Sunday, August 19, 2012

Having fun with Two-Can Spam: “Vietnamese Style” Spam

No, not a certain avian purveyor of artificially flavored corn circles, but two cans of that mechanically processed pork product.

So why Spam for this post? A number of reasons. One, I felt it’s been a while since I posted on r/asianeats, and this is… vaguely Asian, since I think my family is one of the few that does it this way (and since we’re Vietnamese that automatically qualifies it as Asian right?) And secondly because it is “boring to great” week on r/52weeksofcooking, and Spam was listed right there as a boring food.

I’m not sure what h3ather meant when she said that spam was boring. Don’t get me wrong, I know spam has an extremely large and outspoken contingent of detractors, and there’s a lot of negative adjectives that can be applied to it, but boring would not be the first word I applied to it. Since I actually like Spam, I will not repeat those words here.

Oh yeah, before I forget, nobody in my household eats a can of spam over a kitchen sink. We have however eaten it with a pocketknife on one of the sandy shores at Yosemite, along with baguette. After a long day of hiking, eating it like that in the shade is just wonderful. But I digress.


So, Vietnamese style spam, what is that exactly? It’s actually two dishes actually that go well with rice. Here’s some of the stuff you’ll need for both. Two cans of spam (well, one will do really) cabbage, onion, a red chili, garlic. You will also need a big of fish sauce. And that automatically ups the “Vietnameseness” of any dish. Well, it could also up the Thai-ness, Phillipinesness or Cambodeliciousness of a dish as well.

But, I’m Vietnamese, so I’ll call this Vietnamese-style Spam. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Citrus, Onion, & Beer Marinated Spatchcocked Chicken

Ah, spatchcocking. No, that isn’t something dirty (probably) and no, it’s not what they play with in Badminton. It’s a method of flattening out a whole chicken by removing it’s backbone so you can spread it flat across a grill so it cooks more quickly than leaving it whole.

I learned the essentials of technique and temperature from this link but used a very different mixture for the marinating process. Also note this is a recipe for grilling, so you will need either a gas or charcoal barbecue grill.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sortatash Version 2–Hot Sautéed Corn and Squash Side Dish

I’ve worked on this recipe a few times, tweaking it a bit each time. The last time I tried using it as a less wet alternative to salsa in the Yakisoburrito.

This time, I decided to make it completely a side dish, good for accompanying grilled meats and whatnot, and overall I am pretty satisfied with the result.

I replaced the rather thin wax pepper with a much meatier cousin, the pasilla pepper, and spiked everything with a bit of habanero.  The result is a satisfying, toothsome dish that will fill many a belly quite nicely.


Before I continue on with the recipe, please let me shill an awesome project again briefly. Tiffany Simmons is writing a cookbook themed around tabletop gaming, and it is going to be awesome. Yes, I am taking part of it as a recipe tester. And if you’re in the Northern California Bay Area and are free on September 8th, you should consider joining me in San Rafael for a gaming and recipe testing/tasting event, I’ll be cooking up a storm! Just check out the Secret Passage reward level!

Ok, now back to the sortatash recipe.