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A New Thanksgiving Tradition: SPAM ®

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Milwaukee Living

I have a secret to share. Don’t worry, I don’t really care if you share this incredibly personal information with others, but here goes. I LOVE SPAM®! You could possibly blame it on my heritage – I was born on a tropical island in the south Pacific and SPAM® is a wonderful addition to many traditional dishes. Or you may possibly link my taste for this wonderful pink, meaty delight on the many hours spent in the wilderness of the north woods enjoying the aroma of SPAM® sizzling in the frying pan over an open fire. And yet it may just be that I love the salty taste of this canned manna from Heaven.

SPAM® was once considered the canned mystery meat that would languish on Supermarket shelves everywhere until the looming threat of a hurricane or blizzard would cause panic food runs. Until recently SPAM® did not gain acceptance with a regular place at the dinner table. I am here to dispel this belief and to claim loudly that “Yes! SPAM® has earned a place at the table, be it breakfast, lunch, or supper!” So, what could possibly be better than for me to share my delight in the luncheon meat that has gone above and beyond and but to provide you with recommendations on how SPAM® can be included in your upcoming holiday repast? SPAM® is a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving meal and this much-loved food is a surprisingly affordable alternative to many of the traditional dishes at mealtime. Even if you focus the feast around a whole turkey, SPAM® side dishes can supplement the meal and can be used in delicious leftover recipes. AND, there is now Turkey SPAM®.

Planning a Thanksgiving menu on a budget this holiday season can be stressful, but SPAM can help. And you don't have to sacrifice taste, either. These SPAMalilcious dinner recipe recommendations are packed with all the flavors of fall without giving in to the most recent round of inflationary price increases.  You don't need to fork over a ton of cash to make your SPAM® Thanksgiving memorable. With the world-wide-web at your fingertips, all you have to do is fire up your search engine with the name of the dish and you will be inundated with specific recipes converting your Thanksgiving to a SPAMsgiving holiday feast.

SPAM® Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Hotdish is a mainstay for many midwestern holiday meals. You do not have to substitute anything in your favorite family recipe. Instead, slice up some SPAM® – Julienne style, fry it crispy and add it as the last ingredient before baking. One recommendation, since many Tater Tot recipes call for cream of mushroom soup and/or sharp cheddar, you may want to use the SPAM® varieties which have a lower sodium count

Spicy SPAM® & Caramelized Scallion Pasta

Pasta side dishes have started to flood the market with a wide variety of flavors and cultural nuance. If you have found one or two that you cannot help but go to, again and again, try to enhance the flavor with the addition of SPAM® and your choice of fresh vegetables to take the dish to the next level of crazy cuisine. My personal favorite is to fry up cubes of “Hot and Spicy” SPAM® and add sliced scallions until this cousin of the onion has caramelized and the meat has crisped up nicely. I set this aside and prepare the pasta dish per the written instructions and add the meat and veg in the final minutes. While I may prefer pesto pasta as the base, these two go equally well in your Mac and Cheese comfort food.

SPAM® FRIED RICE

Remember when I mentioned at the beginning of this blog that I wasn’t originally from around here? Where I come from fried rice will be found on the table for at least one meal of the day. Depending on the ingredients, the dish could either be an entrée or a side; it could be served for lunch, supper, or even breakfast. Fried rice with SPAM®, eggs, and mixed vegetables is a quick and easy addition to the Thanksgiving feast and adds different tastes and textures to tickle even the most finicky of palettes. Since most fried rice recipes all for the addition of soy sauce for seasoning, I recommend using either SPAM® Lite or Turkey SPAM®.

Bacon-Wrapped SPAM® Bites

Bacon-Wrapped SPAM® offers the best of two worlds – SPAM® and bacon. Who could possibly ask for a more awesome appetizer to kick off your holiday gathering? An easy treat to make, start by wrapping cubes of piggy yumminess in your favorite pork or BBQ rub. Let this marinate overnight, wrap with bacon, skewer, and smoke for a couple of hours ‘til done. Don’t bother adding salt to these treats, since the bacon and the SPAM® have more than enough to get your taste buds watering. One wrap of bacon around a chunk of meat is more than enough or it becomes overwhelmingly bacony. By leaving the sides open you have the flavor of the SPAM®, the tang of the rub, and the sizzling goodness of the bacon.

TURKEY SPAM® TURNOVERS

Turkey SPAM® Turnovers are a delight to make and taste. Take the crescent dough and wrap it around layers of mashed potatoes, sliced Turkey SPAM®, shredded cheddar cheese, cranberries, and French fried onions. The turnovers bring together the tastes of a classic Thanksgiving meal in one hand-held treat and you don’t have to spend the entire day in the kitchen!

Baked SPAM® Recipe With Dressing

Baked Turkey SPAM® with gravy served over a bed of sage and onion dressing is a quick and easy SPAMgivings dinner idea ideal for the single diner. This dinner will leave plenty of leftovers to be enjoyed after the chaos of Black Friday shopping. It’s super easy with only three ingredients: SPAM®, onions, and a box of stuffing (since it is not being “stuffed” into a bird, it should be referred to as “dressing” to be correct!). In less than 20 minutes you will be able to leave the kitchen and get back to surfing the internet for the best pre-Christmas deals. Using a very sharp knife, slice the meat into about 10 slices. Prepare the dressing per the instructions on the box. Sautee the onions with the slices of SPAM®. Then place the dressing mixed with the onions and layered with the SPAM® into a 350-degree oven for twenty minutes.  If you overcook, the meat will be dry.

Candied SPAM® and Yams

Yams and sweet potatoes are inexpensive this time of year, so go with fresh over canned. Peel, cut, and layer slices of either the yams or sweet potatoes in a casserole dish, cover with about one stick of butter cut into small pieces, one can of SPAM® cut into ½ inch cubes, and sprinkle with half a cup of brown sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 to 40 minutes, until the yams are fork soft. Do not add marshmallows to this recipe! The SPAM® will be nice and moist with a sweet brown sugar glaze, while the yams will carry undertones of SPAMMY goodness!

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