As for this short hiatus, I will be bringing my camera and hope to post periodic travel notes via Twitter, so feel free to follow my journey via @WasabiPrime. I'll be visiting my dear Mama and Papa Wasabi in Hilo, on the Big Island, aka, ground zero for the most thankfully uneventful recent tsunami warning (whew!). Am hoping to capture a Slippahz-and-Spam-Musubi kind of visit, versus the sandy beaches and fruity drink experience, as my memories of this place are very personal and rather om-nommy. To celebrate this vision of a down-home tropical paradise, I leave you with an Aloha Plenty Bread Pudding, with Spam and Portuguese Sausage.
|Hoh, dis buggaz stay ono kine to da max! - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
This is by no means a traditional local dish, but it combines a lot of local favorites that I thought would go well together: Portuguese sausage (linguica), King's Hawaiian sweet bread, scallions, and the champagne of mystery meats, Spam (insert Dramatic Chipmunk music here). Or as my mother calls it, Spare Parts, All Meat. I know that's not what Hormel's original intent was, but damn it all if my mom's version isn't funnier.
I wasn't sure if the sweetness of the bread would add too much of a sugary flavor, but once it's toasted and then cooked as a savory pudding, the other flavors reign supreme over any lingering sweetness from the bread. I used the pre-packaged rolls because that seems to be more prevalent than the old-school round loaves of King's Hawaiian. It's a delicious bread to eat on its own, with just a bit of softened butter on a slice of its spongey, soft brioche-like texture. I remember many mornings just having a giant slice of sweet bread and a bit of margarine over it, because I was too impatient to wait for the butter to become spreadable. Because of its soft, moist texture, for a bread pudding, it's good to perform the extra step of toasting the cubes of bread first so that it can absorb the liquid custard that will eventually bind all the ingredients together. The resulting savory bread pudding is a hearty slice of Island delight that reflects the unique mix of cultures and unfussy food resourcefulness that is very much a part of Hawaiian life.
If you want to read some previous posts about my last trip to Da Islands, you can read a two-part Mixed Plate post, titled Ono Kine Hawaii:
Green Acres (pt 1)
Island Grindz is da Bes' Kinez (pt 2)
I also created a twist on the popular Hawaiian pizza, using dried spiced pineapple and Black Forest ham, even though I got razzed by family saying "yo, I'm sick of foods with pineapple thrown on it and 'Hawaiian' slapped on the name." Razz all you want - the pizza was ono. Read Fantasy Island Pizza >>
If you're looking to be foodie-gangstah, go ahead and make up a platter of Spam Musubi. I made up a batch to celebrate Hawaii's 50th anniversary for statehood, with little flags! Don't knock it till you try it -- it's onolicious to the tenth power. And your blood sugar will absolutely freak out from all the white rice. Read Statehood Spam Musubi Post >>
Aloha Plenty Bread Pudding
1 package of King's Hawaiian sweet bread/dinner rolls (12 oz), torn/cut into cubes
1 can of Spam, cubed into small pieces
1 package of Portuguese sausage/linguica, sliced into small pieces
2 green onions, chopped finely
1 1/2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cubes of sweet bread onto a baking sheet and toast lightly in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly browned and most of the moisture removed.They should feel like large croutons.
Take a large skillet and place on burner set to medium-high heat. Cook down the slices and cubes of Spam and Portuguese sausage until they are browned. Remove and discard extra oil if desired. Toss the cooked meat and toasted bread cubes in a bowl until incorporated.
Lightly whisk two eggs with the milk in a small bowl. Drizzle over the bread and meat mixture, tossing ingredients until the bread has soaked up the milk and egg custard. Add the green onions and mix until incorporated. Lightly grease a casserole dish with butter or oil, and pour mixture in, spreading evenly along the bottom. Place dish into the preheated oven still at 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the custard has set and the top is browned.
Let bread pudding rest for a few minutes after removing from the oven, slice pieces and serve. Optional, sprinkle with toasted/crushed macadamia nuts and a drizzle of Tabasco sauce for onolicious fun.
Will blog-atcha soon! Mahalo Plenty!
|Mystery Meat with Bread That's Sweet! - Photos by Wasabi Prime|