The (pine)Apple of My Eye

Visiting with an acquaintance over bar bites the other evening, I was asked where I got my inspiration for new things to cook. Inspiration is where you find it, and as the conversation continued, mention was made that a favorite was “mama’s pineapple upside down cake”. I had some homemade, gluten-free yellow cake mix that needed a purpose, so that, a can of pineapple slices, and a jar of maraschino cherries later – well – here’s looking at you (above)! You’ll find some ‘how to’s’ here.

Most pineapple upside down cake recipes call for a 9″ x 13″ pan, and if you look at the pictures accompanying them you’ll most likely see the pineapple slices arranged in a 3-4-3 pattern. I wanted full coverage, which is when I discovered that the same person who decided that a can of pineapple would have 10 slices, when a 9″ x 13″ pan could accommodate 12, is the same person who decided to put wieners 10 to the package, and hot dog buns 8 to the package. Go figure, right? Anyway, that got me to thinking about what to do with ‘extra’ pineapple slices if you bought 2 cans for a cake, and had 8 slices available for other uses.

Take a look.

Roasted Shrimp and Pineapple Salad

An almost over-the-top salad, featuring roasted shrimp, avocado, pineapple, and romaine lettuce, tossed with KumBak Sauce, and dressed with a Chili-Lime Shrimp spice mix from The Spice House. This started with the idea of shrimp and pineapple, and just kept growing. Would I do it again? You bet!!!

Guacamole/Avocado Toast

The inspiration for this use of pineapple came from Bar Takito in Chicago, the first time ever tasting pineapple in guacamole. I diced the pineapple, put it in a pan to caramelize, tossed it with Chili-Lime Shrimp spice mix from The Spice House, then added it to some guacamole. It really dresses a stand-alone guacamole for dipping, but, as you can see, makes a sterling avocado toast, garnished with cilantro and queso fresco.

Pineapple Salsa

Diced fresh pineapple, diced red and green bell pepper, diced red onion, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. I seasoned with Chili-Lime Shrimp spice mix from The Spice House, and to be honest, I overdid it. To compensate, I added a drizzle of honey to cut back on the spiciness, and bingo!!! Should pair well with roasted or grilled shrimp, same for salmon.

Easy-peasy, cottage cheesy

Heaven only knows how far back in my past this one goes, but it obviously made a lasting impression. Canned pineapple topped with a dollop of cottage cheese, and of course, a cherry. I can see it made fancier with some whipped ricotta, adding, maybe, some chopped nuts. Still easy and so presentable.

“A promise made is a debt unpaid”

I assured a friend I would not picture this one, but that doesn’t preclude a mention. It’s a variation on the “Easy-peasy”, and it’s a pineapple slice with a small dollop of mayo, topped with shredded cheddar cheese. Sorry if it makes your arteries shiver, but trust me, it’s good, and you don’t have to eat it every day. If you ever adventure here, for sure use a good mayo, as it won’t be as sweet as with some of the miracle substitutes. Oh, and the quote is from “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert W. Service.

Ham and cheese Hawaiian

No picture here. This goes back to weekends in Dallas with a friend from college, when his mother would serve this to us. Sound fancy? It’s not. It’s a slice of sandwich bread spread thinly with mayo, on which you layer a slice or two of ham (she used the squared off luncheon meat variety), a slice of pineapple, and a slice of American Cheese. Put it in the broiler until the cheese melts, and there you have it.


4 responses to “The (pine)Apple of My Eye”

  1. Avatar

    We always made pineapple upside down cake as Girl Scouts in Dutch ovens…had the best leader in America who was recognized by the Pope for her service to scouts, both girl and boy, 4-H, and Catholic youth. thanks for this post today


  2. This one really “caught my eye,” Lamar.

    Decades of memories returned seeing this photography because my mother frequently served this cake, and it is still my fave!

    BTW, with my background, I know how difficult “food photography” can be, and I’m admiring your endeavors. It’s good when it makes you want a bite.



  3. Zane Draughon Avatar
    Zane Draughon

    I thoroughly your articles. I too grew up


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