Time To Cook With “Pumpkin Spice” Spam!
Yes, October is right around the corner, and that means an insane array of “Pumpkin Spice” products to endure…what began as a seasonal flavored “Coffee Latte” has become THIS:
Trust me, it gets even worse…more on that in a moment, but first, I vowed last year to cook with my “collectors can” of Pumpkin Spice Spam, and so that’s what we are going to do!
Ready? Let’s go!
A Patricia Wells Shout Out!
First, it’s important to note that my “Pumpkin Spice Spam and Tillanook Cheddar Cheese Bread” is thanks to Patricia Wells, the terrific Food Author (“Food Lovers Guide To Paris” the first of dozens) and Chef – my wife Alex and I took a cooking class with Patricia at her home in the South of France, and she taught us to make a “Manchego Cheese and Chorizo Loaf” – I took that recipe and adapted it obviously!
The first thing I did to prepare for this dish was to line up all of my ingredients in the shadow of Patricia’s book of recipes from our culinary adventure with her. More on that later, but as you can see, we are ready to cook!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees!
As the oven begin to heat, gather all of your ingredients:
A terrific looking group, right?
I always remind everyone to read the entire recipe first, so you can prep any and all ingredients to avoid a slowdown during the preparation of the dish.
To that end, I opened up my can of Pumpkin Spice Spam – after saving it for a year! Here’s my first reaction: I immediately get the very recognizable smell of Pumpkin Spice filling the room, even more so when I took the Spam out of its can:
Well, that was satisfying, wasn’t it? Next up, I wanted to prep the Spam and the Cheese, so they were both ready to add to the batter when I got to that point in the process:
Pre-cutting my Spam and Tillamook Cheddar Cheese only took a minute, but I wanted them to be ready to go when it was time to combine everything. I cut them into about half inch cubes as Patricia suggests – the size is all up to you, but you don’t want them to overwhelm the loaf when you cut a slice.
Now, onto the batter: in a large bowl, combine 1-1/4 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Blend these together briefly, then add three eggs and combine it all, along with 1/3 cup olive oil.
Note: Patricia used 1/3 cup yogurt here as well, but you can use milk…I only used a little and it created a dense loaf, which you will see later.
Now, add your cubed Pumpkin Spice Spam and Tillamook Cheddar Cheese…try not to eat too many of them while prepping the dish, because it’s easy to do!
Mix all of the ingredients together, add more salt if you like, and at this point you can also add a variety of spices like Paprika or Oregano, or even green olives if you like…it’s basically a “meatloaf with dough!”
Grease a bread pan and pour the mixture in, and spread it around so it’s even across the surface.
Now, here’s where I hesitated – as you can see, the pan is only half full…while I was leaving some room for the loaf to rise, I also didn’t add a lot of baking powder to any of her recommended yogurt…just how disastrous a decision will that turn out to be? We will see!
Time to pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. A sensory note here: the bread smells very good as it bakes – the Pumpkin Spice aroma is quite satisfying – and not too much, just a nice “seasoning” in the air…
You will sense when it’s done, as the top begins to brown nicely and the edges bubble…I inserted a knife to get a sense of resistance and residue not he blade to ensure it was cooked through.
I took it out of the oven and removed it from the bread pan – so now it’s time to carve off a slice!
Here’s what I saw when I cut it open:
Cue The Cheesy Goodness!
There is nothing better than oozing cheese – adding some texture to the loaf – but let’s be honest: no matter how good it looks, how does it taste?
It was time to try it!
OK, let me begin by saying that I’m NOT a fan of Pumpkin Spice in general…pumpkin doesn’t do much for me and I don’t like cinnamon much, which is what this is…but guess what?
This tasted pretty good! And you know why? Because the Pumpkin Spice Spam is smooth and not overpowering at all – in fact, it’s a subtle taste that blends really well with the Cheddar Cheese – I really liked it!
As you can see, it’s a bit dense, so the addition of more milk or yogurt I think would have lightened it up a bit, but remember, it’s not a cake, it’s a bread, and in that regard I found it satisfying – maybe a poached egg over it tomorrow will be just what the Doctor ordered!
Of course, you don’t have to mash up strange food combos – luckily that’s most a thing of the past – but if you DID:
Why not a “Surf ‘n’ Turf” Burger?
I made this for my “52 In 22” cooking challenge and it not only presents well, it’s delicious!
Click here for the recipe: