Scrapple is made from a mixture of cornmeal, spices and scrap pieces of hog meat, including head meat and organ meat, that is cooked down and packed into loaf form. First made by Dutch farmers in Pennsylvania, scrapple might not sound appetizing to everyone, but is a popular favorite in Pennsylvania and surrounding states on the East Coast. You can purchase scrapple in grocery stores, although it might be difficult to find in some regions. Scrapple is easier to slice when partially frozen, but scrapple that has been frozen tends to crumble easily without a few extra preparation steps.
Thaw the frozen scrapple loaf just enough to slice it into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices. It should be softened just enough to cut, but still mostly frozen so the slices hold their shape.
Pat the scrapple slices with paper towels to remove excess moisture. The moisture in the scrapple becomes steam while frying, which causes the scrapple to soften and crumble.
Dust all sides of the scrapple slices with a light layer of flour. The flour soaks up some of the moisture inside the scrapple slices and helps develop a crispy crust on the outside of the scrapple.
Cover the bottom of a skillet with cooking oil, vegetable shortening or lard. Use just enough to cover the bottom, but not so much that the thin slices are submerged. Preheat the oil and skill over medium-high to high heat. The pan is ready when a drop of water sizzles when it hits the oiled surface.
Place the frozen scrapple slices in the hot oil, arranged in a single layer in the skillet with 1 to 2 inches between each slice. Cook for three to three-and-a-half minutes on the first side or until a dark-brown crust forms. The skillet and oil must be hot before you add the scrapple slices so the hot oil can create a crust on the meat. If the oil isn't hot enough, it soaks into the cornmeal, making it even softer and more likely to fall apart.
Flip the scrapple over to the second side, using two spatulas. Slide one spatula under the scrapple and use the second spatula to support and guide the top side as you flip it over into the oil. Without using two spatulas, the scrapple slices easily crumble. Cook the second side of the slices for another three to three-and-a-half minutes or until brown and the scrapple is cooked crisp throughout.
Remove the scrapple slices from the skillet and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up excess oil.
Precise cooking times vary depending on the thickness of the slices. Follow three to three-and-a-half minutes as a basic guideline, but use the color and crispy texture as the final factor in deciding when to flip and when to remove the scrapple from the pan.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.