Monday, April 26, 2010

Paula With Oprah - Two Glorious Divas In The House, Plus Paula Shows A Young One How it’s Done

Paula has been all over the place lately, promoting her new gorgeous design book. She vis’ted (that’s how Paula says it) with Oprah today and we got to see her back at her first job as a bank teller.

I’m surprised there was any money left in the bank. It seemed as if the whole town came out to have Paula handle their transactions. She was sooo delightful and kibitzed with every single person. She admitted to one lady, who was getting money for a trip to Vegas, that she herself was a ‘Slot Slut”.

She gave out cookies, hugs and her homespun homilies. WHO doesn’t love Paula? She’s completely irresistible.

She also made a Hash Brown Casserole with Oprah. It was a lot of fun to WATCH, despite its undeniable effect on our overall health.

Paula’s Best Dishes with Paula Deen

Gone Brunchin’

Breakfast Pizza

Sweet Potato Home Fries

Orange Coffee Cake

Grilled Peach Salad

I also caught a recent show of Paula’s, which was wonderfully homey. She tells us she’s having a “little vistor” coming in - ”a little girl”, who she’s going to show some cooking stuff to. Too cute. She’s Krystal DaSilva and when she sends Paula an email about a cooking problem, Paula invites her right over.

Do you think that Ina would do that if I asked her to show me how to do the tablecloth fold that was so hard to figure out?

Paula’s planning to have a little something ready for Krystal when she arrives, so she makes this luxurious, incredibly delicious-looking orange coffee cake. AND it’s “so simple, y’all”.

Sorry to sound like Pollyanna, but if you’re ever in a bad mood, just watch Paula. You can’t help but smile.

Wait, hold on! Paula’s talking and doing stuff and all of a sudden she grabs a cylinder looking thing and pulls the tab and it explodes in her hands.

Oh! That amazing looking coffee cake is made from those canned biscuits thingies. Darn!!! I will NEVER buy those. But maybe she’ll be making a good glaze and I can use that on a regular coffee cake dough.

Paula uses those a lot. She has a Monkey Bread recipe AND a Gorilla Bread recipe that call for refrigerator biscuits, or whatever the technical term is for that poison. I admit, because it’s Paula, I’m not going to get all bothered about it.

She fits one biscuit in the center of a cake pan and surrounds it with others cut in half to make a flower shape. Paula has to rearrange a bit when she doesn’t use all the biscuits. Her credo? “No biscuit shall be left behind.”

She brushes on a boatload of melted butter to “hep” the coffee cake get crispy. She tops it with ¼ cup of chopped nuts, which she’s mixed with 1/3 cup of sugar and some orange zest. She bakes it for 20 minutes at 350º F. until golden brown.

She mixes up the glaze – 2 ounces of cream cheese (but who’s counting, she says), ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar and some fresh orange juice. Isn’t cream cheese unusual in a glaze?

Paula is going to “drop” it on top of the biscuit things, when they come out of the oven.

OH! A knock at the door. It’s Krystal!

It’s lucky for Paula that Krystal turned out to be, not a stalker and not exactly a little girl either, but a sweet young woman, who had just become engaged.

Krystal likes to make breakfast pizzas, but hers are always blah. Paula says she’ll kick up the flavor and use a giant pancake as a base.

Wow, cream cheese in a glaze and pancakes as a base for pizza. Interesting.

Krystal charms Paula with the story of her engagement (her fiancé brings over a cake that says “Will you marry me?”). They mix up a pancake batter with Paula reminding Krystal not to overbeat. I think she IS overbeating, but Paula says nothing. (No wonder people love cooking with her.)

Krystal ladles out the batter to make two HUGE pancakes - the size of individual pizzas. That’s so neat, but won’t they get soggy with a bunch of stuff on them?

They move on to the Sweet Potato Home Fries. They boil the peeled chunks of sweet potatoes for 10 minutes and then drain them well. Paula continues to make more pancakes. Paula drops the potatoes into TWO deep fry baskets in the deep fryer right in Paula’s counter. (Of course, she has a double deep-fat fryer.)

