Friday, June 13, 2008

Rotisserie Pork Loin with Fire-Roasted Pineapple Salsa, Alooooohaaaaaa

I went to college in Pennsylvania. My roommate for three years was from Hawaii. There was a marked difference between the "CARE" packages we got from home. My mother's shipments revolved around chocolate chip cookies. My roommate, born in Hawaii to Japanese parents, would get far more exotic things.

It wasn't unusual to find him munching on dried seaweed skins or all sorts of bizarre candies, from sickly sour suckers to shrimp flavored gum. Yeah, that's right, shrimp flavored gum. Who thought that was a good idea?

About the only treats I'd even think about eating were the Macadamia Nuts and the Hawaiian Sweet Bread. A loaf of bread, made sweet, I think, by various island fruit juices. Today it's probably sweetened with corn syrup, but back then it felt exotic. It also made a heck of a French Toast.

Today's recipe is a tribute to the Islands. Besides eating seaweed strips, shrimp gum and sweet bread, my roommate always talked about slow-roasted pork with pineapple. Of course he meant the whole pig, placed on hot coals and buried underground. Nothing so labor intensive or dramatic as that here.

This recipe employs a rotisserie. No rotisserie!?, then simply grill the pork for about 40 minutes, turning once. It's done when the internal temp, measured with an instant read thermometer, reads 150 degrees (the pork will be slightly pink, but will finish cooking during the resting phase).

Rotisserie Pork Loin with Fire-Roasted Pineapple Salsa
adapted by Crabby from

1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon mild or hot chili powder
1/2 cup orange juice

3 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 boneless Pork Loin, approximately 2 pounds

1 small golden pineapple (about 1 1/2 pound), diced into 1-inch cubes

1/2 cup pineapple (or orange) juice

1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Mix tomato paste with chili powder. Combine with orange juice, lime juice and oil in a double resealable bag. Add pork loin and marinate at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat a large pan over high heat to the smoking point, 3 to 4 minutes. Brown pineapple 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pineapple juice and stir 1 minute, scraping up brown bits from pan. Remove pineapple from heat.

Combine pineapple in a bowl with pepper, onion and basil.

Pre-heat rotisserie burner or grill pan over high.

Remove pork from marinade and skewer on rotisserie, (Discard excess marinade). Mount spit onto grill and start mechanism.

Reduce heat to medium; cook, until pork is no longer pink and internal temperature is 150°F, this can take up to 1 hour depending on typical grill variables (heat of your burners, ambient temperature, etc).

When finished remove pork from spit, cover lightly with foil and let rest on cutting board.

Slice pork and spoon salsa over each serving.

There you go, easy as poi. Well, actually much easier than making poi, and tastier. Until next time, Aloha and Mahalo.

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