Sunday, 30 April 2017

Somali flatbread and pineapple

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Canberra drew my attention to this delicious recipe from Halimo Isaac. Her story of resilience and initiative can be read on this website

Malawah (A sweet flatbread) 

Serves 2 – 4

Ingredients: ½ tsp salt; 1 cup sugar; 3 cups flour; 3 cups milk; 2 eggs; 1 - 2 tblsp vegetable oil for frying; 20cm flat-bottom frying pan


Whisk together first five ingredients until totally smooth. Mixture should be thin. Add water if too thick.

Heat oil in pan for 10 minutes. Spoon batter into center and use back of spoon to spread batter out. Fry each Malawah individually over medium-low heat.

Flip after bottom is browned. Eat for breakfast with spiced milk tea.

These malawah are delicious with tea, but as I was keen to feature them on this blog which is about pineapple I also teamed them up with caramelised pineapple!! Beautiful!
The Only Cookbook You'll Ever Need, Zoë Camrass 1977 London

Caramelised pineapple

Serves 4

50g butter; 2 tblspn honey; 1 pineapple, peeled, cut in 1cm slices and cored; 1 tblspn brown sugar; juice of ½ lemon; 50g toasted almonds

Melt the butter in a large frying-pan. Stir in the honey, and when the mixture bubbles add the pineapple rings. Sprinkle with the sugar and cook quickly for 1 minute. Turn, baste with the syrup and sprinkle with the lemon juice.

Overlap the pineapple rings on a warmed serving platter, sprinkle the almonds on top and serve at once.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Tipsy pineapple

Jamie Oliver's gingerbread cake with tipsy pineapple


Ingredients: 225g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease; 1/2 cup (185g) molasses; 3/4 cup (265g) runny honey; 155g muscovado sugar; 190g wholemeal plain flour; 190g plain flour; 1 1/2 tsp baking powder; 2 tsp ground ginger; 2 tsp ground cinnamon; 1/2 tsp ground allspice; 1/4 tsp ground cloves; 3 eggs, at room temperature; 1/2 cup (125ml) milk; 2 tsp finely grated ginger

Tipsy pineapple: 100g muscovado sugar; 2/3 cup (160ml) dark rum; 1/2 pineapple, very thinly sliced into rounds; 75g unsalted butter, softened


1 Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a 24cm bundt pan with butter.

2 Place the butter, molasses, honey, sugar and 1/2 cup (125ml) water in a saucepan over low heat, swirling until the butter has melted. Pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool.

3 Meanwhile, sift flours, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and 1/2 tsp salt into a bowl. Set aside.

4 When molasses mixture is warm to the touch, whisk in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Pour in milk and whisk to combine. Whisk in dry ingredients until a thick batter, then stir in fresh ginger.

5 Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes - 1 hour until a skewer inserted in the tallest part of the cake comes out clean. Set the cake aside to cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges and turn out onto a wire rack.

6 Meanwhile, for the tipsy pineapple, place sugar, rum and 1/3 cup (80ml) water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes until slightly thickened and sugar dissolves.

7 Remove the pan from heat and, using tongs, dip pineapple into rum sauce. Spread over a baking tray in a single layer. Return syrup to the heat and increase heat to high.

8 Cook for 2-3 minutes or until reduced to a thin caramel. Remove from heat, then stir in the butter and a pinch of salt flakes.

9 Once cake is cool, top with pineapple and drizzle with syrup to serve

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Pineapples everyday!

River Cottage: Fruit everyday!  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall 2013 London

I'm having a wonderful time discovering new flavor combinations with this book – thanks Julia!! Despite Hugh describing pineapples as . . . “TROPICAL KITSCH” !!!

I may have varied the recipes slightly due to availability in our little country town . . . but everything was just delicious and is highly recommended, Anne

In context . . . “Saving the most flamboyant tropical treat of all for last, we arrive at the pineapple. Tropical kitsch they may be – think Carmen Miranda’s hat – but they are no less delicious for that.”  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

For sale on etsy!!!


Pineapple, cheddar and radicchio salad

Serves 2 as a lunch, 3 – 4 as a side dish

¼ - ½ large ripe pineapple, peeled (about 300g peeled weight); 1 radicchio or 2 heads of white chicory; 1 tblspn extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to trickle; 100g crumbly, nutty, mature Cheddar; juice of 1 lemon; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Thinly slice the pineapple, remove the core and cut into bite-sized pieces. Put these into a large bowl.

