May 27, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Stuffed with Sweet Heat Ribs

Every once in a while I create a dish that is so darn tasty that I make it twice in one week.
 This my friends is one of those dishes. I mean seriously?! Sweet, fresh pineapple stuffed with tender ribs and wrapped in crispy glazed bacon?!
 Earlier this week, my husband and I were brainstorming recipe ideas for the Saucy Mama Recipe Contest that I along with 34 other bloggers are competing in to win a chance to cook at the World Food Competition in November. We came up with this unique recipe featuring some of my favorite foods {double pork!} and decided to try it out in our smoker and in our oven. It came out great in both, the oven being slightly quicker and easier. The Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Sauce is a favorite of mine {check out: Sweet Heat BBQ Pulled Chicken} and this tangy marinade is perfect for basting the ribs and bacon. Give this recipe a try and be sure to come back and let me know what you think!

Also enter to win a set of Saucy Mama sauces below to make your own delicious recipe creations!  


Ingredients: 

Makes 2-4 servings depending on the size of your pineapple (and your hunger!)
  • 12oz bottle Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Marinade
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless pork ribs
  • 1 large pineapple
  • 8 slices thick cut bacon
  • oil, for searing

Directions: 

  1. Place ribs in a large freezer bag and pour 1/2 the bottle of Sweet Heat Marinade on top. Seal and shake. Marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  2. For the pineapple: cut in half (leaving the top leaves or "crown" of the pineapple intact) and scoop out inside flesh leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch of pineapple.
  3. Place hollowed side up on a rack on top of a baking sheet with edges (to catch any bacon drippings).
  4. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. 
  5. Heat a large cast iron skillet over med heat.
  6. Add oil to coat the bottom of skillet then remove ribs from bag and place in hot skillet.
  7. Sear ribs(do not cook all the way through) until they have a nice crust.
  8. Baste (or simply pour) with additional marinade from the bag then flip over and sear the other side. Discard remaining marinade in bag.
  9. Remove from pan and add bacon, cooking with the leftover marinade still in the skillet.
  10. Cook bacon for a couple minutes, where it is still pliable but it has a nice coating of sauce.
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Pour remaining Sweet Heat Marinade in the bottle in a bowl. 
  13. Place two ribs in the center of each hollowed pineapple half. 
  14. Brush ribs with marinade.
  15. Flip pineapple (with ribs inside) over so the ribs are stuffed inside.
  16. Lay 3-4 strips (depending on the size of your pineapple) of partially cooked bacon in rows on top of each pineapple half. I like to brush these with additional marinade too.
  17. Tuck ends of bacon hanging down under the pineapple.
  18. I place any additional ribs (I usually have 2 left over) in between the pineapple halves on the same cooking rack.
  19. Place in the center of the oven and bake nice and slow for 1 1/2 hours.
  20. Remove from oven, brush on a little more marinade on the crispy bacon and let cool slightly then move stuffed pineapple to a cutting board.
  21. I prefer to cut off the pineapple crown (it will be wilted unless you want to leave it on for presentation) and then slide the pineapple halves on to a plate and serve warm with fresh coleslaw and corn on the cob!
Notes: We also like to make this recipe in our smoker. You can can prepare it the same except do not partial cook the ribs or bacon. I also prefer to leave the ribs out of the pineapple in the smoker so they get the delicious smoked flavor then stuff them in the pineapple before placing on the plates to serve. Smoke for 2 1/2 hours. 
This Sweet Heat Marinade is spicy and tangy and perfect for ribs, 
chicken, and pulled pork! 

Cut the pineapple in half (leaving the top leaves or "crown" of the pineapple intact) and scoop out inside flesh leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch of pineapple.


Place hollowed side up on a rack on top of a baking sheet with edges (to catch any bacon drippings).


Place ribs in a large freezer bag or dish and pour 1/2 the bottle of Sweet Heat Marinade on top. 

Seal and shake. Marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours.


Heat a large cast iron skillet over med heat.
Add oil to coat the bottom of skillet then remove ribs from bag and place in hot skillet.


Sear ribs(do not cook all the way through) until they have a nice crust.

Baste (or simply pour) with additional marinade from the bag then flip over and sear the other side. Discard remaining marinade in bag.


Remove from pan and add bacon, cooking with the leftover marinade still in the skillet.
Cook bacon for a couple minutes, where it is still pliable but it has a nice coating of sauce.
Remove from heat.

Place two ribs in the center of each hollowed pineapple half.
Brush ribs with marinade.

 Flip pineapple (with ribs inside) over so the ribs are stuffed inside.
 Lay 3-4 strips (depending on the size of your pineapple) of partially cooked bacon in rows on top of each pineapple half. I like to brush these with additional marinade too.

