Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grilled Pineapple and Banana with Honey-Lime Sauce

I'm going to have to go ahead and declare the scrumptious honey-lime sauce as the undisputed superstar of this dish. As much as I enjoyed grilling the fruit, which was definitely fun and delicious, the sauce made me utter an audible "mmm" (and I think my eyes may have rolled back in my head a little).

At that moment, I was thrilled I'd had the foresight to double the sauce. I was serving the grilled fruit with vanilla ice cream and thought it would be nice to have plenty of extra sauce to drizzle over the top. It was. Turns out it's also nice downed straight from a shot glass (or so I've heard).

Yield: about 3 cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
4 pineapple rings, peeled and cored (1/2-inch-thick)
4 large bananas (ripe, but still firm), peeled and left whole or sliced in half lengthwise

1.     Place butter, honey, brown sugar, and lime juice in small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean (or vanilla extract). Bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking until smooth. Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Remove vanilla bean and rewarm sauce before using.
2.     Preheat barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush both sides of pineapple and banana with sauce. Grill about 1-2 minutes per side.
3.     Transfer pineapple to plate; cut into 1/2-inch cubes and place in large bowl (leaving juices behind). Cut the grilled bananas into 1-inch chunks and add to bowl with pineapple. Mix in the remaining sauce.

adapted from Dede Wilson

limes ready for juicing
(the zest was for making lime-cilantro butter)
pouring in the honey
Remember, this is a double batch.
melted and ready

I didn't have a vanilla bean, so I used homemade vanilla extract
(which I love because the vanilla seeds are still in there).
pineapple rings & sliced banana, coated with a little honey-lime sauce
pineapple rings and sliced bananas on the grill
The bananas do cook faster than the pineapple, so keep your
eye on them. It's normal for them to get a little mushy (but in
a good way) when mixed with the sauce. Make sure they're firm
to begin with (otherwise they'll be extremely difficult to turn
over and remove from the grill. Come to think of it, maybe it
would be smarter to keep them whole (I'll try that next time).
pineapple rings just about done
pineapple rings off the grill and on a plate (to catch the juices)
cut grilled pineapple
served with vanilla ice cream

The grilled, hot fruit makes the ice cream get all melty
and then sauce commingles with all of it. Fabulous.

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