Did you know that it has been over a year since I made a SPAM dish for this blog??
I know, I know. Shameful.
But that is all behind us now, because not only have I made it all good by making a dinner with SPAM, I’ve upped the ante by making a dinner that includes both our favorite canned luncheon meat AND Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner.
And I managed to make a checkerboard on top of said concoction with the aforementioned luncheon meat.
How’s that for retro?
I have to admit, it’s pretty good.
This week’s recipe comes from Kraft’s Main Dish cookbook, which was published in 1970 and has the distinction as being my favorite cookbook right now. Seriously. Not only is it filled with references to extinct Kraft products (Kraft Mexican Style Macaroni Dinner, anyone?), but it also has about 30 or so recipes for what do to with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner besides just mixing it up and eating it straight out of the pot. Highlights include adding copious amounts of sour cream, chilling it and mixing it into salads, stuffing it into pie plates filled with meat and, of course, adding ridiculous amounts of cream of something soups to it.
The checkerboard of luncheon meat makes it hearty and elegant!
I know it doesn’t look like much from this angle, but there is a whole can of cream of celery soup in here.
There. Now you can see it.
As a side note, I drastically undercooked my Kraft Dinner before I covered it with slices of SPAM. As I have previously ranted in the past, I hate overcooked Kraft Dinner. Then I pretended that by mixing frozen peas into this mess I was actually cooking.
Remember: Hearty and elegant!
But, I have to admit, we had some very happy cats who wanted to share our dinner.
“Please? Please? Please? I am ever-so-good and sitting on your lap so patiently. And it looks hearty and elegant!”
No dice, cat. No matter how cute you are.
“It tastes like soup.’
“Really? I was kind of hoping it was going to turn into some sort of magical glorious version of Kraft Dinner.”
“Nope. Just soup. Celery soup.”
“Good thing you like soup.”
“I don’t think anyone likes cream of celery soup this much.”
“You are probably right.”
The Verdict: Fine. It tasted like Cream of Celery soup with noodles and peas in it. The taste of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner was sadly and completely eradicated by the overwhelming taste of celery. In a secondary, but slightly less disappointing, failure, only half of the SPAM slices were brown. The parts that were hidden from the heat didn’t get that lovely fat crust, and stayed slimy.
- 1 box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner
- 2 cups cooked peas
- 1 can condensed cream of celery soup
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 12 oz can luncheon meat, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
- Pimiento strips
- Prepare dinner as directed on package.
- Add peas, soup, milk and salt. Mix well.
- Pour into 12×8 inch baking dish. Arrange luncheon meat slices in a checkerboard pattern; garnish with pimiento.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
This is basically how I make Tuna Casserole, subbing tuna for the Spam. I generally use Kraft Deluxe dinner because the cheese sauce it makes is a little “goopier” and harder to be overwhelmed by the Cream of Celery.
Love Tom’s expression in the last pic!
Sad! It’s really pretty though. I give it the highest amount of pretty points! And wow, that kitty has the eye of the tiger.
You lost me at the peas – and I normally love peas…..
Ha! Midnight is too hee-larious! 🙂
I can only imagine what this recipe really tasted like since it was so overpowered by the Celery Soup…..uggghhhhh!
Really? You made Tuna Casserole with Kraft Deluxe dinner??? That actually sounds pretty good. I might have to try that one!
Thanks, hon! Glad it passed the pretty test, at least!
And yes, Midnight really, really gets serious when she is focused on something she wants.
Yeah, this dish pretty much ruined peas for me for a while, too…
It wasn’t great, I’ll tell you that!
And yes, Midnight is a funny girl!
Love that cat!
OMG my mother in law used to serve something similar to this but she added pineapple slices on top. She made a big deal one time about inviting my parents to supper and she served this I was mortified….
My mother made versions of this – with cream of chicken and broccoli or hotdogs, too. Although, not broccoli and hotdogs at the same time. She, I think, was trying to make do with what we had around and not following a recipe. We lived 20 miles from the grocery store.
Absolutely. It’s delightfully trashy! Sometimes I will substitute chopped broccoli for peas.
Love veg-o-matic’s reference to making tuna casserole with packaged mac & cheese. Back in the late 70’s my kids were exposed at a friend’s house and begged me to make it. I had never tasted a tuna casserole but how difficult could it be? So it was Kraft mac & cheese with tuna. Then came some cream of celery soup (yes, we love the taste). Perhaps some sour cream, then some cheddar cheese. I finally learned to make it from scratch but with peas only in half of the mix due to kids’ preference. Occasionally I still cheat with the Deluxe mac & cheese (flavor is so much better) and it is still quite edible. I would have to draw the line at using the Spam. I eat Vienna sausages, canned corned beef, even potted meat. But Spam is just beyond the veil. Getting ready to retire so maybe it will be a necessity instead of a choice.