I am so pleased this post and recipe are sponsored by Tracy’s Gourmet. Thank you for working with me, Tracy, and for allowing me to use your healthy, delicious dressings in new, unique, and tasty ways. Today, I’m bringing you Hawaiian Pineapple Ham Skewers with Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Rice, both featuring Tracy’s coconut oil-based Aloha Kick! Dressing and Marinade. Let’s make some, shall we?
Another recipe you might enjoy is my sweet and spicy pork egg rolls.
I really enjoy working with Tracy’s Gourmet to develop outside the box but accessible and delicious recipes featuring her dressings. This month, I’m featuring Aloha Kick! Dressing and Marinade.
Tracy’s Gourmet Aloha Kick! Dressing and Marinade
Of Tracy’s Gourmet‘s dressing offerings, Aloha Kick! is probably the one with the most assertive flavor. While pineapple is the first flavor I taste, the coconut oil offers a background of mild, well-rounded coconut flavor that lingers on the palate. The kick in Aloha Kick! is just a hint of a peppery bite in the finish. Really delicious stuff.
I am especially a fan of the short, natural and largely organic ingredient list: Organic pineapple juice, Organic coconut oil, Bottled lemon juice, vinegar, Marmalade, Spices, and Citric Acid as a natural preservative. The marmalade gives just the slightest bitter edge to the dressing which helps to anchor the top notes of pineapple. I also think the pectin in the marmalade together with the lovely texture of coconut oil lend this dressing a certain viscosity that other companies might get with the addition of starches or gums. It’s an elegant and tasty solution.
Interested in giving Aloha Kick! a try? You can buy Aloha Kick! from Tracy’s Gourmet or, if you’re in the Triangle, check the site for where to buy in the area.
Hawaiian Pineapple Ham Skewers with Sweet and Hot Pineapple Rice
Because of Aloha Kick‘s pineapple-coconut flavor profile–not to mention the name itself–my mind immediately went to Hawaii, and from there it was just a short hop to get to Spam.
Hawaii leads all 50 of the United States in Spam consumption. Hawaiians’ love for Spam began during World War II and continues to this day. According to Huffington Post, Hawaiians consume about 7 million cans of Spam per year. That’s a lot of Spam! And I’d like to think that at least some of that Spam is enjoyed skewered with pineapple, red onion and sweet, crunchy peppers.
The Aloha Kick! works beautifully as the marinade for the Spam. I mixed it with a touch of chili powder and some freshly ground black pepper and let the meat marinate for 24 hours. Magically (or osmotically, at least), the marinade pulled some of the salt out of the meat while depositing sweet pineapple-coconut flavor. Truly so good! Once everyone got threaded onto bamboo skewers, they all got a quick brush with the marinade and a light sprinkle of salt (the vegetables really need some) before I grilled them up in my grill pan. Feel free to grill outdoors as well.
The sweet and hot pineapple rice is a really quick pilaf that complements the meat and vegetables nicely.
If you are not a Spam Fan, you can also use cubes of ham, although I don’t think the marinade will be as effective with ham. If you’ve never had Spam and have secretly always wanted to try it, or if you already love it, this is the recipe for you, no substitutions necessary!
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- 1/2 cup Tracy's Gourmet Aloha Kick! Dressing and Marinade
- 1-2 teaspoons your favorite chili powder, to taste
- several grindings fresh black pepper
- 1 can Spam cut into 3/4" cubes
For the Skewers
- 12-15 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- fresh pineapple cut into 1 1/2" chunks
- red onion sections
- red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
- 1/4 cup Tracy's Gourmet Aloha Kick Dressing and Marinade
- 1/2 teaspoon your favorite chili powder
- several grindings fresh black pepper
- kosher salt, to taste
For the Pineapple Rice
- 2 Tablespoons Tracy's Gourmet Aloha Kick! Dressing and Marinade
- 1/2 cup onion, small dice
- 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, small dice
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup long-grained rice, (I like Jasmine or Basmati for this)
- 1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice, (just blend some of your fresh pineapple in a blender)
- 1 1/2 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1-2 Tablespoons sriracha, chile garlic paste, or your favorite hot sauce, to taste
- 1/2 cup (loosely measured) chopped cilantro
- Chopped cilantro
- green onion, , sliced on the bias
- In a small bowl, combine the Aloha Kick!, chili powder and black pepper.
- Place the cubed Spam in a single layer in a small, shallow container with a tight-fitting lid. You could also use a heavy-duty zip top bag.
- Pour the marinade over the Spam. Seal the lid tightly (or press out as much air as you can and sip the bag shut). Give the container a shake and refrigerate for 24 hours, shaking the container when you think about it.
- When you're ready to grill, retrieve your marinating Spam from the fridge and assemble your chopped fruit and vegetables.
- Thread foods onto the skewer in whatever order seems good to you. I did red onion-Spam-pineapple-2 pieces of pepper-red onion-Spam-pineapple-two pieces of pepper-red onion. You can do yours however you see fit.
- Mix up the 1/4 cup Aloha kick, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and black pepper. Brush this lightly over all surfaces of the skewers.
- Lightly salt the fruit and vegetables.
- Heat the grill pan over medium heat until hot. You can lightly brush with neutral oil, but I think there is enough coconut oil in the marinade to keep from having to do that.
- Grill on all sides until vegetables are slightly softened and you get some nice grill marks, about 5-6 minutes total.
For the Pineapple Rice
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot.
- Add the Aloha Kick and allow to heat.
- Add onion, pineapple, salt and pepper, turn down the heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and are getting a bit of color and the pineapple is somewhat caramelized.
- Add the cup of rice and cook/stir another couple of minutes.
- Pour in the pineapple juice, water or chicken broth and sriracha and heat.
- Taste for salt, pepper, and spice, and adjust if necessary.
- Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, then reduce the heat to maintain a bare simmer.
- Cook for 17 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, remove lid, fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the cilantro.
- Cover with the lid and let sit on the burner (turned off) for an additional 5 minutes.
- Portion and garnish with cilantro and green onions.
Time does not reflect marinating time of 24 hours.
To serve, you can either leave the meat, fruit and vegetables on the skewers and serve the rice on the side, or you can serve everything off the skewers on a bed of rice.
Enjoy the Hawaiian Pineapple Ham Skewers, friends, and have a lovely day.
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