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Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:29 pm
Brian, I don't know.
For myself, I love French cooking. I'm trying think of how Julia Child, Elizabeth David, or even a Provencal housecook might prepare this stuff. I'm thinking they'd treat it like sausage. Though, in reality, they'd probably avoid it altogether unless it were a post WWII situation where you had to make the best of anything that might be available.
First thought - mince it and use it in a stuffing with herbs and such for a turkey or chicken. Bah, who knows!
Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:23 pm
Chris, I might make a spaghetti-type sauce properly loaded with pieces of spam. Might be good with cheese tortellini or ravioli. Or the Spam could replace meatballs for spaghetti.
Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:24 pm
Ahh, OK, understood Chris!
If Spam was unflavored it might be easier. Thankfully it's not heavily seasoned in the original version, but it is salted. Yes, I can see it taking on sausage seasonings. Maybe as sausage gravy with biscuits; seasonings added to the gravy. I would also suggest grinding the spam and seasonings together and allowing them to rest to meld overnight, but I don't know how that would result in texture. Maybe food process it (pulsed a few times) ? Or maybe used as part of a pig stew using the feet, knuckles, etc'. It would be an old country stew; that is, not "high" on the hog but low on the hog. Lot's of folks won't eat that today though (I would and do). Spam would also be good used in a bean soup, esp' if some liquid smoke is added (very sparingly and taste to adjust), don't forget a bay leaf, bay makes a huge difference if used sparingly. One bay leaf or less per qt of soup is about right for me. Heck, I can see sliced spam and sauerkraut working.
Now you have me thinking. I intend to try some of the things I suggested.
FWIW, when I was with the West German army they made a bean soup with sausage in it that was to kill for. So my suggestion using spam in bean soup didn't come out of the vacuum.
Any grease/fat that comes out of the spam in what I suggested (above) would be desired for flavor. I would also add the can gelatin and not discard it.
It's not Michelin star cooking, just down "stick to the ribs" home cooking.
I have to share this... When I was much younger mom would make a bean (or pea) soup from the bones of a smoked ham or smoked knuckles (mine today is better- sorry mom, but it is, or thanks to you it is. Mom trained me.
). I loved the stuff. There was nothing finer after coming in from a winters day outside. I make it to this day. I never knew this but a brother absolutely hated the stuff. I suggested it when he was visiting and I got an earful. I never knew. I would trade C ration B2 units (cheese or peanut butter and crackers) to other GIs for their ham and lima beans. I always thought I was getting the better of the deal, but I witnessed some genuine dislike for the traded items, so I guess something genuine really was there. I only know that it was difficult to screw up for my taste buds in even the C rations.
Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:04 pm
I smoked a sliced up can of Spam this evening, along with a package of jalapeno cheddar sausages. I've got them in the freezer so I can have them for lunch as needed.
Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:05 pm
I got a can of Spam this weekend and one of the hickory smoked version.
When we got home it was lunch time so I tried a slice of the regular Spam. Somehow it's not what I remembered but OK. I guess being single and hungry somehow made it taste better/different?
It's got to be prepared like detailed in this thread. I'm going to sit down and review my French cookbooks and come up with something. It strikes me as somewhat like a blank slate that needs a raison de etre.
Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:31 pm
El' I had an uncle who served during WW2 and they had Spam so often that he would never touch it after the war. I have no idea how they served it to him. But I've known folks who just slice it and serve it as a cold cut on a sandwich. Better them than me. I suppose if I was hungry enough though... It's less greasy than bologna. But I absolutely won't touch commercial bologna from the supermarket. For what they charge per pound you know exactly what it's made out of. I once figured out the actual minimum meat content of bologna here in the USA and while I forget the minimum allowable content it was something like 15%. The rest being ground up cushion, bone (15% allowable, I remember that), and fat. What is cushion?
OK, story time. Many years ago I was in the market for a meat grinder, so we went to our local food service supplier and I inquired as to the price of one of the size I could use. It was far too expensive, but that's really not germane to the story. In discussing with the salesman he asked me what I wanted it for, yada, yada. Of course it was for sausage of a higher grade; I'd gotten far too many pieces of questionable lineage in commercial garbage. He asked me if I knew what the term "cushion" meant and I admitted that I didn't. It's anything that can be picked out of the gut pile that once put into a homogenized consistency (like bologna) will be indistinguishable and maybe still taste ok after being highly spiced. If one buys cushion it's extremely inexpensive, much less expensive than real meat. Just today we were at the supermarket and I saw bologna for $3/lb. Genuine beef muscle meat goes for upwards of $3/lb and pork is upwards of $1. Add in processing and shipping and how do they sell bologna for $3/lb? You know what's in it. It's everything that Spam has been accused of containing but of even lower quality. That's where the Utility grade beef goes, but once ground and mixed with unmentionables it's tender enough. That's also why I won't touch most hot dogs. It's bologna in a different form. It's also why I insist on making my own sausage, or I buy it for big bux from a local sausage maker. Good quality sausage is NOT inexpensive to make if one is forced to buy it.
