Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spam Spam Spam, Macaroni, Hold the Spam

If I ever get back to Portland, Oregon, I'm heading back to Le Bistro Montage. While at EPICon a few years back, I made a side trip over there on the recommendation of a local friend. It's a late night joint, and in the dark it looks downright unsettling given its location under some bridge. We took a taxi over and the driver knew exactly where to go, however. I made sure to call for one well before we were ready to leave - being in a strange town, I didn't know for how long I wanted to stand outside.

Inside, the place reminded me of the many college bars and eateries hubby and I patronized in Athens. Paint peeling on walls, loud music, tattooed waitresses. To read some of the Yelp reviews, you'll get a better idea of the place - if you're into haute cuisine, it's probably not for you. If you want to drink local beer and people watch, you're in heaven.

I am a mac and cheese fiend, so when I saw their menu of specialty macs I dove right in and went right for the arteries with the Spicy Spam Mac. Elbow pasta, cheese, and SPAM cubes, hot as all hell. You may think, well you can get mac and cheese pretty much anywhere. I do here, but not like this.

My sister is a forensic scientist. She works in a lab determining the origin of seized meth and weed. We like to joke that we should send her food to figure out the ingredients. I took home leftovers that night, but they didn't make it for the plane trip home. I had to rely on my memory to recreate the recipe, so here's what I did:

Since I waffle on and off Weight Watchers, I wanted to create an alternative that wouldn't contribute to my death, so here's what I came up with: I'd boil a cup of pasta, the large elbow kind since it's more conducive to holding the cheese. Then I'd take a triangle of the Laughing Cow Swiss soft cheese spread (each wedge is one WW point under the old system) and cook it up in a small pan with a splash of milk to create a sauce. Stir in some cubed lean ham instead of SPAM, then mix in the finished pasta.

To add the spice, I'd stir in some chili powder toward the end.

With hubby teaching nights, this is a quick meal I like to make for myself once in a while when I crave comfort food that isn't comfortably fattening. I could eat pasta every day, and while that might not help my weight loss I will keep looking for ways to adapt.

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