Sun & Snow

Lots of sun and snow this week, and hello, COLD.  Curious to see its rare frozen state, I went to check out the fountain in Bryant Park early this morning.  Here it is, looking to me like a cauldron boiled over:

Bryant Park Fountain, Frozen Solid

The snow/sun pattern all week left a striking visual and had me wondering how it could translate in the kitchen.  When I got home from the frozen fountain outing, I noticed the pineapple I picked up earlier in the week, and ah-ha!  Pineapple and coconut, aka sun and snow!  (They may be in just a few weeks early for their typical season, but with citrus being so outstanding this year, I figured pineapple is likely to be as well.  I was right………….)

What actually makes this work for the most frigid of days is that believe it or not, we’re serving this combo hot.  The pineapple is seared, and holds the heat quite well.  What makes this a great dessert in general is that there are no more than two ingredients – both are delicious enough to stand on their own, but when combined are knockout good.  In doing some quick research on grilling pineapple, I came across loads of photos of ice cream plopped atop pineapple wedges and I don’t quite get it – pineapple is the perfect unadulterated sweet treat!  Adding unsweetened coconut flakes makes it feel rich and decadent, but in fact it’s just yummy and healthy!

And soooooo easy.

Here’s what you do: peel and core a pineapple.  Cut it into slices & grill or pan sear them.  Add unsweetened coconut flakes.  Eat/marvel at how delicious such an easy dish can be.

Here’s the breakdown:

Time: 12 minutes

Hands-On Time: 8 minutes

Kitchen Equipment: Frying pan or grill pan (or grill!), spatula

Ingredients:

– 1 Ripe Pineapple

– 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

– Zest from 1 Lime (Optional and not shown here.  Delicious though!)

Steps: 

– Peel the pineapple, leaving the ‘body’ of the fruit intact.

– Cut 1/2 inch thick cross-section slices, so you have a stack of circular slices.

– Remove the core from each slice.  It’s the circular part in the middle that’s noticeably denser that the rest.  (If this sounds obvious, I’ll admit that it wasn’t always to me!)   I happen to have a set of circular cookie cutters and used one to make the job a little faster, but you can cut the circle with a knife just as effectively.

– Set a heavy bottomed frying pan or grill pan over medium heat.

– Set the circles in the pan and flip every two minutes, until both sides are golden brown – slightly charred, about five minutes total.

– When the slices are cooked to your liking, use the spatula to cut each one in half:

Seared Pineapple, Just Sliced in Frying Pan

– Arrange the slices on a plate and sprinkle with the coconut.

Seared Pineapple with Coconut

If you are in a bit of a hurry, keep in mind that this will taste just as fantastic if you cut the slices into smaller bites and make a ‘snow bowl’.

Enjoy and stay warm!

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