Trim the radicchio or chicory and shred the leaves fairly coarsely. Add to the pineapple. Add 1 tblspn extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper and toss together thoroughly. Arrange over a serving plate or divide between individual bowls.

Slice the cheese thinly, or shave with a potato peeler, then tear or break each slice into flakes, scattering them evenly over the pineapple and radicchio. Squeeze over the lemon juice, give the salad another trickle of olive oil and another grinding of black pepper, and serve.

Barbecued pineapple

“Some fruits have an amazing affinity with the grill, and pineapple is definitely one of them.” Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Serves 4

1 pineapple, about 1.5kg

For the dry marinade: 2 tspn fennel seeds; a pinch of dried chili flakes; 2 tspn demerara sugar; 1 tspn coriander seeds; finely grated zest of 1 lime

To serve: lime juice; shredded mint

For the dry marinade, grind all the ingredients together as finely as you can using a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.

Cut the top and base off the pineapple, then stand it on a board and slice off the skin. Turn the fruit on its side and cut into 1 – 1.5 cm thick slices (2 per person). Lay these on a plate and scatter with the dry marinade, patting it on so each piece is well coated. Leave for about 30 minutes (after which time, the pineapple will taste pretty amazing already, before you even get around to grilling it.)

Working in batches, cook the pineapple on the barbecue or in the pan, turning each slice from time to time to get plenty of colour on each side – this can take up to 12 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

Finish off with a squeeze of lime juice and some shredded mint. I like to serve something creamy on the side, such as ice cream, crème fraiche, yoghurt or the chilled coconut rice pudding (see below). The spiced pineapple goes well with meat too, in a savoury context.


“If you think it sounds odd to augment a bacon sarnie with pineapple, think again. Bacon goes with tomato – a fragrant, sweet-tart fruit – so it should work with a tropical candidate too. And gammon and pineapple is a tried and trusted pairing. A couple of crisp, delicately bitter leaves and a smudge of mustard give the perfect edge to the salty-sweet combination.” Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Per person: A trickle of sunflower oil; 2 – 3 rashers of good bacon (back or streaky, smoked or unsmoked, as you prefer); 2 slices of good white bread; butter, for spreading; a little of your favourite mustard; 1 – 2 slices of peeled ripe pineapple, 1.5 – 2cm thick; a couple of radicchio, chicory or romaine lettuce leaves; freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon rashers and fry, turning once or twice, until done to your liking. Butter one piece of bread and put the hot bacon on it.
Rub the second piece of bread around the frying pan to absorb some of the bacon fat, then spread it with a little mustard.
Add the pineapple to the hot pan and fry for a couple of minutes each side, until golden and hot.
Put the hot pineapple on top of the bacon and give it a few twists of pepper. Add the salad leaves and top with the mustardy piece of bread. Leave it a minute or two for the pineapple to cool a little, then tuck in.
Variation: For a more substantial, main meal dish based on the pork and pineapple combo: fry a pork chop, then sear a couple of slices of pineapple in the fat left in the pan. Use a splash of cider, white wine or just plain water to deglaze the pan. Combine these pan juices with a little mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper to make a simple warm dressing for some salad leaves to serve alongside.

Coconut rice pudding with rum pineapple

“This is basically a pina colada pud: good old rice pudding given a makeover and taken for a night out on the town.” Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Serves 6

80g pudding rice; 2 X 400ml tins coconut milk; 200ml whole milk; 60g caster sugar; ½ vanilla pod (optional); For the rum-macerated pineapple – 500g peeled ripe pineapple; 4 tblspn dark rum; 2 tblspn soft dark brown sugar
Rinse the pudding rice in a sieve under a running cold tap.

Pour the coconut milk and whole milk into a large saucepan and add the sugar. Snip the vanilla pod, if using, into a few pieces and add these to the pan. Bring slowly to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and amalgamate the coconut milk

Add the rice and cook gently over a very low heat., barely allowing it to simmer and stirring often, until the rice is swollen and tender and the mixture has the texture of a very loose risotto. This should take about 45 minutes. It will thicken more as it cools.

Remove the pieces of vanilla pod, if using. Transfer the rice pudding to a dish and leave to cool completely, stirring it now and then to prevent a skin forming. When cold, cover and chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.

Meanwhile, cut the pineapple into bite-sized chunks, discarding the core. Combine the pineapple, rum and brown sugar in a bowl, cover and leave to macerate in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serve the rice pudding in bowls with a generous spoonful of the pineapple and its rummy juices.

