Pineapple Salsa

I found myself escorting home a free pineapple we used for an on-camera prop during the show several days ago, and was trying to come up with something else to do with it besides juice it, cube it and eat it every morning for breakfast for ninieteen days, or attach it to the top of my head, swing a poncho around my neck and parade around my apartment like Chita Rivera (Carmen Miranda?).

Here and there online, I had caught site of some recipes for pineapple salsa along with the recommendation that it goes wonderfully with fish. I wasn’t completely sold. That is no longer the case.

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Grilled Herb Shrimp with Mango Salsa

I think this is the first time I’ve ever made a dish that involved the use of skewers. I had to locate them at my local grocery store, and you know what? They’re not easy to find. Logic told me to head straight to the utensil and disposable pan aisle, but they weren’t there. Next, I hit the meat section. No dice. “Why not try the picnic and summer bar-b-que section,” you ask? I’ll tell you why… they’re not there!

Nope, the skewers at my local grocery store are located in the fresh seafood section, so if I had started grabbing up my ingredients with the pound of fresh shrimp I needed to make this meal, I could have saved myself approximately fifteen minutes of super-valuable “Gary time.”  Of course, I could have also saved it if I just asked any employee in the store where to find skewers.  But I don’t do that.  It’s true what they say about us.  We don’t like to ask for directions.

Side note – later in the day while playing DVR catch-up, I was watching Sandra’s Money Saving Meals, with cooking’s “bad seed,” Sandra Lee (She’s blond!  She’s sweet!  She’ll cut your throat and have the knife cleaned and back dicing carrots before you hit the floor!).
Sandra, it so happened, was preparing her own little skewer snack and just had to point out that any good chef of course has a bounty of skewers just lying around the kitchen waiting to be employed. Yeah, that made me feel good.  Sandra… she really likes to rub your nose in it.

This is a recipe I found over at Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen, posted by my cyber ally, Penny. She lives with her husband in a beautiful summer cottage on Lake Lure, North Carloina, where she raises vegetables in her own garden, creates awesome dishes, and posts eye-popping pics of her lake and its surroundings that lead me to remember my single trip to the Tar Heel State for a television pilot in 1997.  Some really beautiful scenery there (check out the blog – the pics really do not disappoint).

Penny seems to have it all, but she never shows off, unlike that snooty money-saving Sandra Lee who’s just busting to tell you that her pork tacos were made for ten cents less than yours.

I think I have some issues.

Anyway, my praise for Penny and her food blog are genuine, but if my flattery also garners me an invitation to relax on a dock awash in the laurel-scented Lake Lure breeze with a plate of salmon tarragon cakes or a grilled pizza or two, I’d happily fake a tapeworm to get out of work and sneak on off to N.C. for a week or two.

Check out the fantastic recipe after the jump

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Pineapple-Glazed Chicken with Jalapeño Salsa

After the mass quantities of barbeque sauce, mac and cheese, and pizza that has been consumed at Chez TV Food and Drink in the last week or so (I’m keeping mum about the homemade cinnamon and brown sugar pop tarts from last week, but expect the post soon), it’s time for something a little brighter, and definitely a little lighter.

This recipe was secured of my iPhone Epicurious app. and comes from the good people at Bon Appétit, a magazine I have never actually purchased, much less looked through.  Am I missing out on something?

And let’s hear it for homemade salsa!  There is nothing better.  Jarred salsa is just a total impostor, usually crammed with juices and preservatives that completely violate the vibrant colors of the vegetables, but the fresh homemade!  Oh joy!  Watch it sing its own praises right off your plate!

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Huevos Rancheros and Tequila

Fresh homemade salsa has become a regular thing with me lately, and any dish I find that can accommodate it is going straight to the top of my “to do” list. More often than not, I’m racing to finish a leftover stash of it from a previous night’s meal. Any more than two days sitting in the refrigerator, and the salsa loses its potency, becomes too watery and stands in the refrigerator merely as a reminder of my inability to reduce recipe measurements when I’m only cooking for myself and MG and not the entire office.

So when I see a recipe or a blog entry (in this case, Smitten Kitchen, yet again that makes room for the salsa, I’m pretty sure it’s to cook up in my kitchen.

Add to the fact that egg dishes are usually pretty easy to conquer, fast to prepare, and good morning, noon and night, and this recipe even had more going for it.

And if you can find an excuse to squeeze in some tequila on a Wednesday night too, well…!

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Homemade Guac and Salsa for Chicken Soft Tacos

There is a lot to be said for swinging around a knife.  Stabbing vegetables is a great method for chasing away the blahs.  The only thing better is chowing down on the delicious results.  I promised MG and Michael, our dinner guest to supply the homemade guac and the salsa, plus season up some chicken if MG agreed to employ his trademark secret for cooking the tortillas just long enough for sturdiness without burning.

I used to just chop the hell out of everything and mix it together, sweeping the excess mix into a single container for the fridge, but now I keep the ingredients separated by family – onion family, pepper family, and things that are green but not a pepper family member.  As I mix a little of each in and try the resulting flavor of the salsa and the guac, I’m starting to learn what combination produces the most kick.