At work a couple of weeks ago, two of my friends and I were reminiscing about Spam. Verna is Hawaiian-Filipino and Kaileigh is Mexican-Filipino. Besides having Filipino blood in common, we all share a love of Spam. Anyway, Kaileigh was telling us about this really easy dish she makes called Chili con Spam and she shared her recipe with us.
Fast forward to today. School is officially over and 3 of my kids came home this morning. I decided to fix a late breakfast to feed everyone…. bacon, eggs, hash browns…. and then I thought it would be a perfect time to try the Chili con Spam recipe. I searched everywhere but couldn’t remember where I saved it! I decided to google it, but only ONE recipe for Chili con Spam came up. It was a recipe submitted by a lady in Guam named Jane Certeza who apparently took 2nd Place for it at The Great Spam Cook-Off Island Style. I looked at it but it had way more ingredients than I remembered Kaileigh’s recipe having so it couldn’t be the same one.
I decided to text Kaileigh and ask her for her recipe again which she promptly sent off to me. Ah…. that was the one I remembered! Super easy with just 4 ingredients. But then another obstacle came along. Kaileigh’s recipe called for yellow wax chilies which I didn’t have. Great. I didn’t want to drive all the way down the hill just for chilies and none of the kids did either. So with wails of, “But I just drove hours to get here, Mama. You want me to drive some more?!?” ringing in my ears, I turned back to the Guamanian recipe which I happened to have all the ingredients for in my pantry.
Guess I’ll have to save Kaileigh’s Chili con Spam for next time. Sigh……. By the way, the Guamanian Chili con Spam was a hit. Everyone loved it and it quickly disappeared.
CHILI CON SPAM
1 can (12 oz.) spam, cubed
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (15 oz.) stewed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. cumin (I only used 1 Tbsp.)
dash of black pepper
1½ tsp. sugar
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
In skillet, fry spam until light brown on all sides.
Add onions and garlic; sauté until onions are softened.
Stir in stewed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and sugar.
Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add tomato sauce and kidney beans.
Simmer over low heat for an additional 10 minutes or so.
This soup has been around for a while in one form or another. I’ve seen it made with hamburger meat, canned mixed vegetables, pasta, ranch-style beans, minestrone soup, all kinds of different ingredients. And that’s the beauty of this soup. You can literally make it with whatever ingredients you have on hand in your pantry as long as you have the base of canned tomatoes and beans. The Pioneer Woman makes her version with seven ingredients coming from cans, plus the addition of Velveeta cheese. I thought I would try her version because (I admit it) I love Velveeta cheese. I know, I know. But hey, it was all we had growing up in the Philippines! I seriously think it’s the best “cheese” to use when you need something quick-cooking and melty. I also liked the addition of the chili and think it elevated this into a hearty Tex-Mex style dish. It was delicious! I served it with a bunch of garnishes on the side and the family thought that made it even better! This soup comes together really quickly and is perfect on a cold winter’s night!
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans
1 can (15 oz.) black beans
1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn or fiesta corn
1 can (10 oz.) Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can (15 oz.) chili with no beans
8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut in cubes
salt and pepper, to taste
Optional Garnishes: sour cream, sliced or diced avocado, chopped cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and/or red pepper flakes
Without draining any of the cans, empty all seven of them into a large pot.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Toss in the cheese cubes and continue to simmer, stirring until cheese is melted.
Taste, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Serve optional garnishes on the side for people to top their own soup.
I thought that since I posted the recipe for Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Muffins yesterday, I would post My Old Goat’s Chili con Carne recipe today. His chili is a family favorite. He seasons it with Carroll Shelby’s Chili Mix (which you fix hot or mild according to your own preference) and a packet of McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix. I asked Old Goat if he would give me his recipe so that I could post it here and he agreed to share it with me.
CHILI CON CARNE
2½ lbs. lean ground chuck
1 small onion, diced
2 cans tomato sauce
1 pkg. Carroll Shelby’s Original Texas Brand Chili Mix
Every other summer, we all load up the car and drive to Sunriver, Oregon for a family vacation. My brother-in-law’s family lives out in Yakima, Washington so they drive down to meet us and we spend a week together in Sunriver, hiking, biking, canoeing, horseback riding, and generally having a good time in the summer sunshine.
While we’re there, we take turns fixing the meals for everyone. It was during one of these vacations that my brother and sister-in-law made these fish kebabs for dinner and since then, I’ve been making them at home. They make a healthy and delicious meal, with the added bonus of being easy to prepare. When you have lots of teenage help (or in their minds – slave labor), assembling the skewers takes hardly any time at all. Throw in a hubby to do the grilling and you can pretty much kick back and relax till it’s time to eat!
HALIBUT SKEWERS WITH CHILI-LIME SAUCE
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1-1/2 tsp. minced serrano chilies
Whisk lime juice, olive oil, sugar, cilantro and chilies in a small bowl until sugar is completely dissolved.
Let sauce stand 1 hour at room temperature to allow flavors to blend, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sauce can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring sauce to room temperature before using.
1-1/2 lbs. halibut fillets, cut in cubes
1 large red bell pepper, cut in cubes
6 green onions, cut in 1-inch lengths
(You want about 30 pieces of fish, 30 bell pepper and 30 onion pieces)
Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Alternate skewering fish, bell pepper and onion pieces onto 6 skewers.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Drizzle kebabs with a little olive oil to prevent sticking to the grill.
Grill until fish is opaque in center and singed in places, turning kebabs occasionally, about 6 minutes.
Transfer kebabs to platter and serve.
Pass chili-lime sauce around in a separate bowl.
NOTE: You can use any firm-fleshed fish for this recipe. I actually used Mahi-Mahi in the skewers pictured.