit usually doesn’t need much, if any, sugar, though it is easy to sprinkle some on. Or, you could go to the trouble of poaching a variety of different kinds and serving it with the syrup, a la the canned kind.  But my favorite fruit cocktail is this version, which starts out with roasted fruit. Roasting brings out the fruit sugars in a tantalizing way with hints of rum and molasses (do I sound like a wine taster talking?).  After a huge, heavy, meat-laden Passover Seder meal (or any big dinner), Roasted Fruit Cocktail is an excellent choice for dessert. I am in Ed’s corner on this one. I’ll save the cake and baked goods for later, when I’m less full.    Roasted Fruit Cocktail   1 ripe fresh pineapple  2 fresh mangos  3/4 cup orange juice  1/4 cup honey  cinnamon  18-20 strawberries, hulls removed  1 cup seedless red grapes  1/4 cup chopped fresh mint  sorbet or ice cream, optional  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a jelly roll sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.  Using a chef’s knife, remove the leaves and hard outer shell of the pineapple. Cut the pineapple lengthwise into 1-inch thick strips. Using the knife, remove and discard the middle, fibrous core (from each slice you will be left with two strips of pineapple cut from both sides of the core). Place the strips on the parchment-lined jelly roll pan.   Peel the mango and cut the flesh into strips. Set aside.  Place the orange juice and honey in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat slightly and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the liquid is slightly thickened. Generously brush all surfaces of the pineapple strips with the orange juice mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Roast for 4-5 minutes. Turn the strips over. Add the mango strips, strawberries and grapes to the pan. Brush with the remaining orange juice mixture. Roast for another 6-7 minutes or until fruit is soft and lightly caramelized. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool. Cut the pineapple and mango strips into bite size pieces. Place all the fruit and accumulated pan juices in a bowl, sprinkle with the mint and toss. Place into serving dishes. Serve plain or with sorbet or ice cream. Makes 8 servings   

No matter how close you and your significant other are and how long you know each other, you didn’t discuss everything and so, when you finally settle into daily life together there are always some new discoveries.

Like, he looked in the cabinet for Wise potato chips but you bought Herr’s because that’s your favorite.

Little stuff like that.

With Ed and me the first difference we noticed were the assumptions about dessert that we had brought to the marriage.

I came from a coffee and cake family, he came from a canned fruit family. My mom baked often so there was always some wonderful pastry or other at the end of a meal (like her famous Fannies (butter cookies) or apple pie). Ed’s mom was a good cook, but not a baker. Their go-to dessert was canned fruit cocktail because it was Ed’s favorite.

Of course my mom served that occasionally too. Every kid I knew asked for extra of those carcinogenic red dye #2 maraschino cherries (of which there were always too few to satisfy all of us).

To this day Ed passes up the cakes, cookies and pies (which I find astonishing) and prefers the fruit cocktail. Although I have to say, in an effort to be a good wife I bought lots of that stuff in the early days and even he got sick of it.

But he does love fresh fruit cocktail and it is amazingly easy to make: cut up fresh fruit.

There, that’s the whole recipe. Fresh fruit usually doesn’t need much, if any, sugar, though it is easy to sprinkle some on. Or, you could go to the trouble of poaching a variety of different kinds and serving it with the syrup, a la the canned kind.

But my favorite fruit cocktail is this version, which starts out with roasted fruit. Roasting brings out the fruit sugars in a tantalizing way with hints of rum and molasses (do I sound like a wine taster talking?).

After a huge, heavy, meat-laden Passover Seder meal (or any big dinner), Roasted Fruit Cocktail is an excellent choice for dessert. I am in Ed’s corner on this one. I’ll save the cake and baked goods for later, when I’m less full. 

Roasted Fruit Cocktail

1 ripe fresh pineapple

2 fresh mangos

3/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup honey

cinnamon

18-20 strawberries, hulls removed

1 cup seedless red grapes

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

sorbet or ice cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a jelly roll sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Using a chef’s knife, remove the leaves and hard outer shell of the pineapple. Cut the pineapple lengthwise into 1-inch thick strips. Using the knife, remove and discard the middle, fibrous core (from each slice you will be left with two strips of pineapple cut from both sides of the core). Place the strips on the parchment-lined jelly roll pan. 

Peel the mango and cut the flesh into strips. Set aside.

Place the orange juice and honey in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat slightly and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the liquid is slightly thickened. Generously brush all surfaces of the pineapple strips with the orange juice mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Roast for 4-5 minutes. Turn the strips over. Add the mango strips, strawberries and grapes to the pan. Brush with the remaining orange juice mixture. Roast for another 6-7 minutes or until fruit is soft and lightly caramelized. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool. Cut the pineapple and mango strips into bite size pieces. Place all the fruit and accumulated pan juices in a bowl, sprinkle with the mint and toss. Place into serving dishes. Serve plain or with sorbet or ice cream. Makes 8 servings

 

Baked Marinated Pineapple

London broil is definitely not filet mignon and olives aren’t truffles.

And yet, many years ago, I confess, I made an elaborate New Year’s Eve dinner for friends with those very substitutions. Filet was too expensive. Truffles? Forgetaboutit. No way. So, I made Beef Bordelaise — even made the stock from scratch — using London Broil. To garnish, I sliced black olives to replace the truffles.

They didn’t even look like a good imitation of truffles.

But dinner was great, festive too. The meat was tough but no one cared. There was plenty of wine and that made everything taste better. Besides, I had asked our 6 friends to come formally attired and they all substituted jeans or corduroys, so I guess we were even.

I didn’t keep accurate records in those days but the meal started with some hors d’oeuvre and champagne. Dinner was a soup followed by the beef. I know I made asparagus — steamed, not roasted (which I usually do today) and with no Balsamic vinegar droplets because no one knew about that in those days. I think there was also a mushroom ragout and roasted potatoes.

I do remember dessert, fabulous looking (and tasting) meringue-topped pineapple halves filled with fruit that had been macerated with Grand Marnier and Meyer’s rum. I remember because my husband Ed and I had recently been to London and eaten in a restaurant called Parkes, where we ordered this dessert at the suggestion of a friend who had been there before us. I worked out the recipe, long ago, and have been making this dessert, for which everyone is grateful, ever since.

Here’s the recipe:

Baked Marinated Pineapple

1 large pineapple

6 tablespoons confectioners sugar

3 tablespoons orange flavor brandy

3 tablespoons dark rum

4 large egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise, keeping the leaves intact. Carve the flesh from the shell, remove and discard the fibrous core and cut the flesh into chunks. Place the chunks in a bowl and add the confectioners sugar, brandy and rum. Toss ingredients and refrigerate for 1-5 hours. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment of a standing mixer (or use a hand beater) until they are foamy. Gradually add the sugar and gradually increase the speed to high; beat until the whites stand in stiff, glossy peaks. Place the macerated fruit and its juices back into the two pineapple half shells. Spread the meringue over the fruit. making sure to spread the meringue to the edges, sealing in the fruit. Place the filled pineapple halves on a cookie sheet. Wrap the leaves in foil to protect them form burning. Bake the pineapple for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the foil and serve. Makes 6 servings