Tuesday, 24 May 2011
I know . . . I can see you wrinkling your noses, and I can't say that I blame you, but hear me out. Loathe it or love it, Spam has been around for a very long time. During my husband's WW2 and Post War childhood, it was often on the menu in the family home, along with tinned corned beef, and it has long been a staple of school dinners. It's a cheap alternative when it comes to meat, and in lean times has been a real mainstay for a great many families.
One of the ways it is often served over here in the UK, is as a tasty fritter. Indeed, you can buy Spam Fritters in lots of chippies (What we call a fish and chip shop over here. Generally speaking, they are a fast food place, without seating, where people line up to buy cones of chips, pieces of fried fish, meat pies, sausages, burgers, fritters, curries, kebabs, etc.)
You can even buy them already prepared in ASDA, one of our top grocery store chains. A lot of people eat them with mushy peas and chips, but it's also quite acceptable to have them with hot mashed potatoes and English peas, which is how Todd likes them. But then again . . . he is a real lover of mash.
They make a very filling and economical supper for today's family at a time when the cost of groceries is rising and rising and family's are having a difficult time making ends meet, and they need not be considered all that unhealthy and full of fat. Make sure your fat is hot enough will help to keep down the absorption of oil, and of course draining them well on paper towelling once they are cooked also helps to absorb any extra oil.
My Todd just loves these. I have to admit they are rather tasty. Of course, you could do the same thing with tinned corned beef and they are pretty good also. Whilst I wouldn't recommend eating these every night of the week, they do make a delicious addition once a fortnight, and go a long ways towards keeping down the food costs.
These may not be to everyone's tastes, but they have been around for a very long time and are a very quick and economical family meal.
1 340g tin of Spam (12 ounces)
For the batter:
125g (1 cup) plain flour
pinch of salt
4 fluid ounces of milk, milk&waterm, water, or beer (1/2 cup)
cooking oil for either shallow frying or deep frying
mushy peas, or regular peas
Sift the flour into a bowl. Whisk in the salt and liquid. You will want to have a thick batter in order to coat the spam properly.
Carefully remove the Spam from the tin in one piece. (I take a sharp knife and carefully slide it into the tin between the meat and the tin all around and then holding the tin upside down, gently shake and the meat slides out.) Cut the Spam into 8 slices.
Heat 2 to 3 TBS of oil in a frying pan, or heat a depth of oil in a deep fryer to 170*C/350*F, or until a cube of bread turns golden brown in 1 minute.
Coat the Spam slices with the batter and then carefully drop them into the hot oil. If shallow frying, allow two to three minutes per side. If deep frying, allow a total cooking time of three to four minutes, turning the fritters over as needed. Drain well on paper towels.
Serve hot with buttery mashed potatoes and peas.