September 30, 2010

Shish Kabob? SPAM Kabob!

Today's frightening food is again courtesy of the prolific Culinary Arts Institute, this time from The Lunch Box Cookbook, 1955.  These folks have some interesting ideas about what constitutes a good choice for the lunch box.  There are a few recipes that are scary enough to merit their own post in a future frightening food, but then there are ones that just seem like bad ideas, like Swedish Meatballs (yum!) served cold (yuck!). Today's SPAM Week recipe falls into the bad idea category - what might be palatable warm from the grill doesn't sound all that appealing served cold from the lunch pail.

Judging from the cookbooks in my collection, shish kabob seems to be a popular 50's fad, right up there with everything-in-aspic and candles dripping onto empty wine bottles. Here's the intro to the 'Kabobs' section of The Lunch Box Cookbook:
I can't agree on the "equally delicious..." claim. I like cold marinated mushrooms.  I like warm grilled mushrooms.  But warm grilled mushrooms when they get cold? Spongy, slimy and sad. [Hard to believe - a Google search for 'sad mushroom' returned 182,000+ items!]

Kabobs - Base Method

Set out wooden or metal skewers or wooden picks. Cut meat, large vegetables or fruit into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Drain cooked or canned food thoroughly. To give extra zip and juiciness to the kabobs, marinate the meats, vegetables and fruits by allowing pieces to stand in a seasoned liquid, such as French Dressing. Liquids such as oil and vinegar or oil and lemon juice blend well with the flavor of meats and vegetables.  Fruits become especially tempting in a sweet marinade sauce such as Honey French Dressing. Herbs, spices, garlic, onion, sugar (brown or granulated), zesty meat sauces or tabasco sauce will pep up the marinade. Carefully thread ingredients for the kabob on to the skewer, alternating foods to be used. Place meat morsels slightly apart on skewer to insure thorough cooking.  To broil, brush with melted butter or margarine or with the marinade.  Place in broiler with tops of kabobs about 3 in. from heat source; broil until particular food being used is done.  Turn kabobs frequently during broiling and brush with marinade.  Cool kabobs, wrap individually, and chill in refrigerator until ready for packing. 

Fruit and Meat  Kabobs

Follow Base Method. Cut into 2x2x1-in. cubes
Canned luncheon meat [aka SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM]
Rinse and pat dry [!]
Apricots, dried (uncooked) or fresh unpeeled, and pitted
Thread meat cubes and apricots onto skewer with
Pineapple chunks
Honey French Dressing is especially good for marinating this kabob.  Drain and pack for lunch, or broil about 5 minutes, or until well heated.  Eat at once or chill and wrap.

Honey French Dressing

3/4 cup salad oil
 1/4 cup lemon juice
1 TBS. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp. celery seed (optional)

Combine in a screw-top pint jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously.
Store covered in refrigerator. Shake well before using. About 1 cup dressing

Pierre has a salad bigger than his head,
with delicious Honey French Dressing.
Marie easily resists eating thanks to
her bariatric reduction belt.

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