Sunday, December 4, 2011

Spamtastic Entertaining - Range Style

When you are cooking for special guests, there are normally three schools of thought on what to do.

(1). Make something intensively elaborate to impress.

For example, a truly elaborate meal might be to uncork a bottle of 2005 Rosenblum Cellars Petite Sirah and serve alongside a Crown Roast of Lamb.

The paper (or foil) keeps the end of the bones from getting burnt, and the dish is usually the centerpiece of the table.

All the work involved notwithstanding, have you PRICED a Crown Roast of Lamb? Depending on whether you are shopping Safeway or a special butcher shop, you're going to spend $30 to $80 dollars. Yikes. I don't mind dropping a few dollars on some nice steaks, but $80? That's like 250 rounds of Federal .223 55 gr FMJ!

So there is the second school of thought in cooking for guests.

(2) Use a cheaper substitution and hope they don't notice.

Paired with a nicely chilled bottle of Chateau des Moines, you could serve Redneck Crown Roast of Spam.

Even with a really cool Gerber knife to carve it, I think someone would notice. Now perhaps there's a fellow that would be impressed with that, but he would not be someone I would want to see over espresso in the early morning.

So that leaves us with the third school of cooking for guests.

(3) Simple ingredients, real food, freshly prepared.

Steak with Espresso-Chili Rub. It's dry rubbed with a mixture that includes ancho chili, cinnamon, white pepper, garlic, onion and espresso powder, seared in a cast iron skillet and then finished in the oven until it's as tender as butter. Serve with a salad or some steamed broccoli and a warm loaf of Potato Oatmeal Bread to sop up the juices.

You won't spend your evening trying to prepare something complicated, you won't empty your wallet completely and I think any guest will be duly happy.


  1. ANYTHING served by you would be delicious.


  2. SPAM ain't half bad with a proper sauce on it. :P

  3. Whenever we have a bunch of guests for supper, I make some REALLY killer Chicken Enchilada's. Never had a complaint and they always come back for more.

    Doesn't kill the pocketbook, either.


  4. You forgot the Cheez Whiz to dip the Rack of Spam in!

  5. The wife and I were laughing at #2 and almost didn't get to #3. I agree wholeheartedly. You can impress by simply cooking simply from scratch and doing it well. Honestly, most people don't even eat a home-cooked meal much anymore and THAT is enough to impress them. I swear, are those pepperoni sticks on your rack of SPAM?

  6. Chauteau Des Moines Soy Noir is perfect with Slim Jims.

  7. I am all about number three, but what beer do you serve with the crown roast of spam. Keystone? Milwaukee's Best?

  8. "Redneck Crown Roast of Spam" and the Lesters poster in the sidebar are just the laugh I needed today. Thank you.

    I might imagine the crown roast of Spam making an appearance at deer camp. :-)

    Number 3 definitely hits the spot.

  9. Shep: Rack of Spam is the reason they still make Schlitz.

  10. Isn't this where I am supposed to say it's the company that matters?

    My kids really don't mind spam...I'll dice it up and throw it and some diced tomatoes in mac and cheese...or I have cubed it small to put in fried rice before...

    As far as crown rack of lamb...never tried making it. I have had lamb a few times, but I really didn't get anything out of it I wouldn't have gotten out of GOOD pork.

  11. Didn't Slim Jims used to be a LOT longer? I love those things. Fortunately for me, I don't like anyone so I never have anyone over to eat. This is a time and money saver and allows me to feel I'm doing my part to make the world greener.

  12. A crown roast of Axis is fantastic - especially with some garlic butter to dip them into...

  13. A $5 tray of chicken thighs and the "Two Buck Chuck" Cabernet make really excellent Cacciatore.

  14. B, I've tried that. It was excellent, but the bones take extra care to keep them from becoming burnt and brittle when they are "frenched". They are already so thin to begin with. I learned that the hard way trying to cook Axis chops like a lamb chop.

  15. Naught belays culinary criticism as thoroughly as an Applegate Fairbairn.

    Spam browned in brown sugar is kinda nice. Spam in can is not-especially in temps below 50 degrees F.

    Was 'Patriot' by Rawles a novel or a how-to catalog?


  16. I grew up 30 miles from the Spam Capital of the world....

    Went to college and played football in same said city...
    They even have a Spam Museum!!!

    I don't do spam...

    All it is as I have been told, is what they sweep up off the floor at the end of the day..


    I'll have bad dreams about spam this, spam that, eat your spam.....

  17. Needed the laugh and the pictures of home cooking. Thanks a bunch Brigid!

    Spent Sat. evening in the emergency room with mom & stepfather. Lots of tests to confirm no urgent, life threatening problem with mom after a fall. We did have to steal all her candy and feed her proper food & medications. She was hungry-grouchy, and not a happy camper at all about not getting her way. Her mood improved today, and she seems to be getting better. Tomorrow after installing more handrails, the searching of her house from top to bottom for any remaining secret stashes of sugary treats will continue. Blasted diabetes!

    Do you have any low-carb recipe suggestions for Christmas treats? I could use a few ideas for mom. I don't dare give her any cutout cookies this year.

  18. Chateau des Moines?

    Here in Iowa I think that's a synonym for Hawkeye Vodka.

  19. I don't do lamb or spam, but I love my BEEF to scout the walk-in.

  20. Mrs. S. - I am glad you were there to take care of her and I hope today brings better spirits and health to her. There is a diabetic in my extended family. I'll see if they have some recipes when I get off work.

  21. Crown roast of pork can be nearly as impressive, but a little cheaper than a lamb crown. I'll have to try the steak.

  22. This is a non-sequitur to be sure, but the wife and I were browsing through your recipes this morning and thought you would appreciate this pic regarding our continuing love affair with bacon.


I started this blog so the child I gave up for adoption could get to know me, and in turn, her children, as well as share stories for a family that lives too far away. So please keep it friendly and kid safe. Posts that are only a link or include an ad for an unknown business automatically to to SPAM..