May 252010
 
In honor of the much anticipated (and slightly disappointing) Lost finale last night, and because I like any reason to throw a dinner party, I got together with one of my favorite cooking buddies and planned a Lost-themed menu.  Although we ended up opting for wine over my cocktail idea called “Sun and Jin” (made up of orange juice and Gin), we did make a few things that were inspired by the show and the characters.  I was in charge of the appetizer and the dessert, and Sam took care of the main course.


These tropical shrimp skewers have a delicious glaze made up of pineapple, brown sugar, garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce.  You blend together all those ingredients until they’re smooth.


Then you transfer it to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes until it’s a thick glaze.


While the sauce was glazifying, I put together my cute little skewers.  Alternate Shrimp, red pepper, and pineapple. 


Then you brush the glaze on the skewers and put that side down on a hot grill pan.  While that side is cooking, glaze the other side.  Flip after about 1 minute.  Paint some more glaze on and flip again.  and one more time.  And once more so each side gets a total of about 2 minutes.  They get amazingly carmelized and delicious.


If you want to be crafty/cheesy like me, you can save the top of the pineapple to use as a garnish on the platter.  These disappeared fast and I was sad when they were gone  (which is not how I feel about the show we were celebrating…as much as I loved it, it made my brain hurt and I’m somewhat relieved to be free of it).


Nutritional highlights:  Appetizers are one of those things that I have trouble making “healthy”.  Most of the tastiest appetizers (baked brie, bruschetta, spinach artichoke dip) are made up of some combination of bread and cheese and are lacking in nutrients.  This skewer is high in protein and also has pineapple (magnesium, vitamin C, and Vitamin B1 powerhouse), and red pepper (TONS of vitamin C and A).  There is absolutely no fat added to this dish which is pretty cool and your friends doing the low carb thing will be happy.  Perfect for summer bbq’s and Lost parties.

Pineapple Shrimp Skewers
Adapted from Chow

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups pineapple (about 1/2 of a pineapple) cut into small chunks 
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 20 shrimp
  • 10 small skewers
Directions:

1.  Toss in a blender/food processor: 1 cup diced pineapple, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. Blend until smooth.
2.  Transfer mixture into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in red pepper flakes.  Set aside until you’re ready to use (you can prepare a day in advance if you want)
3.  Skewer shrimp, alternating with pineapple and red pepper (try to cut the pieces to be about the same width as the shrimp so everything will touch the grill grates).
4.  Heat grill pan over high heat.  While it’s heating, paint one side of the skewers with the glaze.  Put that side down on the grill.  Now paint the other side.  After about 1 minute, turn the skewers and again, paint the top side with the glaze.  After another minute, repeat the process.  And one more time (so each side gets two rounds of saucing and grilling).  If you’re using larger shrimp, you might want to make each round a little bit longer but  I used little guys so they cooked really quickly.
5.  Arrange skewers on a platter with the pineapple top if you want to get fancy.  Enjoy!

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