Tuck ends of bacon hanging down under the pineapple.


I place any additional ribs (I usually have 2 left over) in between the pineapple 

halves on the same cooking rack.
Place in the center of the oven and bake at 275 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

 Remove from oven, brush on a little more marinade on the crispy
 bacon and let cool slightly then move stuffed pineapple to a cutting board.
 I prefer to cut off the pineapple crown (it will be wilted unless you want to leave it on for presentation).
Slide the pineapple halves on to a plate 
and serve warm with fresh coleslaw and corn on the cob!
We also like to make this recipe in our smoker. You can can prepare it the same except do not partial cook the ribs or bacon. I also prefer to leave the ribs out of the pineapple in the smoker so they get the delicious smoked flavor then stuff them in the pineapple before placing on the plates to serve. 
Smoke for 2 1/2 hours. 



Be sure to enter to win your own set
of Saucy Mama Gourmet Sauces below!


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May 22, 2015

Decadent Dessert Toppers: German Chocolate and Almond Joy Frosting

 Who doesn't love cupcakes, right?
 I was lucky enough to come across a local baker, Rebecca from Owl Always Love Cupcakes, on Facebook last month when I was searching for somewhere to buy homemade cupcakes to celebrate Stella's arrival. As fate would have it her page randomly popped up on my screen and I promptly ordered pink cupcakes to take to the hospital for my daughter's birth. Rebecca and I got to talking about cupcakes (duh!) and a foodie friendship was born!
She has since made Stella's giant cupcake cake for her newborn pictures (check back next week to see those pics) and Rocky Road Cupcakes for a farewell party I hosted. Not only are her cupcakes amazingly tasty they look professional and you can tell she adds a lot of love to her mini masterpieces. There's no skimping on garnishes or ingredients and even so she keeps her prices affordable. 

I am sharing one of Rebecca's versatile frosting recipes with you today: 
German Chocolate and Almond Joy Frosting.
German Chocolate Cupcake from
 Owl Always Love Cupcakes in Leesville, LA
Be sure to check out her Facebook page if you are around our neck of the woods
 (Leesville and good ol' Ft Polk, LA) and order a few dozen cupcakes today! 
I am still in awe over how perfect this cake was for Stella's photos.
Absolute perfection.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup evaporated milk 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 Tbs of vanilla 
  • 1 cup nuts (almonds for Almond Joy and pecans for German Chocolate), chopped 
  • 1 cup coconut, sweetened and shredded

Directions:


  1. Add nuts and coconut to a food processor and pulse until blended and finely chopped. 
  2. Add milk, sugar, yolks, and butter to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, making sure to stir constantly.
  3.  Remove from heat and add vanilla, chopped nuts of choice, and coconut. 
  4. Stir well and set aside to cool and set up.
  5. Frost on cooled chocolate cake and serve.
  6. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to a week. 

Recipe from Rebecca at Owl Always Love Cupcakes.



 
The best thing about this frosting is it tastes great on any dessert- especially chocolate cake!
I made German Chocolate Cupcakes and Almond Joy Chocolate Bundt Cake as gifts.
Don't worry I saved a few for us to "sample"! 
Add nuts and coconut to a food processor.
Pulse until blended and finely chopped. 
Add milk, sugar, yolks, and butter to a saucepan and cook over medium 
heat until it comes to a boil.
Make sure to stir (I use a whisk) constantly and do not let the yolks overcook.
Now remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Add nuts and coconut.
Stir well and set aside to cool and set up.
I made two batches of frosting. 
The bowl of German Chocolate (with pecans) I used to frost cupcakes.
Simply dip the top of cooled chocolate cupcakes right into the thick frosting.
Twirl and remove from the bowl to a serving plate. Repeat with remaining cupcakes
and try to resist the urge to lick your fingers eat all of them!
For the Almond Joy Frosting (my favorite) I simply added almonds instead of pecans.
Let cool and then drizzle on chocolate bundt cake for an out of this world decadent dessert!
 I used a large spoon to drizzle Almond Joy frosting on the cake.
And don't worry there's plenty to go around
so add a few more spoonfuls of frosting!
 How amazing do these cakes look?
The thick, gooey, sweet frosting was the perfect topper for the
rich, moist chocolate cake.
 Yep, we gave them away as gifts! It was hard to do but I alone would have eaten a plate full so I made the dumb adult decision to let them go. 
I am still thinking about those cupcakes....I may have to make another batch now! 
Nothing says you are good friends and we'll miss you like freshly made cupcakes.

Thanks again to Owl Always Love Cupcakes for the recipe. 
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