SPAM, a lot
Three cheers (and a rousing chorus of "Gross!") for Colorado Springs resident Ron Pearman, who not only took first place last summer at the Colorado State Fair, but recently won the National SPAM Champion Award for his Mini SPAM Nacho Burgers. His recipe, one of 700 from 40 state and county fairs, netted him $3,000 as it beat out the likes of SPAM Shooters, SPAMSUM (like dim sum) and SPAM Ranchero Cheesecake.
Yeah, SPAM cheesecake. I know.
For more on SPAM which a recent New York Times editorial called one of the "four food groups of the apocalypse" for its strong sales in this economy talk to someone from Hawaii or take a bite from a can of moist cat food. See Pearman's recipe below:
2008 State Fairs grand prize-winning Great American Spam Championship recipe
Mini SPAM Nacho Burgers
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. minced canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tbsp. diced red onion
1 (12 ounce) can SPAM Classic
12 small squares of cheddar cheese
1 (12 ounce) package small Hawaiian sweet rolls, lightly toasted
1 cup prepared guacamole
6 red pickled sliced jalapeo peppers, cut in half
In a medium bowl, stir together salsa ingredients; set aside. Slice SPAM Classic into six 1/2-inch thick slices. Cut each slice in half (making 12 squares). Lightly grill or fry SPAM squares until browned on both sides. Place one slice of cheese on each piece of SPAM classic. Let cheese begin to melt. Place grilled SPAM on toasted roll bottoms. Top each burger with guacamole, tomato-chipotle salsa and a piece of jalapeo pepper. Makes 12 mini burgers.
Submitted by Ron Pearman
V, or vendetta
Yup Valentine's Day, the friend of all waiters' wallets, is in two days. We've received elaborate, chocolate-laden menus from just about every restaurant in the city vying for attention. If you haven't made reservations somewhere by now, you're probably too late and this might be the beginning of the end of your relationship. But hey, I'm no fortune cookie, so try to nab a seat, Dummy.
Where can you eat sustainably on the cheap? The answer might surprise you on two fronts: One, it's at Colorado College. Two, the public is welcome.
The Preserve at Colorado College (ground floor of McHugh Commons at 1090 N. Cascade Ave.) is open from 11 a.m. to midnight daily, serving mostly local and organic products, from scratch. According to Beth Gentry, GM of Bon Apptit (the campus food provider), most meals cost between $5 and $8 (at dinner, that's an entre and two sides) and several pre-made meals are available in cold cases. There's also coffee, smoothies and plenty more.
A side note: Gentry is also in charge of a waste-reduction program, in which the campus plans to collect and weigh all its food waste between now and Earth Day (April 22) to get people thinking about the impact of the food they (don't) eat. Visit cafebonappetit.com/coloradocollege for more.
Pizza and tequila (separately)
Pizzeria Rustica (2527 W. Colorado Ave.) will begin opening for lunch Friday through Sunday, from noon to 2 p.m., starting Feb. 13. Come May 1, its hours will expand from noon to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Visit pizzeriarustica.com for more.
Sonterra Grill (28 S. Tejon St.) and a "Corzo Ambassador" will host a tequila-paired, three-course dinner at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 24. $40 seats include tax/tip; call 471-9222 for reservations.