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.

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Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

My mother and my uncle (her brother) have an extremely green thumb. If a green thumb is something you can inherit, they definitely got it from my great grandmother.

As for me—well, my thumb is probably kind of that weird color in-between yellow and light green.

For the last couple of years I have been planting a summer garden. I have done okay, but I would dub my prowess less than masterful. Each year has yielded different bounties with some crops more successful than others. I will add, the heat of Savannah makes it much more difficult to be successful. I am practically watering my garden twice a day.

This year I added Swiss chard to my list of plants, which have always included tomatoes, peppers, and squash. As it turns out, Swiss chard is rather easy to grow other than having to water it a bit extra that most of the other plants.

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Once one of my chard crops was too large for its spot, I decided it was time to cut it and cook it. I have found that my favorite part about summer, aside from the ample time at the beach, is the summer bounty that is available. Every single fruit and vegetable at the store tastes so delicious and fresh.

This recipe takes a plain old pizza dough and spruces it up with bacon (because everyone loves bacon), fresh summer corn, and swiss chard from my garden.

I use bread flour for this recipe because it creates a thinner, crispier crust. If you do not have bread flour you can use regular all purpose, but be aware your crust will be slightly chewier…but still delicious.

If you do not want to make your own dough, pop by your local pizzeria and buy a ball or two from them (it is better than the frozen version).

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Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 2 Teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 and 1/2  Cups of Room Temperature Water
  • 4 1/2 Cups of Bread Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine your yeast and water. Let sit for 3 minutes to allow yeast to bloom.
2. In your stand mixer, combine flour and yeast mixture. Mix to combine.
3. Add your olive oil and salt, then mix to combine.
4. Attach your dough hook, and knead the mixture on medium-low for 4-5 minutes or until dough comes together and looks smooth. If mixture absolutely does not come together you can add a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
5. Place your dough in an oiled bowl, and cover with oiled plastic wrap.
6. Let sit on the counter for one hour, or until doubled in size.
7. Gently turn out the dough and divide into two balls for use.
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Swiss Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Package of Thick Cut Bacon
  • 2 Ears of Fresh Corn
  • 2 Cups of Swiss Chard
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • 2 Cups of Shredded Mozzarella
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare your bacon first. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place bacon in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake the bacon for 30-45 minutes or until it has reached your desired doneness.
  4. Remove bacon from oven and drain on a paper towels, set aside.
  5. Turn oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or preheat your grill.
  6. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Stir until fully combined. Set aside.
  7. Rinse, remove the stems, and coarsely chop your Swiss chard.
  8. Heat a small skillet over medium with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  9. Cook Swiss chard in the heated skillet until very lightly wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Rinse your corn, then cut kernels away from the core. Set kernels aside.
  11. Prepare your pizza paddle or baking pan with a heavy amount of flour or semolina flour to allow dough to slip off easily.
  12. On a floured surface, turn out one of your pizza dough balls.
  13. Stretch, toss, or roll your pizza dough to your desired size. Each dough ball could fairly stretch up to 8×8.
  14. Place the stretched dough onto your prepared pizza paddle or baking sheet.
  15. Lightly drizzle your dough with olive oil.
  16. Spread two tablespoons of garlic mayonnaise over your prepared pizza dough.
  17. Sprinkle dough with salt and pepper.
  18. Spread 1/4 cup of your mozzarella over the pizza dough.
  19. Next, spread 1/2 of your corn, 1/2 of your Swiss chard, and 1/2 of your bacon over the pizza dough.
  20. Top the pizza with 1/4 cup of mozzarella.
  21. Repeat the process for preparing the pizza with the second pizza dough ball.
  22. Once you have both pizza prepared, cook on the grill or in the oven until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.