This mouthwatering, super-simple, delicious dish is also secretly known as: piña puta madre. Now I am not going to translate that, but it’s a compliment.
I made it yesterday as a side dish for two Spanish cousins living here in Costa Rica and they obviously loved it.
I, in turn, have to thank my dear friend Sander van Haasteren (formerly Gaia Catering, now chef de cuisine at YogaFest Studio Amsterdam) for teaching me how to do this.
It’s amazingly simple and yet I had not seen anyone do it before.
When I first had it, served to me on a spoon by a glowing and shining Sander, it just blew me away. The deep sweet taste and fragrance, if prepared well, are really amazing.
This is my own, improvised, deeply satisfying version.
There is only one ‘downside’ and that it you have to heat the pineapple through and through. This is not a raw dish. We take away some of the qualities of fresh, raw pineapple.. but then again we are bringing out other qualities all the more!
Now this starts with choosing the right pineapple.
Use your eyes: bright yellow, all the way from the bottom to the top, is best for this dish because it is the sweetest.
And nose: smell the butt of the pineapple. The more fragrant, the better. Unless you smell rott or ferment, of course.
Pick the right one from your garden, market or store, because I’ve read that pineapples hardly ripen after they have been harvested. So the state it’s in when you obtain it, that’s more or less as ripe as it’s gonna be.
Recipe for Caramelized Pineapple with Rosemary (Piña Puta Madre)
1. Cut the fresh pineapple in small bite-sized chunks. If you’re wondering how, I may add a post on that some time but for now I suggest you google it.
This also works with canned pineapple but I suggest you use fresh, if possible :).
2. Gently heat about 4 tablespoons of olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee in a heavy pan.
3. Add the pineapple pieces and turn the heat low.
4. Add two sprigs of rosemary, just the leaves.
5. SLOWLY cook everything. SLOWLY is key here, because that will allow for the sweet juices to emerge from the pineapple and gradually caramelize.
If you go too fast, the pineapple will brown or burn before the juices emerge or the juices, once come out, will caramelize too fast and burn into very unhealthy carbons.
So, as with so many good things: take your time, go slow, and carefully watch as the pineapple color turns a deep gold and the juices caramelize into beautiful light brown. About half an hour would probably be perfect.