Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ham-Fruit Ring

Oh goodness, I LOVE theme parties! And when I was invited to the Luau of the Mid Century Supper Club, I sought a vintage recipe that featured something semi-grody yet tropical, and hopefully also edible. (My history for this event has tended towards the disgusting, something I revel in: searching vintage cookbooks for The Grossest Concoction I can find, and actually making it!) But what with the rise in food costs, I decided that making something just for the Yuck factor was too wasteful. So I went to my trusty Betty Crocker green 1975 plastic recipe file, and found this recipe for what is much like a ham version of a Waldorf salad, nicely displayed inside rings of fresh pineapple. My goal was to accurately re-create the look of the dish from the photo on the card, which included laying each ring out on a bed of lettuce.

Though it was edible, it did pain me to sacrifice just about THE most perfect fresh pineapple to the cause. I saved a bit of it out to eat plain, and then forced myself to mix the rest up with sliced celery, ham and mayonnaise. It did look great, but along with much Luau food, not much of it was actually eaten that day. At that particular event, the cocktails were the biggest hit. Oh, those any my friend Lynn’s stellar pineapple-upside down cake, which I think I actually ate THREE pieces of. I’m sorry, cake? Beats ham ANYTIME!

Ham-Fruit Ring

1 medium pineapple
½ pound canned ham, cut into bite-size pieces
2 medium stalks celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 cup seedless grapes
¾ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
½ cup chopped salted peanuts or slivered almonds
Lettuce leaves
Seedless grapes

Remove top from pineapple; cut pineapple crosswise into 4 or 5 slices. Cut pineapple from each slice, leaving 1/2 –inch ring as pictured; reserve rings. Core and cut up pineapple. Toss 2 cups of the pineapple with the ham, celery and 1 cup grapes.

Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, ginger and garlic salt; toss with ham mixture. Just before serving, fold in peanuts. Arrange reserved pineapple rings on lettuce leaves; fill with ham mixture. Garnish with grapes. 4 or 5 servings.