Tag Archives: Paula Deen

The Luck Of The Irish: Or, How I Made Barbecue on St. Patty’s Day

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Naturally, I was craving all of my favorite Irish foods: barbecue, cole slaw, and lemon yogurt cake.

Now, before you start throwing you blarney stones at me, I have an EXPLANATION.

The weather on Saturday was damn near flawless. It was 70. I wore flip flops. I wore a tank top. I ate dinner on the patio of a restaurant. ON THE GD PATIO.

And despite the fact that St. Patrick’s Day turned colder and I should’ve been seasonally celebrating the aforementioned St. Patrick, who did…a thing…for which he will always be remembered, I was not craving anything Irish. As much I love some corned beef and cabbage, the only thing Irish I was craving was Tom Branson.

He's dreamy

He’s dreamy.

HASHTAG YUM

Anyways. Warm weather! (That went away and became cold weather!) Delicious barbecue! (That was made indoors and is made of chicken and not porks!)

When you’re needing the south in your mouth (…ew….), who better to turn to than Paula Deen? She seems really nice and also, a little bit terrifying at the same time. Let me prove the terrifying point to you right now.

Um? I’m kind of terrified of Oprah, too.

I rarely crave cole slaw. But when I do, I fiend for it like an extra on The Wire. This recipe is from the Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, who won Next Food Network Star a few years back. I prefer to think of him coming to his title as Sandwich King by more traditional means, having ascended to the throne of Sandwichlandia when is father finally succumbed to the delicious, yet fatal, pastrami-thelioma.

….that joke sure was a long way to go for a ham sandwich.

EH??!?!?

Never mind.

This sandwich is good. And simple. The sweetness of the barbecue matches up well with the cool (temperature) of the cole slaw, with a tiny heat (spice) from the sriracha. Plus, you can’t go wrong with the earthy flavor of celery seeds. Cause bonus, they WILL always get in your teeth.

I also made this Lemon Yogurt Cake by my best friend Ina Garten. Because, well, she’s great at everything. Everything except making things that are low in fat or calories. In the paragraph about this recipe in Barefoot Contressa at Home, she says that because it has no butter, it’s a lighter version of a lemon cake. Huzzah! The replacement for the butter is whole milk yogurt (healthy!) and vegetable oil (…um….). Plus, it still has plenty of sugar in the cake and essentially two glazes. I’m not convinced it’s any more healthy unless you just want to say “well, there’s NO butter in this cake. Isn’t that marvelous!” But it DOES taste good, especially with a cup of coffee. For breakfast.

HASHTAG BREAKFAST CAKE.

It was a lovely St. Patrick’s Day. Even though I didn’t wear any green. Or eat any colcannon. I’m gonna save that shit for the 4th of July.

Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sandwich, From Pauladeen.com

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 whole-wheat hamburger rolls
  • Coleslaw, optional, but….make that shit mandatory
Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium high heat. Once it shimmers, add the chicken thighs and sear until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in apple cider vinegar; using a wooden spoon stir up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add ketchup, water, brown sugar, Worcestershire, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the chicken back to the pan as well as any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Turn heat to low, cover and cook for 40 minutes.
A simmering

A-simmering

Once chicken is cooked, shred the meat with a fork in the skillet. Toss the meat through the sauce so it’s covered. Divide the pulled meat between 6 hamburger buns. Serve alongside with some coleslaw, if desired.
Barbecue Pulled Chicken and Cole Slaw Sandwich

Barbecue Pulled Chicken and Cole Slaw Sandwich

Three-Tone Power Cole Slaw, From Foodnetwork.com

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 ounces green cabbage, finely shredded | I used a bag of cole slaw mix and supplemented with pre-shredded carrots to get to about 18 ounces of cole slaw matter. Cause I was le tired.
  • 8 ounces red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated

Whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, mustard, Sriracha, sugar and celery seed. Season with salt and pepper.

This is the only slaw picture I took...so enjoy.

This is the only slaw picture I took…so enjoy.

In a large bowl, combine the green cabbage, red cabbage and carrots. Pour over the dressing and mix together. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Lemon Yogurt Cake, From Barefootcontessa.com or Barefoot at Home (copyright 2006)

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 ½ x 4 ¼ x 2 ½-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.

