Yes, that's right folks......we are talking Spam today.... Hey... Wait! Where do you think you are going? Seriously, get back here right now and finish reading this post. I don't care what your feelings on Spam are.. this is a damn good experiment!! LOL
Ok, now that I have your attention again....let's talk Spam. When I was a kid, my grandma Marge would always make us Spam sandwiches, or just plan pan fried Spam. I remember loving it as a kid. As I got older, the only time I ever tried it was while on a backpacking trip...I ate it because it was there and I was STARVING!! But I was in my early 20's when that last happened (I learned to bring better food with us, believe me!!) and, well...that's been quite a few years, so I will admit that I was a bit worried about trying this out. I'm glad I did though, not only did it reminded of some great childhood memories, but I really did an actual experiment in my kitchen!! YAY!!! (By the way, for anyone that looks down on me for posting a recipe that includes Spam... all I have to say is this: Can the whole state of Hawaii really be wrong? They serve Spam everywhere.. even at Burger King!)
The first test was the old school way. The way my grandma made it for us...or at least the way I remember her making it for us....straight up pan fried. I'm not even going to give you a recipe for it because all I did was throw it directly into a non-stick skillet and fried them for about 3-4 minutes on each side:What did we think? Well, honestly, it was ok, just a bit salty....and this is a fact that I remembered and was not surprised about at all. I don't mind the salty pork flavor, so it really wasn't too bad at all.
With my second test, I decided that I would boil the meat first to get some of the saltiness out of it (I got that little tip from Stephen over at The Obsessive Chef, check out what he did with Spam!!). It worked like a charm! If I was going to do this again, that would be the only way I would eat the Spam...boiled first, than fried! Johanna had suggested doing a panko coating and than frying the Spam... and I thought, heck, if I'm gonna do that, why not make it sort of like Spam Parmigiana? And Viola!
I will admit, I thought it was actually pretty good. I would even make this again...truth be told, I'd even serve it to guests at a dinner party!
Conclusion: I recommend trying Spam again if it's been awhile. But, what I also recommend is boiling the Spam first. It makes all the difference in the world. Well, that's if you are afraid of the salty flavor...if you like a little salty pork (which I do) than just throw it right in the pan. If you try the parmigiana, though, definitely take the few minutes to boil the meat, you will not be sorry.
Inspired by Johanna W.
4-6 slices of Spam (you can cut them however thick or thin you want them)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon plain or seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning (you can just use basil if you don't have this)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons of your favorite pasta sauce (you can use more if you want)
shredded mozzarella cheese (you be the judge on how much goes on top of each piece)
Bring a pot of water to boil. Drop the pieces of Spam into the water, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let the meat sit in the water for another 3-5 minutes.
In a shallow dish, mix together panko, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, and Italian seasoning. Remove the meat from the water and put it directly into the panko mixture. Coat each piece with the mixture, pressing into the meat.
Preheat the broiler of the oven. In a skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Carefully place the Spam pieces in the oil and quickly fry (about 2 minutes on each side). Remove from skillet and place on a wire rack inside a baking sheet. Top with sauce and cheese and place under the broiler. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!
One Year Ago: Chicken Fried Steak