Tag Archives: pineapple

Guadeloupe…

Wednesday, January 16 –

It’s official, I don’t like Chinese Five Spice Blend. I’ve had it twice now and I just can’t get near the stuff. Fail on my taste buds, not necessarily fail on the recipe. I will try to remind myself next time to pass up recipes photo(13)that call for it.

For this recipe I started with chicken drumsticks, which I removed the skin from. I melted butter in a pan and browned the drumsticks on all sides. Then I sprinkled in the spices, garlic, soy sauce, and onion. I let that cook until the onions started getting aromatic and transparent. Then I put in the pineapple from one can, with a splash of the juice. I covered it and let it cook for about twenty minutes on medium low. Then I stirred it, turned the drumsticks over, and turned it up to high to make the sauce bubbly and thick. After ten minutes of that, it was ready to serve.

I boiled some red potatoes to go with this, as well as a salad that BestestFianceEver made. He ate his chicken, salad, and potatoes. I ended up eating salad, potatoes, and part of a drumstick. I just couldn’t do it. We also dumped the leftovers (SAD!!) because neither of us was willing to eat it again. The chicken was tender and flavorful, just not our favorite type of flavor.

Guadeloupe
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.myguadeloupe.ca)

Creole Pineapple Chicken

  • 2½ pounds skinless chicken, cut into big pieces
  • 1 pineapple, diced
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder
  • Pinch Cayenne pepper
  • Oil
  • Salt

Instructions:  Sauté chicken in butter and oil. Once browned, add soy sauce, five-spice, garlic, and onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat, 10 minutes. Add pineapple and cook, 1 hour 15 minutes. Serve hot!

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French Polynesia…

Saturday, November 3 –

This dinner was much less orchestrated, much less planned, and workout out just fine anyway. We decided to combine BigMan’s birthday with this dinner so everyone could get together, and in the chaos of our Halloween party I told A LOT of people about it. But I had no idea who would really show up. So I just picked one dish and let the rest happen by itself.

The people who showed up were: BestestFianceEver, Hot Momma (wine), Mr. Hero (birthday cake, plates, ice, rum, and sodas), BigMan, MissingMan, WingWoman (squash coconut soup),  LightsOn, ChinUp (Tahiti-style Mahi Mahi), MyBuddy (Coconut Vanilla Prawns), and I cooked Polynesian pork ribs and rice and provided some wine.

These ribs were the easiest thing in the world to make. I bought four pounds of pork ribs (the meaty kind), cut them apart to fit better then added two chopped onions, six minced garlic cloves, and a whole can of crushed pineapple. I set it to cook on low in my crock pot for eight hours. By the time I came back to it, the meat had fallen completely off the bones and it smelled heavenly. So I drained the liquid into a bowl, thinking I might need it, then pulled all the loose bones out, and put it back into the pot. It looked like chunky pulled-pork.

Into a small bowl went one and a half cups of ketchup, six tablespoons brown sugar, six tablespoons of hoisin sauce, and a chopped up length of ginger that was about the size of my thumb, just a little thicker. I left the chop pretty course so that we would get little sparks of ginger along the way. (My mouth is drooling right now thinking about it…) I dumped this mix on top, mixed it altogether, turned it on high for about 45 minutes, came back and it was sticky, lumpy, and delicious.

The mahi mahi was pretty good, but it would have been better if we could have served it right away. We had to wait for everyone to show up so it had dried out a little. The coconut vanilla prawns were soupy and sweet – not the way I prefer my seafood. I want my seafood to be savory or spicy. So it was ok, but I personally didn’t like them much. The squash coconut soup was bland at first. Then we added more salt, pepper, chili powder, and, of course, bacon. Because all squash soups (in my humble opinion, anyway) deserve a little smoky, salty bacon to round off the flavor.

All in all it was a successful, friend-, rum-, and wine-filled evening. Thanks to everyone who showed up for BigMan’s birthday!

Next up – G countries!

Polynesian Pork Ribs

  • 2 lbs boneless country-style ribs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained

Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, grated

Cooking Instructions:  Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place pork ribs, garlic and onion in slow cooker. Spoon about half of the pineapple with some of the juice over ribs. Reserve remaining pineapple and juice. Cover; cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours. About 35 minutes before serving, drain and discard cooking juices from slow cooker; wipe edge of cooker clean. In small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, ginger root and remaining pineapple with juice; mix well. Spoon or pour evenly over ribs. Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until ribs are glazed. Servings: 6


Dominican Republic…

Saturday, August 4 –

I’m back to playing catch-up again. Please forgive the length between posts. Summer is crazy for us right now and I’m trying the best I can to keep these caught up.

This dinner was another potluck. We had: ChinUp and MyBuddy bring coleslaw and a coconut pudding, SlotMachine helped provide chips and guacamole, Bestie Extraordinaire made a pork roast with lamb sausage and veggie dish, GingerNuts and NoPoots brought a red bean and veggie stew type dish and mojitos, BestestEverFiance made a sweet corn rice dish, and I made two different roast chicken dishes and more mojitos. Last minute we also had DangerD and SecondMomma show up to join us for the party. NoPoots also brought her kids with her this time, and while they didn’t try the food, they still hung out with us and had a great time, so I feel like they should get complimentary blog names: MiniSass and MiniSweets.

