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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2007
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This colorful dish, cooked by Wanda Carwile, is two Paula Deen recipes put together: Cheeseburger Meatloaf and Sauce on top of Picnic Cole Slaw.
Daily photo by Patrice Stewart
This colorful dish, cooked by Wanda Carwile, is two Paula Deen recipes put together: Cheeseburger Meatloaf and Sauce on top of Picnic Cole Slaw.

Cookbook author Paula Deen's recipes at Athens lunch are
Southern tempting

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com · 340-2446

When Wanda Carwile tried to decide which Paula Deen dish to make and share at a recipe lunch, she was overwhelmed with options.

That’s because Deen, who originally started the Bag Lady catering business in Savannah, Ga., moved into home-style bag lunches and then to a popular restaurant, The Lady & Sons. She followed that success with a succession of cookbooks, a magazine and a television show on the Food Network.

Carwile couldn’t make up her mind, but she finally decided to combine two recipes for one large, colorful platter. Her combination impressed the several dozen women attending this Deen recipe fest at Crawford Gift’s on the square in Athens.

It was no ordinary meatloaf, and that’s why Carwile selected it.

“This Cheeseburger Meatloaf and Sauce doesn’t include regular ingredients like eggs or tomato paste,” she said. “It has sour cream instead, and the sauce to serve over it or on the side includes cream of mushroom soup and grated cheese.”

For color, Carwile decided to place her meatloaf on top of a vegetable-based slaw. This Deen version of Picnic Cole Slaw includes corn, broccoli, carrots and bell peppers and is sweetened with Splenda.

“I just picked it out of Paula Deen’s magazine to go with the meatloaf, thinking it would make a pretty dish,” Carwile said.

It took two buffet tables to hold all the food made from Deen recipes. Owner Regina Crawford said the event was such a hit she will probably plan others, despite the fact that some showed up without dishes and expecting to see Paula Deen herself. Deen cookbooks and other products were discounted for the day.

Other hits included Potato and Ham Soup, Copper Pennies, Sunday Morning Casserole, Baked Cheese Grits, Tomato Canapes, Cheese Biscuits, Chinese Salad, Fried Chicken, Hash Brown Casserole,

The tempting desserts filled one table. The group of about 35 people found it hard to resist individual Molten Lava Cakes, Lemon Butter Cake, Peanut Butter Cookies for diabetics, Gooey Lemon Bars, Coconut Cake, Mississippi Mud Cake, Rice Pudding and Brown Sugar Chewies.

Barbara Gordon of Athens said she likes the Deen way of making a moist coconut cake. “You soak the layers in sour cream and sugar and coconut for three days and then make seven-minute icing,” she said. A brie in phyllo pastry with a walnut, cinnamon and butter sauce was popular, too.

Debra Gooch of Athens liked the flavor the garlic gave to Baked Cheese Grits. Sherry Cooper, also of Athens, said she likes marinating the chicken in Pete’s Hot Sauce before frying, because it cooks out but leaves a zippy taste.

The women used recipes from “Paula Deen & Friends,” “Paula Deen Celebrates,” “The Lady & Sons,” “The Lady & Sons, Too!” and other cookbooks and magazines.

Several recipes call for Deen’s house seasoning mix, and you can make your own to use on all types of dishes.

The Lady’s House Seasoning

1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup black pepper
1 cup salt

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to six months.

Picnic Cole Slaw

1-pound bag old-fashioned cole slaw mix

11-ounce can whole kernel Mexicorn, drained
2-ounce jar diced pimentos, drained
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup minced fresh parsley
1 red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine first eight ingredients, tossing gently.

In a small saucepan, combine apple cider vinegar and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Pour dressing mixture over slaw, tossing gently to coat.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Hash Brown Potato Casserole

2 pounds frozen hash brown potatoes
4 cups grated Cheddar cheese
103/4-ounce can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons The Lady’s House (see recipe)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, 2 cups of the Cheddar cheese, the soup, sour cream, butter, onion and House Seasoning. Place in a buttered 13x9x2-inch pan and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining Cheddar. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Variation: Instead of topping casserole with cheese, you may use 2 cups crushed Ritz crackers mixed with 1/2 cup melted butter. Serves 10 to 12.

Copper Pennies

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
103/4-ounce can tomato soup
2 pounds carrots, peeled, cooked and sliced
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

Combine the sugar, vinegar, oil, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the soup.

Mix the carrots, onion and bell pepper together in a large glass dish; pour the sauce over the vegetables, stir gently to combine and refrigerate overnight.

Serves 12 to 15. This salad will keep for up to six weeks in the refrigerator.

Sweet Potato Balls

4 large sweet potatoes
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large marshmallow per potato ball

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the potatoes until tender, then peel and mash them. Stir in the brown sugar, orange juice, zest and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, toss the coconut with the sugar and cinnamon. Press mashed potatoes around each marshmallow, creating a 2- to 3-inch diameter ball. Roll the balls in the coconut mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Watch carefully for the last few minutes of cooking; the expanding marshmallows can cause the potato balls to burst open. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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