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February 2010 COTM: Louisiana Kitchen PORK, BEEF, VEAL & LAMB

Welcome to the PORK, BEEF, VEAL & LAMB thread for the February 2010 Cookbook of the Month, Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen.

Please post your reviews of PORK, BEEF, VEAL & LAMB recipes here.

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  1. Just finished eating the Cajun Meatloaf. 23 y/o son said it was the best meatlof ever. Followed recipe as written but used all ground beef and no pork. It was really outstanding. Be sure to make the Very Hot Cajun Sauce for Beef to top the meatloaf slices. Made the sauce a day ahead and reheated.

    11 Replies
    1. re: magt

      We had the Cajun meatlaof with the Very Hot Cajun sauce for beef last week. My husband made it,a nd it was excellent. He did use ground pork (which was on sale last week for 99 cents a pound!) mixed in with the beef,and I completely agree the sauce is better reheated the next day. We had it on the meatloaf, and it was good, but we had it reheated a day or two later on some NY strip steaks, and it was even better!

      1. re: sunflwrsdh

        Cajun Meatloaf and Very Hot Cajun Sauce

        I started by making the Very Hot Cajun Sauce. I had some trepidation about making this sauce after being overwhelmed with spiciness after making Shrimp Sauce Piquant. Although there is definitely some heat, we did not find it overwhelming. I thought the sauce tasted ok. This could have been because of the brand of beef broth I used too. The flavors may also develop from making it a day earlier like others have suggested. Either way, I’ve never been a big fan of gravy.

        The meatloaf itself is easy to put together. I did use both beef and pork and even used the evaporated milk. The one change I made to the recipe was that I omitted the 4 T of butter to saute the trinity, instead I sautéed the vegetables in a nonstick pan with cooking spray. After eating the meatloaf, we did not miss the butter. It was rich, moist and packed with flavor. It has a little kick, but in a way that complimented the flavor rather than detracted from it. We did try a taste of the meatloaf with the Very Hot Cajun Sauce, but the meatloaf is flavorful enough to stand on its own without it. I don’t make meatloaf often, but I certainly wouldn’t mind making this one again.

        1. re: BigSal

          Cajun Meatloaf and Very Hot Cajun sauce
          Just got this book recently - I know I'm posting to a very old thread :-).
          I made this for company for lunch today (it's been cool around here) and I thought it was very good. A few things I might tweak next time around: I'd use less than a Tablespoon of salt (maybe half that amount) and I'd pull it out of the oven sooner - mine was a bit overcooked at the edges. This was likely due to my using a pyrex baking pan and not adjusting the timing accordingly. I did not make the sauce as the meatloaf was spicy enough as is! Looking forward to a sandwich tomorrow...

      2. re: magt

        I am thinking about making the Cajun Meatloaf w/ the Very Hot Cajun Sauce for beef. After experiencing the blazing heat of the Shrimp Sauce Piquant, I am a little concerned about the heat of the Vey Hot Cajun Sauce. Can you give an indication of how spicy the sauce is?

        1. re: BigSal

          We thought it was just right, but we like hot. Definitely spicy, maybe go easy on the cayenne and be sure to seed the jalepenos

          1. re: magt

            Thank you! We're going to give it a go this weekend.

        2. re: magt

          I love this recipe, with the sauce!

          1. re: magt

            Cajun meatloaf (pg. 112)

            Loved this. Absolutely loved this. I pretty much followed the recipe with the only substitution being whole milk (1/4 c) in place of the evaporated milk (1/2 c). It worked beautifully. I may have had more pork and less beef because I used meat from my CSA share, but not enough to really make a difference. I also used panko v. regular bread crumbs.

            I did think it was interesting in that the milk and ketchup were added to the sauteed vegetable and herbs. I'm sure it made some sort of difference in the overall product because this was such a flavorful and moist meatloaf. NOTE: it took a lot longer for the sauteed stuff to get to room temperature. Next time, I would probably make the saute the day before so the meatloaf itself will come together more quickly.

            I did make the Cajun Sauce for Beef and it worked beautifully with the meatloaf. The meatloaf can stand alone though.

            1. re: beetlebug

              FYI, I used the full amount of all the peppers and neither of us found it overly spicy.

