A Good Meatloaf is Hard To Find: A Paula Deen Dinner
Have you ever curated a meal based on your favorite cook? Steak au poivre, gratin dauphinois and haricots verts a la Provencale in honor of Julia. Thomas Keller's Oysters and Pearls. Smoked salmon pizza for Wolfgang Puck. A recreation of Laurie Colwin's undercooked cheese ravioli served to a table of stoned friends. (Well, maybe that one was an unintentional homage.) Kevin Nguyen, writer for the Bygone Bureau, and his friends decided to have a Paula Deen-inspired dinner party, to see if the Food Network's "down home" cooking personality actually had some spunky Southern recipes to offer and wasn't just a puff pastry piece as they suspected.
"The Grotesque Gastronomy of Paula Deen: A Dinner Party," gives a course by course account of their Deen dinner: Three P's Salad, Corny Cornbread; shrimp and crab au gratin; cheeseburger meatloaf and sauce; the Lady's Brunch burger and chocolate cheese fudge. All dishes come complete with photos and a tally at the bottom of the cheese and butter count for each dish.
Butter: none. Cheese: 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar.
"It turns out that au gratin is French for tastes like shit," says Nguyen. "It was a mistake to give this dish any space on my plate. This cheesy mess of savorless, lumpy seafood was hard to swallow." Perhaps Deen has a cooking repertoire made for TV. It's still a mystery why she canceled her gig at the Pantages last week, but maybe it's better for all of us that the southern fried food porn remains on the screen. If you're still wondering whether or not her recipes were a hit, check out the post.
Get the Squid Ink'd Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly food newsletter, which features top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips and a link to our print review.