I mentioned when posting my last recipe that it was “the easy half of what I made last Saturday night,” and that it went really well with another recipe that required more work.
That’s this recipe. It’s much more labor intensive, but conversely it is one of the most unique things I’ve ever made, and it’s certainly quite tasty. Nom on!
Pineapple & Roasted Poblanos Mash (serves at least 3)
Unlike the aforementioned chops, this mash does require fresh ingredients, and it does require quite a bit of work on your part. However, the result is also a sweet mash of spiced fruit and roasted pepper with a real kick after you bite into it. The ever-lovely Peregrina noticed, as did I, that while it’s not very spicy when you first taste it, the poblanos explode towards the back of your mouth, creating a lovely burn that can still be wiped easily away by tasting something else.
What will I need?
Since the ingredients for the pork chops are also on there, let me transcribe the important ones:
- 1/2 pineapple, ripe
- 4 poblano peppers, roasted (see below for more info)
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 oz lime juice
- Spices and seasonings: 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper, 1 tsp mustard, 1/2 tsp white pepper, 1/2 tsp ginger
What will I use?
- Cutting board(s)
- Potato masher
- Medium-sized bowl
- Baking sheet
- Garlic press
- 1-qt. saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Paring knife
- Bread knife
- Utility knife/santoku
What will I do?
Preparation (or, Pineapple Slicing)
This is a multi-stager, so in the interest of not having to number a bunch of sub-categories, I’m dispensing with step numbers.
Take your half of the pineapple and peel it. If you don’t know how to peel a pineapple, like me when I started on this, here’s a good guide to it. I lost minimal amounts while peeling it. (As the link mentions, a bread knife plus paring knife for precise work are a great combo here.) You should end up with something like this.
Now, take your utility knife (or santoku, because those things are the bomb) and slice the pineapple lengthwise, such that you end up with a bunch of nice-looking pineapple slices . . .
. . . and then turn the cutting board (not the pineapple, unless you want it to splatter everywhere) and repeat the process, so you get what looks like, given all the juice that will begin to come out of the bottom, a bleedin’ onion.
(Yes, there is an “eye” in that slice on the bottom right. I’ll find it later while mashing the whole thing up.)
Now you take all of that, cut up anything left so it’s relatively small and throw it in a bowl. Try to eat only, like, three pieces on the way there. It’ll look something like this.
Then, take a potato masher (that is, an actual potato masher, not a German hand grenade) and mash like you mean it. You should have very few solid pieces of pineapple and a lot of squishy, liquidy stuff, with plenty of foamy juice in between, kind of like this.
Now, stick a colander on top of a small bowl, and throw the mash into the colander. The juice will drain in less than a minute – but that’s not all the juice you want! Mash the stuff some more while it’s in the colander, then wait a minute, then mash again, lather, rinse, repeat. You should get quite a bit more juice this way. Dump that in a bowl to use as a marinade, as a refreshing drink, or something else.
You’ve got other fish to fry – or rather, peppers to roast. Take your poblanos and stick ‘em on a baking sheet.
Take one of your oven racks and stick it as close to the broiler as it will go, turn the oven to BROIL, and then stick these babies right underneath the heat. Now, the place where I got this idea (here) suggests you turn them slightly every fifteen minutes and that they’d be done in an hour, but I found that actually to be a little too often. You see, after fifteen minutes, one side looked like this . . .
That’s fair enough, you might say. The other side might be completely untouched. Well, actually, the other side already looked like this.
And after another fifteen minutes, well . . .
Now, take these, throw ‘em in another bowl, and put a towel over them. The bowl will fog up almost immediately because they’re being steamed. You can also try sticking them in a bowl of cold water, which will blanch them. Either way, the point is to get them to the point where the skin just peels off.
(Pardon the finger in that picture. Paenitet mē.)
Anyway, once the peppers are cool enough to handle, take ‘em out of the bowl, put ‘em on a cutting board, and start peeling. Everyone says the skin is just supposed to come off, but I must be roasting peppers wrong, because it is always a complete and total disaster getting the skin off of green-colored peppers. Red peppers, for some reason, never have this problem. (Anyone know? Please enlighten me.)
Anyway, after you get done, you’ll have a cutting board full of thin strips of pepper and some bigger pieces, kind of like this.
Cut them up real fine, using your santoku or utility knife. This might take a while since some of them are stealthy little scalawags, and also because a lot of them will naturally be very tiny due to having been extracted from the skin via fingernail or paring knife. When you’re done you should have a cutting board full of little pieces of poblano, kind of like this.
That took a while, didn’t it? Thankfully, you are finally ready to begin cooking.
First, press some garlic and throw it in the saucepan with some butter to melt on low heat.
Now, take your white pepper, ginger, mustard powder and chipotle, throw them in the mash, add the poblanos, mix, and then throw the whole mamotreto (go ask one of your Spanish-speaking friends what that means, preferably one of Puerto Rican descent because I know we use the word) in the saucepan. It will look quite glorious.
Keep mixing this thing while you cook whatever you’re going to put it on (or alongside) and, at some point, add in the lime juice and honey. (See Chef’s Notes, below, for what else you might want to put in it.) Keep tasting it – the poblanos should eventually mix in, and what you should get is a sweet nose and taste, followed by a strong kick as it moves down your throat. Once it’s gotten there, throw it in a bowl from which you might serve it later.
Yes, I’m going to cheat and show you a picture of the same dish as the last time, because I ate them together. However, just to prove I’m not that much of a cheat, I’m going to show you a different picture of it.
Serving, Caloric and Nutritional Information
Recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups (wild-ass guess).
- Serving size: 1/2 cup.
- Calories: 96.
- Total Fat: 0.16 g (!)
- Cholesterol: 0 mg.
- Sodium: 11.6 mg.
- Carbs: 25.33 g.
- Protein: 2 g.
- The person who gave me this recipe actually uses serrano peppers, because she happens to grow them. I plumb forgot to look for any, and a very wise woman (who is not the same person as the above, which is not to say that that person is unwise) suggested I go look for ancho peppers. I didn’t find those, either, so I settled for the poblanos. I offer you this in case you should find either of the other two while looking for the poblanos, as they are vouched for by people who have been cooking longer (and in most cases better) than me.
- While we’re on the subject of poblanos, I found that the roasting actually stole the smoky flavor that they’re famous for having, and which I really wanted them to keep when being cooked with the pineapple. However, I loved the texture they took on after roasting. Consider mincing half and putting them in the mix with the other half roasted.
- And while we’re still on the subject of poblanos, you can most likely get away with using two rather than four. The explosive kick was a little much for me, perhaps because I wasn’t expecting it, but it also robbed the mash of a bit of its sweetness, and is the reason I had to use that much lime juice and honey to help reduce the power of the pepper. Peregrina likes her stuff spicy (the masochist liked the fact that it made her nose run), so I’ll probably figure out something else to do for her.
- Peregrina’s one comment was that the mash could stand to taste more like pineapple, which has an easy fix not mentioned above: put in some pineapple juice back into the mash as you cook it. It didn’t occur to me because it seemed like the pineapple wasn’t doing a great job of mixing in with the poblanos, but it should’ve. (There go the poblanos again.)
While I may not be able to post that salad recipe I keep promising you for another day or so, I swear it will be here soon enough. Until then, eat well, make good food, and keep in tuck!