            2. re: magt

              Cajun Meatloaf, p.112

              This is our favorite meatloaf that I've been making for years, but just realized I've never made the Very Hot Cajun Sauce (p.251) to go with. I will have to try that next time. I made it again for dinner, though left out the green peppers as I didn't have any. E said he liked it even better without. Otherwise, I followed the recipe (link below). I served it with a creamed spinach gratin and glazed carrots last night, and just enjoyed a delicious meatloaf sandwich with red onion, tomato and horseradish sauce.

              http://www.bigdaddyskitchen.com/cookb...

               
              1. re: magt

                Cajun Meatloaf - p. 112-3

                We loved this and unfortunately I posted my review in the main thread vs here! (I was new at the time!!...oops!).

                Here's the link:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6845...

              2. I made the cajun meat pies with the andouille sausage filling yesterday. I have to say it was the first time a Chef Paul recipe hasn't really worked for me. The filling is too liquidy; I'd say too much stock, and TOO MUCH BUTTER -- 3-1/2 cups and 3 sticks respectively for a pound of sausage diced and a cup and a half of vegetables. It made sealing the pies, and keeping them sealed during the frying process, very difficult and chancy; two of them broke open despite my expert sealing job :-)

                4 Replies
                1. re: jmckee

                  I had the same experience with the quantity of butter (!!) when I made the chicken Etoufee. It seemed like a huge amount of butter, and sure enough, the next day I removed at least 1/2-3/4 of and inch of fat off the top of the sauce....and liked it ever so much better the second time around! I followed the recipe to the letter the first time, but next time I think I would cut the butter by abotu 1/2! I will read any other recipes of his carefully before I make them, to see if I can cut butter in them too. I'm sure it would be fine, in most cases.

                  1. re: sunflwrsdh

                    Agree completely. These recipes use an obscene amount of fat - even for a book published 25 years ago! I don't know anybody in Louisiana who cooks with that much fat, whether it's butter, oil, lard, or drippings.
                    I have routinely ignored the specified quantities of fat. Except in desserts of course. It didn't make any difference. Just minus the oil slick on the food.

                    Some of the recipes also use a ridiculous amount of meat for only 4, 6, or 8 servings. You can often cut that in half as well. Or even less.
                    Who in their right mind would use 3 1/2 to 4 pounds of ham hocks plus a pound of sausage to cook one pound of red beans? For six people???
                    That turns a healthy, inexpensive meal into a pricey, fat-laden mess.
                    I use about 1/2 pound of ham for red beans. Or a bone if I have it. That's more than enough to flavor the beans.

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      Yeah, the prime rib recipe makes "6-8 servings" out of a 10 pound roast!

                      The flip side of the too-much-meat question is Paulette's Wonderful Meat Pie, which I heartily recommend; only 2/3 pound of ground beef and pork mixed. It's probably my favorite meat recipe in the book.

                      1. re: jmckee

                        Good to know - I was just looking at that last night. Will definitely have to try it now.

                2. Pasta Chu Chu: pg 185

                  Well this is a fairly simple dish to prep and execute. And since the chowpup was away, Mr. Clam and I indulged in mushrooms (and butter and cream). One juliennes equal amounts of onions, carrots, zuchinni, and yellow squash. Pastrami gets a slightly larger julienne. The mushrooms get sliced.

                  The spice mix gets prepped. This is where I deviated a bit from the recipe as Mr. Clam is slightly allergic to peppercorns. So I left that out. And I halved the cayenne. Wanting to keep the ratio of other spices correct, I got out the calculator and figured what percentage of the spice mix I should use to equate the ratios in 1 1/2 teaspoon of the stuff. But here is where I got frustrated. The yield of the spice mix, as written in the recipe is 6.5 teaspoons. AND the recipe only calls for 1.5 teaspoons. Prudhomme says to "reserve" the rest for another recipe, however this particular mix calls for mustard, and most of his don't, so ARGHHH! What a waste....

