We all change. Our palettes develop. We become more refined. But I had this hunch that my palette does not think it’s too good for Spam. I think it’s one of those things where it gets a bad rep because it’s processed, packaged in a can and has one of those gross-long shelf lives. But how does it TASTE?
It wasn’t a huge deal in my childhood. In fact, the only time I’ve ever had it was that ONE time when I was a kid, I asked my mom if we could try it and she put it in some mac and cheese for me. I don’t even really remember what I thought.
So let’s give it a go. I wanted to take it to a pigs-in-a-blanket kind of place, but I didn’t want to abandon it’s comfortable little home amongst the mac and cheese. So I dressed it up in it’s comfy pasta then wrapped it in a Snuggie.
Now… I use Snuggie because I know it’s the “blanket-with-arms” that won. But I was team Slanket in the beginning.
Guess what, I was right. That shit was bomb.
Spam in a Snuggie
for mac and cheese
½ lb orecchiette
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp flour
¼ cup milk
½ cup brown ale
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
¼ cup white cheddar, shredded
¼ cup fontina, shredded
1 can Spam
3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown ale
1 tbsp olive oil
⅛ tsp cayenne
2 sheets phyllo dough
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
for dipping sauce
½ cup ketchup
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
¼ tsp cayenne
To make the balsamic ketchup: whisk together ketchup, balsamic vinegar, honey and cayenne pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil pasta. Drain. Set aside.
In a saucepan, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add in minced garlic and cook, stirring, over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Garlic will start to get a light brown and smell fucking awesome. At this point, whisk in flour. Once it’s fully incorporated and this thick porridgey looking mass… whisk in milk, brown ale and mustard. Cook over medium-low heat for about five minutes. The mixture will become thick and sauce-like. At that point, begin stirring in the cheese, small amounts at a time. Toss in the cooked pasta.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together worcestershire sauce, garlic, honey, brown ale, olive oil and cayenne pepper. Remove Spam from can (no easy feat) and slice, (aim for nine slices) then slice each slice in half. (You’ll be left with little squares.)
Heat skillet (I prefer the iron variety) over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Place Spam squares into heated skillet. Brush on some of the sauce you just prepared. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn. Sauce. Repeat one more time on each side. When you remove the spam it should be crispy and dark brown.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray.
Dust your counter or work surface lightly with flour. Roll out puff pastry. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into thirds vertically, then horizontally, leaving you with nine pieces.
Take a square of pastry and stretch out to make it a little bigger. Set in front of you so it is a diamond. On the lower half, place a piece of Spam, followed by a spoonful of macaroni and cheese. Drizzle a little of the leftover Spam sauce over the pasta. Fold the top corner down and seal the edges. Now, fold all three corners under the blob of goodness. Place, ugly-side-down, on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat.
Once all of the Snuggies have been prepared, brush egg mixture onto the tops of the dough and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve ‘em up with the ketchup and get snuggly.
Side note: I reserved a piece of Spam to chop up for garnish. Give people a little hint that they’re about to be eating the most famous weird meat this side of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.