Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler Means Do Not Eat the Fried Butter Balls!

It's Mardi Gras and I am out raising hell, so please accept this timely archived post in honor of today's traditional festivities...

I used to think I had already come face to face with the killer sandwich of all time.

I used to think of it as 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 people she wants to kill lady friends at brunch.

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 we


  1. Got to love the south and all the things they fry.

  2. The Krispy Kreams are overkill! Otherwise, I’m in! Making Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese on Thursday…

  3. In honor of Mardi Gras and all things excessive I've decided to lay on a bed of Kripy Kreme doughnuts all day.

    I wish.

    There was somekinda franchise fuck up and you can't get there here anymore. Hopefully they come back soon. In the meantime I have to get my fix when we go to Austin.

  4. I am now TRULY inspired to eat some wonderful, horrible, blood curdling food today. As if I need a reason more than usual, but I appreciate it none the less, because now my food consuming can be fully guiltless and unrestrained. So thank you Susan!....Also debating the reveal to the neighborhood, but you should know I will blame your blog when the cops come.

  5. Hi, Michelle! nYep, they fry lots of things...all of which are delicious, I bet. but fried butter makes me squirm. Happy Mardi Gras!

  6. Miss Lovely! How about Krispy Kremes after the meal, with coffee? or, driving anywhere in the car?

    Bacon, mac and cheese...yum! XXOO

  7. Michele...you truly inspire me. To lie on a bed of Krispy Kremes is brilliant. And then to eat your way out...

    I hope they return to your neighborhood soon, my friend!

  8. Mmm, I am a HUGE fan of the Muffaletta myself! Too bad my stupid blood pressure is stupid and high and I have to stay away from all the yummy foods. At least I only have 2 weeks to go, max, and then I can eat and drink anything I want!! Wooooo

    Love ya!

  9. Hi, Anon--yes, there is no guilt associated with naughty eating on Fat Tuesday. The guikr comes tomorrow! And if you do blame the blog, I thank you for the publicity!

  10. Sorry, I "glazed over" at the mention of the Krispy Kreme donuts. Was there more after that?


  11. Cat, my DARLING!! So great to hear from you. No salty muffalettas for you if the BP is high! I am going to email you later thisd evening. Can't wait to hear about your belly! XXXOOO

  12. Scott, you make me laugh! I am glazed over, myself!

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