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~ Spit-Roasted Pineapple a la Steven Raichlen ~

PICT0100 Back in February I had the pleasure of assisting The GrillMaster himself, Steven Raichlen, with a live cooking demonstration that he was giving at Penn State's WPSU-TV studios.  Every February WPSU invites a Celebrity Chef to host their fundraiser/Connoisseur's Dinner. As WPSU's cooking consultant, to date I've worked with Lidia Bastianich, John Folse, Joanne Weir, Martin Yan and Steven.  Besides prepping their demo food to their specifications and making sure their demo executes as flawlessly as possible, it is my "job" to prepare a tasting of all recipes being served that day to a studio audience of about 125 people.  The best way for me to describe this annual experience is:  extremely exciting, educational and exhausting!

Steven Raichlen & Mel 2-11-11It goes without saying, all of these chefs are over-the-top professionals who prepare fabulous food.  They are also entertainers who captivate their audiences and Steven wowed this year's crowd.   If you've never done or experienced a live cooking demo, or tried to cook on camera, it's all about simultaneously cooking and talking while developing an eye-to-eye rapport with your audience.  An amusing way for me to explain doing this is:  

Remember those little wind-up toy monkeys? The ones that all-at-the same-time played the harmonica with their mouth, clanged the cymbals with their hands and beat the drums with their feet?  It's kind of like trying to do that + cook edible food at the same time, and believe me, it is by no means easy!

Every year and with each chef I always learn at least one new skill or unique method of cooking and I inevitably emerge with a "favorite" recipe.  This year, it was this recipe of Steven's (from his latest book Planet Barbecue) that tickled my artistic fancy:  A beautifully carved, spit-roasted pineapple, which we served to the audience for dessert with Penn State's Creamery ice cream!

Since Kitchen Encounters just finished posting a week of Summertime entree recipes making use of ~ My Sweet 'n Spicy Summer Tropical Fruit Salsa ~ (found in Categories 4, 8, & 13) and grilled pineapple, I couldn't let the sun set on my June blog posts and begin my 4th of July weekend without posting my rendition of  Steven's stunning, star-spangled, pineapple dessert!

PICT0008~ Step 1.  Start by looking for a golden ripe pineapple or giving a slightly green-tinged pineapple a day or two at room temperature to ripen to golden.

Using a large chef's knife, cut the leafy top (called the crown) and the bottom off the pineapple.  

With the pineapple standing upright, carefully trim the rind (the prickly skin) off the fruit, just enough to expose the brown eyes and the succulent yellow fruit. 




~ Step 2.  It's time to release the creative genius within yourself.. if you need a glass of wine or a cocktail or two, you've got my blessing, but I am here to tell you: this is not as hard as it looks and it is really fun to too!

Starting at the top of the pineapple and working your way to the bottom, use a very sharp paring knife to make a V-shaped spiral cut to remove "a spiral line" of the fibrous brown eyes from the pineapple.

Continue this process until you have worked your way around the entire pineapple.  You have just created a work of edible art!

PICT0026 ~ Step 3.  In a shallow baking dish, using a tablespoon, thoroughly combine:

1  cup sugar

2  tablespoons ground cinnamon

1  teaspoon ground cloves

In a small bowl or measuring cup, melt:

4  tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)

PICT0031 ~ Step 4.  Set your grill up for spit-roasting... aka the rotisserie.  The rotisserie set-up varies from grill to grill, so be sure to set it up according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Thread the pineapple lengthwise onto the metal rod of the rotisserie so that it passes through the middle (the core) of the fruit.  Position the spit over a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish.

PICT0032 ~ Step 5.  Preheat the grill as hot as it will go.

Using a pastry brush, thoroughly and liberally brush the pineapple all over its surface, including the flat top and bottom sides, and into all of the spiral nooks and crannys, using about half of the  melted butter, or about 2 tablespoons.






~ Step 6.  Using a tablespoon, sprinkle about one-third of the sugar mixture over the entire surface of the pineapple, including the flat top and bottom sides.






~ Step 7.  Attach the spit to the grill and turn on the motor.  Spit-roast the pineapple until it is golden brown on the outside, about 10-12 minutes or longer, depending upon how hot your grill gets.  When the pineapple is golden...





~ Step 8.  With the motor running on the rotisserie, using a long-handled grilling brush, baste the pineapple with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.  Sprinkle with another third of the sugar mixture.

Continue to cook for about 5 minutes.  Baste with the last tablespoon of butter and sprinkle with the last of the sugar mixture. Cook about 5 more minutes or until...

PICT0100 ... deep golden brown, caramelized and just plain gorgeous!

Turn the rotisserie off, remove the spit and return it to the baking dish. I find it helpful to let it rest here for about 10 minutes prior to attempting to remove the pineapple from the red-hot metal rod (spit).




~ Step 9.  Using a little bit of firm pressure and pushing, slide the pineapple off of the metal rod onto a serving platter.  Slice and serve immediately.

I like to serve the warm pineapple slices topped with a generous scoop of butter pecan ice cream, some chopped, sugar-crusted spiced pecans (get my recipe for ~ Super-Crunchy Sugar-Crusted Spiced Pecans ~ in Categories 2, 6, 11 & 17), along with a dollop of freshly whipped cream! 

This dish, and all the recipes in Planet Barbecue, is amazing: 

PICT0132 Spit-Roasted Pineapple a la Steven Raichlen:  Recipe yields 8 dessert servings.

Special Equipment List: grill with spit/rotisserie; cutting board; large chef's knife; paring knife; shallow baking dish; tablespoon; small bowl or measuring cup; 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish: pastry brush; long-handled pastry brush; 2 1/4" ice-cream scoop

PICT0008Cook's Note:  Still hungry for pineapple?  To try one of my own pineapple dessert recipes, which goes great with ice cream too, ~ A Simple, Summertime Treat: Pineapple Cobbler ~ can be found in Categories 6, 10 or 20!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)


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Roc -- This is indeed the perfect ending to a BBQ day, & I can only assume that after you served your smoked brisket & the chicken thighs, this met with rave reviews (meaning, you impressed the heck out of everyone)!

Making my first attempt at the pineapple today. Have some friends coming over, and I smoked a brisket starting at 9pm and then made some chicken thighs when the brisket was finished. This sounds like the perfect ending to my bbq today.

this proves roasting is not only done in hog roast but it can be done for veg also.It gives very good and delicious taste.I have tried it at home and felt like heaven.
hog roast

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