Spam-tastic! Contest winners from the San Diego County Fair

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Lucia Yandell (left), Monica Bennett, Alberta Dunbar with their winning Spam creations. (Courtesy photo)

Looking for results from the San Diego County Fair cooking contests? I’ve got some here for you — results from the Great American Spam championship (held June 8) and also the Kids’ Contest (held June 23).

The adult winner was Monica Bennett of San Diego, who won $150 for her Spammy Cristo Minis and a chance to move on to the nationals, where she will compete for a trip to Hawaii. Not too bad for a Spam sandwich with a twist! Also winning prizes were Lucia Yandell of San Diego for her Pulled “Spork” Sandwiches, and Alberta Dunbar of San Diego for her Sir Spamalots Club Spamwich.

Winners in the Kids’ Division were Katie Russell, 11, of Oceanside for her Tropical Spamwitch, Colin San Nicolas, 8, Oceanside for his Spamtassium, and Noah Tang, 8, San Diego, for his Spambled Egg Sandwich.

Here’s Monica’s recipe:

Spammy Cristo Minis

Belgian Waffles:
2 cups pancake baking mix
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
Cream Cheese Filling:
3 ounces sweet pickled ginger
3 rings canned unsweetened pineapple, chopped
2 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
Spam Filling:
1 can (12 ounces) Spam Classic
Seasoned pepper
Batter Coating:
1 egg
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
Garnishes: Powdered sugar, raspberry jelly

For Belgian waffles: Thoroughly combine pancake baking mix, buttermilk, vegetable oil and 1 egg in mixing bowl. Add approximately 1/4 cup waffle mix into a preheated waffle maker. Cook waffles until golden brown. Place waffles on a serving plate to cool. Yields about 4 waffles.
For Cream Cheese Mixture: Chop sweet pickled ginger and unsweetened pineapple. In mixing bowl, combine chopped pineapple and ginger with the two packages of softened cream cheese. Mix Chinese five spice powder into cream cheese mixture.
Prepare Spam: Thinly slice one can of Spam Classic. Place Spam in frying pan and cook over low flame until Spam is crispy on surface. Sprinkle with seasoned pepper. Place Spam on serving plate to cool.
For Batter Coating: Place 1 egg, water, salt, sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Thoroughly blend ingredients.
Assemble: Starting with 1 waffle, spread waffles with cream cheese mixture. Place 1 slice of Spam on each waffle quarter. Place second waffle, with cream cheese side facing inward, on top of first waffle. Slice waffle into quarters. Slice quarter pieces in half. Secure each corner of the Spammy Cristo Mini with a long toothpick. Continue process until all waffles have been prepared.
Fill a small saucepan with at least 3 inches of vegetable oil. Make sure the oil line is at least 3 inches away from the rim of the pan. Heat oil with a low to medium flame until oil temperature is approximately 350 degrees. Prepare a tray with several layers of paper towels. Using tongs, dip one Cristo Mini in batter coating, then lower it into the oil. Cook Cristo Mini until coating is golden brown. Using tongs, remove mini from pan and allow it to cool on prepared tray. Sprinkle Cristo Mini with powdered sugar. Repeat until all the minis have been cooked. Serve with raspberry jelly garnish.
Yields: 8 Spammy Cristo Minis

Here’s Katie Russell’s winning recipe:

Tropical Spamwitch

2 teaspoons butter, melted
4 slices bread
1 purple onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
Juice from 1 lime
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 mango, sliced
1 mini cucumber, sliced
One (12 ounce) can Spam Low Sodium, sliced
1 avocado, sliced (optional garnish)
Butter the slices of bread and put in a toaster oven until lightly browned. Saute onion in olive oil until golden brown. In a bowl, mix mayonnaise with lime and orange zest. Set aside. Stir together juice of 1 lime with 1/3 cup water. Add honey, salt and ginger. Pour honey mixture over sliced mango and cucumber. Let sit for 5 minutes.
To make sandwich, spread mayo mixture on inside of bread, top with onions, sliced SPAM, cucumber, mango, avocado and other slice of bread. Enjoy!

(c) copyright Laura Groch 2013

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