Puttin' on The Mitts: Unexpected creations
What is it about Spam that often makes people cringe?
Is it the taste? Is it the questionable substance of which it's made? (It's pork, people, just pork). Maybe it's the gelatinous texture or the sound it makes coming out of that square can?
All of those things are the reasons I won't eat Spam just as it is. However, I will eat it in a Snerf.
No, I didn't say Smurf. Don't worry. I haven't run out of recipe ideas and resorted to cooking up little blue people. I said Snerf.
I wish I could remember why my family called these Spam-filled sandwiches Snerfs, but they were created and meant to be cooked in aluminum foil over a campfire. That's how my family made them. They honestly taste the best that way. We made due when camping and fires weren't an option and made them in the oven instead.
They can be done as a regular sandwich in a bun or open-faced, which is what I did for the recipe today.
The mixture of grated Spam, Velveeta cheese, onion and cream of mushroom soup makes for a tasty spread. I promise you can't tell it's Spam. Like I said, I don't eat Spam out of the can, but I've liked these Snerfs since I was a little girl.
If you're a fan of Spam, I'm sure you'll enjoy these sandwiches as another option to cook with it.
Makes 16 open-faced sandwiches
• 1 can SPAM, grated
• 8 ounces of Velveeta cheese, grated
• 1 small yellow onion, grated
• 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
• 8 hamburger buns
• Pepper to taste
Grate the can of SPAM, Velveeta cheese and onion into a large mixing bowl.
Add can of cream of mushroom soup.
Add pepper to taste.
Mix until well blended.
Open the buns and spread a spoonful or two on each half to create an open-faced sandwich for broiling, which is what I chose to do.
Broil until the cheese has melted and the edges have turned golden brown. Keep a close eye on them as it only takes a few minutes to heat them through.
Another option is to bake them in the oven.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees before making the mixture.
Make eight sandwiches and wrap them in aluminum foil.
Place foil-wrapped sandwiches directly on the rack and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted, checking halfway through the cooking time.
Over the past few months, I've made a concerted effort to waste as little food as possible.
Avoiding food waste hasn't always been my strong suit. I go through stretches when I'm great at it, planning out my meals with precision and using up extras with diligence. Other times, I'm afraid to open my refrigerator for a week because I don't know what kind of science experiment I'll come upon. I can't be the only one, right?
Lately, I've been doing well—finishing cartons of strawberries, eating up every serving of leftovers or at least getting them into the freezer before they're suspect and polishing off fast-expiring dairy products. One secret to my success is I quit buying salad greens, for the most part, accepting that I'm just not a big enough fan to finish a bag on my own before it takes on that characteristic funk and hint of slime. I find I prefer a plethora of other vegetables to salad greens, so I'm not missing them too terribly.
On to a more appetizing note: The tasty little ditty I came up with for this week's column is a direct result of using my food resources wisely. Nothing in the egg salad I whipped up on a whim required a special trip, and I must admit I was quite proud of how well the flavors came together for having no plan at the outset.
Green egg salad might not be what you'd expect to top your favorite everything bagel or sourdough slice, but if you like guacamole, you're going to love this. The best part? Without the mayonnaise, this recipe is nice and light, and dare I say refreshing. It makes for a great quick bite for any meal of the day, and is surprisingly filling. I ate it for breakfast alongside some fruit salad, and I was satisfied until lunchtime.
Now, onto one of my greatest nemeses—ricotta cheese. Has anyone ever finished off a tub of that? Honestly. Feel free to send recipe suggestions my way to help me use up that sucker!
GUACAMOLE EGG SALAD
Makes 3-4 servings
• 1 avocado, mashed
• 1/3 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
• 1 scallion, sliced
• 1 small tomato, chopped
• 1/2 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
• Chopped cilantro (optional)
• Lemon juice to taste
• 1-2 teaspoons water, to thin
• 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
• Salt to taste
In a bowl, combine the mashed avocado, yogurt, scallion, jalapeno, tomato and cilantro.
Season with lemon juice and salt to taste.
Add just a pinch of water to thin, enough to loosen for coating chopped eggs.
Add the chopped eggs and delicately fold into avocado mixture.
Taste again for salt.
Serve open-faced on bread of choice, with crackers, in a wrap or with a cucumber boat to keep it low-carb.
Note: The egg salad will taste fine if kept in the fridge, but it will not look appetizing as the avocado oxidizes and turns gray. It's best to eat what you make in one meal.