Tailgating in Style: Autumn, 1999 (pg 28-29)

    Andrew Pantano, executive chef and co-owner of Culinary Creations ® in Hillsborough, also stresses simplicity, but that doesn't mean the meal has to be predictable and boring. "sometimes people get into a rut with a specific cuisine," says Pantano. "They think Italian and red sauce, or Asian and seafood; they stay within a very narrow definition of each ethnic cuisine. I try to get them to broaden their food horizons. I like to take a traditional food and add a new spice or ingredient from another country to give the dish a little more personality, a creative flair."

    Pantano and co-owner Antonia Manzi, the companies executive pastry chef, have designed a tailgating menu that combines popular standbys such as crab-cakes, shrimp skewers, and grilled flank steak with interesting Asian influenced ingredients. For dessert, they choose a selection of cookie bars, including rolled oat and dried cherry bars, sun-dried cranberry and hazelnut triangles and pineapple coconut macadamia bars.

    "People want their parties to stand out in the minds of their guests. The best way to do that is to serve flavorful food that makes good use of color, contrast and texture," says Pantano. We've listed recipes for the Asian shrimp skewers and pineapple coconut macadamia bars, both of which are simple, delicious ways to spice up an otherwise ordinary menu. (shown below)

Asian Shrimp Skewers Pineapple-Coconut-Macadamia Bars
Ingredients Ingredients
  • 6 wooden skewers
  • 30 large shrimp, peeled and cleaned, w/tail on
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 cup coconut, shredded
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts chopped

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 2 small Red Bird peppers diced small (or other spicy hot peppers)

  • 1 tsp garlic, minced

  • 2 stalks scallion, finely minced

  • 1 tsp ginger, grated

  • 4 medium-ripe plums, pits removed

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 3/4 cup shrimp or chicken broth

  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

  • 1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into small cubes
  • 3 cups macadamia nuts, chopped and toasted
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Procedure Procedure
  1. Soak skewers in water for at least six hours, preferably overnight. Skewers shrimp from head to tail, five per skewer.
  2. Dust shrimp with flour
  3. mix soy sauce with eggs, and dip shrimp skewer into egg mixture.
  4. Combine the coconut and macadamia nuts, and dredge shrimp skewer in the mixture.
  5. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the peppers and sauté for 1 minute.
  6. Add the garlic, scallions and ginger. Cook for one minute, or until garlic tans.
  7. Add plums, soy sauce, broth and sugar, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Blend or purée by hand. Return to the stove and cook until reduced to a glaze consistency.
  9. Preheat grill on medium-low heat.
  10. Brush skewers with glaze, place them on the grill and cook until shrimp are cooked through, approximately 3 minutes per side, glazing each side as the skewer is turned. Yield: 6 servings
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 3x9-inch loaf pan with butter and flour.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together eggs and almond extract
  4. Add mixture to dry ingredients and fold in pineapple.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Let loaf cool in the pan before removing and cutting into bars.