I think I just ventured into uncharted territory. At least uncharted in my world. Is there such a thing as smoked SPAM? Is there such a thing as turkey SPAM? Well, if there isn’t, someone’s playing a cruel joke on me because I am here to tell you that when I took a closer look at the turkey bacon on my cutting board this morning, I could have sworn I was looking at thin slices of SPAM and I don’t eat SPAM! I may have had SPAM a long … long … long … long … hell, there aren’t enough elipses to span the amount of time it’s been since I’ve had the pressed pig.
I honestly don’t know why it was in the house that one time when I was growing up. It was clearly an accident. It had to have been the late 60’s or very early 70’s. I think my mom may have been in her experimental phase. You know, kind of like Picaso in one of his phases. I mean, my mom is a phenomenal cook, an artiste in her presentation and creativity. She took some cooking classes in the city to learn how to make Chinese food when it was nothing more than Americanized dishes served in dark restaurants with red flocked wall paper and drinks in Buddha cups with umbrellas in them.. So SPAM would not have been in our culinary lexicon. I don’t remember how the SPAM was served. I just have a vague recollection of that rectangular can in the house.
I think it’s some kind of mind over matter memory blocking thing, but I’ll tell you this, I’ve avoided it since. Even when I lived in the Philippines and the grocery stores had an aisle full of SPAM in a variety of flavors, next to the aisle with macaroni and cheese in the blue box and the one with various flavors of tuna packed in oil, I didn’t give into the can. And surprisingly, the temptation of the bright and shiny new SPAMJAM restaurant in the Glorietta Mall in Makati never had enough allure to get me to go in and spend p99 ($0.50) on the Rice Combo #1. I wasn’t feeling it. But that’s ok. It meant I left a lot for others to have and believe me, the love of SPAM in that part of the world is big, so I didn’t leave anyone unhappy with my reticence.
But all this talk about SPAM leads me to the burning question. Is Turkey Bacon a thinly disguised recipe for SPAM with a different name? Look at it. There’s nothing about this turkey bacon that says turkey and the only thing that says bacon is the artificial smoky flavor. I think turkey bacon is SPAM of the poultry variety and I need to get to the bottom of this mystery.
I might have to take a trip to one of the SPAM centers of the world and spend a couple of weeks researching SPAM. I could jet off to Hawaii and do some important SPAM research, however it seems silly to fly all the way to Hawaii and never leave the US to research the SPAM mystery. I think this calls for a trip to the Philippines. But in the meantime, I made another
SPAM turkey bacon breakfast to use up the rest of that funny looking “bacon” I had in the fridge. I’ve got a real itch to cure some of my own bacon again, but that would be like tempting the devil. It’s so crazy good that I’d be taunting myself.
This time I tried an egg poaching method that a friend at work told me about. I probably won’t be doing that again.
My friend uses this method on camping trips and it makes sense. Crack an egg into a Ziploc bag and slide it into a pot of boiling water and in a few minutes you’ve got a creamy poached egg. Yep, it works, but … it looks um… not like what you’d expect. I like the texture of an egg slid into a pot of simmering water that’s been swirled with a spoon into a tornado-like vortex so that the egg white covers the yolk and results in a custard-like finish better, but we’re not here to talk about the texture of eggs.
We’re talking turkey bacon and it’s similarity to SPAM. I don’t know why I care? Well, yes I do. The Weight Watchers Points Plus value for Turkey Bacon is just about the same bacon and if I can have a choice, I’m going with bacon. Sorry. That’s just how it is. The value is close enough to warrant a Pig intervention as far as I’m concerned! So, I used the last of the turkey bacon and put that experiment to rest. I’m all for weight loss and eating more healthy, but with the infrequency with which I’m eating anything with the word bacon in it, I’m happy to give up the processed bacon that comes from nowhere close to a pig’s belly.
- Turkey Bacon — 2 slices = 2 points
- Bacon — 2 slices = 3 points
This would be a delicious recipe to pull out that home made Aji Verde Sauce to brighten up your breakfast!
|Turkey Bacon & Egg Breakfast Tortilla||
- 2 slices Turkey Bacon
- 1 ounce, low fat melting Cheese (Cheddar/Colby/Jack)
- 1 tablespoon Onion, diced
- 1 small ripe Tomato, chopped
- 1/4 lime or 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
- About 10 cooked beans or about 1/10th of an ounce — almost any bean will work. I used cranberry beans, but pinto or black beans work well also
- 4 sprigs Cilantro, torn
- 1 Corn Tortilla
- Heat a saucepan to boiling.
- Crack an egg into a ziptop bag and seal. Use a bag that says microwave or heat safe.
- Cook the turkey bacon in a hot skillet until browned. You can cook until crispy, but in this dish, it’s not absolutely necessary. I use a grill pan which gives the bacon defined grill marks.
- Remove the turkey bacon to a cutting board and chop. There’s no need to wash the pan at this point.
- Add the turkey back to the pan with the beans and cook for 3 minutes, stirring to heat through on medium heat.
- Meanwhile, chop the tomato, onion and cilantro and chili powder together and add the lime juice and combine.
- Crisp the tortilla over a flame or under the broiler. Be careful to watch it to make sure you only char the tortilla in spots, not burn it all over to a blackened crisp.
- Heat the skillet on low and add a few pumps of olive oil spray to the pan.
- Place the charred tortilla in the pan.
- Sprinkle the cheese on 1/2 of the round.
- Add the turkey bacon and top with tomato-onion-cilantro mixture.
- Cook until the cheese begins to melt. If you want, using a spatula, carefully fold the tortilla in half and continue cooking.
- In the meantime, reduce the boiling water to a simmer and add the bag with the egg.
- Cook for 4 minutes or until it achieves the desired texture in simmering water.
- Turn the tortilla when the egg has been simmering for 2 minutes.
- Gently slide the poached egg on top of the tortilla and serve.
The Weight Watchers Points Plus value of this flavor-filled breakfast is between 7 and 9 points — depending on which site you use. I use both Weight Watchers and Spark People. I use Weight Watchers to initially build the recipe and Spark for more in-depth nutritional details. Spark is always a bit higher in the points conversion.
Any kind of tortilla works, but I don’t skimp on flavor or texture and corn tortillas are my go-to
Add any kind of vegetable you like. I didn’t add jalapeños this time, but peppers or salsa verde or salsa roja are a fabulous addition.
And please, let me know what you think — Turkey Bacon, is it SPAM in disguise?