Cajun Meat Bread

Cajun Meat Bread

Most southern food is bone sticking and hearty. A style that can be contributed to the economics of survival.

This recipe is not different. A full loaf of bread is stuffed with meats, cheeses, and vegetables before being baked off. The result is a spicy gooey filled bread that acts as the perfect appetizer for any party.

This is a dish that I have eaten since I was a little girl, even considering it is difficult to find many versions of it in cookbooks or online.

Everyone in my family loves it. It originates from my Aunt’s mother, Mary Joyce, who is Cajun through and through. It is one of those items that is always present at family gatherings – especially large ones. A fact that is evident by the size of the portions used in the original recipe that was given to me:

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Personally, I do not cook for 80-100 people. I have a small family. So, the challenge with recreating this recipe was doing so in a way that would feed a smaller group. Lets say 10-12 people.

During my first test run of the condensed version of this recipe, I realized that the original recipe was missing some important instructions. A lack of instruction can easily be attributed to the fact that May Joyce has made this time and time again, so writing down all of the finite details was not something she needed to do. She has them all memorized.

To fill in the gaps, I did a little digging.  I found a recipe for creole meat bread by Emeril Lagasse, click here.

There is a large difference in creole and cajun food. Creole food is the result of many nationalities who settled in New Orleans. In many creole recipes you will find inspiration from West African, Spanish, Haitian, French, and many other cultures.

Cajun food comes from the Acadian people and has a French influence. You will find Cajun food primarily outside of the city…where my family lives.

Comparing the two, although one cajun and one creole,  helped fill in some of the gaps.

I present my version of meat bread. Of course it will never be good as the original I ate growing up. It is not easy to include the love that is thrown into every family recipe that is made for you, instead of by you.

For another Louisiana inspired recipe, click here.

Cajun Meat Bread

finsihed sliced and plated meat bread

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound of Ground Beef
  • 1 Pound of Andouille Sausage, cut into small squares
  • 1 Large Onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 Large Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of Hot Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 Small Cans of Mushrooms
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Swiss Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 Balls or Loaves of Frozen French Bread Dough
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. Start by removing the dough from the freezer to allow it to defrost.
  2. In a medium skillet, over medium heat, brown your ground beef. Breaking it up as it cooks.
  3. Once browned, remove the beef from the skillet and leave the grease in.
  4. In the leftover grease, sauté your onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, and sausage. Cook until everything is nicely browned. In the last two minutes of cooking, add in the garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant.
  5. Remove pan from the heat and set it aside to allow the mixture to cool.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the ground beef, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, drained mushrooms, and all of the cheese. Mix until well combined.
  8. Taste the mixture, and add salt and pepper as needed.
  9. Assemble the bread by placing one of the dough balls on a well floured surface. Roll out the dough until approximately 24"x12". The measurements are not exact, and have some wiggle room.
  10. Place 1/4 of your mixture into the center of the rolled out dough, and spread evenly. Leave a 1/2 inch border at the edges of the dough.
  11. Fold the corners over, then gently roll up the filling and dough. You will roll from one long edge to the other.
  12. Pinch the end of the roll into the dough to create a seal. If the dough does not seal, an egg wash will do it.
  13. Place the rolled loaf on a sheet pan, seam side down.
  14. Continue preparing the loafs until all of the loafs are filled and rolled.
  15. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until nicely golden brown on the outside.
  16. Some of the filling may ooze out, and that is okay.
  17. Slice and serve while warm.
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Part 1: Revamping Leftover Cheddar Popcorn

Part 1: Revamping Leftover Cheddar Popcorn

It snowed here in the low country yesterday (something as rare as hens’ teeth), and with the snow I found myself diving into the pantry to come up with a few delicious meals. Like many people, I was given one of those delectable buckets of flavored popcorn for Christmas; you know the ones with cheddar, caramel, and sometime kettle corn. If you have never received one of these, I suggest you ask for one next Christmas and, if not, find one at your local corner store. The trifecta of popcorn is the perfect treat for sitting around a weekend fire, watching Netflix, and snacking. Personally, I like to mix the cheddar and caramel for a sweet & salty treat.

This year I did not quite make it through the entire bucket, even with the help of my husband. So when searching the pantry for a lunch that would warm my soul after playing in the snow for a few hours, I spotted my popcorn tin. Further in the back I located a few cans of tomato bisque, and in my fridge a bit of leftover pesto. Warm tomato soup with a crunchy topping would make for the perfect lunch. I am of the belief that tomato soup should always have a topping; it is a blank canvas for so many things: cheese, sourcream, crackers, goldfish, and apparently popcorn.

First, I placed the soup on the stove to warm. Then, I coated some popcorn in my leftover pesto and heated it to bring the stale popcorn alive. The aroma of garlic and herbs filled my tiny home, very reminiscent of garlic bread. The flavor of the warm pesto popcorn is deeply savory with a tiny bite of garlic. Because pesto is a wet mixture, it is important to heat the pesto popcorn at a low temperature, which dries the pesto out without over-crisping the popcorn.

After success with the pesto coating, I figured my husband would enjoy a topping with little bit of kick to top his bowl. A couple of spices from the spice cabinet with a bit of butter to coat the popcorn, and I was left with a crunchy little ball of firey cheese. The smoke ghost peppar salt that is included in the recipe below is something I had in my pantry, but you can find it online or at a local gourmet spice shop. If you are unable to locate it at all, any spicy seasoning will work, curry powder, harissa, etc.

Spiced Cheddar Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 teaspoon of paprika (smoked or not)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of smoked ghost pepper salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 1.5 cups of leftover cheddar popcorn

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees farienhiet, and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a medium Tupperware container, combine all of the spices. Next add in the popcorn, and pour over melted butter. Place a lid on the Tupperware and shake vigorously until all of the popcorn is evenly coated.

Spread into an even layer on your baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Immediately top your heated soup and serve.

Pesto Cheddar Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of leftover cheddar popcorn
  • 2 teaspoons of pesto (you can make it yourself or use store bought)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees farienhiet, and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a medium Tupperware container, combine the pesto and popcorn. Place a lid on the your Tupperware, and shake vigorously until the popcorn is evenly coated.

Spread into an even layer on your baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. If the popcorn is still soggy, place it back into the over for another 5 to 10 minutes. Immediately top your heated soup and serve.