CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 18 Made in America: Part III - Page 46

W W W. C R A F T BY U M H . C O M BEER-AND-SPAM MAC AND CHEESE J. Kenji López-Alt, chief culinary advisor at the Serious Eats website and author of the cookbook The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking through Science, originally posted a “3-Ingredient, 10-Minute Macaroni and Cheese” recipe on Serious Eats that caught my eye. What are those three ingredients (not counting salt and water)? Macaroni, cheese and canned evaporated milk. Considering that canned evaporated milk is a staple ingredient in many a Filipino pantry, I was immediately drawn to Kenji’s recipe. Sure enough, when I looked in my cupboard to make Kenji’s Mac and Cheese, there were indeed a cou- ple of cans of evaporated milk, as well as a few cans of Spam, as it happened. One thing led to another, and I ended up with a Filipinized version of Kenji’s recipe that featured the aforementioned evaporated milk and Spam, as well as a splash of beer and some shredded queso de bola Edam cheese. Although my version of Kenji’s recipe has more than three ingredients, it still comes together in no time, and it goes incredibly well with beer. And depending on how hungry you and your drinking companions are, this recipe can be easily scaled up or down. MAKES 2 TO 4 SERVINGS PREP TIME: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 25 minutes 1 tablespoon oil 6 oz (170 g) cubed Spam ¼ cup (65 ml) beer, preferably a pale lager 6 oz (170 g) elbow macaroni 1 cup (250 ml) water, or as needed Pinch of salt, plus more to taste ¾ cup (180 ml) evaporated milk 6 oz (170 g) grated cheese, preferably an equal mix of Edam and mild cheddar, or all mild cheddar Hot sauce (optional), for serving Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the Spam to the pan in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, for 1 to 2 minutes until the first side is browned and crisp. If you try to stir the Spam before it browns properly, it may stick to the pan. After the first side has browned, stir and toss the Spam so that the other surfaces are coated in the oil. Con- tinue to toss and cook for 1 to 2 minute more to lightly brown and crisp on all sides. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Return the pan to medium-high heat and pour in the beer. Use a wooden spoon to stir and scrape up any browned bits that may be stuck to the bottom. Add the macaroni, and then pour in just enough cold water to barely cover. Increase the heat to high, add a pinch of salt, and bring the liquid to a boil. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed and the macaroni is nearly al dente, 5 to 6 minutes. Photography by Marvin Gapultos Add the evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the cheese, and stir continuously until all the cheese has melted and a creamy sauce has formed, about 2 minutes more. The sauce will thicken as it sits; add a splash of beer or water to thin as needed. Return the Spam to the pan and stir to incorporate. Season to taste with more salt, and serve immediately with hot sauce on the side if desired. PHOTO CREDIT: © 2018 by Angie Mosier © Hundred-to-One LLC 2018. All rights reserved.