Thursday Night Menu: Flaming Pineapple Edition

This is a very simplified version of a dinner I had at an LA Cuban restaurant.  A change of pace before we settle into the Thanksgiving holiday.  Speaking of which, starting Saturday I’ll be posting Thanksgiving recipes each day to get you started on the holiday.  Including diving headlong into the “How to Cook a Turkey” controversy.  So until then….

On the board tonight:

  1. Marinated Chicken w/flaming pineapples
  2. Cuban Black Beans & Rice
  3. Ensalada Cubana
  4. Fried Plantains

Marinated Chicken w/Flaming Pineapples

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, sliced into fillets
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp to 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup water
  • 20 oz can chunk pineapple, in syrup
  • drain and reserve syrup
  • 2 tbsp dark rum (opt – only if you want flames)

Large, deep skillet or Dutch oven

Marinate chicken in limejuice, salt & pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Heat oil and cook chicken over medium heat until golden. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, raisins, spices and water. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and let simmer 30-40 minutes. Remove chicken with slotted spoon. Add pineapple & ¼ cup of the syrup, heat to boiling. Pour over chicken and serve.

If you want flames, add rum to the pineapple mixture, let warm, REMOVE from the stove, ignite with long candle/barbecue lighter and spoon over chicken. Never – DID I SAY NEVER, EVER – ignite while still on the stove; this will remove your eyebrows, if you’re lucky, if not, it could quite possibly flambé your kitchen.

Cuban Black Beans & Rice

  • 14 oz can black beans
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup wine vinegar
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste

2 saucepans

Add black beans, pepper, onion, spices, oil & vinegar to saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. In another saucepan, add rice, coconut milk, water, salt & pepper. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Serve beans over rice.

Ensalada Cubana

  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges,
  • 1 jar hearts of palms, drained
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • ¼ to 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar.

Toss together and serve.

Fried Plantain

Peel and slice two ripe plantains lengthwise, fry in butter and toss with either powdered sugar or brown sugar & cinnamon. If you can’t find plantains, you can use bananas – use 3 to 4 medium bananas.

Everything serves 4 generously.

Shopping List:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts or equivalent fillets
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 oz raisins
  • 20 oz can chunk pineapple, in syrup
  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 14 oz can black beans
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 jar hearts of palms
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 ripe plantains

Also: limejuice, salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar

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