Melon and pineapple with ginger

“Fresh root ginger gives a lovely heat to this juicy salad. Make sure you use ripe, fragrant pineapple and melon – Galia and Charentais are particularly fine melon varieties.” Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Serves 4

500g ripe melon (about ½ medium Galia or Charentais); 500g ripe, peeled pineapple flesh (from 1 medium pineapple); a large piece of ginger (about 75g); finely grated zest and juice of 1 small and ½ large orange

Remove the seeds from the melon. Cut the flesh into slices, then into bite-sized pieces, cutting away the skin as you go.

Cut the pineapple flesh across into slices, about 1cm thick. Quarter the slices and remove the core and any remnants of ‘eyes’ from the outside. Cut the pineapple into bite-sized pieces.

Grate the ginger finely, then extract the juice from it. You can do this by simply squeezing the pulp in your hands over a bowl. Alternately, grate the ginger into a fine sieve and press with a spoon to extract the juice into the bowl. Either way, you need about 25ml ginger juice.

Divide the melon and pineapple between individual bowls and toss to combine. Stir the orange zest and juice into the ginger juice. Trickle this zingy dressing over the fruit and serve straight away.

Fried fish with pineapple salsa

“Inspired by a memorable dish I once ate in a beach café in Thailand, this fresh and fruity salsa is exquisite with a whole fish that’s been rubbed with aromatics and soy and fried until crisp. The saltiness of the soy and pungency of the garlic and ginger combine beautifully with the flavours of the salsa. You do need a pretty large frying pan to tackle a whole fish. If that daunts you, the salsa is also delicious with a grilled, barbecued or baked fish (see the variation below).” Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Serves 2
1 gurnard, black bream, sea bass, grey mullet, or trout (about 1kg), or 2 smaller fish, gutted and descaled; 2 garlic cloves, grated; a thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated; a dash of soy sauce; a few bay leaves; 2 tblspn sunflower oil; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salsa: 200g peeled and cored ripe pineapple; ½ small garlic clove, very finely chopped; ½ medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped; finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus a spritz of juice; 1 tblspn chopped coriander
To make the salsa, cut the pineapple flesh into roughly 5mm chunks. Combine with the garlic, chilli, lime zest, a squeeze of lime juice and the coriander. Taste and add salt and pepper, plus a little more lime juice if needed. Cover and set aside, while you cook the fish.
Make several diagonal slashes on both sides of the fish, without going right through to the bone. Mix the garlic and ginger with enough soy sauce to make a wet paste. Rub this over the fish, working it into the slashes and the belly cavity. Tuck a bay leaf into a few of the slashes. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
Heat the sunflower oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the fish and fry for 5 – 6 minutes each side, until cooked through to the bone, turning the heat up towards the end to help crisp the skin.
Serve the fried fish straight away with the pineapple salsa, some plain boiled rice and steamed greens.
Variation: To oven-cook your fish, preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas5. Slash the fish, rub in the aromatic flavouring paste and season, as above. Place in an oiled baking dish and trickle over a little more oil. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Blue ribbon winning Pineapple Jam

The Australian Blue Ribbon Cookbook: Stories, recipes and secret tips from prize-winning show cooks, Liz Harfull 2014


Liz writes an intriguing introduction to this excellent culinary, cultural history “For many people the world of show cooking is almost like a secret society. Who are the show cooks? Can anyone enter? What are the rules? And what does it take to win? To the uninitiated the answers are often astounding and sometimes quite impenetrable, and the judging usually happens behind locked doors, which makes it even more mysterious.”

Pineapple Jam

“Retired Lockyer Valley dairy farmer Geoff Beattie took up cooking in 1980 after his spine was damaged in a confrontation with a Hereford cow. He was laid up for nearly eighteen months, including risky surgery and thirteen weeks wearing a body cast, which pretty much confined him to his house” Liz Harfull. And, Geoff’s career as a Brisbane Royal Show prize-winning chef began !!! This is Geoff’s Pineapple Jam Recipe.

Ingredients: 2 small pineapples; 1.5kg white sugar (approximately); ½ cup lemon juice (approximately)


1.     To prepare the pineapple pulp, cut off the top of the pineapples and remove the skins. Cut the pineapples into quarters. Working over a large bowl, grate the flesh off the cores, making sure you catch all the juice.

2.      Measure the pulp and place it in a large saucepan. Add 165g (3/4 cup) of sugar for every cup of pulp. Stir in the lemon juice. Bring the mixture to the boil over a gentle heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.