While researching these recipes I noticed that jerk chicken and lemon/garlic chicken were both very common flavors – so I decided to do both. I took 10 chicken legs and divided them into two bowls. I poured on a store-bought jerk sauce on one and a lemon/garlic sauce on the other. I happened to use the Safeway brand, and it worked really well. I didn’t add any of the other stuff to the sauce, I just simply poured it straight from the bottles and let it sit in the fridge for about two hours.

Into the two baking dishes went the sweet potatoes, pineapples, and carrots. Then I set the chicken legs over the top, poured the sauce over the whole thing, and put them both into the oven (uncovered). I roasted them for the 30 minutes the recipe suggests and they weren’t quite done. So I put them back in for probably another 10 minutes and they measured correctly on a thermometer and looked cooked when I cut into them.

The jerk chicken was only slightly spicy but had good flavor. The lemon/garlic chicken was good, but fairly ordinary. The veggies that roasted under them were absolutely divine, and I will make chicken again this way just so I can indulge in the sweet potatoes and pineapple that were cooked this way. The carrot and cabbage coleslaw was a perfect, crisp cut to the sauces. I really, really liked the mix of the coleslaw with the bites of other food. The red bean and veggie dish was dangerously good. I could have settled down with a dish of that in front of a fire on a rainy night and been very satisfied. The corn and rice dish was perfect to scoop up all the sauces with. And the pork/lamb dish was heavy but good. On top of everything were plenty of mojitos, which is always a good plan for me!

Dominican Republic
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.dominicancooking.com)

Chicken with Lemon and Garlic Sauce

  • 6 chicken legs, skinned, cleaned of fat and divided into halves
  • 1 1/2 cup of world harlbors lemon pepper and garlic sauce
  • 6 cups of sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups of pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • pepper
  • salt

Directions:  Mix the World Harlbors Lemon Pepper and Garlic Sauce, olive oil, half a cup of water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of freshly-ground pepper. Shake well. Place the chicken legs in a zippy bag and add the sauce mix, moving around until the meat is coated with the sauce. Marinate for at least two hours in the fridge. Heat the oven to 350*C. Place the sweet potatoes, carrots, and pineapple in a baking pan. Put the chicken legs on top of them and drizzle everything with the sauce in which the chicken was marinaded. Roast for 30 minutes or the chicken is golden brown. Serve with green salad.


Costa Rica…

Sunday, June 10 –

Let me start this off by saying that usually I’m not a big fan of tilapia. This recipe, however, was an incredible way to serve it. I would definitely make it again, should I randomly have tilapia in my fridge. I suppose I could even make it with other kinds of white fish and be just as happy with it. There were only four of us for dinner this time, with Bestie Extraordinaire and Mistress Whiskey making raspberry and mango mojitos to share.

I started by making guacamole to serve as an appetizer and setting it on the table for people to snack while I was cooking. Then I moved on to getting the rice cooking on the stove with the chicken broth as the liquid. While that simmered I started on the marinade for the fish. Once the fish was soaking in the marinade in the fridge I started on the rice pudding. After I got all of the ingredients into the rice pudding and it was starting to simmer, I moved onto getting the rice and beans mixed together and spread out in a baking dish. On top went the fish, the marinade, and the sliced limes. Simple, straight forward, and easy to follow instructions for both of the recipes this week. As the fish baked in the oven I kept an eye on the rice pudding, stirring every few minutes to make sure it wasn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.

The fish came out of the oven juicy and easily flaked with a fork. The rice mixture was bubbling and very hot. The flavor of the marinade soaked into the fish so that it was gently flavored but not overwhelmingly so. The pineapple, beans, rice, and salsa mix was genius and I will definitely be making it again!

The rice pudding cooked the whole time we were eating (I got up to stir it a couple of times). And I served it warm, right out of the pot just like my mom used to do when she made this type of dessert. I know the recipe says to serve it at room temp or cold, but if you want to try something decadent and filling, serve it warm.

This dinner gets a gold star for both recipes!

Costa Rica
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at:  www.foodnetwork.com and www.guiascostarica.com)

Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans and Rice

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (5 to 7-ounce) tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 cups jarred or homemade tomato salsa
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced

Directions:  Combine the rice and chicken broth in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the garlic, and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Add the tilapia fillets to the marinade, turning to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

Stir together the cooked rice, salsa, beans, pineapple, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in a 2 or 3-quart baking dish. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and lay the fish fillets over the rice mixture, overlapping if necessary. Pour the reserved marinade over the fish. Shingle the lime slices over the fish. Bake until the fish flakes easily, is opaque, and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving

Rice Pudding

  • 1 small can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon cracked
  • 1 cup of evaporated milk
  • 6 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:  First, in a large cooking pot, add the water, 4 cups of milk, uncooked rice, cinnamon, evaporated milk, vanilla and nutmeg. Once on the stove, bring the liquid to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes. Then, add the sweetened condensed milk. Add a little water to the milk can and empty its contents into the pot, by this time the liquid should be simmering, on low heat. The milk should just barely simmer, with bubbles breaking only the outside edge of the surface. As the liquid begins to reduce, add the remaining milk in small increments as you continue to stir. As you add the milk stir the mixture so that it cooks evenly. Continue to stir intermittently, until the liquid has become a gooy paste. Then add raisins and cook for an additional 10 minutes on. Total cooking time 1:15 minutes. Serve chilled or room temperature.


