I finally found some sugar cane and wanted to use it.
I’ve always wanted to make something on a sugar cane skewer and now I have. And now that I have I may just save it for drink skewers. This recipe would have been much faster using ordinary wooden skewers. That said, don’t worry about looking for sugar cane, just get out those long pics.
Many years ago before using the internet, I use to look up newspaper food pages (usually on a Wednesday or Thursday) to see what foods were popular (I guess now we would say “trending”) in that area. The Courier-Journal in Louisville’s food pages can still be accessed. If you have time, try typing in some of your favorite city’s newspapers. The Citizen-Times in Asheville offers a 30 day free look. The Post and Courier from Charleston has free access to their recipes. If you want to see what’s happening on the other side of the US (from me anyway) Napa Valley Register offers free access too.
I just read an article about what was the favorite foods from each state. Results were crazy. In almost all states, by far, the winning type of food was pizza. Of course, Texas had Mexican food winning out as did Colorado and California. Hawaii’s favorite food was bakery items.
I found this recipe that was posted in the New York Times and decided to add a little bacon (never hurts) and some fresh pineapple. I’ve been wanting to skewer something on a sugar cane skewer for a long time and I just found these at Whole Foods so knew I was going to have to come up with a recipe. NYT’s marinade seemed to be the perfect fit for the shrimp/bacon/pineapple combo.
The day I made these skewers we had just returned from Austin and our grandson Thomas’ 2nd birthday party. I had made stick horses, goodie bags from the other grandma with horses, books, bandanas and other fun things. Our food wasn’t your typical 2-year-old birthday party. We had samoas with ponzu sauce, chicken tenders with mango salsa, wrap spirals, finger sandwiches, crudités tray, cheeses and meats. We had it all along with a few cocktail type drinks (not for the kids of course) and a birthday cake with a big barn and animals all over it. So the point to all of this is that the mango salsa was getting ready to be thrown away so I rescued it and the night I made these skewers I cooked some basmati rice and after it cooked, I drained and added in the mango salsa. So if you ever find yourself with some fruit salsas left over, just cook some rice and add it in.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: It has been 7 years since I posted this recipe (one of my first post) for Southwest Open Faced Chicken Sandwich and it has had almost 9,000 views. I really need to make it again and take a better picture because I didn’t know much (still don’t) about blogging pictures.
Most of the ingredients for the skewer.
Ingredients for the glaze. I had some coconut rum so decided to use that. The recipe calls for dark rum.
Put the glaze ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil then simmer for 5-6 minutes until reduce by half.
Oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper make up the marinade for the shrimp. You could add in a little cayenne or chili powder if you want a little more heat.
The skewers are made up of pineapple, jalapeño, shrimp (missing in the pic), bacon and the sugar cane (or wooden skewers).
After marinating the shrimp, it gets skewered with the jalapeño, pineapple and wrapped in bacon. Using the sugar cane meant that I had to use a metal skewer to make a hole through the ingredients because the sugar cane was not strong enough to push through on its own.
The glaze caused some flare ups on the grill. I’m sure that was because of the sugar and butter. If you broiled or baked these at 450° in the oven you may not have that problem. Next time we will glaze these right at the end of the cooking.
See those flare ups. Also, I’m thinking about trying prosciutto because without all the fat that the bacon has, it might not flare so much.
I served Thai Sweet Chili Sauce on the side. Eat as an appetizer or put on top of some nice mango salsa rice for an entree.
I have to explain the canned asparagus. I love fresh asparagus and I love canned asparagus. We had just returned that day from Austin and grandson Thomas’ second birthday party and I wanted to make these skewers but didn’t want to go to the store to buy a vegetable so there’s always canned asparagus in my pantry and since it was just the two of us, we didn’t care that it wasn’t fresh
- 24 extra-large shrimp (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sugar cane stalk, cut into skewers
- fresh pineapple
- bacon, cut in half
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup dark rum
- 3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon each cinnamon, ground cloves and black pepper
- Place shrimp in a mixing bowl and stir in oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Marinate 15 minutes while you prepare glaze and skewers.
- Place ingredients for glaze in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until thick and syrupy, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Cut swizzle sticks in half widthwise, and cut one end off each piece sharply on diagonal. Resulting skewers should be about 5 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.
- Get your grill ready and preheat to high.
- Brush oil on grill grates.
- Take a piece of pineapple and put into the curve of the shrimp then wrap in 1/2 piece of bacon.
- Using a metal skewer, make two small holes in the top and the bottom of each shrimp, going through bacon and shrimp. This will let your sugar cane skewer go in easier.
- Insert a sugar cane skewer through the holes. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
- Grill the shrimp kebabs until cooked, about 2 minutes a side and bacon has crisp up a little. Generously baste with the glaze before and after you turn the skewers. Serve any remaining glaze as a sauce on the side.
- I like to serve mine with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce on the side for extra dipping.