                  Anyway, a copious amount of butter gets melted in a pan, and then starting with the pastrami, things get added gradually and sauteed. Somewhere in there goes the spice mix. (Meanwhile one is supposed to cook the spaghetti, drain it, shock it, and toss with oil. I just cooked it the way I normally do.) Then a cup of cream and three more tablespoons of butter are added. (This is for 2 servings.) You are supposed to shake, not stir, for 3 to 4 minutes. Then you add the pasta and shake some more.

                  Okay, so this was tasty but not in any way mind blowing. I couldn't really taste any of the "spices" except the cayenne which came through nicely and not like a freight train. I really thought it could have used something more, like basil. But then perhaps it wouldn't be Pasta Chu Chu (pronouned "shoe shoe").

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: clamscasino

                    You're not the only one who went ARGHHH! over the spice mixes in the book. They are a major PITA, and I never went to all that trouble. Why used garlic powder then I can add some fresh garlic?
                    About the same time as the book was being published, Prudhomme began marketing the spice blends so cooks didn't have to make their own.
                    http://www.chefpaul.com/site296.php
                    They ain't cheap either. But they save time, and you don't have to buy all of the individual bottles of stuff.
                    He's been adding to the line of products ever to since to keep up with current food trends, like fajitas? Are those Cajun?

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      Of course! Haven't you ever heard the famous old Cajun saying "Laissez les bons fajitas rouler?

                      1. re: MakingSense

                        Ah, suddenly memories of Chef Paul sitting there at the stove, (on PBS) stirring his roux and adding his bottled spice mixes are flooding back....

                        In the future, I will be carefully scrutinizing the recipe for the exact amount of the stuff called for. That little jar of garlic powder cost me $5.29! The bulb of fresh stuff sitting on the counter cost fifty cents. Thanks for your permission to use the fresh :) It is COTM though, so I'm trying to be faithful....

                    2. Roasted Pork, p.183 plus Very Hot Cajun Sauce p.251

                      Tasty and easy, great for a dinner party! You make a spicy vegetable mix (trinity + spices), make "several" slits in the pork roast and stuff the mix in, then roast slowly at 275 for 3 hrs, with a final blast at 425 for 10-15 minutes to give it some color and crust.

                      I used 2 tbsp of butter to saute the vegetables (as opposed to 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp pork lard or chicken fat). Even the full amount of fat is modest compared to many of his recipes, but 2 tbsp worked just fine (in a non-stick pan). I made at least 15 slits to stuff the mix into. After roasting, I let the roast rest, hmm, 20-30 minutes before carving. He doesn't say to do that, but it seemed like a good idea plus it worked well in the flow of the evening.

                      It came out moist and delicious, just excellent, and so easy for a dinner party. Looked great when sliced on the platter with the veins of the vegetable mix running through the slices. I cut the cayenne in half since not everyone wanted fiery food.

                      I served it with oyster dressing (reported elsewhere), mustard greens (from Queen Ida's cookbook), and Very Hot Cajun Sauce. I made the sauce with full spice so those who wanted heat could have it. Since it was for pork rather than beef, I used chicken stock instead of beef stock. It was fine, went well with the pork. Despite his admonition to serve immediately, I made it ahead of time and reheated it, no problem. I also raised the heat to medium-high while making the roux because it was taking too long over medium-low as specified and used a wooden spoon the whole time instead of starting off with a whisk.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                        I plan on making this roasted pork for dinner tonight. But, I'm halving the recipe since I already had a 2 lbs pork butt in the freezer.

                        So, here is a question I should know the answer to. Does the roasting time stay the same given that I'm using half the amount of meat? I think the time should be shorted because there is less mass in the oven. However, pork butt always taste so good when it's roasted long and slow (recipe states 3 hours at 275 and the 10 minutes at high heat to brown).

                        Thoughts?

                        1. re: beetlebug

                          Hmm, my guess is that you'd still need at least 2 hrs of slow roasting, just to give the collagen time to melt and tenderize. I think you'll have some leeway since pork butt isn't as lean as the loin that I used, and I can say that the loin came out wonderfully juicy in this treatment. Even reheated as leftovers, it's been great. I hope someone with more pork butt roasting experience chimes in; I think I've only braised it.

                          Hope you like it as much as we did!

