Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pineapple Casserole

So, last June, the Indiana Chi Alpha staff converged on a retreat in Southern Indiana. The name of the place escapes me at the moment, but the food we had there was unlike any camp food I had ever experienced! It was amazing! More like a fancy buffet meal than camp, really.

The second night there, the cafeteria lady manning the buffet table was really pushing this odd looking salad/casserole looking dish. I asked what it was and she simply said, "You have to try it!" My immediate response, as most people would respond, was "But, what is it?" This went on for about a minute and I took a serving of it (mostly to just appease her) and placed it next to my plate until I had finished the rest of my dish.

The reason I waited was the look of the thing. I mean, it really wasn't that appealing in looks and it appeared to have cheese mixed with pineapple. I know, a really odd combo!

However, all my doubts were erased when I gathered up enough courage to at least simply put a bite of the stuff in my mouth! It was amazing! So savory! Just the right balance of tangy and sweet with a light crunchy crumble topping.

I know the ingredients list is a little off-putting, but if you simply try this, it will all make sense. Your taste buds WILL thank you! I promise!

 Pineapple Casserole:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
  •      (I omit the reserved juice because it always turns out too runny with)
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a medium-size casserole dish with butter.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple chunks, and stir until ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

In another medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and reserved pineapple juice, stirring with a rubber spatula until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

I was making this for a ladies get-together at our church so I doubled it. Frankly, since my family has tried this, I can't not double this recipe even when it's just my husband, our kid and myself eating it. It's that good!

Hopefully, the picture taking will improve over the course of the year. These were taken with my Droid phone because my husband was charging the Nikon. Also, learning staging is on the agenda! :^D

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