Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Pineapple on My Mind

You can take the boy out of the islands, but you can’t take the islands out of the boy.

Even though it’s been years since I’ve lived in Hawaii (and more than 18 months since I last visited), I still get cravings for certain things that remind me of Hawaii: kalua pig, haupia, or papayas. Lately, I’ve been craving pineapples.

I think pineapples get a bad rap. They’re often a symbol of a touristy Hawaii, with the slice of pineapple in a brightly colored tiki drink or served up at luaus. It’s often used as a quick way to make something seem tropical like adding them to a pizza for a Hawaiian pizza even though I’m pretty sure the Hawaiians never ate pineapple with cooked ham.

Despite the odd combination, I sometimes like to add pineapples to my dishes and it just makes me feel at home. I typically use it to make sweet-sour dishes like sweet sour pork or beef tomatoes, and I have no problems getting them from the can because then you have these perfectly nice chunks of sweet pineapple.

For the recipe below, I decided to make a simple chicken stir-fry, adding in some zucchini and red bell pepper for color. Yeah, it looks like those made-up dishes at Chinese restaurants created for Americans, but I still like the mix of savory and sweet flavors. Now all I need is a hula dancer to serve it up and I’m all set. Enjoy!

8 comments:

Jenster said...

That's funny about the Hawaiian pizza -- I never heard it called that until I left Hawaii. Back home we just called it "Canadian Bacon & Pineapple."

Your stir-fry recipe looks delicious and so healthy!

Nate-n-Annie said...

I would rather they call it "Canadian bacon and pineapple" because, as Ben said, I'm pretty sure the Hawaiians didn't eat pineapple and ham until Westerners arrived.

That being said, I do enjoy pineapple in all kinds of dishes. Except maybe with turkey. I dunno about that.

Hungry Dog said...

I really like pineapple though I never really think about cooking with it. Your chicken/pineapple stir-fry looks awesome...

Mrs. L said...

I still remember my first trip to Hawaii and sending a case of pineapple home. Wow, the taste of those was so much better than the ones in the cans I was used to! (this was back in 1976!). And I love Canadian Bacon and Pineapple pizza even if it isn't Hawaiian.

P said...

Hi there
I am from hawaii but lived in the Bay Area and frequented Rockridge while living there. Delighted to read your blog. A wave of nostalgia for me. Love pineapple with pizza. Great idea is to mix crush pineapple from the can and mix with meatloaf or hamburger patty mix. It is so delish.

Single Guy Ben said...

P, welcome to my blog! And Oh. MY. Gawd. Crushed pineapple in meatloaf!? Sounds crazy but good!

Carolyn Jung said...

And don't forget the other great pineapple dish -- the Ad Hoc pineapple upside-down cake. Superb!

agent713 said...

I find the whole "Ham and Pineapple" vs. "Canadian Bacon and Pineapple" discussion fascinating becuase I don't know a single Canadian who calls it "Canadian Bacon"!