Spam can save – and earn – money

Recently NBC News did a feature on the recession-fueled resurgence of Spam.

Spam sales are up.

If money is tight at your house, then Spam might be the solution to high-priced meats. But if you thought you’d never eat Spam again, here’s a reason to buy a can or two.
Each year Hormel Foods holds the Great American Spam Champion recipe contest at state and county fairs across the country. Hormel gave $3,000 to the creator of last year’s winner. Ron Pearman of Colorado won the competition with mini Spam nacho burgers. McKenna Peden of Louisville was named National Spam Kid Chef of the Year at the Kentucky State Fair last August. She won a $2,000 cash prize for her creation, Spamkins breakfast muffins. The third grader’s breakfast muffins start with a French toast-inspired batter spooned into muffin tins, topped with a layer of sugar and cinnamon, and cubed sauteed Spam with bacon.
You can try these recipes or create one of your own to enter in the Great American Spam Champion recipe contest to be held in August at the Kentucky State Fair.

Spamkins breakfast muffins

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 (1/4-ounce) packages rapid rise yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (12-ounce) can SPAM® with Bacon, diced and sautéed in a small amount of butter
3 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup maple syrup, divided

Lightly spray 18 standard-size muffins cups with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine all batter ingredients. Place about 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Divide and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over each of the muffins. Arrange the SPAM® with Bacon over the batter (about 1 tablespoon in each muffin cup). In another bowl, combine the 3 eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk. Divide and pour the egg mixture over the batter (about 1 tablespoon in each muffin cup). Drizzle the muffins with syrup. Place muffin pans in a cold oven and set temperature to 350°F. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the egg mixture is set. Let muffins stand for 5 minutes in the cups. Remove muffins from cups and serve warm or at room temperature. If desired, serve with additional maple syrup for dipping. Makes 18 muffins. Here’s Pearman’s  recipe.

Mini Spam nacho burgers

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons diced red onion

1 (12-ounce) can SPAM® Classic
12msmall squares of cheddar cheese
1 (12-ounce) package small Hawaiian sweet rolls, lightly toasted
1 cup prepared guacamole
6 red pickled sliced jalapeño peppers, cut in half

In medium bowl, stir together the salsa ingredients; set aside. Slice SPAM® Classic into six 1/2-inch thick slices. Cut each slice in half (you will have12 squares). Lightly grill or fry SPAM® squares until lightly browned on both sides. Place one slice of cheese on each piece of SPAM® Classic. Let cheese begin to melt. Place grilled SPAM® Classic on toasted roll bottoms. Top each burger with guacamole, tomato-chipotle salsa and a piece of jalapeño pepper. Makes 12 mini burgers.