3.     Once the jam comes to the boil, increase the heat so it boils vigorously, stirring regularly to make sure it doesn’t burn. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until the fruit is transparent and the jam is set.

4.     Pour into warm, sterilised jars and seal while hot.
Makes about 4 to 5 cups.

Tips from the cook:

This jam is better made in small quantities. Use good quality fruit that is not overripe.

Using a small paring knife, remove all the pits and pips from the surface of the pineapple after you have taken off the skin or they will show up in the jam as dark flecks.

If you can get them, use bush lemons – a thick, knobbly skinned lemon which grows wild in subtropical Queensland – or Lisbon, but never Meyer, because this variety does not contain enough pectin.

Grease the base of your preserving pan with butter to help stop the jam sticking and burning. A good-quality preserving pan with a heavy bas is best for jam making as it will conduct the heat evenly and help prevent the jam from catching.

Start checking the jam at about the 30-minute mark to see if it is ready. To test when the jam is set, place a small teaspoonful on a cold saucer, wait a minute or two, and then push the jam with your finger – it is ready if the jam wrinkles.

The jam should be bright in colour and fresh looking, with no dark spots.

When tested with a teaspoon, it should be of a firm dropping consistency.


Friday, 31 March 2017

Appropriating Dali: Pineapple-ism

(or perhaps, Dali's little known experimentation with Pineapple-ism)
It all began with the discovery of this cookbook . . . and then the horror that it didn't contain a single recipe with pineapple - fresh or canned!
So we thought we should correct that omission at a dinner party of our own!
"We would like to state clearly that, beginning with the very first recipes, LES DINERS DE GALA with its precepts and its illustrations, is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of Taste. Don't look for dietetic formulas here.
We intend to ignore those charts and tables in which chemistry takes the place of gastronomy. If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive and far too impertinent for you." The introduction to Les Dîners de Gala


Les Dîners de Gala, translated by Captain J. Peter Moore (original publication 1973) by Salvador Dali, Taschen, Köln 2016

Photographs from Les Dîners de Gala
Sue tried to confused us with a combination of surreal and so-real fruits

 and Greg's pineapple parrot's plummage was perfect
(Sculpted by Sue)
Phyl's philly filler

Phyl constructed the hors d’oeuvres according to her mother-in-law’s 1970s method of skewering pineapple with cream cheese and a glacé cherry.

 And the camembert cheese slowly melted beside Sue’s dehydrated pineapple

Thousand year old eggs.

“You certainly know these thousand year old eggs, one of the crowns o Chinese cuisine. We will not presume here to reach their ultimate perfection, but we will simply try to help you follow an amusing recipe which has the advantage of being prepared ahead of time.

First, boil the eggs for ten minutes in salted boiling water. Take them out, put them under cold running water which will make it easier to shell them. In the same water in which the eggs had boiled, add the cloves, sugar, vinegar, a lot of Tabasco sauce, the lemons (cut I eighths) and thyme. Boil for fifteen minutes. Shut off the flame, dip in the tea-bag and let them steep for 10 minutes.

In a jar, put the diced onions and garlic. Add the shelled eggs, and pour the brth so that the eggs are completely immersed. Close the jar and keep it on the lower shelf of your refrigerator.

Be patient for three weeks before opening the jar and serving. These eggs go well with cold meats and fish.” Dali

Noel preserved these eggs about 10 years ago. His advice – don’t eat them!!!
Noel’s non-edible novelty

Vegetable Pie  (with Greg's gourmet garnishes in bold)
1 roll of frozen dough for pie crust (puff pastry); 6 potatoes (plus sweet potato); 6 carrots; 10 oz of white mushrooms; 6 eggplants; 1 tablespoon of butter; 2 onions; 2 tablespoons of tomato paste; 1 pint of heavy cream; 1 egg
Using the frozen dough, line the bottom and sides of a mold with a thickness of ¼ nch. Keep some dough to make a cover.
The eggplants have been sliced (1/4 inch); sprinkle them with salt and let them stand for ½ hour.
Slice the potatoes very thinly; do likewise with the carrots and mushrooms.
At the bottom of the mold, put a layer of potatoes, salt and pepper, then a layer of carrots, mushrooms and eggplants. Start all over again, and finish with a last layer of eggplant.
With the rest of the dough, close the pie crust, being sure to wet the edges to secure them.
Bore a hole at the center of the “cover” so as to make an outlet for the steam. Using a knife, make a few decorative drawings (of pineapples) on the cover, and bake – 375F° – for 45 minutes.
During that time, brown the sliced onions in butter. When they turn golden, add the tomato paste and let the colour turn darker.
Add 3 tablespoons of cream, boil for 5 minutes, then mash.
Off the fire, add the remainder of the cream and combine with the egg.
Using a funnel stuck in the hole of the pie “cover” pour this sauce mixed with tomato paste into the pie filling. Bake for another 15 minutes and serve. (Dali)

