I don’t get the chance to cook too many seafood dishes because I’m practically the only one in my household who actually eats seafood these days. I decided this weekend to cook something from Paula Deen that I found in one of her magazines, JUST FOR ME! It was actually pretty easy, all things considered, and very tasty.
Creole Shrimp and Lobster Bisque
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 teaspoon Paula Deen’s Creole Blend Seasoning
- 1/2 lb steamed medium size peeled, deveined, steamed and chopped fresh shrimp
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 stalks finely chopped celery
- 1 small finely chopped white onion
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 steamed fresh lobster tails
Remove lobster meat from shell; coarsely chop and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
Add lobster meat and shrimp. Stir in half-and-half and Creole seasoning; cook for 10 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.
Paula Deen came to Charlotte, ya’ll! Her people reached out to me with fantastic tickets to see this wonderful show and to meet Paula! What an amazing experience! If you want to see her, here’s the link to check out her tour dates: Paula Deen Live. Our show was Wednesday, September 24 2014 at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Theater downtown.
When we first arrived, we were directed upstairs in this beautiful center to have some wine and snacks before going up to meet Paula. As you might imagine, the food was amazing. I wish I could show you pictures of the venue, but security was tight and they wouldn’t let us snap pictures inside the building. My guess is we were too close to the Bank of America Building, and they thought we might be cat burglers.
While we stood in line to wait on the Queen of Buttery Goodness, we spotted several famous folks. Lee Greenwood was on hand to greet us in line, and we’d learn later he’d sing his hit song God Bless the USA during the show. Stunning! (not his best picture, but that is the fault of the photog, not Mr. Greenwood.)
While we were in line to meet Paula, we were told that we could not have anyone take pictures of us (it would hold up the line) but that their photographer would get the shot and give us a link to download them. I got that one today. I think it came out great, even if the hubs has a death grip on Paula’s hand. They seem like awesome people. Paula certainly was. Very warm and friendly 🙂
Now, for the good stuff! Paula’s sons were just out there strutting around, chit chatting with everyone, really working the room. Handsome! This might have been the highlight of my night 😉
I didn’t take pictures of the event itself. I was too wrapped up in listening to Paula talk! We saw her prepare some yummy dishes, heard her telling her famous stories and anecdotes and even played some games! It was a wonderful time, and not to be missed!
When I was in school at the University of Alabama, my husband and I lived down the street from the Capstone Inn restaurant that we’d walk to for lunch every now and then. They had the most amazing artichoke dip I’ve ever had in my life, and served it with fresh-from-the-oven bread. Since then, I’ve spent many years trying to recreate that awesome dip and this one comes as close as I’ve ever gotten. Thanks, Paula!
Bubblin’ Brown Artichoke and Cream Cheese Dip
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 3/4 cups grated parmesan cheese (about 7 ounces)
- 1 (14 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- crackers, tortilla chips or crusty bread, for dipping
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Beat in the mayonnaise until combined. Add 1 1/2 cups of the Parmesan, the artichoke hearts, scallions, garlic, hot sauce, black pepper, and salt and mix with a spatula until combined.
3. Scrape the mixture into a wide, shallow gratin or baking dish that’s pretty enough for serving and top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until the dip is bubbling and the top is golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot, with crackers, tortilla chips, or crusty bread for dipping.
Paula Deen is such a great ambassador for the South. But. She lays on that accent a little too thick sometimes and God help me with the cackling. No matter. If she says a recipe is good, you can take it to the bank.
This spaghetti is her recipe, and one of the most popular ones I’ve ever shared on Food.com. Tons of reviews. It is really juicy and you will be tempted to increase the pasta, but don’t do it! It makes it too dry, upsets the balance of goodness or something. Trust me, the best way to make this dish is just to do it exactly as Paula says. If you want to take a short cut by using jarred marinara, I understand the inclination; but you are shortchanging yourself. Delish with a salad and hunk of french bread. If you’re real naughty, splurge on that fancy Irish butter in your fancy grocery store and slather it on the bread. Heaven.
Baked Spaghetti by Paula Deen
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 small bay leaves
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
- House Seasoning (use 1 1/2 tsp)
- 1 cup salt
- 1/4 cup black pepper
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a stockpot, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, seasoning mixtures, sugar, and bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
- Crumble the ground beef in a large skillet.
- Cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked, with no pink color remaining.
- Drain the fat from the meat, and then add the ground beef to the stockpot.
- Simmer for 20 more minutes.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- Cover the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with sauce.
- Add a layer of pasta and then a little less than 1/2 of each cheese; repeat the layers, ending with the sauce.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, return it to the oven, and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes.
- Cut into squares before serving.
- House Seasoning: Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Let me tell you something: These chicken fingers are the best I’ve ever made. Ever. I will admit to not making them often, but I know a good chicken finger when I bite into it, and this one fits the bill. Yes, it’s Paula’s recipe. No, it isn’t diet food. Hush and eat a salad tomorrow.
- 16 chicken tenders or 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 4 equal strips
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 3 cups self-rising flour
- peanut oil or lard 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 tablespoon juice form 1/2 a lemon
- horseradish, to taste
1. Sprinkle flour with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Dredge chicken in flour, dip into buttermilk and back into flour.
2. Preheat oil to 350 degrees. Fry fingers in deep hot oil 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with honey mustard for dipping.
3. Honey mustard dressing:
Combine all remaining ingredients together except the lemon juice and stir well. Thin to pouring with lemon juice. Store in refrigerator.
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