                          1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                            Thanks. After slightly obsessing about the differences in cooking techniques between pork butt v. loin, I decided to go a whole different direction in technique. I'm going to use the technique for the mock porchetta from the Zuni cookbook. The proportion and cut of meat were the same so I decided to do a cajun porchetta. Stuffed with Prudhomme's filling and cooked with the Zuni method. For good measure, I also threw in some carrots and turnips into the pan, to soak in the porky goodness.

                      2. Cajun Meat Pies with Creole Filling (p. 131)

                        I actually only used the recipe for the filling. Instead of making the dough on page 128 and frying, I used storebought pie dough, made smaller ones using a biscuit cutter, and baked them. For the filling, I used a pound of Whole Foods fresh andouille pork sausage I bought at the butcher counter crumbled out of the casing and a half pound of ground beef. I also adjusted the seasonings (cayenne, oregano, and thyme) to taste since the pork was already seasoned. Other ingredients were butter, bay leaves, the trinity (onions, peppers, celery), garlic, tomato sauce, scallions, and water. As jmkee mentioned above, this filling also seemed like it would be too liquidy, so I cut down the amount of water and simmered for a longer period of time until it seemed thick enough.

                        I baked them the night before so I could just heat them up in the oven for the Superbowl. My husband had a few and said "these are going to be a hit tomorrow", and he was right!

                         
                         
                        1. Cajun Meatloaf, pp. 112-113

                          This is the only meatloaf we make at our house. The only change from Prudhomme's recipe is that we reduce the peppers. My husband doesn't even like meatloaf, but he likes this recipe.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: redwood2bay

                            I made my first recipe from the book last night - Cajun meatloaf (pp. 112-13). Unlike the others who loved this, we both thought it was good but not great. Husband said mine was better. He's soooo brilliant.

                            Anyway, I didn't have either canned milk or ketchup. Subbed mix of half and half and 1% milk, and tomato paste with some vinegar and sugar for the ketchup. All the rest of the indgredients I had on hand. It was certainly moist. Very glad of that. Maybe the lack of ketchup was the problem.

                            I made sandwiches today and my husband loved those.

                            I sometimes make meatloaf following my mother's recipe which includes tomato sauce on top of the loaf as it cooks. Maybe that's why we liked Prudhomme's less...we're so used to the tomato sauce.

                            However, my favorite meatloaf is Batali's stuffed with spinach, carrots, prosciutto and cheese. I don't make it very often since it's such a big production. After that extravaganza, everything else pales....which seems weird to say about anything Prudhomme makes! Pale certainly isn't his trademark

                            1. re: oakjoan

                              Ha - that's funny. I actually made that Batali one and my husband said "why do you always have to try new meatloaf recipes, nothing beats that Cajun meatloaf" ; )

                              I really did like Batali's too though; E picked out all the spinach.

                          2. Red Beans and Rice with Ham Hocks and Andouille Smoked Sausage (pg. 190)

                            A way overdue report but this was an absolutely delicious recipe. I halved the recipe because I only had 2 ham hocks. I found that even halving the recipe, we got about 6 servings out of the dish (the full recipe, according to Prudhomme, makes 6 servings).

                            Anyway, we loved this. Although it took time, it was a really simple recipe. You simmer the ham hocks with celery, onions, green peppers, bay leaves and seasonings (white pepper, thyme, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne and black pepper). Take the ham hocks out and add the soaked kidney beans and simmer some more. Lastly, add the sausage and simmer even longer. During the simmer time, you are adding water, stirring checking to make sure nothing is burning. The total simmer time is about 2.5 hours. Put the ham hocks back in and serve over the cooked rice.

                            This was hearty and satisfying. The ham hocks were my least favorite part. The ham was a bit tough for me but it added an great overall flavor. I loved the sausage and beans. I used "fresh" dried beans that I really didn't have to soak overnight. But, it was delicious because they were still toothsome and not at all soggy.

                            Not a summer dish, but a perfect winter dish.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: beetlebug

                              I love this recipe too. So easy with just simmering everything together, no sauteeing the onions etc. ahead of time, and it tastes great. The amount of meat called for is crazy, though. I typically cut the meat way back, maybe only using about 1/3 of what's called for. (I can't believe I never wrote a report on this one! Well, maybe because I didn't make it during the COTM month.)