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Spam hors d'oeuvres. Seriously.

My sister and I are hosting a Recession Christmas party this weekend. We will make homemade Christmas ornaments and wash down cheap eats with the finest boxed wine and PBR. Appetizer plans so far include things like cheesy potato wedges and peanut butter balls.

But my sister threw down the gauntlet: she dared me to make something with Spam. I have never cooked with, tasted, or even seen spam outside of its iconic can. Does anyone have a suggestion for an inexpensive yet toothsome appetizer I can make with this monstrosity?

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  1. Well, you could make little skewers, with a cube of Spam, then a pineapple chunk, and finally a marshmallow.

    1. Grind it up, saute it, make mini quiches using regular quiche ingredients. I think it's pretty salty.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nemo

        I made a Spam Quiche Picante as my entry in the Tennessee State Fair's Spam competition. Did not win, place nor show, but it was pretty damn good (I think it just wasn't sufficiently show-offy). I didn't grind the Spam, just cubed and sautéed it and spread it over the bottom of the baked pie-shell with equal parts sharp Cheddar and jalapeño jack, shredded, plus chopped green onion. Added some cayenne to the custard mixture, too.

        1. re: Will Owen

          Bummer. You probably forgot to carve a Spam rose for the center embellishment.

          I only suggested sauteing to crisp it up like bacon for mini's.

          Would love to see Top Chefs wearing this sweat band --
          http://www.spamgift.com/ProductDetail...

      2. Perfect timing. I just saw this piece "Spam; It's not just for inboxes anymore" in a local publication today.

        http://www.citypages.com/2008-12-03/r...

        But, of course, you must try Spam musubi, the sushi-like (or, more accurately, onigiri-like) rolls that are such a delight and can be found all over Hawaii!

        http://www.spam.com/eatspam/recipe_de...

        Here are all the appetizer recipes from the Spam site:
        http://www.spam.com/eatspam/results.a...

        ~TDQ

        2 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          Musubi is a universal Japanese unseasoned riceball. Spam inside or taped to the top with nori is really Hawaiian.

          Try some small pigs-in-a-blanket using Spam.

          Spam cubes pan glazed with fake maple syrup.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            I love Hawaiian food in general, actually. Plate lunches with the 2 scoops of rice plus another of macaroni, and spam musubi--proof that the best chow can be found at gas stations-- and kalua pork, however it's spelled. Oh, and anything taro... I suppose I should try to cook it at home since it's hard to find restaurants that do it well.

            ~TDQ

        2. For a Southwestern touch, dice up spam and mix with slice black olives and diced green chiles. Serve in those "Scoops" corn chips.

            1. re: chowser

              I'm going to have to go ahead and second this suggestion. We tried these at home for the first time a couple of months ago and wow, delicious. So wrong it's right.

            2. Spam's good stuff. Some folks (Hi, Mark) have developed an aversion to it, but the original is just pork, ham, water, salt, sugar, potato starch, and sodium nitrite.

              The one thing you want to do is grill / broil / saute the stuff before serving it to crisp up the edges. Or grind / mince it and mix it with other ingredients. It's got a lot of naturally-occurring gelatin, which can be a textural turn-off when you get a big chunk.

              Here's a whole thread of Spam recipes, with a permalink to the particularly ingenious Spam-stuffed poached chicken (which might be a little too fancy for a recession party, but which sounds delicious nonetheless).

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4444...

              1. Skewer of spam, Velveeta cheese and gherkin.

                1. I won a "Spam as Art" contest once with my "Spamhenge" entry. Use your imagination...

                  1. I grew up on Spam. My wife hates it so I don't get to use it very often. I don't understand why my wife hate's it; after all it is primarily ham parts. You can use spam in just about any way you might use left over ham. Chop it, dice it, slice it, grind it up. You can use it in casseroles, dips, shish kabobs, salads or as a filling for individual turn-overs (think ravioli style). It's good right out of the can, but I like it browned. I sometimes enjoy it with a bit of honey/mustard glaze which I brush on as soon as it comes out of the frying pan and is still hot. Noting that you "never cooked with, tasted, or even seen spam outside of its iconic can", allow me to suggest you remove both ends of the can and use the bottom to push it out of the can's outer ring.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: todao

                      LOL that's how we did it, opened both ends and slid the damn thing right out of the can, just like cranberry sauce

                      1. re: todao

                        But the new Spam cans don't have a bottom "lip" - how do you get the bottom off?

                      2. I love Spamburgers with Cheese. You could make sliders.

                        Spam meatballs with a teriyaki sauce would be really tasty.

                        Basically Spam can be used like most meat, it is just saltier.

                        1. Please don't dis Spam. Being a Baby Boomer, I grew up on the stuff and loved it sliced thin, fried and served on Wonder Bread with Miracle Whip and lettuce!!
                          So, you could make finger sandwiches....
                          Or, cube, fry, stick a toothpick in it and serve with sweet & sour sauce

                          Church, I like your slider idea!!!

                          1. I have to echo many hounds suggestions of musubi. They're good eats.

                            1. A poor-folk Italian-American favorite: take a chicken thigh, remove the skin and bone (and save for other purposes), and cut it into a flat cutlet. Now slice that in half so it's twice as long and twice as thin, pounding a bit. Put down a layer of basil leaves, then a layer of spam sliced to be a bit thicker than the chicken. Roll, tie with string, brown on all sides, then braise with a bit of garlic, wine and thoroughly desalted anchovies. When it's done let it rest so it firms up, slice, and serve with deglazed pan juices.

                              1. My mom (Japanese) makes spam maki rolls every year over the holidays when she comes to visit. I suspect this came about as a way to introduce sushi to her friends and family with more americanized tastes. Cut spam into slices and grill until nicely browned on both sides and then cut each slice into 4 or 5 slices (thin strips) and set aside, make a thin omelette (eggs and pinch of sugar) and cut into thin strips and set aside, cook fresh spinach and set aside. Put your nori on a bamboo mat, add seasoned sushi rice, spam, egg, spinach and beni shooga (red ginger). Roll and slice.

                                1. Don't know why I forgot this, but one of our favorite lunch dishes that my mom made was called Squaw Corn: Spam cubed and fried, eggs scrambled in, then a small can of cream-style corn stirred in and heated through. We loved it. I told Mrs. O about it the other night and she's begged me to make it.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    I'd be tempted to add onions and jalapenos to this.

                                    1. re: Sharuf

                                      I was just thinking along the same lines, but I think I'd use poblanos - or, I should say, I WILL use poblanos. Not so much heat, more flavor.

                                    1. Spam salad. Cubed, mixed with celery and/or sweet pickles, mayo or Miracle Whip, on saltines....yum?

                                      1. Thank you all for your suggestions. The party was a great success. I ended up going with spam-in-a-blanket. Several of the guests liked it before they found out it was Spam. I tried, but couldn't swallow it. It didn't taste bad, exactly, just really salty. That plus the slimy interior put me off. I am not a Spam fan, but at least I gave it a shot. Besides, it was a hell of a conversation starter!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: mordacity

                                          Thanks for reporting. Spam in a blanket sounds good.

                                          My suggestion would have been a not quite Kosher pan-fried Spam on top of a latke topped with sour cream.

                                        2. I get the 50% less sodium spam, when I buy it. I cut the spam into 1/4 inch slices and then rolled those up in 1/2 of a pillsbury cresent roll..from the refrigerator section. You can add a thin slice of dill pickle too..then bake as directed on the pillsbury container. I served them with some brown mustard (my husband preferred ballpark mustard). People loved em. We did it for a "trailer trash" party.