Maybe you can't jet off to Hawaii this summer, but you can add the spirit of the islands to your next grilling party.
Hawaii has its very own barbecue celebration, the luau, which traditionally involves pit-roasted suckling pig, a variety of fresh fruit, tropical sides, and multi-colored leis -- all easy to re-create in your own backyard. Add some tiki drinks and ukulele music, and your guests will be swaying their hips to the beat in no time flat.
Here's everything you need to throw a Hawaiian luau-themed party that will have your guests talking for weeks to come:
-A whole-roasted pig cooked in an pit is likely beyond your capabilities (not to mention fire code), but you can slow-roast Kalua Pork on the grill and it comes out just as tasty. The Tasty Island has easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions (with photos!) of how to do this for your luau main course without burning the whole house down.
-Grill up bite-sized kabobs for a precursor to the main event. Pineapple and chicken skewers will lend a little tropical flair. Or, thread marinated shrimp on sticks of sugar cane, and grill away!
-The coconut is typically the food most associate with the islands and the inspiration for this tropical summer side: Ginger Coconut Fried Rice. Here's how to make it:
- 1 cup uncooked Texmati or Basmati rice
- 3/4 cup canned unsweetened reduced-fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
- 2 carrots, diced
- 6 scallions, chopped
- 2 tbsp. sweetened, flaked coconut
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1. In a medium sized pot over high heat, combine one cup water, rice, coconut milk, ginger, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Cover, simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over high heat. Add carrots, scallions, coconut, and garlic.
3. Cook, stirring constantly, until carrots soften slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice mixture. Cook, stirring frequently until rice is lightly browned and no longer sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in cilantro and zest.
-For dessert, add toasted Macadamia nuts to your favorite chocolate brownie recipe, and serve with fresh tropical fruit trays.
-Of course, fun, fruity drinks are a must for any Hawaiian-themed celebration. Serve mai tais, margaritas, pina coladas, etc. in a hollowed-out coconut to make it even more festive!
Image via AnnieGreenSprings/Flickr