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I used to think I had already come face to face with the killer sandwich of all time.
The widowmaker, the equalizer, the King of the Sandwich World that would clog your arteries in record time but allow you to die with a smile.
I was wrong.
Ironically, since today is Mardi Gras, it was in the French Quarter of New Orleans where I was lucky enough to be introduced to the muffaletta. I can feel my rings getting tight at the mere mention of its name.....
The muffaletta, a delicious and exotic creation invented by people far greater than ourselves, sounds like what it is: a combination of something to be eaten and something to wear -- in this case, a blood pressure cuff and a heart monitor.
Imagine several layers of succulent Italian meats and cheeses piled atop a thick, salty layer of olive salad and packed under the sheltering dome of a huge round loaf, cut into quarters and intended for four. Whew!
Four? I think not.
My son Charlie and I, legendary aficionados of all things intended for four but only enough for two, stared at one another in disbelief as the oil trickled down our chins and the sodium infused our blood streams. "Does something this good really exist or are we dreaming?"
I thought this sandwich was the grand daddy of all heart-stoppers until clicking around on the Food Channel yesterday and coming face to face with Paula Deen, the white-maned grande dame of death by food, and a sandwich she'd made to share with
Someone should look for those women because, if still alive, they are in immediate need of defibrulators.
|Happy or homicidal?|
Innocently dubbed the "Brunch Burger," picture a juicy hamburger topped by a fried egg and bacon and squeezed between two Krispy Kreme glazed donuts. If you are still able to stand without leaning on the shoulder of a paramedic for support, then you have not actually visualized this tower of calories, fat and cholesterol. There is risk in even gazing upon its image in a photograph.
Honestly, is Paula kidding?
No one loves salty and sweet more than I. I sniff PayDay candy bars like fine cigars at the check-out counter and dip pretzel rods into chocolate, pretending to give them as gifts at holiday time. I even loved the recent duet between Shakira and Beyonce but this sandwich made me tremble...and not in a good way.
Paula's brunch menu was topped off by a yogurt and fruit parfait meant solely to distract us from the fact that a Cardiovascular SWAT team, armed with pacemakers and led by Doctor OZ, was surrounding her home in Savannah just as the credits were starting to roll.
Apparently Paula has decided to cut to the chase. Why bother sneaking a pound of butter into a recipe when you can simply kill us with a sandwich?
It gets worse.
Paula also offers a recipe for deep fried butter balls.
The reviews for recipes on the Food Network's website is one of the last bastion's of civility on the internet. Cooks and foodies convene in cyber space to cheerfully discuss their pursuits in the kitchen.Or, so I thought.
This time there was in-fighting and hostility among the reviewers.The comments swung from accusations that attempted to re-polarize the northern and southern portions of the United States as well as some barely coherent rants which I blame on the effect of the butter balls, themselves.
How could anyone think straight after popping a few of those babies?
Since it's Mardi Gras today, I want to send a special shout-out to my Louisiana family and friends who all have Ph.D.s in personality, charisma and hospitality. Not to mention good looks. We miss you and hope to see you before the muffalettas get us.
To all my readers: Go out and eat something you might not normally enjoy on a regular day. If you're not lucky enough to be down in New Orleans today, buy the ingredients for a muffaletta and make one yourself. Or, head to Krispy Kreme but don't tell me what you do with the doughnuts you buy.
Afterwards, in honor of the traditions of the Crescent City, stand by your front window and expose yourselves to the neighborhood. When the police show up, simply remind them that it's Mardi Gras today.
But stay away from fried butter balls. Or Dr. Oz and the SWAT team may show up at your door and I've heard that he never, ever changes those scrubs he wears on the show.