Monday, March 10, 2008

Lemongrass pork lettuce wraps with grilled pineapple

This is a recipe from a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share it today since I haven't been cooking much on this stupid finger (contrary to last week's productivity, the finger really doesn't like to move and bump shit).

My wraps are "fresh!"

I usually avoid any fruit that's not local or in season, but the tropical fruit section of the grocery store was emitting a heady fragrance, and tempted, I bought a pineapple. I cut it open and slurped up a piece: juicy, sweet, with a perfect bromeliaceous acid balance. It wasn't as good as fresh-from-the-plantation in Fiji, but it was pretty fucking good. No elderly upside-down cake would do this beauty justice - fuck a Better Homes and Gardens. I really wanted to eat it with meat.

I took stock of what we had in the fridge, and decided Vietnamese would be the best course of action: we had some pork, sweet/hot Chinese sausage, bún tàu (bean threads), Đồ Chua (pickled, julienned carrots and daikon), a head of greenleaf and some cilantro. Lettuce wraps are easy and healthy, which would be a nice change of pace from two-day planning and hours-long prep. This was a weeknight, for fuck's sake.

I marinated the pork (thinly sliced), sausage (cut on the bias) and pineapple (cut into "fingers" haha, get it? cuz my finger's all fucked up?) in a mixture of pineapple juice, smooshed lemongrass and grated ginger, fish sauce, chili paste (sweet and garlic), a splash of rice vinegar and a splash of rice wine, and a goodge of hoisin sauce. Hot grill pan for a split-second sear and you're good to go. I deglazed the meaty fond off the grill pan with the marinade for a tasty dipping sauce.

You could wrap these in rice papers or just enjoy it on a bed of rice vermicelli (instead of the bean threads), but this is a fun way to eat.


peter said...

Fresh? I'd say more like bromeliaceous.

(That's like bootylicious, right?)

Ben said...

It looks delicious! Pineapple is good with almost anything. That tupperware is waiting for you! Only 4 days left :-p

Peter G said...

Absolutely loving the flavours going on in this recipe Heather. South East Asian cooking is just superb for these kind of weeknight experiments. Well done!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Love this! This is exactly the kind of dish I like to make on weeknights. I don't know how people make such complicated and time consuming things during the week. Even though my work schedule is pretty flexible, I'm too friggin' tired to make a 3 hour brisket on a Tuesday night!

Those bean thread noodles are so much fun too. I dump them in all sorts of things.

Hope the finger is getting better. :)

Peter M said...

Lucky for us, tropical fruits do ripen well in our baskets, that's a good thing.

Heathz, you're encouraging me to try out some more new ingredients at my Asian paradigm shifter you!

Heather said...

Peter - Bromeliaceous is exactly like bootylicious.

Ben - I have something that I think qualifies as the Winner of Tupperware. I'll put it up tomorrow.

Petah Down Undah - I agree - SE Asian is the perfect cuisine for weeknights!

Susan - I got my stitches out today, and I'm almost 100% healed. Yay!

Peter the Greek v1.0- I am a paradigm shifter! It's better than being a shape shifter, that wasn't a good look on me. :P

Emiline said...

Ha, that piture is funny.

Hey! Pineapple cakes aren't just for the elderly!

These sound really good. I've always had trouble with cilantro though. I want to like it, I really do. I keep trying it. I don't know what's wrong with me. I can do it in small doses.

Emiline said...

PICTURE!!! I can't type.
Piture. Oh lordy.

Heather said...

Emilie - Hahaha! You're typing like me! It took me years to like cilantro. The smell used to make me gag.

amy said...

May have to eat this soon. I'm jonzing for some Vietnamese flavors. I'm also jonzin' for some Mario Van Peebles... SHMOKIN HOT! - amy @

Syd said...

Looks fresh and delicious.

ANYTHING is better with cilantro.

Pineapple Upside Down cake is totally for the elderly. And Southern Baptists. (I realize that's a bit redundant)

Catherine Wilkinson said...

Oh, Heather. I was busted once for stealing pineapples out of a field in Hawaii. I can't deal with them...every time I think I'm over it and go buy one, I hear "get down on the ground". Crime does not pay. Maybe I'll grill some mango? Could work. Regardless...your wraps look ILL and CHILL!
(that's rapper talk, cause I'm all down with it, fo' sure)

glamah16 said...

Heather you have outdid yourself. This is good eating.

Heather said...

Amy - I crave Vietnamese food often. And I live near so many good Vietnamese joints that I rarely hafta cook it!

Syd - I think Southern Baptists put sweetened condensed milk on everything, don't they? Mmm....frosting.

Catherine - I love thinking about you marauding around a pineapple field. :)

Coco - This was really lazy cooking! Don't be fooled. :)

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Ohhhh! That looks incredible! I want to try that one now! I guess I shouldn't read food blogs before I have eaten!

Nicolette (Nikki) Miller-Ka said...

Your wraps are fresh. And don't forget tight. Fo' sheezy.

BTW, I like how you incorporate and like Asian ingredients. I only know two Asian people. And they're both twins.

ley said...

Everyone's already told you how delicious this looks, and I agree, so I won't dwell on that.

This may cement my geekiness, but...didn't Mario Van Peebles play the bad guy in one of the Highlander movies?

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

You see, it was all going fine until you mentioned the pineapple. Me and pineapple = not a marriage made in heaven. I want to like it, but it refuses to like me.

Anonymous said...

You're good at that cooking thing!

I love thai food! It's fresh and healthy but.. there's still pork in it. And where there is pork, there's hope i say! Nice take on it.