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Friday, November 2, 2012

I love Louisiana. Shoulders to New Orleans.

Nobody loves food more than me. Except maybe the city of New Orleans. Laissez les bons temps rouler. Friends, let the good times roll on.

 I do love me some Cajun. Petite bit of French, little bit of Spanish and a fair helping from Africa and Native American. Today I'm doing Meat-loaf. Yeah ok I said it, Meat-loaf.

The Cajun. Once of Acadia, now of the swamps of Louisiana. French speaking people of the backwaters. This is what a cooking poor but eating rich people can do. Je t'aime.

Chef Nick's Cajun style Meat-loaf. Roasted Fall vegetables besides with Red Gravy.


Some ground beef, 'bout 3 pounds
The holy trinity. One part green bell pepper, one part celery, two parts onion, picture below
one clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup blackening powder*
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper

Red Gravy
3-4 slices bacon
1-2 TB flour
chopped Basil
1 dried Bay-Leaf
1 cup brewed coffee
1 can 16z tomato puree
1 TB blackening powder*

Roasted Fall Vegetables
some large chopped root vegetables to include
and whatever, parsnip, carrot, I'm a root-vegetable chop me up and add me
today I got some Brussels's Sprouts, trim and split
Onion, peel and slice large
I got me some peeled Garlic cloves
some bacon slices, chopped
tossed with any oil and add
fresh Thyme, Rosemary, salt and pepper
Place in large roasting pan

mmmm Bacon

I make my own so you can too.
Chili Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Ground Thyme
Ground Oregano
Garlic Powder
Combine with Salt and Black Pepper
looks like 'dis

Here we go wit' some Meat-Loaf

Take your Holy Trinity and sweat in a large pan, add salt and pepper
 Holy Trinity
Remove from heat and add to your ground beef.
Add egg , bread-crumbs and Blackening-Powder.
Don't forget salt

Mix that all together by hand. The warmth of your hands will activate the proteins and give your product some body. Shape into a loaf on a large open pan.
I said Meat-loaf didn't I

Place your pan of vegetables and your loaf in an oven set at 400 degrees. Leave it for now. Gonna take at least an hour. 

Let's move on to Red Gravy. This is basically a Roux finished with Black Coffee and Tomato Puree. Easy.

In a wide pan, render your bacon until brown, all fat pooled in the pan. 
rendering bacon
Once all the bacon is browned, add your flour and stir around until it stops smelling starchy. You'll know, trust me. Toss in the TB of Blackening Powder, toss around, it will all stick together. Add in one big splash all the coffee. Stir around.

You'll end up quickly with a big pile of yuck. Don't worry. Once you add the Tomato it all makes sense.

Now add your Tomato Puree. Stir around on medium heat.

 Add Basil and dried Bay-Leaf, Simmer for a bit. Check seasonings. 
See? I said it would all make sense. 

Your loaf and veggies should be done by now, let the loaf rest. The vegetables may benefit from more time under heat. Turn 'em over and let those go for another while. Look for some brown. 

Plate up, use as much of the gravy as you want. 

This is
Cooking poor, eating rich
get your grub on


  1. Great recipe, Nick! Is it OK to save or print a copy? I know I'll want to make this one more than once.