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The queen of southern cuisine dives into the story of how she met her husband Michael while showing everyone how to recreate some of her wedding hits and family favorites.
Deen tells the story behind her collard green wontons, a dish she said was a glowing success at her wedding.
“I said, ‘I want to be true to who we are,’” she said. “We love chicken, we love collards, we love shrimp – but I wasn’t going to put out a bowl of collard greens for somebody to eat.”
“So I thought and I thought and I thought. And I finally came up with what I felt like was a good idea. And I decided to have the kitchen team make collard greens wontons. And do you know what? I think that was the number one favorite recipe.”
Paula stuffed her collard green wontons complete with cream cheese, butter, and ham before diving into the next dish that ranks among her husband’s favorites: shrimp and grits.
After seasoning up the shrimp with garlic, leek, diced onion, white wine and Tasso ham, Deen explained the art of making the “perfect” southern grits.
“If [grits are] not cooked properly, they’re not good,” she says. “It’s very important that you measure your grits.”
Deen tossed in a little insight as she cooks up the grits, making sure everyone knows to have a whisk on hand.
“One of the most important things about cooking your grits is having you a whisk on hand. And as soon as you get those grits down in that boiling water, it’s important that you do this for almost five minutes, because you want to make sure every one of those grains of grits is mixed up,” she said.
After adding in just the right amount of butter, salt and pepper, Deen moved on to the final dish of her trio – another of Michael’s favorites.
The recipe for her mother-in-law’s beloved banana nut cake brings a sweet touch to the savory duo prepared before.
Complete with eggs, flour, sugar, bananas, chopped nuts and vanilla, Deen creates a batter and carefully measures each layer to ensure the cake is evenly distributed.
She topped off the cake with a homemade cream cheese frosting and a chopped nut garnish.
“I think God had a big hand in the whole process,” she said. After moving out from downtown to the Wilmington Island, she said she asked God to send her a neighbor.
“‘I just knew if he knew I needed it, he would send it.”
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