If I buy sausage where do I buy it? The Sausage Kitchen out of Lisbon Falls Maine. I know Maurice and he does NOT use crap in his sausages. But it's been years since I bought from him. Now I make my own to satisfy our taste buds. When I bought from him I would have him make batches to my spec's. He's gotten bigger and he's at least semi-retired so I don't know if he makes special orders any more.
I've gotten off subject but I'll continue. Everything we make is cured in one way or another. We make Taylor Pork roll (a specific bacterial cured sausage to make it sour [lower the pH] ), hot Italian, and Polish Kielbasa. If I was to put our Kielbasa into a hot dog casing it would make an excellent spicy hot dog. I use boneless butt, the same stuff I use for Southern BBQ, but unlike sausage makers I remove the lymph gland. I don't even know if they know what that is or if they know how to recognize it. Our sausage is to kill for. Our Taylor Pork roll rip off is better than the original. If we don't consider our time we make sausage for a bit more than the cost of the boneless butt that we always buy on sale and keep it in the freezer until we need it to make something, we have yet to pay over $1.29/lb for the pork. Of course there are spices and such that need to get figured in but that's minimal. Time is the biggest expense, but we have yet to have an accountant figure that in. Our time is ours for free and we spend it as we wish.
The last time I bought from Maurice it was $7/lb but I know the price has gone up. That was at least 15 years ago.
Spam is a lot less work.
We make a large % of our food. We're strange that way. It's neat to know where it came from and what is in it, and I trust us.
FWIW, I have no idea why that's in italics and I can't see how to fix it.
Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 3:23 pm
Just this morning I decided to heat and eat one of my frozen smoked slices of Spam mentioned above. It was well-smoked, and made the kitchen smell like smoky bacon. Tasted that way too, and it gets a thumbs up from yours truly.
Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 6:40 pm
Brian, yeah, you have said much of what I have been told. We had a Latin professor in high school who told us in plain language that bologna and the like are all "lips and @ssholes". Brings back memories.
I'd like to get to the state of making my own stuff one day but right now it's just not in the works with five children all under fifteen and the youngest being three. I'll get there soon though. You are an inspiration in that regard.
Preliminarily I'm thinking Spam in omlets, Spam and Calimari in a red sauce, Spam in stuffing for Turkey, and Spam straight smoked like Gary has prepared it. It's Spring and now with some good weather in front of us I've gotta get out the Weber grill and get to work.
Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:42 pm
Chris, you could maybe get them to help in the making. Mom drafted me and I've never begrudged those days helping her. It drew us closer together and gave me training that is the foundation for my cooking today. Consider it to be education expense. Many folks spend far more to educate the youngsters and all it does is to allow others to indoctrinate them in things that don't lead them to family or anything wholesome.
A smoker doesn't take much. An A-maze-N smoker doesn't cost much and with a little rigging one can smoke, using it in a large corrugated carton since it's cold smoke. There are considerations for sparks and such falling down, but common sense prevails. I use one in my Primo but that only simplifies things. If I used it inside a carton I would do it outside with a fireproof bottom and keep an eye on it. You're on your own there.
Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 7:00 pm
I made spam musubi not too long ago. You marinade the spam in soy sauce, then pan fry it and wrap it in nori and rice like sushi. It got mixed reviews, but I know some people who love it.
Posted: Mon May 07, 2018 11:02 pm
Trust me this is also about spam.
Tonight we had planned the first cherry smoke/grilled burgers of the warm season. The Primo has been buried in snow for awhile. But I got the idea to smoke/grill some spam before the burgers. So I sliced a can of bacon spam. I did taste it and it was good, but tomorrow I'll have a better idea of how it worked. Generally I prefer apple or maple smoke on pork; cherry is a little sweet. I did sacrifice a slice through the grates, not by choice. I'm thinking I'll make a spam/egg/cheese on a toasted bun breakfast sandwich in the morning.
The burgers were delicious. We love cherry smoke on beef, and we had the long anticipated vidalia onions for them.
Posted: Tue May 08, 2018 3:20 pm
It is basically a form of sausage and who doesn't like sausages? It has something of a cult status in Japan. I remember seeing one bagel place where a spam bagel cost more that a smoked salmon version and spam sushi and burgers toppings are widely offered. I used to like spam fritters (fried (preferably deep fried) in a soggy batter coating) served with baked beans and mashed potato - a decent and inexpensive meal if your arteries can take the punishment. Maybe time to try them again. Now as for the other kind of spam - the kind that clogs my mailbox every day - definitely not a fan.
Posted: Tue May 08, 2018 5:49 pm
You guys make me hungry!
Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:34 pm
As SWMBO is out tonight and I haven’t eaten Spam in a while, I decided to break into my secret stash of Spam for dinner. SWMBO has a real aversion to Spam, so I’ve had to hide a tin of it well, as she would throw it out if she found it. Anyway, I ate a couple of slices of Spam, garnished with some HP sauce on the side, with steamed broccoli and baby carrots. It was delicious. I have some left over and I might fry it and have it with a couple of fried eggs for breakfast later this week when SWMBO has left for her tennis club.