Monday, February 20, 2012

Summer in February Featuring SPAM

A family tradition to break up winter has been the Summer in February picnic. The idea is to have all of the fun foods you would have at a July picnic in the dead of winter. This has also been called Rib and Pierogi Day. No matter what you call it, the day is a lot of fun and there is always way too much really good food. My responibilities for the meal are the ribs and sausage. This year I added a little bit of Spam. I saw it over at the Cowgirls Country Life a few times and decided to give it a whirl.

I've made sweet Italian sausage and posted about it a bunch of times. On Saturday afternoon, I made about 3 pounds of it. I also made a new to me fresh sausage. Not sure if anyone else has made it before, but it has been on my radar awhile: Srirachia sausage.

Started with some pork butt. It was a little lean so I added some fatback.

Salt and pepper were added at the same ratios used for Italian sausage. Then I added sriracha sauce until it looked wet. Probably around a quarter cup.

Ground it up and cased it. Then I made the rib rub...

Once the ribs were going in the pit on Sunday, I broke out the can of Spam (currently on sale at Price Chopper). I can not remember ever having had Spam before.  It was everywhere in Hawaii. We have hot dogs on treadmills in our quickie marts, they have warmed spam sushi under heat lamps in theirs.

I cut a criss-cross  pattern in the Spam and filled the cracks with brown sugar. As I was doing it, I couldn't help but smile because I was putting organic brown cane sugar on Spam. Slightly opposing sides of the food spectrum there. I drizzled on a little Jim Beam too.

Duke is no dummy. He knows something good is cooking...

 Here's what he was sniffing out

Aunt Carol's pierogi frying station ready to go

As it cooked, the Spam kind of opened up.

Carol's hard at work frying...

My mother in law makes some seriously kick-ass deviled eggs. Her potato salad is top notch too.

Sausage getting plated. Sweet Italian is on the plate. The sriracha sausage is on the right.

Spamity Spam

There were two, delicious trays of these bad boys.

I'd say the pierogi and sausage stole the main course show. The sweet Italian sausage came out great and the sriracha sausage had a nice little heat to it but the spice didn't overwhelm the other flavors of the hot sauce. This is definitely one to make again. I could eat those pierogi all day. The Spam was decent. My father-in-law didn't care for the Spam. He said it was too used to it just fried. Uncle Lou liked it. He said it didn't taste like Spam anymore, it just tasted like a baked ham. Having nothing to compare it against, I thought it was OK. If I make it again, I will make the cuts deeper. I only went halfway through the block of Spam. I'd go as far as I thought I could go without breaking the block next time. I think I'd skip the bourbon too. All in all a beautiful February day.

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