Thursday, July 10, 2008

Adventures in Spam

Spamology 101

Well, my friends, Nellie has been busy exploring the world of Spam. And I don’t mean the kind that clogs up your inbox, I mean the edible kind, made by Hormel Foods.

Every year in mid-July or so, the city of Fremont, Nebraska hosts a 3 day party known as “John C. Fremont Days” in honor of (who else?) John C. Fremont, the explorer, pioneer and early day settler for whom the community is named. One of the events of this celebration is the annual Spam Cookoff. Nellie has her heart set on participating in the cookoff and with that in mind has been exploring the weird and wonderful world of cooking with Spam. Did you know they make more than one kind now? The pork products include the original flavor, a bacon flavor, a Hickory smoke flavor, and a lite version of each one as well as a couple of turkey versions, all available in the regular 12 oz size can and a 7 oz can.

Anyway, due to a number of reasons, the details of which would bore you to tears, Nellie missed the deadline for recipe submission to the officials and judges and will not be in the Spam cookoff this year.

However, the research and development in preparation for this much anticipated and exalted event has yielded some interesting results which Nellie is now sharing with you.
Good luck. And if you don’t care for Spam, ask for a suitable substitute in the comments and Nellie will gladly and graciously respond.

Melt 4 Tblsp bacon fat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Saute ½ cup chopped Vidalia onion and ½ cup finely chopped celery in fat until vegetables are soft. Stir in 1 cup uncooked, long-cooking white rice and 4 cloves roasted garlic. Cook, stirring constantly over low heat until rice is milky and opaque and the garlic cloves are incorporated. Stir in one 14 oz can vegetable stock, ½ julienned roasted green pepper, ½ julienned roasted red pepper, ½ tsp Louisiana hot sauce and 1 Tblsp Nellie’s Creole seasoning. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer 20-25 minutes until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, cut one 12 oz can Hickory smoke Spam and one 12 oz can turkey Spam into large (about 1-1 ½ inch) cubes. Over medium heat in a lightly oiled skillet, lightly brown the Spam cubes. Stir the cubes into rice mixture when rice is fully cooked. Add one 14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained and one 6 oz can tomato paste. Cook over medium low heat until all is heated through.

Personal Breakfast Bowl
Lightly butter an oven proof cereal or salad bowl. Tear one slice bread into fine cubes and place in bowl. Over the bread cubes, sprinkle ½ Tblsp minced onion, ¼ cup of your favorite shredded cheese and ¼ cup finely diced Bacon flavored Spam. Tear another bread slice into fine cubes and top the Spam and onion layer. In a separate bowl, beat two medium eggs with 2 Tblsp milk and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the layers in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature and bake in a 350 F oven 30 minutes. Sprinkle on another layer of cheese and cook an additional 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.

More recipes coming. Check back in a few days.


Rachel said...

I've never been real fond of Spam and I didn't know there was more than one kind nowadays. A friend of mine makes a Spam dip that is real good.

Rachel said...

Ohhh...too bad you missed the deadline for the cookoff!