Thursday Recipe Exchange: Challenge Accepted

Before there was Bennifer, before there was Bradgelina, before anyone thought about using a portmanteau to create romantic links ad nauseam, there was the original. The one. The only. SPAM. That undeniable (some would say inedible) combination of spice and ham, first canned in 1937. (Yeah, I can’t believe I’m writing this either.)

Last week commenter Martin challenged JeffreyW and me to come up with SPAM recipes. How we got to that I have no idea. Not one to be intimidated by a challenge, I consulted with JeffreyW and then said, “eh, let’s not”. Too late. JeffreyW was off and running. His first batch of entries can be found here (and they are works of art, truly).

I reluctantly dove in and you can find my entries here. I was unimpressed, no matter how creative I got in the kitchen. But JeffreyW soldiered on and here are his final two entries, as tonight’s featured recipes. In the end, I’d say we had fun.

SPAM on.

Pictured above, SPAM Fried Rice. From JeffreyW:

Mrs J opted to eat the fried rice, she liked it. Has the Spam, onions, a minced clove of garlic, grated carrots, green peas, a fried scrambled egg in strips, a dash of soy sauce and a few drops of fish sauce – garnished with thin green onion slices.

And the coup de grâce, also from JeffreyW:

Gallina de Madre

  • 4 thick-cut slices country bread
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 thin slices SPAM
  • 4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay bread out on a sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toast lightly. Spoon a dollop of béchamel (recipe below) onto each toast. Arrange 2 slices of SPAM on each slice of toast, make a small indentation so the egg will sit in it. Crack egg and drop onto each slice of SPAM/toast. Bake in oven until eggs are just cooked but the yolk is still slightly runny, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Bechamel:

  • 1/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Dash of grated whole nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly to incorporate – you do not want any color. Gradually pour in the milk as you stir, and whisk out any lumps. As the mixture thickens up continue to stir until it reaches a boil – this ensures that the flour is cooked completely. Season and set aside.

(adapted from a FoodNetwork recipe)

I would say challenge accepted and we prevailed. You can meet us in the kitchen end zone for the victory dance.  (h/t jeffreyw)

SPAM Challenge, Part Deux

Can. Not. Believe. We did this. This is the second of three (3!) Spam posts. The last will serve as the Thursday Recipe Exchange tomorrow. I had checked in with JeffreyW earlier in the week, letting him know we’d been challenge. Then I got busy and was about to scrap the entire idea when he informed me he had already begun. Well, if he was going to jump in, I figured I’d jump in with him.

Never having eaten SPAM before, I really didn’t even know where to begin. I googled a couple of things but nothing sparked me. JeffreyW had already covered a lot of ground. I decided to keep it simple and came up with the pineapple-SPAM-Kabobs, pictured above and the SPAM Pasta Salad below.

For the Kabobs, I soaked wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before using. I cut the SPAM in large squares and alternated with peppers and pineapple. I grilled until lightly browned on all sides, then coated them lightly in barbecue sauce mixed with pineapple juice. Cooked an additional 3 minutes. Pretty easy.

For the Pasta Salad, I made small SPAM cubes, then I crushed fennel seeds and dried oregano together and mixed with bread crumbs. I dredged the cubed SPAM in the crumbs and fried in olive oil until golden. I cooked tri-colored pasta and tossed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, tomatoes and the SPAM. Again, pretty easy.

This was fun and I enjoyed getting creative in the kitchen again. Would I do it again? Probably not. No matter how you dress it up, it’s still SPAM. But YMMV.

That’s not all there is. Stay tuned for more tomorrow night! Two more excellent JeffreyW creations. Until then…

Spam Challenge

TaMara accepted a challenge the other day:  “Betcha can’t make Spam into something good!  Neener  neener  neener!”

I, as her champion, picked up the thrown gauntlet and then spiked it into the end zone and did a recipe dance that had the local bees envious of my wiggle. (I have a stand machine from Kitchen-Aid so mixing metaphors is not as hard as it looks.)I fortified myself with a hearty breakfast of Spam hash with fresh chilies and topped that with an egg.  The challengers try to look like they are not impressed.  HehI whip up some Spam sliders.  Mmm… three bites of heavenly grilled Spam with cheddar and fixin’s.  Yeah and those rash boys are nervously eying each other.  I spot one licking his lips all sly and furtive.I’m just getting warmed up now.  Take that!  A grilled Spam Reben – my home made sauerkraut with Swiss and thousand island dressing.  They reel!  In for the kill now, no mercy!  But wait!  With a grin and a wink I pass more recipes to my Fair Lady.  She will deliver the coup de gras.  Stay tuned for the final beat down, coming to this blog Thursday.  Thursday!  When the big dogs run!