Saturday, September 28, 2013

Party Delight

 I was watching my son's second favorite Food Network show with him the other day (The Great Food Truck Race) and the food trucks had a challenge to cook with SPAM. My son was so interested in this "SPAM" product (probably because I serve it only once in a blue moon, when we've eaten everything else out of the cupboards but this one can of processed meat that no one remembers buying). He really wanted me to make a dinner with SPAM in it, so that he could taste it and relate better to the "challenge" presented on the show. (I'm so proud of the foodie I'm grooming.) So, reluctantly, I asked my mom for a can of SPAM (because I didn't have one, and they usually do) and made the one SPAM recipe I know: Party Delight.
    Why it's called "Party Delight" I have no idea. It's something that my dad would make for us sometimes growing up, and when I asked him for the recipe he pointed me in the direction of an old church cookbook from when he was younger. His sister (my Aunt and part name-sake) Lurlene submitted this recipe for the cookbook, and I still think of her every time I make it. I did modify the recipe a smidge, but not much. It really is a tasty dish - sort of a warm ham and egg salad on bread, and covered with cheese. There might be better SPAM dishes out there, but this is the one that I grew up with, and therefore made for my son the other night. (FYI - My son enjoyed the dinner (even took some to eat cold for lunch the next day) and doesn't think that the "challenge" on the food truck show was really that hard. Haha.)
      This is the recipe card from my Family Recipes Cookbook, that I'm scrapbooking together: So this will be the recipe my kids turn to when they want to know how to make Party Delight. :)

It all starts with this process meat wonder. Did you know it originated in Minnesota, but that it's mostly associated with the Hawaiian community? (Just some useless SPAM facts to pull out at your next party.)

For this recipe we need to dice the meat into small pieces. To do this, I first slice the loaf into 1/4 inch slabs.

Then I cut the slabs into 1/4 inch strips. (Just stack the slabs on top of one another and cut again.)

Then the strips get cut into 1/4 inch cubes. They don't have to be exact, just close enough.

The next main ingredient is boiled eggs. We need 6 for this recipe. Try and cut them as small as the meat, but again, don't drive yourself crazy trying to get exact sizes. Just chop it pretty small. (I slice the eggs, and then dice them.)

The SPAM and egg pieces get put into a mixing bowl.

Then add the supporting characters . . . sweet pickle relish,


onion powder,

and mayonnaise.

Mix everything together until thoroughly combined. (Please note that we never added salt. SPAM is extremely salty so the dish needs nothing else!)

The next step is to lay out the hamburger buns. Top each half of a bun (cut side up) with some of the meat/egg mixture. (The recipe calls for 8 buns, but I only had 6 and it worked out o.k.) -Sorry about the poor lightening. It got dark in my kitchen and the fluorescent lights are horrid!

Grate how ever much cheese you want to put on top. I grated between 1 1/2 and 2 cups, but this is to taste.

Top each half with the cheese.

When they are all cheese-topped sufficiently, the whole thing gets put under a low broiler until the cheese is melted and the bread is a little toasted.

When it's done it will look something like this:  (My dining room has much better lighting!)

Only thing left to do is serve it up with some veggies. 
Do you have a favorite SPAM dish? Drop me a note and I'll try it out. If I like it, it might even end up on the blog! :)

Here's the recipe:

Party Delight

1 can of SPAM, finely diced (about 1/4 inch pieces)
6 boiled eggs, peeled and finely diced (about 1/4 inch pieces)
2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
1/2 tsp mustard
1 Tbsp onion powder
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 package (8) hamburger buns
grated cheddar cheese (about 2 cups - to taste)

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients completely. On a baking sheet, line up the hamburger bun halves (cut side up). Top all 16 halves with an equal amount of the meat/egg mixture. Top with grated cheese. Place under a low broiler for 5-10 minutes (until the cheese is melted, and the bread is slightly toasted). Serve warm or room temperature. 

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