Wednesday, March 5, 2008
The gluten free Paula Deen?
I am reconsidering my self-appointed nickname of "The Gluten Free Paula Deen."
I guess I didn't realize how many people really, really don't like ol Paula from All-benny Georgia. In fact, if the comments I've been reading about her lately are true, she's becoming almost as unpopular as Rachel (YUM-O) Ray. Don't get me wrong -- I still watch her every night and weekends, too. And I recognize a lot of her recipes, since I own a million cookbooks (ok, a hundred). I guess I secretly wanted Paula to "discover" me and make me her gluten free protege, maybe even having me as a guest on her show.
My reconsideration all started last night when I was reading a post on one of my favorite non-GF food blogs, Serious Eat (www.seriouseats.com). There is a post there called "Paula Deen is trying to kill us" and it refers to a DONUT HAMBURGER.
A hamburger, sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme donuts, with bacon...AND AN EGG on top! What, no cheese? No mayo? ACK!
I enjoyed looking at the comments in the subsequent posts (you'll see parts I, II and III listed there at the link) and got a lot of laughs. My favorite line about Paula's show? "Life is too short to spend a minute watching gomer pyle in drag on tv." I had to add that one to my Facebook quotes, ya'll.
So why DID I call myself the GF Paula Deen in the first place? Goodness knows I'm not rich like she is (though I admire that she made it big after a divorce and brought her family along with her to fame. She's nothing if not generous). And I don't have those dripping diamonds on my fingers and neck (don't want them...don't get me wrong). And I don't chain-smoke Virginia Slims like she does. But I am Southern woman through and through, and I like a good recipe made with mayonnaise and cream of mushroom soup (now GF soup, but still). And I wanted to find the GF recipes for my favorite Southern comfort foods, which she does demo all the time on her shows. I find her savory recipes in general easy to replicate on a GF diet.
But I try not to be a caricature of myself, and that, to me, is what Paula has become. She has gone over the top and it is hard for me, as a Southern woman, to watch her show -- especially Paula's Party. Oh sure, we've got stuff in common. We're both this side of hefty, that's for sure. I am a little (ok, a lot) hammy, I know that. And I do perform for my classes (to keep them awake largely, but they do learn). But I don't want to recommend recipes that are a literal heart attack on a plate. Being GF is about becoming more aware of the content of your foods. Sometimes I worry about the health of poor Paula and Michael.
A donut hamburger, while it might appeal to some (I think I hear my husband salivating down in Tampa) is just plain wrong.
And scary. And maybe a little dangerous.
I dunno. Who else does Southern Comfort food? Tyler Florence, maybe -- he's way cuter and younger than me. I don't know.
But there is ONE THING I do know -- Paula Deen would never make it on a gluten free (or sugar free diet).
Guess I'll think that out. BUT I will leave you with a recipe for today.
Southern fried Cabbage
I bag of coleslaw mix that includes carrot and red cabbage
four-six strips of bacon, chopped (can use turkey bacon)
One onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
Hot sauce and black pepper to taste
In a large WOK or dutch oven (or Big Iron Skillet) with a cover, cook bacon til barely crisp, and add onion and garlic. You should have about 2 T. bacon drippings with real bacon, so add a little olive oil if you don't have fat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook til they begin to lightly brown. Add bag o slaw and cover pan for three minutes or so. The uncover and toss until cabbage is crisp tender and begins to brown. Season generously with a BIG pinch of salt, lots of fresh ground black pepper, and a couple dashes of hot sauce if you can take it.
Good served with chicken, pork, smoked sausage, but especially would be good with some Corned Beef on St. Patty's Day!
Much love, and best dishe....wait. Maybe I won't say that.