Come Party With Me: Technicolor Luau — Menu

Although the technicolor luau starts after dinner, I plan on providing guests with a quartet of savory bites. A pupu platter is a Polynesian-inspired spread of appetizers that combines crispy and soft textures. What's on it? Crunchy fried shrimp toasts, salty sweet bacon-wrapped pineapple, and beef teriyaki zucchini skewers. The fourth item isn't tropical, but simply a classic favorite that Fab requested I make: corn dogs! However, I'm not making just any old corn dog, these addictive ones have a blue cheese crust and are served on skewers. For the festive recipes, read more.

Pupu Platter

Pupu Platter

Pupu Platter

Ingredients

For shrimp toasts
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon medium-dry Sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 scallions, finely chopped
6 slices firm white sandwich bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch rounds (24 total)
About 6 cups vegetable oil for frying
For bacon-wrapped pineapple
12 slices bacon (about 3/4 lb), halved crosswise
1 (1 1/2-lb) pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 24 (1-inch) chunks
1 bunch scallions, greens cut into 5-inch-long pieces and halved lengthwise
For beef teriyaki
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger
1 medium zucchini
1/2 lb flatiron steak, cut across grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices

Directions

  1. Assemble shrimp toasts: Pulse shrimp, ginger, oil, Sherry, soy sauce, and egg white in a food processor to a coarse purée. Stir together with cilantro, scallions, and 1/4 tsp salt. Spread on bread (a scant Tbsp each).
  2. Make bacon-wrapped pineapple: Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.
  3. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around each pineapple chunk, then wrap scallion around outside, securing with a wooden pick. Arrange in a parchment-paper-lined 4-sided sheet pan. Bake, turning once, until bacon is crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make beef teriyaki: Stir together soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and ginger.
  5. Thinly slice zucchini lengthwise with slicer. Put each slice of steak on a slice of zucchini, then thread lengthwise onto a skewer. Brush with soy mixture. Arrange skewers, meat side up, on an oiled broiler pan.
  6. When pineapple has finished cooking, preheat broiler. Broil skewers 5 to 7 inches from heat until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, fry shrimp toasts: Heat 2 inches vegetable oil to 360°F in a 4-qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry 8 bread rounds, shrimp sides down, until browned, about 1 minute. Turn and fry until golden, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry remaining rounds.
  8. To serve: Arrange skewers, bacon-wrapped pineapple, and shrimp toasts on a platter.

Serves 6.

Make ahead: Shrimp toasts can be assembled 1 hour ahead and chilled. Pineapple can be wrapped with bacon and scallions 4 hours ahead and chilled. Skewers can be chilled 2 hours ahead; brush with soy mixture before broiling.

Blue Cheese Mini Corndogs

Blue Cheese Mini Corndogs

Blue Cheese Mini Corndogs

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. shortening
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup blue cheese
1 egg
3 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and finely crumbled or chopped
Oil for deep fat frying
6 jumbo beef franks, cut in half crosswise
12 6-inch wooden skewers
Honey mustard or mustard
Blue Cheese Dip (optional, see below)
Fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, dry mustard, and salt. Cut in the shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a blender combine milk, blue cheese, and egg; cover and blend until almost smooth.
  2. Add egg mixture to flour mixture along with bacon; mix well. (Batter will be thick.)
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat to 365 degrees F. (should take about 15 minutes).
  4. Insert skewers into ends of franks. Holding onto skewers, hold franks over bowl of cornmeal mixture. Spoon cornmeal mixture on franks and slightly spread to completely cover.
  5. Place coated franks, 3 or 4 at a time, on their sides in hot oil. Turn franks with tongs after about 10 seconds of cooking to prevent batter from sliding off. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until golden brown, turning to brown evenly. Remove and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Keep warm in a 200 degrees F. oven while frying remaining franks.
  6. Serve warm with honey mustard and/or Blue Cheese Dip. Sprinkle parsley.

Makes 12 appetizer corn dogs.

Make-Ahead: Make these fresh. Skewer hot dogs ahead of time, cover and refrigerate. Once fried, corn dogs can be kept warm in a 200 degree F oven up to 30 minutes.

Blue Cheese Dip: In medium bowl combine 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup dairy sour cream, 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

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