Appetizers and Snacks

Habanero Pineapple Chutney

I had never heard of Longos , an Ontario grocery store, until I finally got around to reading magazine a friend from Canada brought me this past winter.  While I am always grateful for reading material brought down from “The Great White North,  I did not rush to read this particular item, mainly because I figured it would be like most other supermarket rags with lots of emphasis on pre-packaged, processed foods.   As a general rule, we have always avoided these types of foods and are not interested in starting to eat them any time soon.

Turns out, this magazine does advertise pre-made products, but it is also chock full of recipes and tips to make fresh food from scratch!    So much for judging a book by its cover.   Here is my version of their Habanero Pineapple Chutney.  Pretty much as they wrote it, but you can find the original recipe in their Summer 2016 edition.

camembert with pineapple chutney

Habanero-Pineapple Chutney

1 Tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 pineapple, tough centre core removed and cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 2 cups)

1 small habanero, seeds and stems removed, minced

3 Tablespoons Amber Rum

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh raspberries, roughly chopped

Mint leaves for garnish

1  6 – 8 oz round of Camembert Cheese

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onion, ginger, cumin and salt and cook, stirring, until onions are tender.  About 5 minutes.  Stir in pineapple and habanero and cook , stirring, 3 minutes more.

Add rum and lime juice, bring to boil.  Boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Stir in sugar, return to boil.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Stir in cilantro and green onions.

Place Camembert on microwave safe plate or shallow bowl.  Microwave on Medium using 15 second blasts until cheese is hot and beginning to melt.

Spoon chutney over top, garnish with raspberries and mint leaves.  serve with crackers or crostini.

 

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Breakfast · Uncategorized

Tropical Pancakes

Nothing puts me in a pancake frame of mind more than a long weekend.  So, inspired by last nights pineapple chutney, and the fact that we still have a few bananas leftover from our “crop” at Casa Madera, I came up with this for breakfast this morning.   Serves 2 – 4, depending on appetites, and can easily be doubled.

 

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For the Topping

2 cups fresh (or canned) pineapple – If using canned, drain and discard liquid

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 Tablespoons Spiced Rum (optional)

1 Tablespoon Butter

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Fresh raspberries

Shredded coconut

Finely chopped mint leaves

Combine first 6 ingredients pot over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.   Bring to boil, and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer 10 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in lime juice.   Set aside while you cook the pancakes.

For Pancakes

1 batch of your favourite pancake mix

1 banana, sliced

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mixed the pancake batter according to package directions for 2 – 4 people.  Gently stir in vanilla and sliced banana, taking care not to over mix your batter.

Cook pancakes as directed, keep finished ones warm.

To serve, stack 2 pancakes per plate & spoon pineapple syrup  over top.  Top each serving with raspberries, coconut , and fresh mint.

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Beverages

Tepache – Fermented Drink

This  drink is made from pineapple rind, and is fermented on your countertop.  It is  commonly made all over Mexico and probably anywhere else pineapple is grown.    Because of the fermentation, you should be  aware, there may be a trace  of alcohol in the drink, but certainly not enough to make you woozy or unable to operate heavy machinery.

I have been making this for several years now, with great success.  I did have 1 bad batch but that was because I used a different type of sugar.  Lesson learned, white sugar, not brown must be used here!!

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Tepache

1 pineapple

3 cups water (more if needed)

1 cup white sugar

Special Equipment

2 quart glass pitcher or jar

Fermentation lock (found in any wine making store.  Optional but handy to have)

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Instructions

Remove leafy top of pineapple and discard.   Cut peel off of pineapple, taking about 1/4 inch of fruit with the peel. Set fruit aside to eat fresh.

Place the peels in a 2 quart glass jar or pitcher, arranging so peel will  stay submerged. ( I put the larger peels on top and jam them in so they cannot get past the neck of the jar.  A small, heavy glass or fermentation weight will also work very well.)

Dissolve the sugar in 2 cups of cool water and pour over peel in jar, adding additional water as needed just to completely cover the peel.

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I use a shot glass to prevent the pineapple rind from floating.

If you are using a pitcher, Cover  loosely with plastic wrap.   If using a fermentation lid, just screw it on to the jar .  Put the jar on a saucer to catch any drips if it happens to overflow while it is fermenting.

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Place in a warm, spot on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight. Cover with a kitchen towel if you don’t have a shady spot to put it.

Mixture will become cloudy and start to bubble after 12 – 24 hours, depending on how warm it is in your kitchen.  This is supposed to happen, it tells you that fermentation has begun.  Soon after that, you will notice it is also becoming fizzy, and may overflow from its container.  Dont worry, this is normal, and perfectly ok.

After  2 days of fizzing check  the flavour of your Tepache.  It should taste sweet, and a little tangy.   If you have achieved this goal, strain, pour into an ice filled glass and enjoy.

If , on the other hand, your tepache tastes “off”, has a bad smell or has darkened in colour, throw it all out, sterilize all your equipment and start over with the next pineapple you buy.

The whole process will take from 1 to 5 days, depending on the  temperature of your kitchen.    On a hot summer day, if I start this in the morning, it can reach the fizzy stage within 24 hours!  Keeps, refrigerated 3- 4 days.