Aruba…

Saturday, September 24 –

This meal was actually made for lunch instead of dinner, and happened to land on one of the last beautiful days of summer here in Seattle. It was a simple, easy to throw together meal, and I would definitely make it again. I had never made (or even eaten) swordfish before this, so I was very excited to see how it would turn out.

The directions for the swordfish were well written and the marinade was easy to make. I took one can of sliced pineapple rings and put them in the dish, then the three swordfish steaks, then topped them with one medium sized yam that was peeled and thinly sliced and a half of a red onion that I sliced and separated into rings. I poured the marinade on top and then added a little bit of salt and pepper because I thought it would add a little depth of flavor to the dish (and I have a hard time making dishes with no seasonings at all). Then I sent the dish out to my Wonderful Boyfriend to get all of the ingredients onto the grill.

I made rice and the salsa while the fish was cooking outside. I did take a little liberty with the salsa and added mango to it and left out the beer (which my crohn’s wouldn’t have liked much). It made a beautiful side to the fish and brightened up the flavors on the plate.

Roommate Extraordinaire made blended drinks to go with this meal, which included mango, nectarine, two different kinds of rum, and ice. They were cold, refreshing, and just sweet enough to go well with the fish and veggies. We were throwing a party at our house later that evening, so that’s why you’ll see the drink pictured in a plastic keg cup.

The swordfish turned out thick and meaty, which is apparently how it’s supposed to be. The flavors were mild and let the taste of the fish still shine through. The grilled pineapple was amazing, as it always is. The grilled onions were tender and slightly charred (in a very good way). The grilled yam sliced didn’t have enough time on the grill and so turned out mostly undercooked. The salsa turned out bright, sweet, and delicious. The rice was a good side for the flavors. And the drinks were fruity and delicious.

Things I have learned: When grilling sweet potatoes or yams, make sure you cook them for a much longer time than you originally think. They were charred on the grill lines but uncooked in the middles, so lower, longer heat. These meals make great lunches as long as I have everything prepped ahead of time. Might have to switch out every so often.

Recommendations from our sommelier, Leigh Olson: As I was perusing the recipes to decide on the perfect pairing, one word kept echoing in the back of my wine-soaked brain ~ beer.  OK, beer it is.

Did you know that Aruba has its own national beer?  A beer whose malt is imported from Scotland and Hops from Germany. It is also the only beer brewed on the Island of Aruba.  It is a Pilsner-style beer which kinda makes sense since the brewmaster’s name is Klaus Eckart.  The beer ~ Balashi, which has  won several awards. Now, we are not able to purchase Balashi here in the states but we are fortunate to have several Pilsners available.
My Recommendations:
  • Sierra Nevada Summerfest
  • Becks
  • St Pauli Girl
These will offer a nice crispness, some floral notes as well as the perfect hoppy kick to complement the citrus notes in the recipes.
Fun Facts : Pilsner was first brewed in Bohemia.
Vessel of choice: A Pilsner glass of course!

Aruba
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.visitaruba.com and www.caribbeanchoice.com)

Paradise Salsa

  • 2 Tbs. sliced onion
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped into1/4″ cubes
  • 2 Serrano chilies, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. sugar (more sugar may be added if tomatoes are acidic)
  • 1/4 cup Mexican beer
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Juice of 2 limes

Directions: Combine all ingredients and mix well. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 30 min. before serving Oh, feel free to consume the rest of the beer while waiting!

Antillean-Style grilled Swordfish or Shark

  • 1-8 ounce can Del Monte unsweetened pineapple slices, juice reserved
  • 4-4 ounce fish steaks, each about 3/4″ thick
  • 8-1/4″ slices peeled sweet potato or yam
  • 4-1/2″ slices purple onion
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lime rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste

Directions: Arrange pineapple slices on bottom of large shallow baking dish. Place fish steaks on top of pineapple. In bowl, mix together sweet potato and onion slices. Place on top of fish steaks. In small bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons reserved pineapple juice, lime juice, vegetable oil, sugar, grated rind and tabasco. Pour over pineapple, fish and vegetables, coating well. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Prepare grill and brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place fish and onion slices on rack. Cook, covered, 4 minutes each side or until fish is done basting occasionally with reserved marinade in baking dish. Remove to warm platter. Place pineapple and sweet potato slices on grill. Cook, covered, 2 minutes each side, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Add decoratively to platter. Serve immediately.