Tropical Chicken (with Sue's surreal substitutions in bold)
1 tablespoon of oil; 3 shallots; 2 cups of water – 1 cup of rice; Cayenne pepper; 1 chicken; 8 oz of pine nuts; 1 package cream cheese; 1 slice of with bread; ½ cup of fig liquor – 1 tablespoon honey (as Sue wasn’t able to buy any fig liquor she steeped some dried figs in vodka for a couple of days and made a syrup); 1 tablespoon of vinegar – 2 tablespoons of oil; 4 shallots – 1 cup of water; 7 oz powdered almonds (omitted); 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Fry the finely sliced shallots in oil. When they become transparent, add the water; at boiling point throw in the rice. Add salt and Cayenne pepper. When the rice is cooked, all the water should be absorbed. In the rice add 2 ounces of the pine nuts (replaced by pineapple, chopped and browned in a pan), the cheese, and the slice of bread dipped in the fig liquor. Mix it all well and stuff the chicken. Sew up the bird.
In a saucepan put the oil in which the shallots are getting golden; add honey, vinegar, water, salt, pepper and put the chicken over the mixture. Cover and let simmer slowly. After half an hour add the powdered almonds. If the gravy becomes too thick, thin out with some water and fig liquor.
Let it cook for another good half-hour (or longer). Remove the chicken, and add the remaining 6 ounces of pine nuts, and the olive oil until it boils once and no more.

we ate this chicken
not this chicken

Apples n' ham (with Anne’s audacious additions in bold)
6 nice yellow apples; 1 large onion; 10 oz country ham; 1 egg; 12 thin slices of smoked bacon; 2 tablespoons of oil; wooden toothpicks
I suggest yellow apples for this recipe, since they impart an essential sourish taste to the dish. If, however, you use another type of apple, you will have to add two tablespoons of vinegar to the stuffing.
Make a large hole at the center of the apples, which is quite easy to manage if you are careful and use a pointed knife.
In such a manner, you will have cored the apples. Throw out the pits but keep the pulp attached to the core.
In a frying-pan, put the first tablespoon of oil, the thin strips of ham, the sliced onion and the pulp you saved from the (apple) cores.
Let it simmer over a low flame for a good half-hour, stirring now and then, while it cooks and dries up at the same time.
Taste it; if it is not tart enough – and it all depends on the degree of ripeness of the fruit – add some vinegar.
Now, fill the apples with the stuffing and wrap each of them with two slices of bacon, using the wooden toothpicks to secure the bacon and a slice of cheese cut into the shape of a … pineapple.
Brush with oil and bake in a hot oven – 450F° – for 20 minutes.
It may happen that the fruit will crack while baking, but they won't fall apart since the slices of bacon and will hold them together. (Dali)
Serve on top of grilled pineapple rings.


Peaches with almonds.
Soak the almonds and walnuts in cold water for 2 hours.
Crush very vigorously as you have to make a really smooth paste.
Then add the sugar combined with water and brandy. Mix well.
Whip the heavy cream to a whipped-cream consistency. Stop whipping as soon as it stands around the beater. Since we don't want to make butter, let's put the whipped cream in the refrigerator for another hour. Mix with the other ingredients.
Pour into a flat mold which you have already greased.
Put into the freezer for 1 hour, then in the refrigerator for another hour.
Meanwhile, split the peaches and twisting them around, detach them from their pits.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and fill the center hole with cranberry sauce (or pineapple jam). Light the broiler and put the peaches in the oven, at the bottom of a baking dish (with a little pineapple juice. Cover with foil.) Bake for 15 minutes.
Unmold the almond-nut mixture and put it over the very hot peaches. Serve. (Dali)
Just to simplify things – I beat the cream with a little icing sugar, no freezing, just refrigerating. And served in a bowl decorated with crystallised pineapple, chocolate silver balls and a Pineapple Princess, Anne


(montage-ists Les and Anne)


Illustration from  Les Dîners de Gala, translated by Captain J. Peter Moore (original publication 1973) by Salvador Dali, Taschen, Köln 2016