Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chicken & Pineapple Curry - Hold the Flies

I love pineapple - it's one of my favourite fruits. They had pineapple on sale at my local over-priced grocery store this week, so I decided to get one. I'm pretty picky when it comes to my fruit, and since it's sometimes hard to gauge the ripeness of pineapples in the grocery store, I kinda have to go with my gut. I picked on out and went with it. I sat it on my counter as I usually do, partially because I was too lazy to chop it up, partially because I was waiting to see if it would ripen any more.

What a mistake! Less than two days later, I caught a whiff of my pineapple at the opposite end of my kitchen and knew I had to take action. When I cut the peel off, I could see that it was way past ripe and verging on...yucky. I chucked what parts of it seemed inedible and chopped & refrigerated the rest of it. The scraps went into the garbage. This was yesterday.

Today, I have an infestation of fruit flies in my kitchen garbage can. They are feasting on pineapple cores and peels, and seem to be making their way around the house. My roommate has a fruit bowl well away from the garbage and there has been some action there. I have also noticed the buggers fluttering around my office - and there is no food up here.

Garbage day is Wednesday, and it's hot out. We have special bags we have to put our garbage in in this town in order for our garbage to be collected on garbage day. These bags cost $1.50 each, so we can't just replace the bag and put the old bag with the peelings in it somewhere else. We live in bear country, so garbage has to be kept under lock and key until the day of collection.

So, what to you do?

You make curry.

I have no idea what to do about the fruit flies in the garbage, but I do know that pineapple goes well with curry flavours. I happened to have a bottle of Maya organic curry sauce on hand that I got in the bargain bin at my local over-priced grocery store for $1.99. I had an onion. I had some chicken and some rice. I even had some wilty and nearly finished cilantro in my crisper.

I managed to use half of my fresh pineapple in this recipe. And it was a very good dinner, if I do say so myself.

As for the flies, there were no left overs for them, but I doubt they'll be any the wiser.

Chicken & Pineapple Curry (serves 2 or 1 hungry person)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup (or to taste) curry cooking sauce of your choice (Patak's is my favourite brand, and you could use, instead of a curry cooking sauce, some curry paste, a bit of tomato sauce, and some sour cream or yogur to get a similar result)
basmati rice, to serve

Brown the chicken in a TBSP of olive oil. Add onions & pineapple. Saute for five or so minutes. Add sauce and garlic. Simmer another 5 - 10 minutes. Top with cilantro; serve over rice.

I suppose you could use canned chunks of pineapple if you really must - but there is no comparison between fresh and canned, in my opinion. Canned does have its place, for sure; I just prefer the fresh, and once you know how to peel and core it, it's very easy to just chop it up and put it in your fridge.

Also, pineapple contains an enzyme that helps the digestion of protein, so it's a good idea to have it with meat, actually. I could have made any number of desserts, but for some reason, this idea appealed to me the most tonight. And I have enough left-overs for a second meal tomorrow night.


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