Pepper jack cheese is a derivative of Monterey Jack, that has the intensity of spicy hot peppers for a zesty flavor. Spicy, delicate, soft & with a slightly tart flavor, pepper jack cheese is my very favorite.
(To deviate a little bit from the recipe, I love the old fashioned Sepia kind of tones in the above picture, caused by the the natural light of the evening sun…I love the shadows & the way the wine in the glass in the shadow curves up.)
Now back to the jack…Pepper jacks pairs extremely well with slightly sweet wines & that is how this recipe came into existence. Just before a party when I was planning to prepare pepper jacks for the cheese plate & cracker toppings, I decided to do the sweet & spicy on the stick – in small little bites….
This is probably the easiest recipes I have ever posted. Arjun & me are not too fond of cheese; we use cheese minimally in our food. This however became a BIG time favorite at home & with our friends ever since the first time.
Pineapple & Pepper Jack
- Pepper Jack/Habanero Jack Cheese, cut into cubes
- Pineapples (fresh or canned), cubed
Cut the Cheese in bite size cubes & set aside.
Cut the pineapples in bite size cubes (slightly larger than the cheese, for they will reduce once cooked).
Heat a griddle/pan, & put the pineapple cubes on the pan; cook all sides till the pineapples are golden brown – they caramelize because of the sugar in them. If you are using fresh pineapple, you might need to add a little bit of sugar to initiate the caramelization. (Do not overcook the fruit or they will get soft. the cubes still need to stay firm.)
Put the cheese & the pineapple on the toothpicks & serve as individual servings.
These are delightful bites; simply the greatest appetizers to go with wine for parties. Till date, these ones are the first ones to disappear & I never ever had any leftovers. For me the spicier the cheese the better, so I often go for the Habanero jack Cheese. Use milder flavors if you cannot handle the heat, but a little bit of fire is required to balance the sweet of the pineapple.
Some Notes about the Pepper Jack Cheese:
It is an American cow’s milk cheese which blends the spicy bits of peppers, especially jalapeños with the creamy cheese. Some varieties of pepper jack cheese are named for the peppers they contain, like Habanero jack & also the Serrano jack. The cheese melts extremely well, making it perfect for things like fiery pizzas, & quesadillas & I always make my quesadillas with the pepper jack. The moist texture also makes it ideal for grating, so a sprinkle the grated pepper jack cheese goes on my salads as well.