Fans sometimes e-mail me and ask, "Why don't you do more posts using normal food? I don't keep duck wings and hydroponic Greek turnips on hand all the time." Perhaps I've spent too much time digging through the biological diversity of the local ethnic markets in search of weird and wonderful flavors. So to bring things back to ground level, I present...
Oh yeah, I'm talking about the real thing, Hormel's pride and joy since 1937, the beloved canned meat of the Hawaiian Islands... Spam®.
I haven't eaten the stuff since my Scouting days 20 years ago, when it was the high class alternative to the bargain varieties like Armour's Treet and the gritty paté version known simply as Potted Meat. At some point I grabbed a can, stuck it in the pantry, and forgot about it. A year later, I decided to go ahead and eat it, but didn't know what to fix. What dish would best show off the individual characteristics, the subtle essence that is Spam®?
Fortunately the back of the can provided the recipe for Spambled Egg Muffins. If you'll note the difficulty scale, this is much closer to watching TV than building a TV. I've actually done repair work on older televisions, and worked in a cable TV studio in high school, but when it comes to using a tricky ingredient like this you want to keep it easy. A few changes in my version: I only had shredded cheese, which I melted on the English muffins. Also, I made the eggs omelet-style so they would rest on the bread more cohesively. Since this dish is based on the classic French breakfast dish l'oeuf mcmuffin, I was tempted to use a carefully poached egg, but didn't want to stray too far from Hormel's sage advice.
How was it? Surprisingly not bad. I've had far worse from gas stations, where this style of sandwich (using ham or sausage) sits on a heating tray for hours and you have to peel the hot plastic wrap off like it's the week after a bad sunburn. I think the biggest issue was portion size--a quarter of a can of Spam® packs a considerable amount of porky flavor, and it overwhelms the rest of the sandwich. I don't know if it's possible to slice and fry slices of Spam® thinly. Perhaps chill it like a terrine first and use a hot wet carving knife? I think you might end up with something a bit closer to Italian handcrafted mortadella from Emilia-Romagna.
For those who wish to challenge the upper echelons of culinary acclaim, Spam® Musubi is the highest calling for this oft-maligned meat.