Dark and Stormy Pineapple

In honor of Father’s Day, I am going to share a great recipe from Esquire’s “Eat like a Man” blog. Fist of all, have you ever seen this online column? Well, I hadn’t, but since my friend Jean sent me a link to the blog’s recipe for “Dark and Stormy Pineapple,” I feel like a whole new male-centric cooking and eating universe has opened up to me. For example, check out this Q&A:
In your opinion, what is the proper portion of hot dogs to eat for breakfast for the average 200-pound man with or without eggs?
Ali Ahmad, Ventnor, New Jersey
Skinless or cased? It matters.
Who writes this stuff? Apparently, it’s Josh Ozersky, aka Mr. Cutlets, the “Eat Like a Man” blogger who describes himself as a James Beard Award-winning food writer, B-list food personality, and noted polymath and deviant. Even though I had to look up the definition for polymath – a Renaissance man – I really like this guy and his sage advice. Here’s another one…
I want to buy a new electric meat slicer for home use. Are any of them any good that are still affordable?
Jeff Schwartz, Margate, NJ
Jesus Christ, Jeff! What is wrong with you? Don’t buy an electric slicer, ever, unless you are palsied or lack hands. Cutting things with a knife is a minimum requirement for feeding yourself with dignity. Get two or three great knives, ones that feel right in your hand, and keep them sharp and clean. You can use them for the rest of  your life, and you’ll never have to feel like an effeminate cyborg.

 

Genius I tell you! So, I decided that I wanted to cook like a man and make some “dude food” in honor of Father’s Day. The “Dark and Stormy Pineapple” afforded me just this opportunity. To start it all off, I whipped out my new 8-inch (well, due to “shrinkage,” it’s actually 7 3/4 inches) Shun stainless-steel chef knife. It is so sharp that I felt like a sword-wielding Samurai warrior. I used the knife to lop of the bottom of the pineapple in a single swoop, then repeated my ninja-like skills for the top. With the pineapple now sitting nice and flat, I was able to quickly trim off the rind and all those little brown “eyes” as well.  Then I turned the pineapple on its side and hacked it into inch-thick rounds.

 

The next step was to make the marinade, a mixture of finely chopped fresh ginger, dark brown sugar, ground pepper, and dark rum, and then brush it over the pineapple disks. Although it doesn’t say to in the recipe, I think it’s best to marinate for up to an hour.
Make sure the ginger is finely minced.

 

The marinade of rum, dark brown sugar, ground pepper, and ginger.

 

FYI, the whole reason why it’s called “Dark and Stormy Pineapple” is because the marinade closely resembles the Dark and Stormy drink. According to Wikipedia, “This classic drink is popular worldwide, especially in many British Commonwealth countries, such as Bermuda and Australia. It consists of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer over ice … optionally accompanied by a slice of lime.” Quite the manly drink, it is also featured on the Esquire.com Web site, along with expert commentary by the magazine’s resident cocktail historian David Wondrich, who calls the Dark and Stormy “Bermuda’s poem-in-a-glass.”

 

According to Wondrich:
The precise origins of the D&S are, as one comes to expect when dealing with matters alcoholic, kinda hazy. What is known is the following. By the mid-nineteenth century, the official daily rum ration of the British Royal Navy consisted of 2 ounces a head of a peculiarly heavy blend of dark rums, dominated by the deeply funky stuff made along the Demerara River in Guyana. Some time after 1860, Gosling Bros., of Hamilton, Bermuda, began marketing its “old rum” — a peculiarly heavy blend of dark rums. Between 1860 and 1920 the Royal Navy added a ginger-beer bottling plant to its massive Ireland Island Dockyards complex; what the navy was doing bottling ginger beer we don’t know, unless it was intended as a temperance measure. If it was, it failed: The swabbies, given the choice between Demon rum and temperance beverage, said, “Fanx, gov, we’ll take both.” We’re with them.
I didn’t have Gosling’s rum, so I used this Rhum Barbancourt.

 

Now, on to the next manly step – grilling. I didn’t even know how to turn on the grill until several years ago as that fell in to the realm of responsibilities held by my husband, Bob. But hey, once you can figure out how to turn the gas on, you are good to go. The key with this recipe is you must have the grill on low heat or else the brown sugar will burn.

So I pilfered my husband’s grilling utensils and went to work. Picking up the pineapple slices with his oversized tongs, I placed them on the grill (which I’d sprayed with Misto, the natural, olive-oil version of Pam).  When I saw the bottoms had started to turn a beautiful, glazed brown color, I flipped the pineapples over with his giant spatula. It’s best to move them around frequently to get even caramelizing. The recipe said it should take 15 minutes, but mine took a bit longer – keep your eyes on the grill is my best advice so that you will end up with nicely-grilled, unburnt pineapple.

 

The last step is to remove the discs from the grill and squeeze some lime juice over the slices.  I guess if you want to be really manly you could also let out a big belch and scratch your privates, JK!
I brought the pineapple over to a friend’s house and we paired it with grilled tuna, a nice blend of sweet and savory. Another great idea is to serve it is for dessert with ice cream – think French vanilla or dulce de leche – yummy!
Happy Father’s Day to all you men out there. And to all you women, just remember: Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.
Dark and Stormy Pineapple
Esquire, June/July 2013
Ingredients:
1 pineapple
1 tablespoon cropped ginger
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper
3 ounces dark rum
1/2 lime
Preparation:
Cut off the top and bottom so the pineapple sits flat. Cut off the rind from top to bottom, working your way around. Cut deep enough to get behind the “eyes” (brown spots) of the pineapple, about a quarter-inch deep.
Turn the peeled pineapple onto its side and cut into inch-thick slices. Mix together the ginger, sugar, pepper, and rum, and marinate the pineapple for up to an hour.  Grill over low heat (the sugar may burn quickly over higher heat), turning when the edges start to caramelize. Move disks frequently to get even caramelizing. Timing is very subjective, at least 15 minutes though, but keep your eyes on the grill.
Remove and squeeze lime juice over slices.

 

 

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