Wednesday, May 4, 2011

....pineapple salsa - I think

When I lived in Arizona, I didn't see nearly as much as I wanted to.  For the month before I left (honestly, I was supposed to be gone, but it turned in to working for another month, so I just tried to use the time wisely) I decided I was going to do and see as much as possible.  That is when I FINALLY went to the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, and I decided to actually eat at all of the local places I had been recommending to customers.  I had only heard about Salsa Brava a million times.  I honestly didn't recommend it that much.  I hadn't eaten there, it was not exactly close to the hotel, and it was a bit cliche to me.  You see, the joint was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  So, of course, I was on that.... great, it will be filled with tourists AND it is a dive bandwagon.  I was bored and hungry, though.  So, I decided I would check them out for lunch on a weekend.  The first time I rolled in that joint, they had just opened for the day, everything was fresh and delicious!  On my second visit, I wasn't as happy.  The main I ordered was a bit over cooked.  But, looking back, it was a few days before I left, and it gave me a chance to say: I can make that myself, and I don't need to go back to Arizona for it.  I have done salmon fajitas a couple of times since I left Arizona - but apparently, people have a phobia of fish tacos of any kind.  Grow up, people!  It sounds dirty, sure... but fish tacos are delicious!  And salmon fajitas with mango salsa are no exception!  But that is not the focus of what I created thanks to Salsa Brava!  They have a huge salsa bar.  They bring chips to your table, then you have free reign over the salsa bar.  If you can dream it up, they have probably served it at some point! (They have a cookbook out.  Apparently I can only buy it from their website.  When I have $21 to waste on a cookbook, I'll consider it.)  I had their pineapple habanero salsa.  Spicy and delicious!!  When I came back, I decided I could give it a try.  There are a few people who can tell you of its tasty deliciousness.  But, there is a bit of a problem.  I rarely cook things exactly the same twice.  Baking, okay.... cooking.... yeah right!  I tend to throw a little of this in, a little of that.... I know I shared a written version with Crys for her birthday.  I am hoping the copy from my recipe box is a match! So, without further hesitation.... I give you pineapple salsa

(It doesn't typically look that orange, by the way.  I told you, I don't always put the same stuff in there!!  I tossed in a little orange bell pepper when I took this picture.)

What you will need

  • A sink (you have to wash the produce, DUH!  and your hands!)
  • A colander (this isn't all that necessary, really)
  • A cutting board or two
  • A really sharp knife (you need this even if you have one or both of the other items), a pampered chef pineapple wedger, or a friendly supermarket produce employee
  • A food processor or blender
  • A bar pan, roasting pan, or a 9x13 (or two)
  • Some parchment paper (this is optional - it can help with your clean up, though)
  • A couple of bowls
  • Some ice
  • A spoon
  • An oven
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • A fresh pineapple
  • 2 fresh jalapeños or 1 habanero (This stuff is spicy, you can make it more tame if you want - Try 1 jalapeño or 1/2 a habanero if you prefer a version that is more mild)
  • A few cloves of garlic
  • Some tongs
  • A couple of cooling racks that fit in to the bottom of your pan
  • 3 limes
  • Some fresh cilantro
  • Sugar
  • Salt - I use kosher or sea salt, but I am fairly sure when I first made this I was tossing around table salt
  • Chips for serving - I like On the Border Cafe Style... use what you like
I hope that was everything.  I am going to mention, I have done this on the grill.  So, if you prefer to grill rather than bake, you will want a grill basket or some foil.  If you grill, transfer the produce to a bowl so you can spray them with oil before grilling.  I do the pineapple and peppers directly on the grill.  Other items in the grill basket.  Also, you won't really need to slice the peppers in half - just chop the stem end off.  Also, if your pineapple could be better (supermarkets don't always have the best) you can sweeten it up with some brown sugar before you cook it.  Okay... I think that is all....

Let's do this!
  1. Wash your hands, then give the pepper(s), limes and cilantro a go. Pepper(s) and limes in the colander... cilantro needs a shower and then you will want to put it on paper towels or a clean dish towel to dry.
  2. Prep your pan.  If you are using parchment paper, line the pan, then put the cooling racks in the pan.  Put the pan to the side so you can move your produce directly to the pan when it is chopped.
  3. Grab your cutting board and that sharp knife.  Peel the garlic cloves by smashing them with the side of your knife and your fist.  Transfer the whole, peeled cloves directly to the roasting pan.
  4. Now, grab the onion, cut off the ends, peel and quarter it.  Toss it on the pan, and move on to the peppers.  Those are easy too!  Cut off the stem end, cut in half, throw it on the pan.
  5. Next, cut the limes in half.  Set two or three halves aside, the others go on the roasting pan.  (Yes, I am aware this is kind of weird)
  6. Now for the pineapple.  If you are fancy, and you have the pineapple wedger, use it.  If you don't want to mess around with preparing the pineapple yourself - ask the friendly supermarket produce employee to clean and core it for you.  If you are brave - chop off the top, and bottom.  Then, stand the pineapple on an end, and cut the tough rind off in strips.  After the pineapple is clean, cut off the fleshy pieces, leaving the core behind for your compost pile or garbage can.  Move the pineapple pieces to the roasting pan, wash your hands, and get ready to broil.
  7. You will want to broil until the ingredients are browned (a little char is okay).  Flip everything over, go again on the broiling.  Be careful not to completely burn the garlic.   If there is a hot spot under your broiler, put the pineapple under it.
  8. When your ingredients are sufficiently browned (just guess) - take the pan out, and pop the ingredients into the food processor or blender. (Please squeeze the roasted limes in.  Don't put the gross peel into the salsa. Also, use the tongs, because those things are HOT!)  Add the juice from the remaining lime halves, some cilantro, and season with sugar and salt - annihilate to the desired consistency - transfer to a bowl.
  9. Grab a bowl that is larger than the one you poured the salsa into, put ice and a little bit of cold water in, and put the salsa bowl in the icy bathtub you created so it will cool off.  During the cooling process, you will want to stir the salsa to redistribute the heat.  Also - be sure to taste it to make sure that you have seasoned it to your liking.  

Once cooled, serve with some chips.... or whatever else you want, I suppose.  I think that's it.  So - enjoy.... and tell me I'm ridiculous if I left out a bunch of stuff. This will, as always, be added to the phoodos, and I hope you'll (sausage) link up.  I am positive SOMEONE has at least one!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Pineapple salsa. I like it better when you make it, though ;)