Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fried SPAM Sandwiches

Hands up if you have ever enjoyed a fried SPAM sandwich! Now, don't be thinking this is a 100% Southern delicacy. As child growing up in the 70s in Connecticut, I clearly remember my Mother frying up SPAM and making sandwiches for Saturday lunch.SPAM was introduced in 1937, so somebody is still eating this stuff if it has accrued an over 75-year history. Since I do have a "Redneck Food 'n Fun" link on this blog, I feel obligated to throw out a little something on the Redneck side from time to time. Please be sure to notice the upgrade to toasted wheat bread and the fancy pickle stackers...the sandwiches from my youth were strictly white bread and the little round dill chips. And to think 51 years later I survived and can tell you about it.

One night Andy and I were talking about fried SPAM and shared our memories of eating it as kids. We wondered if you could even buy it anymore. We discussed the little key that you used to roll the metal top away to reveal that not quite ham looking blob of meat. Now, if I get to thinking really, really hard about what something is made of, I just can't get over it and eat it again. So, we tried to dodge that conversation. As naturally curious as I am, I even made myself not look at the ingredients. There are some things that should be left a secret.

A week later I was shopping and saw the familiar blue can with the bright yellow letters (and a safety pull tab lid because people just have no sense anymore). Lo and behold, there were so many varieties I was blown away. I snatched two cans off the shelf and put them away in the pantry for future use. Well, that day arrived and here you go. My opinion...a little too salty but a serious blast from the past!

 Half the fun is getting the can opened and figuring out how to remove the SPAM.
If they feature this on "How It's Made," I believe I'll have to pass.
 Like any canned "ham" product, it's coated with a gelatinous substance, so be sure to rinse that off.
Slice into 1/4" - 3/8" slices.
 Cover the bottom of a skillet with a small amount of oil and carefully fry both sides until the
SPAM has a nicely browned color.
Drain the fried SPAM on a paper towel lined plate.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR SPAM SANDWICH:
Toast two slices of bread
Squirt yellow mustard on both sides
Layer a few dill pickles (lay on paper towel to absorb extra pickle juice)
Top with two slices of SPAM

Cheesy Sloppy Joe Bread Bowls

Did you think I was gone forever? I looked back and was mildly surprised to see it had been August since I last posted anything. After sitting behind a computer all day long at work, when it's pretty out, I find it hard to get behind one when I don't have to. As usual, Andy and I have been busy, busy, busy. We've spent a lot of time taking in the sights and sounds of the river and just enjoying a break from the hectic pace of life. We had a big cookout Labor Day Weekend that could have been a washout thanks to a downpour of 5" of rain in a short period of time. Thankfully the soaking suffered the night before was made worth it as the day of the event turned out to be very pleasant. If you could have seen us trying to fit in a catfish/frog-leg fry with our kids and getting the barbecue pit fired up to smoke a bunch of meat the night before; you would have been crying from laughing so hard. Andy and I donned blue ponchos and our adult "kids" were calling us Smurfs as we slogged through the huge pools of water to get to the pit.

I'm still fixing new dishes and have a bunch filed away for future use on my "Food I've Got to Make" Pinterest board. There are several that won't make a second round in our house, but Cheesy Sloppy Joes will. Is this something we fix frequently to begin with? No. But, there are some nights both of us want to fix something quick and easy and this is on the table in no time flat. If you buy frozen fries, even quicker. We think oven baked fries are worth the extra time.

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb. ground beef
1 can Sloppy Joe sauce
Round, hard roll of your choice (I chose Kaiser rolls)
Cheese slices
 Brown beef and drain; stir in Sloppy Joe mix.
Slice top of the roll and scoop out bread to create a bowl.
 Top with a slice of cheese and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until cheese melts.