B.W., Before Whisking

B.W., Before Whisking

Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Cake? Or Murderous Plant from Little Shop of Horrors?

Cake? Or Murderous Plant from Little Shop of Horrors?

Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Finished Cake? Or glazed murderous plant from Little Shop of Horrors?

Finished Cake? Or glazed murderous plant from Little Shop of Horrors?

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Undeniable Failure: Brown Butter Blondies for Work Bake Sale

If y’all saw the Google searches I do while I cook, you’d be embarrassed.

Which is exactly why I’m sharing it here. Sometimes, people need to confess to their ridiculosity.

Here’s the background. My friend Alison asked me to bake for our office’s United Way bake sale tomorrow. She was awesome. “…Don’t you think the readers of your blog would love to read about a delicious blondie recipe??”

The girl has skills. So, I signed up.

But there’s something I forgot to mention: Alison is a trained pastry chef.

Yeah. Remember, this is a FAKE food blog. Intimidated. This blog is mostly jokes about Snoop Dogg and a LOT of capital letters so that people who know me IRL know when I’m saying something louder or with more EMPHASIS. 

Luckily, in addition to being a trained pastry chef, she’s a really nice and awesome chick. So, I didn’t feel bad that my potentially embarrassing blondies were going to be sitting next to the chocolate chip cookies that were made by the hands of someone who can legit wear chef whites. (Just to paint the picture, this is what I was wearing as I baked: jeans and a paint splattered t-shirt from a 1981 production of Annie Get Your Gun. That was 3 years before I was born.)

Alison, in her infinite niceness, even found me a recipe. Which was awesome because I’ve had a couple busy weeks at work. I shamelessly stole this recipe from another blog. But I will not lie to you folks. It did not go well. 

I started making the brown butter blondies. I’ve always loved brown butter. Only catch? I’ve never made it before. Like every recipe I make before an event. I’m nothing if not predictable. 

So, I put the 21 tablespoons of butter on the stove on low heat.

Let me say that again. I put the 21 TABLESPOONS OF BUTTER on the stove on low heat. #nothingcankillpauladeen #notevendiabetesyall

The recipe says it’ll take about 6 minutes for the butter to brown.  And I’m pretty sure it took me an hour to brown the butter. Which is like, a lot more than 6 minutes. That was my first sign that this wasn’t going my way. 

Here’s where I start the embarrassing googling:

  • How to brown butter (I should make sure I’m doing it right)
  • What does brown butter look like (I should make sure I’m not missing the signs)
  • What are the lyrics to Trick Daddy’s “I’m a Thug” (I should make sure I know these)

And then all of a sudden, BOOM. Brown butter. That nutty aroma the recipes kept talking about? I actually smelled that. WITH MY NOSE.

The rest of the recipe is fairly simple. You know. Except for the fact that I COMPLETELY failed at the recipe. No joke. When I tested it with a toothpick, it came out clean. But the tops were crispy and the insides were goo. Let me be clear. This was goo that tasted good. But I can’t serve it. Not with a pastry chef around. It’s a bake sale. Not a goo sale. Seriously, look at it.    

Rapture

I saved the only square I could actually cut for Alison (per her request!), pitched the rest, and started another recipe at 10:40. Part 2 of this epic story to come tomorrow! 

Brown Butter Blondies, Recipe from The Red Spoon 

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 21 tablespoons (2 sticks + 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan. Line with parchment, letting the edges overhang making a parchment sling. Butter parchment paper lining and set aside.

In a large bowl add flour, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. 

In a small saute or sauce pan, over medium-low heat, cook the butter until light brown and gives off a nutty aroma, about 6 minutes.  Remove pan from the heat, and let cool.

In a second bowl, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar and cooled butter.  Stir to combine with a wooden spoon.  Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice and stir until smooth.  Add dry ingredients in 2 batches and stir until just incorporated. 

Spread batter evenly into prepared baking dish.  Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out either clean or with crumbs, but not batter.  If using parchment paper, gently lift blondies out of baking dish or pan and let cool on a wire rack. 

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