Aug 29, 2012 8:01 PM

Let's Make a Meal: Grilled Pineapple Mango Salsa

TUCSON - Today on "Let's Make a Meal," Executive Chef Timothy Stevens stopped by to make Fini's Landing's Award-Winning Grilled Pineapple Mango Salsa. Here's the recipe:

The 10 Steps to
Fini's Landing's Award Winning
Grilled Pineapple Mango Salsa

You will need:
1 pineapple
2 mangos
1 lime
1 med sweet onion (vadalia or walla walla)
1 habanero
1 bunch cilantro
....and a food processor.

Before preparing your ingredients for the recipe, if working with a propane BBQ grill, set it to medium-high or get your coals rip-roaring, asap, and bring them down to a medium high.
(I like using local pecan or apple wood for added flavor).

1. Lop-off the top and bottom of pineapple and trim-off the outer rind. Set pineapple on its top or bottom end (flat surface) and cut downward just to the right of the core and likewise, just to the left. Do the same to separate the remaining fleshy pieces of pineapple from the core. Discard the core, rind and bottom (the top fronds or leaves can be used as garnish). Transfer flesh to a dish ready for a trip to the grill.
2. Peel mango and remove flesh from the mango pit in a similar fashion as with the pineapple and join the mango on the vessel of grill travel.
3. Peel the sweet onion and slice half into 1/4" medallions (keep medallions in-tack whereas they don't separate into rings. The onion medallions can now tag along with the pineapple and mango.
4. Press your lime firmly against your cutting board with the palm of your hand and roll to loosen up the juice membranes inside. Cut your lime in half around its equator (perpendicular to the north and south pole). Set aside.
5. Wearing protective, vinyl, food-grade gloves, cut the habanero in half from stem end to end end.
Remove and discard the seeds with a teaspoon from one half of the habanero. Wrap up or seal in a tight container the remaining habanero half and stow it away in the fridge for future use. The seeded half of the habanero can be tossed in with the rest of the grill destined ingredients. (I often buy habaneros when they are on sale in the supermarket and throw them in my freezer for a rainy day. So the extra half will do just fine in yours.)
6. Head out to the preheated grill or fire up your stove-top grill pan all the way it will go. Start off with placing your onion medallions on the grill to test the temperature. (If it's too hot and they burn, you always have the other half of the onion for salvation). Continue to grill the onions until they pick up a dark caramel colored lines from the grill (grill marks) then flip gently so they remain in-tact and continue the same way on the other side. Once the desired grill marks have been achieved, remove them from the grill and set in the refrigerator to cool. If you make it through the onion part of this exercise, you should have no problem doing the same with the rest of the grill ingredients. (When it comes to the habanero, just blister the skin-side of the chili then cool).
7. Once everything is cooled, add the onions, habanero (only add 1/2 of the blistered half first to gage the heat of the chili in the final recipe....definitely go much lighter if you are sensitive to chilis) and the juice of half a lime to the food processor. Puree this mixture until smooth and transfer to a mixing bowl.
8. Roughly chop the pineapple, add to the food processor and pulse a few times until pulverized into 1/4" chunks and transfer to mixing bowl with onion-lime-habanero mixture.
9. Repeat step 8 with the mango and add to the mixing bowl as well.
10. Mix together all the ingredients in the mixing bowl until evenly incorporated. Now for my favorite part....chiffonade or slice thin ribbons of fresh cilantro into the mix as your palate desires. Check your heading with a quick dip of your favorite tortilla chip and adjust with an extra squeeze of lime, another chiff of cilantro and mince of habanero, if you dare!


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