Friday, September 23, 2005

Blog Party 2 - Tiki Tenders with Pineapple Salsa and Asti Tropical Punch

Hey, how are you? Great party, huh? Stephanie really did a nice job. Lots of really great food too. Don't bother with those Tiki Tenders though - they're really blah. The salsa's tasty, but I'd grab some of those tortilla chips over there and dunk them in instead of the tenders. That Asti stuff is nice too, in a bubbly-baby-shower-punch sort of a way. Ohhh, gotta run... looks like some more goodies just arrived, oooh and cake...

I stopped by Stephanie's blog last night with the intention of sending her an apology for not participating in her latest blog party. It had been just a little too busy for me this past week and I never got around to figuring out (let alone cooking) something to go with her Tiki theme. Then I saw that she had extended the deadline to Friday night - a reprieve! I started trying to come up with some ideas, but they didn't start taking shape until today and it wasn't until I was in the grocery store this evening that it finally came together. I sort of had pineapple on the brain... if I'd been able to find pineapple sherbert or sorbet, my punch would have taken a different turn. As luck would have it, though, I found neither and stumbled upon some frozen fruit bars at Whole Foods that worked perfectly. My idea for the chicken tenders didn't really pan out, but maybe some marinated and grilled chicken would be nice with the salsa. I didn't measure anything this time around, but I can tell you what I did...

Pineapple Salsa

Finely dice some fresh pineapple, sweet red pepper, and sweet onion in amounts to your liking. Mince some garlic and cilantro and then throw in some black beans too. (I had planned to add some jalapeno pepper, but it apparently never made it into my grocery bag.) Squeeze in some lime juice and add a little hot sauce and then stir it all up and let it sit while you prepare the chicken.

Tiki Tenders

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend you make these, but just in case you're curious what I did... I whizzed up a handful of macadamia nuts in the jar attachment on my stick blender and then mixed them with a similar amount of coconut powder. I dunked each tender in some seasoned flour, then in beaten egg, and then in the macadamia nut/coconut mixture and fried them in some canola oil (just enough to form a thin layer on the bottom of the pan) for a few minutes on each side. Oh so bland.

Asti Tropical Punch

My stemmed glasses are quite small so one fruit bar made about two drinks, but I'd recommend larger glasses and using one fruit bar per serving. The fruit bars that I used were very good - they're 365 Brand Caribbean Mix Frozen Fruit Bars and they have strawberries, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, and coconut in them. Leave the fruit bars in the refrigerator to soften up slightly so you can easily remove the sticks. Take them for a spin in the blender until they're nicely mushed up and then add a little Asti (or another light, fruity, sparkling wine) and pulse a few more times. Pour some of this into a glass and then top with some more bubbly and a little lime zest.


Stephanie said...

Cathy...I'm so happy you could make it!

I'm sure we'll find something to spice up the chicken tenders...there's a lot of food here!

Great job, and I'll have the round-up posted tomorrow night.

Zarah Maria said...

I was so thinking pineapple too - I even bought it, but got caught in all the moving planning and work. Now it's sitting on the table top, waiting to be used - perhaps for a salsa?;-)

Cathy said...

Hi Stephanie - so am I! I actually had fun, even if the results weren't what I'd hoped for. Thanks for dreaming this up!

Hi Zarah - I had a whole pineapple in may hand, but because this was all so last minute, I put it back and decided to go with one of those cored ones - so much easier! I've seen recipes for pineapple salsa before, but never been tempted to try them. It really is quite good - the tomato sort of stands in for the tomato, providing a soft, sweet base for the other ingredients and a nice contrast to the hot sauce. Definitely worth a try!

Nupur said...

ooh...the pineapple salsa sounds so tasty! And I love the look of the punch...I'm such a girly girl, baby-pink drinks are just my thing :) thanks for sharing the simple recipe!

Cathy said...

Hi Nupur - thanks! This is sort of like those sherbety punches, but not as sweet - I liked it a lot.

P.S. Zarah - I just reread my response to your comment and saw at least two typos, one of which makes it almost impossible to understand. Sorry! I meant "...the pineapple sort of stands in for the tomato...".