Pineapple Shrimp Skewers Nestled Atop a Rainbow Slaw

Leftovers may or may not exist in your fridge, but now that it’s December the turkey and taters can be put to rest, and the lighter fare can least for a few weeks. I've dabbled in this recipe before, but I wanted to take a fresh twist on its already star-studded flavors. The recipe originally called for a bed of tortilla chips, but we opted for an orange fennel red cabbage slaw. What I like about this recipe is that there is such an impressive range of flavors that anyone could find something to love. The spice from the jalapeño pesto packs a jolt, but the pineapple glaze brings the kick down a notch. The coleslaw ties all of the flavor layers in one tangy, crunchy finale.

I first had this meal when my now husband made this as an anniversary dinner. I arrived home, my white and red scalloped apron draped over his 6’2” figure, and he was using the blender without the lid on. Little did I know he was concocting a jalapeño pesto that would become a staple in our kitchen.

For a new twist on an old favorite we decided to glaze the shrimp in a pineapple reduction instead of just sautéing the mixture in a pan. We skewered raw shrimp and pineapple chunks and placed it on the cast-iron pan to give it a nice crisp while keeping every piece intact.

While my husband was concocting this glazed masterpiece, I was busy chopping the slaw to barely there slices. The slaw was very simple, almost therapeutic as I nonchalantly tossed it in orange juice-ginger vinaigrette. The citrus and licorice-like fennel was a nice complement to rather bland, though crunchy and lovely, red cabbage. The recipe called for scallions, but I used more red cabbage and fennel to make up for its absence. The speedy preparation of the slaw didn't sacrifice any flavor because each ingredient offered its individual yumminess to come together into one delightful dish. All this talk of healthier foods is of course only for a short while until Christmas comes, and the pies parade out ready to taunt to us again.

The recipe for the jalapeño pesto can be found here.

The recipe for the slaw can be found here.

Ingredients for Pineapple Glaze

2 cups pineapple

2 splashes white wine vinegar

1 tsp paprika

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 splash soy sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

Directions for Pineapple Glaze

Blend all ingredients together. Transfer to a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil on medium heat. Once boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Directions for Pineapple-Skewered Shrimp

Toss pineapple in raw sugar. Skewer shrimp and pineapples and glaze. Coat cast iron pan with olive oil spray and heat on medium. Place two skewers glazed side down, then rub glaze on the top side. Cook for two minutes, flip, glaze and cook for another two minutes. Top with jalapeño pesto.


Spoon desired amount of slaw on plate, add skewers and dab pesto on shrimp.

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