Recession Eats: The Five Best Ways to Cook and Eat Spam

June 12, 2012 8:44 PM EDT | By Staff Writer
Spam
This is one Spam you'll be happy to see in your inbox. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Spam comes in a can and terrifies the heck out of Americans in forty-nine states. In that fiftieth state, Hawaii, the aforementioned meat-cocktail is a way of life-- an ubiquitous foodstuff present in so many of their dishes, my favorite of which being spam musubi, a grilled Spam teriyaki rolled with hot, white rice between two pieces of dried seaweed.

Now that we're in another recession, and Americans are flocking to supermarkets to start stockpiling all those cheap, canned foods, I wanted to take some time to give you some ideas on how to make that Spam taste so much more friendly. It's not as easy as heating up a can of chicken noodle soup, but it isn't rocket science either. And if you're not careful, your mouth may water while you read this, and you just may find yourself another fan in the growing hordes backing this misunderstood meat.

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1. Buy Spam Lite

Spam's salty. In fact, it's too salty. Someone at Spam knows this, and has developed a brand of Spam called Spam Lite that holds back on much of the unnecessary salt. Not only is it much healthier for you in this respect (or about as healthy as processed meat can be), but it's a more nuanced bite, too. You can actually taste the subtleties behind the wallop of flavor without reaching for a glass of water.

2. Fried Sweet Spam

Put some white sugar in a bowl and slice up some Spam lengthwise. Rub the sugar along the front and the back as though you were salting a steak. Fry it on medium-high heat for about forty-five seconds to a minute on both sides. You'll know you're done because the sugar has golden browned and your kitchen smells wonderful. Serve immediately.

3. Spam, Egg, and Cheese

Your breakfast sandwich just got a whole lot pinker. Scramble up some eggs by whisking a large egg with a half teaspoon of water. Water, rather than milk, creates a desirable fluffiness in scrambled eggs. Use milk only when you're cooking an omelet.

Add the egg to a frying pan heated on medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until just undercooked. Add sliced spam to the pan and heat until the egg is finished.

Assemble your sandwich: toasted bread, spam, cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, hot sauce, bread. Serve immediately.

4. Macaroni Salad with Spam

These are the bare bones of my family's recipe for macaroni salad. Guard it with your life.

Mix the following to taste: cooked macaroni, raisins, canned pineapple in cubes, pickled relish, mayonnaise, cubed Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese, and cubed Spam Lite. If you've been shopping for the recession, you should have a lot of those in your pantry. If you haven't, there's no better time than the present to get to know the wonders of canned foods.

Put the mix of ingredients in the fridge for twelve-to-sixteen hours or until cold. Add salt to taste. This tastes better the longer it keeps, up until about a week, when it starts to get funky. Have a picnic in the park or in your bunker while watching Youtube clips of happier times.

5. Spamburgers

Chop Spam Lite lengthwise into pieces that are just under a half-inch thick. Throw them onto your George Foreman grill along with sliced fresh pineapple. In a small bowl, mix together one part Thai hot chili sauce to every two or three parts mayonnaise, depending on how you like your spice. Finish with the smallest drizzle of sesame oil.

Assemble the burger: bun, sauce, lettuce, grilled pineapple, grilled spam, sauce, bun. Enjoy!



 

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