Saturday, September 05, 2009

Grilled Pineapple from Guest Jeremy Manier

Please welcome my brother-in-law, science writer Jeremy Manier. Jeremy served this at my sister's 4th of July party, and I had him in mind to guest blog about it for Labor Day weekend ever since. This is delicious! Should we try grilled prunes in the future? (HELP) -Amy

Grill this?
I confess that when I first saw Steven Raichlen grilling pineapple on PBS I thought he’d gone slightly bonkers, or at least had grown overly desperate for new grilling material. What would he throw on the fire next? Kiwi? Pomegranate?

But as I’ve looked around it appears that grilled pineapple is a pretty common idea (sorry, Steven). Even the Mayo Clinic sports a grilled pineapple recipe on their site - Of course, Mayo’s recipe looks a tad healthier than the one I recommend for Labor Day grilling. My favorite decadent pineapple recipe is a caramel dish I found in a Jacques Pepin book, but since butter and grilling don’t mix well, I’ll stick to the Raichlen-inspired recipe:

1 pineapple (preferably fresh, though peak pineapple season ends in July)
1 can coconut milk
½ cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon rum

Fire up the grill very hot – Raichlen recommends some kind of Indonesian ceramic grill for this, but OK, maybe you misplaced yours. Slice the pineapple into fairly thick rings, or thick spears. It’s smart to keep the pieces thick, because you don’t want them to dissolve and slip away. In a shallow bowl mix the coconut milk with the lime zest, lime juice and rum. Spread out the raw sugar on a separate plate. Dip each pineapple slice in the coconut milk mixture, long enough to coat it thoroughly. Shake off the excess liquid and then place the slice on the plate with the sugar. Turn the slice over and coat it with the sugar (told you Mayo wouldn’t approve).
Once you do this for a couple of slices the sugar on the plate starts to get a bit drenched, which makes it harder to coat the pineapple. So you might want to start out with a smaller amount of sugar and add more dry sugar as you do more slices. Once the slices are all prepared, put them on the grill over high heat for about 3 minutes per side. If all goes well the milk and sugar should caramelize on the grill. Serve with vanilla ice cream or mascarpone cheese. Good stuff.
Thanks to my sister-in-law Amy for letting me share this holiday treat. Now it’s back to my day job, which is a sweet gig but otherwise bears little resemblance to the humble, sweet pineapple.

No comments: