Mardi Gras Food Philly Style!
Philadelphia is not exactly the place to celebrate decadent food holidays like Mardi Gras. This is because so many people in Philadelphia are well known for steadfast conservative ways and anything outside of the box is simply looked at as being an oddity. Philly is the land of Soft Pretzels, Sticky Buns, Scrapple and Philly Cheesesteaks. Diverse food ideas can be found in Philadelphia taverns, as long as it is adapted to traditional local favorite food items. In other words, Philly tavern customers may not want to know what Étouffée or Jambalaya is, but they sure will be interested in a Cajun Chicken Cheesesteak!
Cajun Spice Mix:
This recipe yields about 1/4 cup.
This Cajun Spice Mixture is a bit different than the Blackening Spice Mixture Recipes that I have published in the past. The level of spicy heat depends on the amount used. About 1/2 teaspoon of this spice mixture added to a Cheesesteak yields a fairly mild flavor. About 1 teaspoon will add a medium hot flavor.
Step 1: Place 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of Spanish Paprika.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
Add 1 pinch of white pepper.
Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
Step 2: Add 1/2 teaspoon of thyme.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of marjoram.
Add 1 pinch of oregano.
Add 1 pinch of basil.
Add 1 pinch of tarragon.
Add 1 small pinch of ground celery seed.
Step 3: Mix the ingredients together.
Place the Cajun Spice Mixture in a container.
This recipe yields 1 foot long sandwich.
Frozen Thin Shaved Chicken for Cheesesteaks is available at some grocery stores. If none is available, then cut some semi frozen chicken breast filet meat into paper thin slices.
The best bread for a cheesesteak is a foot-long Hoagie Roll that has a slightly chewy texture. Soft Italian Sub Rolls are good too. A crusty baguette is not a good choice.
Step 1: Heat a cast iron griddle or wide sauté pan over medium heat.
Coat the griddle with 2 teaspoons of blended olive.
Step 2: Place about 1/5 cup of julienne sliced Bermuda Onion on the griddle.
Add 3 tablespoons of diced red bell pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon of minced seeded green jalapeño pepper.
Briefly grill till the vegetables start to cook.
Step 3: Place 8 ounces of paper thin sliced chicken breast on top of the vegetables on the griddle.
Add 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons of the Cajun Spice Mix. (to taste)
Step 4: Use 2 large spatulas to tear and shred the chicken and vegetables into small pieces.
Grill and toss the mixture till the chicken is fully cooked.
Step 5: Mound the shredded chicken and vegetable mixture across the center of the griddle.
Place 4 slices of White American Cheese on the mound of beef and vegetables. (About 2 ounces)
Step 6: Pour 1/4 cup of water over the cheesesteak mound.
Allow the water to steam and completely evaporate.
*The steam will melt the cheese.
Briefly toss the ingredients together, so the melted cheese evenly coats the chicken mixture.
Step 7: Cut one side of a 12" long Hoagie Roll (or sub roll) and split the roll open. (Do not cut all the way through the bread!)
Use a large spatula to mound the Cajun Chicken Cheesesteak mixture on the open Hoagie Roll.
Cut the sandwich in half and place it on a plate.
Garnish the plate with curly leaf parsley sprigs and pickles of your choice.
A Cajun Chicken Cheesesteak is the ultimate Mardi Gras munch!