My skills in the kitchen are driven by years as an understudy from a great teacher. From here, I’ve learned to create some great (and some not so great) things through trial and error. Mostly because I’m hungry, and almost always out of impromptu improvisation… out of necessity.
So tonight I present to you Thai Panang Curry, with Spam.
Now, hear me out. Curry can take on a lot of variations, and here’s one that might be as far as you’d ever want. Spam is salty, sweet and maybe even a bit cat-foody*, but the curry paste can do a lot to
compliment mask a bit of that flavor.
So here we go. In a large skillet, saute cubed Spam in a generous amount of curry paste. (Mae Ploy makes a few varieties; red and green are my favourites.)
The sweaty pink cubes* turn to a glorious golden brown, and while mixing with the warming curry paste, the aroma fills the house. The cats come from blocks wondering what that wonderful smell is.
With a bit of coconut milk (about a quarter of the can), the curry paste bubbles into a caramel coloured, but sweet-spicy meat flavoured sauce.
In goes the carrot (3 medium, shredded) to soften the blow of the heat and add some depth.
And a couple of handfuls of spinach with the rest of the can of coconut milk. Simmer until nicely combined.
When working together nicely, a dollop of peanut butter pulls together the curry. Of course, this is optional and unorthodox (as much so as SPAM??); I tried it once, and may never go back.
Et voici! Serve with basmati rice, an open mind and Garrison Keillor in the background.
In this dish, the flavours of Minnesota combined with those of Thailand to make a truly exciting and unique dinner.
*Keep in mind I really do like Spam. I would akin its following to that of Vegemite to Aussies; you either like it or you don’t. I’ve you’ve never had it before (you poor thing), this recipe perhaps shouldn’t be your first experience with it; I promise this won’t be my last.