Breakfast for Dinner
Having out of town chefs to Augusta to film the show is always exciting, but for this particular show, I had an exceptionally good time. Chef Gason Nelson of New Orleans is quite the entertainer, along with being a very talented culinary artist. His energy is infectious and his food phenomenal, and those two elements alone make the recipe for this week’s show a huge success.
Our common bond: Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning Ambassadorship, and we are both thrilled to have had this opportunity together.
First Up: Pimento Cheese Grits. You know I had to put my own twist on his recipe, so it’s only fitting if he comes to Georgia for his recipe to feature my pimento cheese. The final result to how he cooked the grits and plus the addition of pimento cheese may be your new favorite for dinner and for brunch. https://www.veryvera.com/recipes/recipe/tonys-chacheres-pimento-cheese-grits/
The Grillades may not have been familiar to me but the aroma and taste of this dish was award winning. When you factor in the title of the show for this week, there could be no one that wouldn’t want to see this on the dinner table. https://www.veryvera.com/recipes/recipe/tonys-chacheres-30-minute-steakhouse-marinade-grillades/
The New Orleans BBQ Shrimp was the WOW factor, especially when Chef saw the colossal shrimp we found locally to prepare for this recipe. Small lobsters would have been a better description and certainly spoke to the tenderness and sweetness of the meat. The combination of all three of these dishes certainly is a dinner fit for a KING! https://www.veryvera.com/recipes/recipe/tonys-chacheres-new-orleans-bbq-shrimp/
To top it off, the Bloody Mary had a fantastic presentation and added the finale this show deserved! I hated to see Chef Gason leave but the good news is, he’s coming back to assist us Masters Week! https://www.veryvera.com/recipes/recipe/lobster-bloody-mary/
Check out The Very Vera Show at 12:30 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday on WJBF-TV.
Adventures in Vera’s Cookbook
I had a breakfast meeting with Joe Edge, the publisher of The Augusta Press, on Tuesday morning, and he mentioned that he was pleased with how the paper was going since I took over as managing editor in January.
That’s probably a good thing that I can do this job a little longer because my side gig as a baker is never going to pan out for me.
I’ve heard people complain about the price of cakes before – just pay the baker. It’s totally worth every penny, especially if the thing is both beautiful and delicious.
I have to admit when Vera threw out the challenge on the German chocolate cake that I wasn’t as intimidated as I should’ve been. After all, she’d already told me that the caramel layer cake was the toughest, and I did that one first. So how hard could it be? Famous last words.
I was meticulous. I made sure I bought every ingredient and had enough of every ingredient. Before I didn’t do that. I didn’t buy enough red food coloring for the Red Velvet cake at Christmas, but it was still pretty red.
Making the cakes themselves wasn’t the problem. The batter blended like a beautiful chocolate pudding. So smooth and creamy. The three individual cakes came out of the oven just fine baked to perfection.
The problem came in the frosting.
I can make buttercream frosting after two attempts with that, and I’d be willing to try this cake again with a chocolate buttercream.
I think my problem was that I didn’t cook the egg mixture long enough before I mixed it with the pecans and coconut. It didn’t ever seem to get thick enough. I took it off the heat too soon, and it was a little soupy.
My brother tried to be helpful. He asked Siri what thickens things; she said “cornstarch.” There wasn’t any available, and after waiting for a couple of hours for the icing to cool down and thicken — it cooled it did but didn’t thicken enough — I was done. Even sitting overnight didn’t help too much.
My husband doesn’t eat coconut, so the frosting was out for him.
Should’ve done the buttercream instead.
So, I will put this one in the loss column.
The cake was moist, and it wasn’t overly sweet.
I took it to my staff meeting. They were quite polite and said that it didn’t matter that it wasn’t pretty. It didn’t have to be pretty to taste good. Believe me, it wasn’t pretty.
If there was a blooper reel to all of this, you’d see me losing two egg yolks down the sink because I had to separate the yolks from the whites for that frosting.
One of these days, I’ll make a perfect cake that tastes great and is beautifully decorated, but until then, Happy birthday, Vera! I hope it was a great one.