CHICKEN AND PINEAPPLE KEBABS
Makes 12 kebabs
Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks and the vegetables a little larger.
¼ cup molasses
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon hot sauce
1½ tablespoons chili powder
1½ teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and black pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
2 large orange bell peppers, cut into squares
1 large red onion, cut into chunks
12 slices thick-cut bacon, each cut crosswise into 3 pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large pineapple, trimmed, cored, and cut into chunks
In a medium bowl, whisk the molasses, lime juice, and hot sauce and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk the chili powder, brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, and 2 teaspoons each salt and black pepper, then add the chicken and toss to coat.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill (or preheat a gas grill on high, then turn burners down to 400 degrees). Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the bell peppers, onion, and bacon with the oil and salt and black pepper to taste. Thread the chicken, onion, bacon, pineapple, and bell peppers onto skewers.
Grill the kebabs, turning every 3 minutes, until the bell peppers, onion, and pineapple are grill-marked and the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Brush kebabs all over with molasses mixture and grill for about 45 seconds longer on each side (do not burn the glaze). Remove kebabs from the grill, allow to rest briefly, and serve.
GRILLED WINE-SOAKED PINEAPPLE
Adapted from Planet Barbecue! by Steven Raichlen. Tip: A cookie or biscuit cutter neatly cores pineapple slices.
1 bottle dry white wine
¼ cup honey
1 large pineapple, trimmed, cut into 8 slices (about ¾ inch thick), and cored
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Neutral oil, for the grill
4 thick slices poundcake or angel food cake
1/3 cup sugar
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
In a wide, shallow dish, whisk the wine and honey and submerge the pineapple slices and refrigerate, covered, for 6 to 12 hours. Saving the wine mixture, remove the pineapple to drain on paper towels. Transfer the wine mixture to a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 20 minutes. Off heat, stir in vanilla and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill (or preheat a gas grill on high, then turn burners down to 400 degrees). Using tongs and a wad of paper towels, generously oil the grates. Grill both sides of the cake until lightly browned and grill-marked, about 2 minutes total, and set aside. Spread the sugar in a shallow dish and dredge the pineapple slices in the sugar. Oil the grill grates again and grill pineapple on both sides until lightly grill-marked, 8 to 10 minutes total.
Place a piece of grilled cake and a scoop of ice cream in each of 4 serving bowls, top with pineapple, drizzle with wine syrup, and serve, passing extra syrup at the table.
SPICY GRILLED PINEAPPLE AND ONION SAMBAL
Makes about 4 cups
This is a great Southeast Asian-style accompaniment to grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, beef, or pork.
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1½ tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
1½ tablespoons light brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium serrano pepper, seeded if desired, and minced
Salt and black pepper
1 large onion, cut into ¾-inch slices and threaded onto skewers
½ large pineapple, trimmed, cut into ½-inch slices, and cored
Extra-virgin olive oil
½ large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, serrano pepper, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill (or preheat a gas grill on high, then turn burners down to 400 degrees). Brush the onion and pineapple with oil and grill both sides until tender and grill-marked, 10 to 12 minutes total. When cool enough to touch, chop and add both to the lime juice mixture, and set aside for flavors to blend, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cucumber, mint, and basil, taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve.