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Got Beef Short Ribs, Smoked Chicken, Pork Rib Meat, Andouille: NOW WHAT??

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

It's a nice problem to have...

 

I want to spend Sunday afternoon playing in the kitchen, and wonder what to do that might incorporate several of these ingredients, or preferably all of them.  I can certainly do Cajun with the chicken and Andouille, but how could I use all of them at once?  I think first of some pasta dish, but if any of you have some ideas, I would appreciate hearing them!

 

Thanks

 

Mike   :lips:   :crazy:  

travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #2 of 3

You could make some sort of cassoulet... but IMO it doesn't sound like those ingredients would play nice with each other. Personally I think that reheated smoked chicken is unpalatable... so I would serve it cold. 

post #3 of 3

It's kind of cold out in the Midwest so a stew could be kind of nice.  Jambalaya is generally a stew of meats, veg, rice, and stock. I can give you some ideas if you just want to play with some ingredients you may have around the house so you could do your own versions of a jambalaya. 

 

Shred the cooked meats you have with a fork, slice your andouille on a bias about a 1/4 inch thick, and set aside while you prep some veg.  While you're prepping your veg, you can also boil a couple cups of rice in a veg or chicken stock (instead of water).

 

Estimate about how many cups you think your proteins will yield, and you're going to medium dice an equal amount of veg (plus or minus based on your personal taste).  The veg is traditionally called a cajun trinity (a varient of a mirepoix) which is equal amounts of bell peppers, onions, and celery.  Personally, I would chop up a generous amount of bacon, cook it in the pot you plan to make your jambalaya in (leave the bacon grease in the pot to use as your cooking fat for the veg), and when the bacon is almost done, I'd throw in a couple minced cloves of garlic, cook a minute or two until it begins to get fragrant, and then toss all your veg in. Sautee the veg for about 3 minutes and then throw in all the dry spices you'd like to use (I'll add a spice blend below), a couple tablespoons of tomato paste, and a can or two of crushed tomatoes.  If you don't like it too spicey, make the following blend in a ramekin or bowl, and only add about 25%-50% of it for now (you can continue to add more later in the simmering stage after you've tasted it).

 

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Spice Blend Source: foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/cajun-jambalaya-recipe2.html?oc=linkback
 
OPTIONAL STEP - After a minute or two of coating/cooking the veg with the spices, add about a pound of raw peeled shrimp (optional), and cook until done.  If you don't want shrimp in there too, don't worry about it, it's your own experiemental stew.
 
Toss in all your proteins and get them warmed up in the veg mix (a few minutes).  Cover the veg/protein mix with veg or chicken stock (about 2 inches covering everything).  Bring to a rolling boil, and then adjust temp down to a simmer (this is your simmering stage).  Toss in a few bay leaves, stirring occassionally, simmer for about 20mins.  Stir in your cooked rice.  Taste it, and throw in more of the spice mix to your liking.  After about 5mins, give it another taste, and add more spice if it needs it.  If its too spicey, you can tone it down with some lemon juice, tomato juice, or add a couple teaspoons of granulated sugar at a time.  Taste again, and adjust your balances.  *Keep in mind that it will get spicier as the stew reduces down.
 
After the stew liquid has reduced down to about a 1/4" of the top of the meat/veg mix it should be done (go ahead and dig your bay leaves out before you forget about them).  You can dish it out now, or get it chilled over night so the flavors can meld (it'll taste better the next day like a chili).
 
*** Disclaimer - I have no idea how much meat you're dealing with so I'm guessing on some of the measurements.  This recipe is merely a suggestion, but I've made very similar stews to this in the past that turned out great.  Have fun!
 
*** Disclaimer #2 (for new cooks) - Don't taste it until you've boiled it and have it in the simmering stage.  If you make yourself sick, that's your fault.  ;)
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