She instructs Krystal to scramble some eggs (which have been mixed with a dollop of sour cream).

Paula makes a simple sauce of drained, flavored diced tomatoes, mixed with room temperature cream cheese. She “squishes” it all together to mix.

Paula turns around and grabs some bacon from the stove behind her. I feel pretty sure that whatever time of day it is, there’s always bacon in Paula’s kitchen ready to be grabbed.

Krystal chops the bacon and Paula starts assembling the pizzas. She tops the pancakes with the cream cheese and tomato mixture. Krystal mixes the bacon into the cooked eggs and puts THAT on top of the pizza pancake.

The sweet potato fries are ready to be served. Krystal asks Paula if she seasons them. Paula says you can use salt OR sugar. Huh? I never thought of sugar. Paula seasons one half with salt and one half with sugar, so K can taste them both.

They finish off the pizzas with fresh basil and some pre-shredded mozzarella. They go into a 400º F. oven until hot.

Meanwhile, they make a little salad with GRILLED peaches. Yum! Krystal slices 3 peaches and coats them with olive oil and salt. Paula makes a dressing with Dijon, rice wine vinegar, salt and olive oil.

Paula mixes mesclun greens with chopped pecans and some crumbled feta. Krystal grills the peaches until they have beautiful grill marks. Paula tosses everything together with the dressing. It’s so fresh and good looking.

Paula reveals the coffee cake to a suitably thrilled Krystal. Paula drizzles the top with confectioner’s sugar and orange juice.

Paula serves everything up. Krystal loves the salad and the coffee cake. They taste the pizzas. Paula says it’s out of this world. She lets Krystal say, “Love and best dishes from our kitchen to yours”.

I don’t necessarily think the people of the world would be better off if we ate Paula Deen’s recipes everyday; but I do think if we all adapted, even an ounce of her good will, charm and ever-present humor, we’d all be in a better place.


Java Joggers said...

My grandmothers both made the BEST homemade biscuits. My mother made good homebiscuits, but occasionally would serve the refrigerated ones. I never liked the way they tasted. They were, however, a staple in southern home cooking. The women of my mother's era really took to the convenience foods that were available to them at the time. I've got a lot of southern cookbooks that are collections of recipes from members of various churches from my old hometown and other towns close by, and it's funny to see the coffee cakes, etc. that are based on refrigerated biscuits. The other convenience ingredient that a lot of the recipes call for is Velveeta cheese... :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I don't make Paula's recipes or I'd be weighing 400 pounds but I always say I'd love to have her as a friend.

Sue said...

Hi JJ,
Please may I have Grandma's Biscuit recipe? PLEASE!

Yeah, I think it is a Southern thing. My not quite as far south mother was a great cook, but loved things that made her spend less time in the kitchen. I'm not quite sure why she thought squeezable margarine fit into that category, but she did. BUT we didn't have Velveeta cheese. Darn!

Hi Linda,
I love that thought! I do have a feeling, though, that if I were hanging with Paula, I'd be EATING with Paula.

Mary said...

What a marvelous review of the show! While I don't usually cook along with Paula - has to do with hips and such - I'd love to have her at my table. I hope you have a grand day. Blessings...Mary

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I remember Paula making gorilla bread for Jimmy Carter on one of her shows.

I've been disenchanted with Paula in recent years. Used to love her, but the food and personality is just too over-the-top now. I blame the FN executives who probably keep pushing her in that direction.

In any case, I don't hold the canned biscuits against her. My dirty little secret is I love canned biscuits. I always have. Yes, I can make my own perfectly decent biscuits from scratch, but they're never quite the same taste-wise. Something about those chemicals in canned biscuits!

Sue said...

Hi Mary,
Yes, wouldn't that be a blast to have a meal with Paula? She's so down-home and cozy.

NO, say it isn't so! Isn't that just Paula just being Paula and coming more into her own? I LOVE that she's over the top.

Her hair has been following suit too. I've never seen grey/white hair that BRIGHT! And I love it when it's so big! That's jus' Paula, y'all.