Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cajun Blackened Patty Melt with Louisiana Remoulade

     A Classic Patty Melt Gone Cajun!
     The Patty Melt is a classic American diner style sandwich.  A traditional Patty Melt is a grilled cheese sandwich with a hamburger patty and grilled onions.  Thousand Island dressing is an optional ingredient, but many people say this sauce is required.
     Patty Melts were a good selling American diner sandwich till the dining public started to prefer healthier food back in the early 1960's.  Many people that liked the old fashioned Patty Melt switched to ordering a Tuna Melt, because Tuna Salad was considered to be healthier back in those days.  Looks can be deceiving, because a Tuna Melt Sandwich actually contains nearly as much fat and calories as a Patty Melt, especially if a cook at a greasy spoon diner has a heavy hand with the melted butter brush!    
     Obviously, a Patty Melt is not something that should be eaten everyday, because of the high cholesterol content.  Even so, few sandwiches satisfy a craving like a good old classic Patty Melt can.  Adding a little bit of Louisiana Cajun magic to the recipe increases the appeal even more.  Today's Cajun style Patty Melt recipe definitely is a winner!

     Louisiana Remoulade is usually identified by its color.  Classic French Remoulade is a pale white color or a light yellow color, depending on whether yellow curry powder was added to the recipe.  French Remoulade is usually offered at Louisiana French restaurants.
     Pink or orange color remoulade is unique to Louisiana.  The addition of ketchup gives white remoulade a pink color or it can turn yellow remoulade into a bright orange color.  Louisiana Remoulade is served with everything from crab cakes to salad greens.  Louisiana Remoulade is most often used by street food vendors as a sandwich spread.     
     Louisiana Orange Color Remoulade:
     This recipe yields a little more than 1 cup.
     This is an orange colored remoulade that tastes spicy! 
     Step 1:  Place 1/3 cup of mayonnaise in a mixing bowl.
     Add 3 1/2 tablespoons of organic ketchup
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of Creole Mustard.  (If Creole Mustard is not available, then coarse German Mustard or Dijon Mustard is a good substitute.)
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce.
     Add 1 teaspoon of Louisiana style Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce.
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
     Mix the wet ingredients together.
     Step 2:  Add 1 tablespoon each of these finely minced ingredients:
     - Capers
     - Onion
     - Green bell pepper
     - Green onion
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of finely chopped cornichons or dill gherkins.
     Step 3:
     Add 2 pinches each of these herbs and spices:
     - Basil
     - Oregano
     - Marjoram
     - Tarragon
     - Thyme
     - Minced curly leaf parsley
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Yellow Curry Powder.
     Add 2 to 3 pinches of cayenne pepper.  (to taste)
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 4:  Mix the ingredients together.
     Chill the Cajun Remoulade in a refrigerator for at least 1 hour, so the flavors meld.  (A remoulade tastes best when it is refrigerated for nearly 1 day.)
     Stir before serving.

     Cajun Blackening Spice Mix:
     This recipe yields enough to coat 2 to 3 burger patties.  
     This is a basic Cajun Blackening Spice Mix.  Some chefs add many dried herbs to the basic mix but that is not necessary for today's Patty Melt recipe.
     Place 1/2 tablespoon of onion powder in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder.
     Add 3 tablespoons of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper.
     Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of flour.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Grilled onions:
     This recipe yields enough for 1 Patty Melt.
     Heat a small sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/4 cup of diced onion.
     Sauté till the onions are lightly caramelized.
     Keep the grilled onions warm on a stove top.

     Cajun Blackened Patty Melt with Louisiana Orange Remoulade:
     Step 1:  Press 6 ounces of lean ground beef into an oval patty shape.  (The patty should be about the same size as the sliced sandwich bread.)
     Place the burger patty on a platter.
     Sprinkle a generous amount of the Cajun Blackening Spice Mix on both sides of the burger.
     Gently press the spices onto the burger meat.
     Step 2:  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium/medium high heat.
     Pour 1 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter on the griddle.
     Place the Cajun Spice Burger Patty on the butter.
     Blacken both sides of the burger, but only flip the burger once.
     Cook the Cajun Burger Patty to the finish temperature of your preference.
     Set the Blackened Burger on a pie tin and keep it warm on a stove top.
     Step 3:  Heat griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Brush 2 slices of whole grain wheat bread with melted unsalted butter.
     Place the bread on the hot griddle.
     Place 2 thin slices of cheddar cheese on both slices of bread.
     Step 4:  Spread a thin layer of the Louisiana Remoulade on the cheese on both slices of bread.  
     Place the grilled onions on 1 slice of bread.
     Place the Cajun burger patty on the other slice of bread.
     Step 5:  Grill the bread till it is toasted golden brown.
     Step 6:  Use a spatula to place the sandwich halves together.
     Use the spatula to set the Patty Melt on a cutting board.
     Cut the sandwich in half and set it on a plate.
     Garnish the plate with tomato slices, sport peppers and a parsley sprig.  (optional)
     This Cajun Blackened Patty Melt will satisfy a spicy craving! 

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