Lychees and soursop and quince, oh my! Guava and sapote and plantains, oh my!
Yes, my friends, it’s time to break out the flip flops and sunscreen because Central Market wants you to Taste the Tropics. With exotic tastes in every department, you cannot help but feel like you’re on vacation, even if you aren’t going anywhere for Spring Break!
Usually, I come up with several recipes for whatever Central Market is celebrating, but this month, there are so many good things in the store that I just couldn’t decide what to do. Instead, here are a couple of recipes straight from the chefs at Central Market. I’ve tested them, and they are GOOD!
PINEAPPLE BLACKENED SHRIMP BOATS
Yield2 shrimp boats
- 2/3 lbs shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 1 pineapple, split & hollowed out; save pineapple flesh
- 1/2 cup corn; fresh or frozen
- 1/4 cup diced red pepper
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced pineapple
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 2 tbs finely chopped cilantro for garnish
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs cooking oil
- 2 tbs sliced scallions for garnish
- 3 tbs cajun seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- Split pineapple down the middle, cutting through the stalk and pineapple
- Remove flesh and core from pineapple by carefully cutting the edges
- Try to avoid puncturing the skin of the pineapple
- Set usable pineapple chunks aside, discard core
- You will have more pineapple than you need for this dish
- Cook rice according to directions
- Sauté pineapple, corn, onion, and peppers in butter until onion is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
- Pat dry shrimp and coat in cajun seasoning to blacken shrimp
- If cajun is too spicy, use old bay or paprika for color
- Blacken shrimp in oiled pan over medium-high heat until fully cooked
- Mix cooked rice with pineapple mixture and shrimp
- Fill pineapple halves with shrimp and rice mixture
- Garnish with cilantro and scallions
CHOCOLATE DIPPED PINEAPPLE WITH COCONUT & MACADAMIA NUTS
- 1 Pineapple, peeled and cored
- 12 oz. dark chocolate, melted
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes, toasted
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper
- Slice peeled and cored pineapple into large circles
- Melt dark chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted thoroughly
- Dip pineapple circles in melted chocolate and place on tray
- Sprinkle with toasted coconut and macadamia nuts
- Let cool until chocolate hardens
The best part (in my opinion) of shopping at Central Market is that the people there know what they’re talking about. If you want to know how to make barbeque jackfruit (a GREAT meat substitute for vegans!), they will tell you. What to know how long you can store a dragon fruit? They know. And if you don’t have time to ask how to prepare jackfruit, Central Market’s website had step-by-step instructions!
One more thing. On Friday, March 8, Central Market is hosting a luau and tasting event from 5 to 8 pm! After strolling through the store to taste all sorts of exotic goodies, hang out on the patio for a while to enjoy live music, cold draft beer, and in-house-made gelato. No reservations are needed! So get over to Central Market and indulge in the flavors of the equator. Just don’t forget your sunscreen!