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Party Pineapple: Two Ways

I’ve been gone too long. It has been so long that I have begun to lose track of time. Early this week it dawned on me…..April was nearly over! Of course as soon as that happens May is here and not one but two notable occasions are at hand – Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo.

While I am, admittedly, late to the game, I feel like celebrating! I’d like to bring something to the party, both parties, and the easiest thing I can think of on short notice is seasonal fresh fruit. It is already beautiful and delicious. All it needs is a pretty presentation and a touch of something special to make it party ready.

It’s been years now since I first tried this recipe. It’s a good one and I don’t know why I have waited so long to post it. Maybe it is just too simple…hardly a recipe at all but more like a hint or an inspiration. It starts with a halved fresh pineapple and a page from one of my favorite cookbooks, “Table for Two” by Marianne Paquin. First, for Cinco de Mayo, it is drizzled with lime juice. I then substituted a south-of-the-border style chili pepper for the suggested Szechuan pepper in the original before topping it with shredded mint leaves.

For Derby Day I took it in a different direction. This time I substituted a splash of good Kentucky bourbon for the lime juice and, instead of chili powder, I dusted the pineapple slices with Mint Julep Finishing Sugar from Louisville based Bourbon Barrel Foods. Topped with the shredded mint leaves it adds all of the flavor notes of a classic Mint Julep bringing the same pretty presentation home to the Bluegrass Region.

Chili Lime Pineapple Slices

1 fresh pineapple
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
a pinch of ancho (or other) ground chili pepper
10 mint leaves thinly sliced

Wash the pineapple and cut it in half lengthwise. Slice away two narrow wedges, one from each side of the stem ( so that the inside of the pineapple is more fully exposed.) Using a serrated knife, cut the flesh of the pineapple away from the skin, being careful not to separate the leaves from the outer shell. Remove the hard center core as needed.

Cut the flesh of the pineapple into ¼-½ inch slices. Push the slices back and forth, staggering them in the pineapple shell so that they are easy to serve. Drizzle with lime juice, sprinkle lightly with a pinch of ground chili powder and top with the sliced mint leaves. Garnish with a sprig of mint if desired.

Mint Julep Pineapple Slices

1 fresh pineapple
1 Tablespoon good Kentucky bourbon
½ -1 teaspoon Mint Julep finishing sugar (or turbinado sugar)
10 mint leaves thinly sliced

Prepare the pineapple as directed above, splitting it in half lengthwise, then separating and slicing the flesh to be arranged in the pineapple shell.

Drizzle the prepared pineapple with the bourbon. Just before serving, sprinkle the pineapple slices with the Mint Julep finishing sugar. (If you don’t have access to this special sugar you can use turbinado sugar for a similar look and texture.) Sprinkle the sliced mint leaves over the fruit. Garnish with a sprig of mint if desired.

Serve and enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Oh my! That sounds yummy!!
As long as there is more than one ingredient, I am pretty certain whatever you mix together qualifies as a "recipe!" :-)
Wish I could have a taste!!

Debbie said...

I'm so glad you are back. Wish I could be there with you to celebrate!

grace said...

i like both twists and i think i like them equally well! very glamorous way to serve them too. :)