Magazine article Sunset

Luau Cool: Mix Up Some Pineapple Drops and Dig into Our Luau: A Lighter, Finger Food-Style Version (No Whole Pig Necessary)

Magazine article Sunset

Luau Cool: Mix Up Some Pineapple Drops and Dig into Our Luau: A Lighter, Finger Food-Style Version (No Whole Pig Necessary)

Article excerpt

Let's face it, the word "luau" may conjure images of other decades:

Ahem, the 1950s and '60s and those ubiquitous aloha shirts, perhaps? But the menu we've put together--inspired by a luau story that Sunset published in 1965--is all modern-day fun, with Hawaii-grown produce (thanks to specialty stores and FedEx) and fruit-infused cocktails.

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Char siu-glazed pork and pineapple buns

SERVES 12 TIME 1 hour, plus brining time

Char siu--Chinese-style barbecued pork--is popular throughout the Islands. We've used its sweet, tangy glaze on pork tenderloin and pineapple, and then tucked both into Hawaiian sweet rolls.

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1/4 cup each kosher salt and packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp. Hawaiian vanilla extract*
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb. each)
1/2 cup each ketchup and hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. each toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, minced ginger, and low-
sodium soy sauce
12 slices of peeled and cored fresh pineapple
24 King's Hawaiian sweet rolls or other small soft rolls, warmed on the
grill if you like
1 cup cilantro sprigs

1. Make brine: In a large pot, bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil. Stir
in salt, brown sugar, and vanilla. Chill until cool.

2. Put pork in a 9-by-13-in. pan and pour on brine. Chill at least 3
hours and up to 12.

3. Make char siu glaze: In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, hoisin,
sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Pour half the sauce into
another small bowl.

4. Prepare grill for indirect medium heat (350[degrees] to
450[degrees]; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5
to 7 seconds). Lay pork over indirect-heat area and cook, covered,
until meat reaches 135[degrees] on a meat thermometer, 15 to 20
minutes.
5. Using a pastry brush and one bowl of glaze, cover pork with glaze,
saving 2 tbsp. for the pineapple. Cook pork (if using charcoal, add 6
to 8 briquets to maintain temperature), turning occasionally, until
glaze has caramelized slightly and meat thermometer reaches
145[degrees], 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, tent
with foil, and let rest 15 minutes.

6. Lay pineapple slices on direct-heat area of grill, brush with 2
tbsp. reserved glaze, and cook, turning once, until grill marks appear,
about 4 minutes per side. Remove slices from grill and cut in half.

7. Cut pork into 1/2-in. slices. Cut a deep diagonal slit across the
top of each roll. Fill each roll with a piece of pork, half a grilled
pineapple slice, a cilantro sprig, and 1/2 tsp. glaze from second bowl.
Serve rolls with remaining glaze for drizzling.

* Find aromatic Hawaiian vanilla extract at gourmet grocery stores and
hawaiianvanilla. com; non-Hawaiian vanilla extract works too.

Make ahead: Brine pork and make char siu glaze up to 1 day ahead.

PER SERVING 424 CAL., 25% (108 CAL.) FROM FAT; 26 G PROTEIN; 12 G FAT
(5.2 G SAT.); 53 G CARBO (3.2 G FIBER); 823 MG SODIUM; 87 MG CHOL.

Pineapple drops

MAKES 6 cocktails TIME 5 minutes, plus chilling time

Tangy and sweet, this drink pairs well with our luau, but is also good sipped solo. You'll need 6 cocktail skewers.

1 1/2 cups each pineapple juice and vodka
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Couple of lime wedges
About 1 cup sugar
Fresh pineapple, cut into 3/4-in. chunks

1. In a pitcher, mix pineapple juice, vodka, and lime juice, then chill
until cold.

2. Rub lime wedges around rims of 6 martini glasses. Pour sugar onto a
large plate. Dip rims of glasses in sugar. Divide vodka mixture among
glasses. Push a few pineapple chunks onto each skewer and set one in
each glass.

PER SERVING 169 CAL, 0% FROM FAT; 0.3 G PROTEIN; 0 G FAT; 10 G CARBO
(0 G FIBER); 1.3 MG SODIUM; 0 MG CHOL.

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Papaya and avocado salads with Hawaiian vanilla vinaigrette

SERVES 12 TIME 30 minutes, plus macerating time

These delicately floral, fruity salads are built on individual lettuce leaves, making them easy to pick up and eat. …

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