Our football pals have never asked for fruit on the table at our Game Day gatherings. Somebody always brings the fresh veggies that we use to scoop up the dips, but fruit never entered the conversations about football food. Until this year.
After Sheila and I got over our surprise, we chatted and came up with a way to keep the diehard ‘meat only’ guys and gals happy and to accept the intruder onto the tried and true menu. Veggies are a way to deliver dips, but fruit? It’s more like dessert to our crowd.
Bacon & pineapple – that’s the combo. We fixed a few spears of pineapple and bacon, and surrounded the platter with straight pineapple and whole slices of bacon – for those that liked either one, but not the two together.
Take a look at the easy prep and give it a try at home. There were a few scowls when the platter first came out, but I promise you, nobody died that tried it.
This may be the hardest part of the whole process – Choosing the ripe whole pineapple: hold the pineapple in one hand while pushing against the slightly yellowed/golden sections near the bottom with the other hand. If the sections give a bit, the pineapple is most likely ripe. Give it a sniff as well. There should be a mild pineapple aroma when up close with your nose. No give? No aroma? The pineapple is not likely to be ripe enough for this dish.
Fresh pineapple is very juicy, so keep that in mind when choosing the cutting surface. Using a large knife, carefully remove the crown and the base. Then, slice off the outer pineapple skin, just enough to get rid of the rough and brown parts. For this recipe, you will keep the fleshy part, but toss the crown, the core, and the outer rough skin.
- 1 whole ripe pineapple
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 pound center cut bacon
- Optional: pineapple rings for decoration
- Keep the pineapple upright and slice sections from top to bottom, each about six inches long. Then slice those sections into inch wide spears, about 11-12 in all.
- Cut 11-12 strips of bacon in half and arrange on parchment or aluminum foil lined shallow baking dish (or cookie tray with sides).
- Bake the 22-24 pieces at 375 degrees for ten minutes only and remove from oven.
- The partially cooked bacon pieces will shrink a bit, but should still be long enough to wrap once around the pineapple.
- Cut pineapple spears in half, about 3” long each.
- Place brown sugar in a bowl and roll each pineapple spear in the sugar, lightly coating.
- Line the bottom of a clean, shallow baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Wrap one piece partially cooked bacon around one pineapple piece, tucking the bacon ends underneath the pineapple, then place in the clean baking dish, tucked ends on the bottom.
- Repeat the wrapping process until all the bacon halves have been used.
- Bake tray of bacon wrapped pineapple for an additional 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees until bacon is cooked all the way through, nicely browned.
Remove from cooking dish, drain if necessary, and place onto serving platter. Can be eaten warm or cold.