As I warned, it’s SPAM week here at I Eat Food. Tonight’s recipe is another direct from the SPAM® website, and like the Spam Musubi, completely vegan other than the SPAM. It’s the exotic-sounding Polynesian Bake!
1/2 – 2/3 recipe vegan Spam
1 can sliced pineapple
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice up your vegan Spam. I cut seven slices, because that’s what fit into my baking dish, but it happens to be how many the original recipe calls for so it’s even more authentic.
The original recipe calls for a fresh pineapple, which you cut lengthwise and then bake the “loaf” right in the rind. Although I was really tempted to do this for the cute factor, and although I love pineapple and rarely use canned anything when I could use fresh, canned pineapple is much easier and actually the perfect size for the vegan Spam. For a baking dish, I used a 1 1/2 pint Pyrex refrigerator dish. Alternating slices of Spam and pineapple, assemble a “loaf” in a suitably-sized baking dish.
Juice your lemon. One medium lemon should provide you just about exactly the 1/4 cup juice you need.
Combine the lemon juice, apricot preserves, mustard, and black pepper in a small bowl.
Pour the sauce over the “loaf”.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, basting half-way through.
Remove from oven and serve.
I accompanied the Polynesian Bake with green beans. I googled “Polynesian green bean recipe” wondering if I’d find anything good to go with the Spam and found this recipe alleging to be from Disney. I didn’t photograph the whole process because I wasn’t intending to post it, but they went so well with the Spam dish, I figure I might as well.
Polynesian Green Beans
1 lb green beans, trimmed
1/2 red onion or 3 shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce (or 2 Tbsp regular soy sauce + 2 Tbsp sugar) (I don’t quite get why the original recipe calls for low-sodium soy sauce AND additional salt…)
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp vegan “bacon” bits
Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat, add a bit of oil and bring to temperature, then add onion or shallots and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Add the green beans and fry for 10 minutes. I deglazed the wok with a bit of pineapple juice instead of water or wine because I’m crazy like that. Also, the juice from my pineapple was sitting nearby and was handy.
Add the soy sauce and pepper and stir-fry for two minutes, allowing it to glaze the green beans. Add the “bacon” bits and stir-fry for one minute.
Verdict? I much preferred the texture of the vegan Spam when it was fried. Baked it was a little bit like a sort of Spammy polenta, if you can imagine that. It wasn’t bad and it grew on me as the meal progressed, but I think next time I’ll lightly fry the Spam slices, then top with the pineapple and sauce and broil for a couple of minutes. Ooh, or maybe grill it. I would like to revisit this recipe because the sauce was good and I have always loved pineapple and hammy things. I’m not sure of Mark’s opinion because he is downstairs obsessively watching Hell Boy 2, but when I went down there to collect Brachtune from his lap in order to pill and feed her, I noticed his plate had been cleaned, so he must have liked it to some degree!