Pineapples are a beautiful and versatile fruit that tastes best on a hot summer day. Packed with vitamin C and manganese, this affordable fruit can add a punch of nutrition as part of your lunch, dinner, or dessert.
Pineapples often all look the same at the grocery store, so you want to select one using your nose. Sniff the stem end, and if it smells fragrant and sweet, you’ve got a ripe pineapple. Avoid any with bruises or soft spots, and don’t buy any pineapples with off-putting smells. They perish easily, so keep them in the fridge for three to five days.
When in season (March-June), pineapples are a reasonably priced purchase. They can cost up to $5, but right now, for example, my local grocery store is offering pineapples at 99 cents with a coupon. This is much cheaper than purchasing them pre-cut or off-season. A single pineapple, purchased on sale, can provide at least four servings of fruit, at essentially 25 cents a serving, helping you eat your way to debt relief.
Though they seem daunting, don’t be afraid of cutting up a pineapple. Use a sharp knife to remove the crown and the base. Save the crown for decoration – if you’re presenting a fruit platter, it makes for a great centerpiece. Place the pineapple base side down and slice the skin off, removing all of the “eyes.” You can then remove the core as desired, or quarter the pineapple and cut into appropriate sized chunks.
Pineapple is a great addition to any marinade, as the proteins help denature meat and tenderize it. I love to grill it on skewers, and it adds a nice sweet tanginess to everything else. This is a great summer dish that’s sure to please any palate, as they are totally customizable. You can do more pineapple and less beef or add shrimp or other veggies, like red peppers. Kids will have a blast being able to help out and make their own skewers, and you’ll love how easy it is.
Grilled Pineapple and Beef Skewers
½ a pineapple, cut into inch chunks
1 lb steak tips, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
1 onion, cut into inch chunks
¼ cup soy sauce
1/8 cup rice vinegar or lime
1/8 cup fish sauce
In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and fish sauce. Add a drizzle of oil and continue to whisk. A dash of Worcestershire and a squeeze of sriracha (the amount depends on how spicy you like it) should then be added. If there is any pineapple juice left on the board from cutting it, add it in.
Pour mixture over cut up steak tips, then place in a zippered bag and let marinate for at least two hours, or overnight. Soak the wooden skewers in water an hour before the grilling. Put the marinated beef in a bowl and dispose of the bag and used marinade.
When ready to grill, make a skewer of beef, pineapple, and onion, in whatever order you prefer. Grill on high heat for 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how hot your grill is and what temperature you like your beef. Garnish with cilantro, serve immediately. For a complete meal, add brown rice or pasta salad.