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.
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
- 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).
- Make bacon-wrapped pineapple: Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, make beef teriyaki: Stir together soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and ginger.
- 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.
- When pineapple has finished cooking, preheat broiler. Broil skewers 5 to 7 inches from heat until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
- 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.
- To serve: Arrange skewers, bacon-wrapped pineapple, and shrimp toasts on a platter.
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.
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
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)
- 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.
- Add egg mixture to flour mixture along with bacon; mix well. (Batter will be thick.)
- Meanwhile, heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat to 365 degrees F. (should take about 15 minutes).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.