Hosting a winter luau can break up the dreariness of cold weather days with a touch of tropical summer inspiration. The key to hosting a successful winter luau is to combine some traditional Hawaiian ingredients with classic comfort foods. Here are some ideas you can discuss with your party catering company to create a delicious and festive party menu.
Canned Ham Mac And Cheese
Canned ham is a popular ingredient in Hawaii, and you can find recipes for everything from fried rice to sushi using this unique and common ingredient. Adding it to a traditional macaroni and cheese recipe creates a soothing comfort food that draws inspiration from the islands. Consider having your caterer serve it in small bowls or shot glasses as an appetizer and introduction to the meal. If you want to serve it up as a side, be sure to add at least one protein other than pork to your menu. This can help prevent the meal from becoming too salty or heavy.
Grilled Poke Bowls
Poke can be served as an appetizer or main dish, and it typically features raw fish and vegetable accompaniments. Instead of serving cold food at your winter luau, add a twist to this classic by using grilled or seared fish. Ahi tuna or salmon are great options for adding cooked fish to your poke bowls. You can also work with the catering company to create a grilled chicken poke bowl for those guests who aren't fans of seafood. Be sure to have plenty of freshly sliced veggies, such as cucumbers, radishes, and avocados, to the bowls for perfectly balanced flavor.
Pulled Pork Done Two Ways
Slow-roasting a pig in the sand using the traditional Hawaiian methods is likely not possible for a winter luau, but you can add a play on this by having your catering company create a couple of different pulled pork dishes. Pulled pork with a sweet pineapple barbecue sauce draws inspiration from the islands, while a more simple version seasoned with traditional herbs and spices can mimic the flavors of a traditionally roasted pig. Offer rolls or buns to invite guests to make their own sandwiches or simply have guests serve themselves a helping without a bread option.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Pineapple upside down cake combines traditional Hawaiian flavors with a classic comfort dessert. Your catering company can use a traditional recipe or get creative by adding guava, mango, or other tropical fruit garnishes to complete this classic cake. For a beautiful plate, be sure that each piece contains a whole pineapple ring on top. If you are setting up a buffet, ask the catering company to use fresh fruits to decorate the area around the serving trays. You may also want to use some of those fresh fruits to create a dessert salad to accompany the cake.
If you need more inspiration or additional help, reach out to a company like Marians Island Wide Catering.