Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weird Recipe Wednesday: Spicy Salted Pineapple, Grilled Fruit and Garlic Scapes

Weird Recipe Wednesday: Because some recipes are so weird I just HAVE to try them.  My curiosity always gets the better of me.

These are more concepts than recipes, but still fall under the category of weird things I've tried as of late.  They're definitely not as weird as last week, but still might be something the average person hasn't bothered to make.  On a side note, I just found PicMonkey, a site that lets you create free photo collages like this one with your pictures.

Let's start with some spicy pineapple.

Sweet and salty pair well and so do sweet and spicy.  This dish combines all three in a blend of salt, sugar and two types of pepper.  The first time I saw someone put salt on fruit I thought it was pretty weird. Umm really?, don't we put salt on enough of our food and now you're adding it to fruit too?  When I saw this recipe I knew it was time to try it for myself.  It turns out the salt brings out the fruit's juices and enhances its natural flavor. That being said, I'm not going to start salting my fruit. 

 I followed the measurements for the seasoning as listed here, but used kosher salt which has a larger flake size than regular table salt. I only sprinkled some on the pieces in the picture rather than the whole pineapple.  No one else in my family is interested in spicy, so I thought I'd leave the rest plain for them.  As a result I've got quite a bit of this blend leftover, but it has high potential for some kettle corn or caramel corn.  I tried it on mango too, but it was much better on the pineapple.

Fresh pineapple (much better than canned) is already sweet and juicy, but the salt and sugar really made the flavors pop.  The sweetness of the pineapple is followed by a kick of heat from the cayenne and red pepper flakes. I thought the red pepper flakes added some nice color contrast too.  I tried this right away and again after letting it sit overnight, but there wasn't much difference as far as flavors go.  Overall, an interesting change of pace for pineapple but not a dish I would make frequently.  

While I had fresh pineapple on hand I decided it was time to try some grilled fruit.  

 The pineapple went onto the grill plain but the strawberries were marinated for 15 minutes in balsamic vinegar and then rolled in brown sugar. After 15 more minutes in the fridge to set the sugar they were ready to join the pineapple on the grill.  The recipe I used as a guideline for the strawberries suggested grilling 2 minutes per side. Since the berries were still cold I let them go a little longer.  The pineapple took 4-5 minutes per side but it will depend on your grill.  

While I was excited to finally try grilled fruit, it wasn't what I was hoping for.  The sugars in the pineapple caramelized a little giving it a hint of extra sweetness, unfortunately the grilled flavor didn't come through.  But that's probably due to our grill, so try it out for yourself and see what happens.  (Or let me come over and try it on your grill.)  As for the strawberries, they were way too sweet with the brown sugar.  Marinating the berries (or pineapple too) in balsamic vinegar enhances the flavor, but fruit is sweet enough as it is without a coating of brown sugar.  Combine overly sweet with a soft, mushy texture and I wasn't sold on the grilled strawberries.  Then again, texture is big thing with me so   go ahead and try it for yourself but skip the sugar.  

The last weird thing I'll share with you today was a new "ingredient" for me.  

Garlic scapes are the green stems that grow above ground while the garlic bulb grows underground. Think of them like green onions if it helps. The scapes are typically cut off so the plant can put focus more energy towards formation of the actual garlic bulb.  I found some at the farmers market and just so happened to have a recipe for garlic scape hummus.  Other common uses include pesto, chopped in salad or as an addition to stir-fry.  

The recipe I started with called for 12 garlic scapes, I used 9.  Ummm, yeah....that ended up being enough garlic to kill something.  I wasn't sure how much of each scape to use so that could have been part of the problem.  I'm sure they come in different sizes and perhaps different strengths depending on the variety of garlic.  Oh well, now I know for next time.  

Food for Thought: "Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time." -Asha Tyson 

1 comment:

  1. When Kylie and I were the demonstrative chefs at the ames farmer's market we using spring garlic. It really just looked like a big green onion and was not very intense. I really didn't even notice it in the final dish. It sounds like your scapes were a different story. :)