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April 20, 2009


A girlfriend of mine decided to start an iron chef dinner party. This was our first month, with the plan of doing one every month. A week before the dinner we were all emailed the secret ingredient, this month, Pineapple! There were 12 couples invited and we each brought 1-2 dishes. Then the winner gets to choose the next secret ingredient and host the next month.
This month was... Pineapple... I don't like pineapple, actually I can't stand pineapple. Not just the taste, but the texture, smell, etc... So this created a challenge for me. I called my sister for some advice and she told be about a pineapple coconut ice cream she'd made, and a pineapple chili she'd seen on a friends, sisters, blog. Since Ice Cream is something I love to make, but is also pretty simple I thought I'd make both. I thought the Ice cream turned out great, but coconut is one of my favorite foods! But the chili was too pineapple-y for me. My husband loved it though and said it was his favorite chili to date!

Here is the recipe, which I doubled. Next time I'll half the meat and add another kind of bean, white or black for another color, since my husband doesn't like a ton of meat.

Pineapple Chili

1 14 oz can crushed pineapple
1 lb Ground Pork
1 15 oz can kidney beans
1 16 oz jar salsa
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder

Brown pork in sauce pan on stove. While browning meat, combine drained kidney beans, pineapple, salsa, tomato sauce, and chili powder, in crock pot. Add meat to crock pot once browned.Stir together and turn on low for 7-8 Hours.

The other foods we had were: Shrimp Avocado Salad, Calico Beans, Sweet n Sour Shrimp, Sweet n Sour chicken, Tropical Salad, Teriyaki Flank Steak with Grilled Pineapple, Salad with Pineapple dressing (?), Pineapple salsa, Pineapple Cream Cheese cookies, Pineapple bread, Moroccan Pineapple Pork in Lettuce Leaves, Bacon wrapped pineapple shrimp. It was all great! Every dish was a hit, and almost everything was gone by the end of the night. Good food, great conversation and company, the evening was a hit!

AND the winner was... My Pina Colada Ice Cream! I was shocked that something so simple won, but I have to say it WAS tasty. And homemade Ice cream is amazing, especially if you haven't had it before or often. I added an extra 1/2 tsp of coconut extract and thought it created a better balance.

Pina Colada Ice Cream

1 16 oz unsweetened pineapple chunks drained
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1 C unsweetened coconut milk
3 Lg egg yolks
1 C heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
Add 1/2 cup toasted sweetened coconut at the end
1/2 tsp coconut flavor (optional)

Place pineapple and salt in food processor, blend until smooth. Combine sugar and coconut milk over low heat; stir until just to a boil. Then slowing pour into the egg yolks while mixing. Pour back into pan and, stirring constantly, heat until slightly thick (don't boil. Pour through a strainer (if desired), cool, then stir in the pineapple, cream and vanilla and refrigerate until cool. Pour into an Ice cream maker and set to manufactures directions, adding coconut during the last 5 mins. Put in freezer for 3-4 hours then serve.
So I get to pick the ingredient for next month, I have an idea, but I can't say anything yet. So stay tuned! Of course any suggestions are welcome! The next dinner is May 9th! I'm SO excited about it. Too bad we're moving and I won't get to participate all year. Although we'll be in Dallas for awhile before the move to Japan so I'll try to come down as many months as I can to keep enjoying this great dinner group! At the end of the year we'll be making a cookbook of all the recipes. I'm really excited for this!