Thursday, August 16, 2007

God Bless the Sweet Potato Queens

A couple of years ago one of Kevin's friends gave me The Sweet Potato Queens Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner. I had never heard of the Sweet Potato Queens prior to receiving that book. I wanted to find out more about them, because the book is a hoot. However, they don't disclose much about their organization. Their attitude is, "If you want to know more, buy all of our books." Their excuse for the greed is that they're middle-aged women who need lots of plastic surgery, so we need to spend money on their products to help fund it all. Still, what they do is pretty self-explantory. It's women's empowerment and charitable work combined with silly costumes in the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The only way I can describe the receipes in the book is "Paula Deen moved into the trailer park and is now on a limited budget." There is butter. There is bacon. There is cheese. There is booze. Recipes range from a slow-cooked Italian tomato sauce with meatballs to something called "Pecan Pudding", which involves taking a store-bought pecan pie, mashing it up with your hands, and mixing it up with a tub of Cool Whip. There is a recipe called "Pig Candy", which involves coating bacon in brown sugar and baking till crisp. This is my kind of cookbook! (Although thanks to Kevin's sensitivity to pork products and cheese, I can't make half the recipes in there).

Last night I made a cake I've been dying to try forver. It's called "The Gooiest Cake in the World." It's simple and the results are a sugary, artery-clogging, and incredibly delicious trip to the cardiologists office.

You start with a yellow cake mix and mix it with 3 eggs, a teaspoon of baking soda, a quarter cup of water, and a 20oz. can of crushed pineapple. Pour it into a greased 9x13 pan and bake according to package directions.

Then you make the "frosting". You take a cup of evaporated milk, 2 sticks of melted butter, and a cup and a half of sugar. Mix that with 7 oz. of cocounut. You are supposed to use canned coconut, but I couldn't find any, so I took the risk and used bagged. Poke holes in the cake and pour this mixture over the top.

Although the cake is supposed to be served warm (actually, the directions were, "Wait until cools the tiniest bit and then stick your face in it"), I let it cool so the filling solidified a bit they way I would do with a tres leches cake. I wonder if there would have been less liquid if I had found canned coconut.

I brought it into work today and changed the name a bit. Gooiest Cake in the World doesn't really describe the contents. I called it Super-Duper Gooey Pineapple-Coconut cake.

It's not the classiest fare in the world, but the Sweet Potato Queens can make a very delicious cake!

On a completely different note, I'm making fried chicken for dinner tonight. This is only the second time I have attempted to make fried chicken. I've made fried strips and wings a few times. Frying whole chicken pieces is a big production, so I rarely bother. I do dearly love fried chicken and it's hard to find good fried chicken in this part of the world, so I have to do it now and then and hopefully prefect my skill at it. The last time I tried it, I felt the chicken was a little overbrowned.

I have my chicken pieces marinating in hot sauce and buttermilk right now. I plan to follow Alton Brown's technique for the coating and frying.

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