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I know most consider “Bohemian Rhapsody” to be one of the all-time greatest rock songs. Sure, that Wayne’s World scene rings true in a ’70s dude kinda way. Yes, despite the overblown production and nonsensical lyrics, the operatic breakdown is a great bar sing-a-long. It’s just I feel it’s a bit played out. I’ll acknowledge its ambition and groundbreaking genre-bending, but that’s true for the vast majority of Queen’s deep-cut catalog. As far as A Night At The Opera goes, I prefer “Death On Two Legs” or “I’m In Love With My Car” (yes – I said it!) over “Bohemian Rhapsody.” There is no denying one of their biggest hits was a brilliant risky creative move, but if this and radio hits like “Another One Bites The Dust” or “We Are The Champions” are your sole Queen exposure, I suggest you get yourself to a streaming music service and do a deep dive into their early catalog. You can thank me later.
This actually started as a grilled ham recipe but then I thought, if it’s going on the grill, it might as well be SPAM as Cherie (of We Can Tour That fame) will not let me cook SPAM in the house. I haven’t had SPAM in literally decades. It’s definitely a leaner food product with less of that alien jelly substance I remember from my youth. It also seems to have less of the old-school pungent SPAM aroma. It’s still pretty questionable as an ingredient, but for the sake of food punnage, this project, and culinary curiosity, I took one for the team. I have certainly lost any residual SPAM cravings. After eating a whole sandwich for the test kitchen, I can definitively assert this recipe’s lyric quote to be the most appropriate to date.
This is a pretty straightforward grilled sandwich. I chose Buffalo Spice as I just happened to have that in the pantry. Any good BBQ pork seasoning would work – even just simple salt, pepper, and paprika. Make sure the pineapple is REALLY fresh as you want those extra sugars to caramelize on the grill. I went a bit fancy with a bulkie roll (think smaller less crusty kaiser) but honestly, a potato or King’s Hawaiian would work great here. I went with some Carolina Mustard Sauce I had in the fridge, but I good spicy mustard will work just fine.
MAMA, I JUST GRILLED A SPAM
Buffalo Spice grilled SPAM, grilled pineapple, spicy mustard, and cheddar on a bulkie roll
Makes 1 sandwich
6 ounces SPAM, 1/4 inch slices (4 slices)
Buffalo Spice (see recipe below)
1 piece of pineapple, 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon butter at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 ounce of cheddar (or your choice of cheese), shredded
Combine the butter and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
Set up your grill for two-zone cooking and bring the temperature up to 350°F. While the grill is coming up to temperature, lightly coat the SPAM with the oil and season with the Buffalo Spice on both sides.
Place pineapple and SPAM over the hot side. Grill until browned and caramelized checking after 3 minutes. Flip and continue grilling until the other side is browned and caramelized. The pineapple may take longer than the SPAM to cook. If this happens, pull any finished SPAM to the cool side to keep warm.
Spread garlic butter on the inside of the top and the bottom of the bulkie roll. Place on the grill in the zone between hot and cool to toast. When the roll is toasted, flip over, place on the cool side of the grill, top with cheese, and close the lid to melt.
To assemble the sandwich, spread a tablespoon of your mustard choice on the bottom bun. Stack the SPAM and pineapple. Spread a tablespoon of your mustard choice on the top bun and place it on the sandwich.
Makes about a half cup
4 teaspoons garlic powder
4 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Store leftovers in an airtight container.