When I was in grade school, I commandeered a shelf in our refrigerator for a science experiment involving pineapple and... something else, I can't remember what. The something made the pineapple bubble and ooze up over its dish, and as I recall, that meant the experiment was a success. My mother forgave me, eventually, after making me scrub the inside of the fridge, and for many years I stayed clear of pineapple, but now I love it. (Do you know how to choose a ripe pineapple? First, smell. It should have a strong pineapple aroma. Second, gently tug on one of the inner leaves. It should pull out easily. Third, the fruit should feel heavy for its size.) We're grilling pretty much everything these days, so I glazed ripe pineapple rings with a simple maple-chipotle sauce, and tossed them on my panini press. Sweetness made even sweeter. A scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt would be the perfect topper.
Grilled maple-chipotle pineapple rings
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 large pineapple
In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, lime juice, adobo sauce and salt, and set aside.
Heat a panini press or stovetop grill pan.
Peel the pineapple and slice into thick rings, approximately 1/4-3/8 inch thick. Try as hard as you can to make the rings uniform in width (it's not easy, as you can see in my photos!).
Set the rings on your cutting board. Use a 1-1/2 inch pastry cutter to remove the center core of each slice. Twist the pastry cutter to get it through the pineapple, and rotate it a few times to be sure the fruit is cut all the way through. Remove the cores and discard.
Use a pastry brush to paint the slices on both sides with the maple syrup mixture. Place 3 or 4 rings on the preheated panini press, and close the top. Baste the top of the pineapple rings with the maple syrup mixture every 1-2 minutes; the fruit will cook for 4-5 minutes total. If you like the criss-cross grill marks, rotate the pineapple slices halfway through the cooking. Continue until all of the rings are cooked.
Serve warm, or make ahead and chill.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Orange and endive salad with maple chipotle vinaigrette, from TastingSpoons
Sweet potato and kale salad with cranberry-chipotle sauce, from We are not Martha
Pineapple salsa, from Two Peas & Their Pod
Mexican hot dogs with pineapple salsa and chipotle mayonnaise, from Homesick Texan
Smoky burger sliders with grilled pineapple and chipotle mayonnaise, from Cookin' Canuck
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