20050414

pineapple with rosemary sugar

pineapple with rosemary sugar

this was a flukey experiment because i woke up really wanting pineapple with basil-mint sugar, which is proven lovely but the only fresh herb i had was rosemary, so hooo. it was interesting.

herbal sugars are fun and inexpensive culinary additions to play with; all you need is sugar and herbs and you can go to town--minty sugar on citrus fruit in the morning, lemon myrtle sugar with tea at noon, or perhaps a lavender sugar on a chocolate cupcake for dessert. fresh is usually the way to go, but you'll have to experiment with proportions and perhaps preparation. since this was a spur of the moment thing, i just finely chopped up some fresh rosemary along with white caster sugar, as i normally do this with mint or basil. the aroma was wonderful, and at first taste, i was pleased. however, because the herb was so pungent, it began to leave a medicinal aftertaste. i think next time i try this, i will make the sugar in advance, infusing the flavour slowly, like vanilla sugar, for a mellower effect.

not that it was a complete loss. i am never that far away from my blowtorch, so i torched the pineapple and sugar, which did it a world of wonders--the rosemary mellowed out, and the burnt sugar and caramel worked well with the intensified pineapple taste. i threw in some yogurt cheese and had me a fine, fresh feast to start my sunny day.

caramelized pineapple with rosemary



basil-mint sugar

fistful of fresh mint and basil
1/4 to 1/2 cup of white caster sugar

mush everything together in a mortar and pestle, or sprinkle the sugar on the herbs while chopping to help facilitate the process.



rosemary sugar

1 or 2 fresh rosemary branches
white caster or brown sugar

place the rosemary branches into a tall, wide mouthed jar upright. pour in enough sugar to cover the rosemary completely, close jar tightly and keep in a cool, dark place for one or two weeks, shaking gently if you remember, but no worries if you don't.



yogurt cheese

1 container of plain yogurt, i used whole milk but you can use anything that doesn't contain gelatin

line a strainer or colander set over a bowl with several layers of cheesecloth, or a clean kitchen linen, or several layers of a good paper towel. dump the cheese in, leave it to drain overnight in the fridge. in the morning, discard the whey, squeeze out a little more liquid from the yogurt. they say you can use it like cream cheese, but i've never had it come to a proper consistency for that, so try it with fruit and/or cereal, or on top of a warm cake or muffin.

16 comments:

lorelei76 at gmail said...
4/14/2005 05:46:00 AM
 

That looks mighty tasty. That herbed sugar intrigues me. Since chopping up the herbs made the sugar too..uh..herby, (herbie?) what are other options for getting flavored sugar? I'd love to make citrus sugar for iced sun-teas, but am afraid that if I chop up citrus rind with the sugar, all I'll taste is sweet rind when added to sun-tea or desert or whatever. I'm thinking if I made orange sugar, I'd dye the sugar a lovely pale orange. Or lavender sugar in purple... Boy I love this blog - it shows kitchen creativity is cool!

I want some pineapples..!!

I never thought of herbed sugars, but sure sounds interesting. Still gotta get me a torch.

hi lorelei! if you wanted a citrus sugar, i would suggest using the zest, and then either squeezing a little of the juice out (not enough to completely melt the sugar) or to break up the fruit carefully so you get individual pulp sacs mixed in, so you get little bursts of flavour. or try using lemon-flavoured herbs like lemon myrtle or lemongrass!

mrs t--the pineapples we get are from the philippines and they are super extra juicy and sweet, soooogoooood! i wish i could send you one so you can try it :-P

hey cathy--i was just thinking that the rosemary sugar would be great with a vanilla cookie--it would be very pretty sugar cookies for a tea.
i love my blowtorch, i use it for jewelry projects too. one day i might need to solder something for a plumbing job too so it's good to have :-D

I'm enamored! Herbed salts- sure... but I had never thought to bash about some herbs in my sugar! Excellent!

So I've got the mint and the sugar (and all sorts of weird, infused sugars too) - but no pineapple! Where does that leave me?? With NO fresh start to my (okay not so-) sunny day... Shucks. But lovely post Santos!:-)

hey mcauliflower! i swear chika has done these, but i can't find the post....if she didn't, i probably got the idea from her anyway.

hey zarah--bah! all you need is a fruit and a fork. who needs the sun when you've got sugar, sugar!

Hi Santos,
'Just tried something similar some weeks ago with basil sugar, pineapple and greek yoghurt (inspired by a Jamie O. recipe) and found it to be much better than I had expected... But I'm quite sure, I won't find any comparable juicy pineapples - like the ones you described - over here in Germany... ;)

Wow! This is so innovative, Santos! And yeah, it's making me crave for pineapples. I love the colors of your pix, by the way!

OK, I am dying for fresh pineapple now. I am so tempted to go open up a can of 'em because it's all I have. I will definitely try this. I wonder if they'd be good with vanilla sugar or cardamom sugar??

I add a teaspoon of salt to the youghurt.....and never use low fat yoghurt. ....full fat yoghurt works best in this.

hi santos-

I'm eating pineapple with mint sugar and yogurt cheese right now. yum! I tried squashing the yogurt in my strainer with a plate and big bag of popcorn seeds and ended up with a cream-cheese-like consistency.

I ~love~ your blog, have learned a ton from your posts. :) Thanks much!

hi sara! squishing is good, i'll have to do that next time. out of curiosity, how much popcorn do you eat?

thanks for the compliments! i try.

hi barbara! i missed your comment, i'm sorry. salt, you say? i'll try that next time. that, and squishing.

hi santos,

i eat a lot of popcorn. loooooooooove popcorn.

hrm. i probably used a 1 lb bag of popcorn to squish the yogurt? i tried random canned good from the pantry, too, but popcorn worked better.

hope your day is going well!

hi sara! i think popcorn was a great idea, it probably afforded better, more even coverage. mmmm. popcorn. yum. i'm having an a-ok day, thank you for asking! hope your day goes well, as well :-)