9/20/16 ChefElla's Hawaiian Fried Rice with Spam Cakes

I am not Hawaiian, but last year I was at a Hawaiian dinner and I was impressed with how fresh the food tasted.  I will admit that I am more than a little skeptical about their broad use of Spam.  While Spam may seem a little old fashioned and the butt of many jokes, it is a part of the Hawaiian culture.  For this recipe you can substitute other ground meats, but if you like ham you might want to try this recipe with Spam and get in touch with your Hawaiian side.  If Spam cakes are just not your thing, skip it and make the fried rice.  It is a wonderful addition to any meal.

1.     Wash your hands.

2.     For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a wooden spoon, a knife and cutting board, a large scooper, a food processor, a large sauté pan, the stove, a cookie sheet and the oven.

If you are not allowed to use a knife, the oven, stove, or food processor by yourself you can ask an adult for help.

ChefElla’s Hawaiian Fried Rice with Spam Cakes (4-6 servings)

Spam Cakes

24 oz.         Spam (2 – 12 oz. Cans, I used the original but you could use Turkey or Low Sodium)

¼ Cup         Green Onion, The White Part, Thin Sliced (About 6 thin pieces)

       -Reserve the green part of the onion for later.

1 Cup           Panko Bread Crumbs

2 ea.             Egg, Large

¾ Cup           BBQ Sauce (Hawaiian Style, Honey BBQ, or your favorite kind)

1 tsp              Garlic, Fresh (1 large clove)

Hawaiian Fried Rice

4 Cups           Jasmine or Basmati Rice, Cooked

-For fried rice, it is best to cook the rice the day before, and let it cool uncovered in the refrigerator overnight so that it is a little dried out.  If you are not able to make your rice ahead of time it is ok to make when you need it.  Your fried rice will taste great anyway.  You can use pre-cooked rice in the pouch for this recipe also.

1 Cup              Pineapple Pieces, Plus 4 Tbl. reserved pineapple juice

          -Canned Pineapple in water or juice is ok for this recipe.

¼ Cup             Green Onion, The Green Part, Sliced Thin

½ Cup             Carrot, Shredded

4 Tbl.              Teriyaki Glaze or Sauce (Do not use the teriyaki marinade with the water like                                     consistency)

2 Tbl.               Soy Sauce

½ tsp               Garlic, Fresh, Minced

2 Tbl.                Vegetable Oil

½ tsp                Black Pepper

3.     Preheat your oven to 400F.

4.     Cut your spam into chunks and place in the food processor.  Add all of the remaining ingredients.  Pulse the food processor until all of the ingredients are mixed well and there are no large chunks of Spam.  Small pieces the size of a corn kernel are ok.  *If you are using ground meat for your recipe simply mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.  You will not need a food processor.

5.     Line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Using your scooper scoop the Spam cakes onto your pan.  About 4 tablespoons per scoop.  Bake the Spam cakes in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until they have a golden color. 

6.     When the Spam cakes have 15 minutes left to cook heat your sauté pan on the stove on medium high heat.

7.     Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the carrots to the pan and cook stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic to the pan and mix well.  Add the rice to the pan and mix well with the carrots to coat the rice with the oil.  Turn the heat to medium and stir occasionally to let the rice begin to brown a little and heat up.  Cook for 4-5 minutes.

8.     Add the soy sauce and teriyaki glaze to the pan and mix well.

9.     Push all of the rice to one side of you pan and add 1 table spoon of oil to the empty side of the pan.  Crack your eggs into a bowl, do not mix, and pour into the side of the pan with the oil.  Scramble the eggs quickly in the pan.

10.  Mix the rice and cooked egg together and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add your pineapple, green onions, and pineapple juice to the pan and mix well.  Turn off the heat.

11.  Top your spam cakes with a little more BBQ sauce and serve with your fried rice.

You can add or substitute different ingredients to your Hawaiian Fried Rice with Spam Cakes.  Try adding different vegetable to your fried rice or different meats or sauces for your Spam Cakes.



Ella’s Helpers

ChefElla’s helpers can help by:

Measuring the ingredients

Adding the ingredients to the food processor

Mixing the dry and wet ingredients

Scooping and shaping the Spam Cakes

Older helpers can help by:

Cutting the vegetables

Setting the oven temperature and timer

Sautéing the fried rice


5/23/14 ChefElla's Ratatouille with Italian Sausage

It is hard to mention ratatouille without thinking of the cute little rat from the movie with the same name.  The truth is, there really is a dish called ratatouille.  It is a French stew of vegetables, sometimes served with pasta and meat.  For my dish we will use the traditional zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and a few other vegetables that are not so traditional but taste good.  Sometimes we think that just because a dish has a fancy name it is hard to make.  Ratatouille sounds hard to make but it is not.  The hardest part  of the dish is the amount of vegetables you will have to cut up, but in the end it is worth it.  So impress your friends and tell them you know how to make Ratatouille.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the stove.  If you are not allowed to use a knife and stove by yourself you can have a grown up help.

1. Wash your hands.

2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons, a knife, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon,

    sauté pan,  medium stock pot with lid, a strainer, a sauce pan, a cutting board and  2 medium

    mixing bowl.

ChefElla's Ratatouille with Italian Sausage

(This recipe will make 10-12 servings)


16 oz         Italian Turkey Sausage, ground

                  -You can use any kind of italian sausage you want, but I like turkey sausage.  It has

                  less calories and fat.  If you cannot find ground turkey sausage, just buy the links.

                  Cut through the outer casing of the sausage links and remove.  You will be left with

                  the ground meat.

16 oz.        Orecchiette Pasta, Dried

                  -Orecchiette is Italian for little ear.

1 ea.          Red Onion, Medium Diced, (1 Medium Sized Onion)

1 ea.          Zucchini, Medium Diced (1 Medium Sized Zucchini)

1 ea.          Yellow Squash, Medium Diced (1 Medium Sized Yellow Squash)

1 ea.          Eggplant, Medium Diced (1 Small Eggplant)

1 ea.          Red Bell Pepper, Medium Diced (1 Large Pepper)

1 ea.          Portobello Mushroom Cap, Medium Diced (1 Large Cap)

                 -Remove stem before cutting and discard.

4 ea.          Roma Tomatoes, Medium Diced

1 tsp          Garlic, Minced, Fresh

1 Tbl         Tomato Paste

4 oz.          Red Wine, Any Flavor

1 tsp          Kosher Salt

1 tsp          Black Pepper

1/4 tsp       Oregano or Marjoram, Dried

2 Tbl.        Olive Oil

8 ea.          Basil Leaves, Fresh, Chopped

                 -Layer the leaves of basil one on top of the other.  Cut into thin strips and then chop.

3. Pre-heat sauté pan.  Cook ground sausage.  Make sure to mix and break the meat into little pieces while it cooks.  Put ground sausage in your strainer to remove the excess fat when it is thoroughly cooked.

4. Cut up onions, peppers and garlic and set aside in a bowl.

5. Dice up remaining vegetables and mix together in a bowl.

6. Pre-heat stock pot on high.  Add olive oil.  Add peppers, onion and garlic.  Turn pot to medium high heat.  Cook 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

7. Add remaining vegetables, spices, wine and half of the chopped basil.

8. Simmer on medium to low heat for 15 minutes covered.

9. Cook pasta following the directions on the box and drain

10.  When ratatouille is done mix in cooked sausage and cooked pasta.

11.  Garnish with basil.

This is a great recipe to make for all of your friends and family.


- ChefElla