Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, March 17, 1999

Special to the Star-Bulletin
The first-place Spam sculpture of a fish.

Fine dining with -- believe
or not --Spam

Make a rich sauce of wine, butter and fancy mushrooms and you can dress up anything. Even Spam.
Don Eovino's Spam chops, crusted with breadcrumbs and smothered in a porcini sauce, proves the point. Eovino took the top prize in a private Spam cooking contest last month.

Dawn Isa invited 60 of her closest friends to a Spamarama at her Hawaii Kai home, asking them to bring Spam dishes and sculptures carved of Spam.

Lesser winners were a Spam upside-down cake (imagine that), Evil Jungle Spam, Spamaloni, Mu Shu Spam, Spam bao and a Hungarian Spam dish.

Eovino -- who says of Spam, "I detest the stuff" -- camouflaged his main ingredient nicely. It tasted "like a really rich pork chop," he said


Italian Crusted Spam Chops

Bullet 6 cans Spam
Bullet 2 eggs
Bullet 1/4 cup milk
Bullet 2-3 cups Italian bread crumbs
Bullet 1 cups fresh porcini mushrooms
Bullet 2 cups chardonay
Bullet 2 Maui onions, sliced
Bullet 8 tablespoons butter
Bullet 1/2 cup marsala wine
Bullet 1/2 cup sherry
Bullet 1/4 cup lemon juice

Olive oil cooking spray

Cut each block of Spam in half lenghtwise, then cut each half into the shape of a pork or veal chop. Use leftover pieces to make a "tail" for each chop and attach with toothpicks. Beat the eggs and milk together; dip the chops in the mixture and roll in bread crumbs. Spray with olive oil and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak mushrooms in chardonay. Saute onions in half the butter until clear, then add marsala, sherry and lemon juice. Simmer 5 minutes, until liquid is reduced by half. Add mushroom/wine mixture, as well as remaining butter; cook until thickened. Pour mixture over chops. Serve with steamed asparagus and garnish with Parmesan cheese, chives and parsley.

Bullet Approximate nutritional analysis per chop: 620 calories, 50 g total fat, 19 g saturated fat, 135 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,800 mg sodium.*

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