This weekend one of my best friends, Kristine, was in town from Portland, OR. She used to live in SoCal but moved to Oregon for a fresh start late last year. Ron’s cousin, Jon, was also in town so we decided to grill up dinner for them. Jon is also a foodie so our goal was to try some new things. One of these was to have grilled fruit for dessert. We grilled bananas and pineapple slices. The pineapple slices were doused in rum before being served and the bananas were put over vanilla ice cream and this yummy caramel type of sauce that Jon made with coconut milk, brown sugar, lemon grass and more (recipe below). Both desserts were SO delicious that I forgot to snap a photo – haha. Sorry about that.
This was definitely a super dessert. Although it does take a little prep time, I think it was worth it, especially when it’s super hot outside – the fruit makes for a tasty treat.
We also served Cathy’s Plate Scraping Hot Corn Dip Appetizer – We all practically licked the plate – YUM!! The other thing I made was my famous lobster Caesar salad. I saw lobster tails at Costco and just HAD to.
Where do the ants come in you might ask … well they didn’t actually arrive to the party until late.
Yesterday morning I went out onto the back patio and the entire bbq was covered inside and out with ants. It was like a little freeway on the grates as they were going to and fro. I wonder how they got the memo out that they had hit the sugar lottery? I mean they must come from all over Santa Clarita to check out their sugar strike. There were so many of them celebrating and dancing around.
Then their luck goes bad … this mean ol’ man comes out and turns on the sugar machine and they die a hot (hotter than 106 degrees that it was outside at 11 am) untimely death. Sad day friend. So now I need to focus energy on getting the remaining ant families that are still hovering around our house to go back to where they came from. I’m thinking about dripping a trail of hummingbird food down the greenbelt and out onto the main road, but then … what if the only family that was super late to our bbq party decides to follow it back in? Haha .. yeah .. no winning I guess.
GRILLED SUGAR-DIPPED PINEAPPLE
- 1 ripe pineapple
- 8 Tbs unsalted butter
- 3/4 C Sugar
- 1 Tsp grated lime zest
- 1 Tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 Tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 C dark rum (for flambeing – optional)
- Preheat the grill to high
- Cut the leafy top off the pineapple, then cut off the rind. Slice the fruit into 8 or 10 3ven rounds. Using the pineapple corer or paring knife, remove the core from each round.
- When ready to cook, place the melted butter in a shallow bowl; combine the sugar, lime zest and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Bring both bowls to grillside. Oil the grill grate. Dip each slice of pineapple first in the melted butter, then in the sugar mixture, shaking off the excess. Arrange the pineapple slices on the hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until browned and sizzling. 5 – 8 minutes per side. Transfer the pineapple slices to plates or a platter, arranging the slices in an overlapping fashion.
- If using the rum, warm it in a small flameproof saucepan on one side of the grill; do not let it boil or even become hot. Remove from the heat and then, making sure your sleeves are rolled up and hair is tied back, light a long match and use it to ignite the rum averting your face as you do so. Very carefully pour the flaming rum over the pineapple and serve immediately.
BALINESE GRILLED BANANAS IN COCONUT MILK CARAMEL
- 2/3 C palm sugar or firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 C Coconut milk, canned or homemade
- 1 Cinnamon stick (3 inches)
- 1 Stalk lemongrass, trimmed and lightly flattened with the side of a cleaver
- 2 Tsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbs water
- 6 firm, ripe bananas (each about 6 inches long)
- 1 C Coconut milk (canned or homemade)
- 1 C Granulated sugar
- 1 Qt Vanilla ice cream (optional), for serving
- Prepare the sauce. Place the sugar in a large, deep, heavy saucepan (preferably non-stick) and melt it over medium heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon. (It will take the sugar 2 – 3 minutes to melt.) Continue cooking the sugar until it begins to caramelize (turn brown). 3 – 5 minutes. You’re looking for a rich brown color, but not the dark brown of chocolate. Do not overcook, or the sugar will burn and the sauce will be bitter. (Side not – we made that mistake and had to start over – haha.)
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the coconut milk. (Be careful, it will sputter and hiss.) Return the pan to the heat and bring the coconut milk to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the cinnamon stick and lemongrass. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture, uncovered, until thick and richly flavored, about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent scorching.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir it into the sauce. Simmer for 1 minute; the sauce will thicken even more. Remove he pan from the heat, transfer the sauce to a bowl, and let cool to room temp. Remove the cinnamon stick and lemongrass with tongs and discard. Cover and refrigerate the sauce until cold.
- Preheat the grill to high.
- Peel the bananas. Cut the bananas into quarters on the diagonal. Place the coconut milk and sugar in separate shallow bowls at grillside.
- When ready to cook, oil the grate. Dip each banana piece first into coconut milk, then in sugar, and place on the hot grate. Grill turning with tongs, until nicely browned all over, 6 – 8 minutes in all.
- To serve, arrange the bananas on plates or in bowls and spoon the sauce on top. If serving with ice cream, place scoops of it in the bowls and arrange the bananas on top. Spoon the caramel sauce on top and serve immediately.