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A taste of the tropics

MY husband and I just spent a week in Maui, and we ate of lot of fresh, sweet pineapple (though sometimes it was just the garnish on a mai tai, if the truth be told).

MY husband and I just spent a week in Maui, and we ate of lot of fresh, sweet pineapple (though sometimes it was just the garnish on a mai tai, if the truth be told).

A ripe pineapple will be a uniform golden colour and should smell fragrant and "pineappley"; a centre leaf in the crown should come out easily when you pull it. To prepare, cut off the top and bottom, then remove the skin with a very sharp knife, conforming to the outside shape of the pineapple and cutting deep enough to remove all the eyes. Slice the pineapple into quarters lengthwise and cut the tough core out of the centre of each quarter, then cut the four "filets" into slices.


A recipe from the Hula Grill in Ka'anapali's Whaler's Village - what a great place!

1 cup vine ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped

½ cup chopped sweet onions (such as Bermuda or Walla Walla)

1 fresh jalapeno pepper (or more/less to taste - remove the inner veins and seeds for less heat)

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 Tbsp cumin

Puree the above ingredients in a food processor or blender; turn into a serving bowl. Add the following and mix well:

2 tsp kosher salt

2 cups diced vine-ripened tomatoes

½ cup diced sweet onions

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 cups diced fresh pineapple Juice of ½ lime

Taste salsa and add more salt and/or lime juice to taste.


2½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup buttermilk

6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg

Finely grated zest of 1 large orange

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple Glaze: 1 ?3 cup fresh orange juice, warmed slightly in a microwave; ½ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees; line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, egg and orange zest; add to flour mixture and stir just enough to combine well. Stir in chopped pineapple. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups (they'll be very full). Bake for 16-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. While the muffins are baking combine the glaze ingredients.

Remove the muffins from the oven; cool slightly, then place on a wire rack. While muffins are still very warm brush them with the orange glaze.


This has earned its reputation as a classic - and made with fresh pineapple it's even better.


12 Tbsp butter, melted (divided use)

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

¾ cup pineapple juice

1 fresh pineapple, cut into ¼" thick slices

Maraschino cherries (optional) Cake:

1½ cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ cup sugar

3 eggs, separated (only 2 yolks will be used)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease a nine-inch cake pan. Mix five tablespoons of the butter with the brown sugar and ¼ cup of pineapple juice and place this mixture on the bottom of the pan. Arrange sliced pineapple and maraschino cherries over the sugar mixture.

For the cake, sift the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Beat two of the egg yolks until light yellow (discard the third yolk or save for another use); add the remaining ½ cup pineapple juice, vanilla extract and the remaining melted butter. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well, then gently fold in the egg whites.

0 Pour the batter over the pineapple slices. Bake for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Cover with a serving plate, then quickly invert so the pineapple side is up. If you want the topping a bit more caramelized place cake under the broiler until the topping browns slightly (make sure the plate can take the heat of the broiler). Serve cake with whipped cream.


Have your cake and drink it too!

1 ?3 cup vanilla vodka, chilled in the freezer for at least two hours

2 ?3 cup chilled pineapple juice Dash of grenadine syrup Garnish: Fresh pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries

Chill two martini glasses by filling them with ice and a little cold water; swirl ice around glasses then dump it out. Pour the first three ingredients into an ice-filled cocktail shaker; shake until frost forms on the outside of the shaker. Strain mixture into the chilled glasses; garnish with a skewered pineapple wedge and cherry.