Chef Husband, “Any ideas for dinner?”
Chef Husband: (half) jokingly, “Hey, I think there’s a can of SPAM in the cabinet.”
Guess what I went looking for…
With a challenge before me, to overcome and elevate a less than desirable product, my first instinct was to treat this SPAM, kind of, like a crab cake.
Mis en Place first! Into the fridge I went and found some celery, fresh basil, and leftover cilantro stems, which I chopped. Then I found a package of Saltine crackers in the cabinet, which I ground up (about 1/3 of them) in the little food processor. After popping open the can of SPAM and sliding it out onto the cutting board (this stuff is so strange), I cut it into cubes, to make it more manageable, and then broke it up further with a blending fork. Together all the ingredients went into a bowl, along with a beaten egg.
As I mushed it all together, with my hands, chef husband brought me a little garlic chili paste, fish sauce and minced ginger, to use as seasoning, for added flavor. NO SALT mind you. We’re already dealing with enough sodium in the SPAM, as it is, and the garlic chili paste already brought some heat, so no pepper needed either.
My biggest question was the best way to form them. Chef Husband grabbed me a #16 disher scoop, for measuring out equal portions, which came out to be six. I would pat-pat-pat to flatten, and then I would cup my hands around the edges to shape them into a circle, pat-pat-pat some more, shape, flip with a spatula, pat-pat-pat, shape, pat-pat-pat, shape.
The original “crab-cake” idea would have lent to breading them in panko, but the cracker crumb selection directed the concoction to be more of a meatloaf-style mixture. And so, onto the spatula they went to transfer to a lightly greased griddle, where they would cook over medium-heat until crisp on the outside like a hash-brown.
Has SPAM ever been treated so lovingly? Maybe in Hawaiian sushi. Nevertheless, a quick cheap dinner to pair with an economical Tisdale Sweet Red wine. Cheers! And tomorrow, the leftovers can go between some Asiago bread slices for a sandwich.