Jenny Famewhore

Thursday in the Heights: Snake Bites

Posted in Recipes by Jenny Famewhore on November 1, 2009
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The Heights, October 29, 2009

Snake Bites

By: Jenny Liu

Published: Thursday, October 29, 2009

In Halloweens previous, I had roped my friends into going trick-or-treating with me. But after several embarrassing encounters, wherein the candy-dispensing parents would slyly ask us, “So how old are you all?” I decided to find other ways to fulfill the needs of my inner child. In the spirit of the holiday—absurd, theatrical, and supremely over-the-top, I thought of one person I could turn to: Paula Deen, Food Network celebrity and queen of gluttonous, Southern-inspired comfort cuisine. After all, what could be scarier than scarfing down pounds of butter and cheese, and ending up in a food coma?

Paula Deen’s rise to Food Network fame was a tour de force. Legend has it, Paula Deen, recent divorcée, with two sons and two-hundred dollars, moved to Savannah, Georgia, where she started a small catering company, The Bag Lady, and soon after, a wildly successful restaurant, The Lady and Sons, which garnered critical acclaim. Now, she is the accomplished host of Paula’s Best Dishes, Paula’s Home Cooking, and Paula’s Party. With her shocking white hair and intense blue eyes, her indiscriminate use of butter and, sassy remarks, most people either want to have a heart attack watching her shows or feverously wishes she were their grandmother. I am still waiting to be adopted.

This holiday, I wanted to avoid the usual clichés of pumpkin and apple recipes and opted instead for one of Paula’s Halloween recipes, Snake Bites. The appeal of Paula Deen’s recipes is that they are generally classic, ordinary dishes, but with a hedonistic spin (And by that, I mean, injected with several sticks of butter and a bucket of lard.) This also means that they are very easy to make, even for someone like me, who, without a meal plan, is left to flounder with late-night leftovers from Roggies’ and New Hong Kong out of sheer laziness. The Snake Bites is an epic sandwich, layered with nearly two inches of deli-cuts and cheese inside a flaky, buttery crescent roll.

When assembling the innards, I halved the amount of meat, still sufficient to produce an artery-clogging glory. I don’t think the entire 30 ounces of ham, salami, and bologna the recipe calls for can possibly fit onto one crescent roll. Alternate the layers of deli-cuts and cheese for an integrated effect. Also, any type of cheese or meat can be substituted to your liking. In fact, you can throw anything but the kitchen sink in there. Even make it into a dessert. In another step, I did not use food coloring, and merely spread the egg yolk on top of the dough. Once it bakes in the oven, the yolk coating would give it a glossy brown sheen.

One lethal biteIt’s a snake! A slug! A caterpillar! Or, insert your favorite annelid here! Due to the malleability of the dough, it can be shaped into any long, cylindrical creature of your desire.

The name of the recipe, “Snake Bites,” is an obnoxious word-play in many ways, yet appropriately justified: a single bite, though not necessarily lethal, would send anyone into a lipid-induced bliss.

Snake Bites
courtesy of Paula Deen (www.foodnetwork.com)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 25 Minutes

Serves: 10

1 can crescent rolls
Flour, for dusting
4 tablespoons spicy mustard
10 ounces thinly sliced ham *I suggest 1/2 the amount of meat & cheese that the recipe calls for.
10 ounces thinly sliced salami
10 ounces bologna 12 ounces
12 ounces Monterey Jack, grated
Liquid food coloring
3 egg yolks
2 whole cloves
Toothpicks
2 small pimiento-stuffed olives
1 (1-inch) strips jarred roasted red peppers

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Grease the foil and set aside.

Dust a flat surface lightly with flour. Spread out the crescent dough — do not separate. Pinch together the seams so that you have 1 piece of dough. Roll out to make a large rectangle. Make sure the dough is not stuck to the surface at all.

IMG_4839

profile view of the monstrosity

Brush the dough with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border. Layer the meats down the center of the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border on either end. You can feel free to use your favorite cold cuts.

Top the meats with the cheese . Fold one side of the dough over the filling, lengthwise. Then, fold the other 1/2 over and press the seal the filling inside. Take 1 egg yolk, and beat lightly with a fork. Brush the egg yolk over the top of the dough. The yolk will act as the glue to hold. Fold the dough in 1/2 again lengthwise. Pinch the seam with your fingers to seal. Press the outside of the dough to make sure everything is sealed tight and to make an even thickness for the body of your snake. Taper one end of the dough to form a tail shape. Form the other end into a head shape.

IMG_4845

assembled Snake, on foil, before baking

Beat the 2 remaining egg yolks together. Transfer to 3 separate small bowls. Add some food coloring to each bowl — whatever colors you like! Using a clean paintbrush, “paint” the snake with the egg yolk/food coloring mixture. (Note: the yolk tends to weaken the dough, and cause tears. This is easily remedied by reclosing it with a bit of extra flour.)
Transfer the snake to the foil lined sheet tray. Form into an “s” shape so it looks like the snake is slithering. Insert 2 cloves into the head to look like nostrils and 2 stuffed olives for eyes. Create a mouth or tongue with the roasted red peppers. Bake the snake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

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One Response

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  1. emboddemo said, on December 11, 2009 at 8:21 PM

    I highly enjoyed reading this article, keep on writing such interesting articles!!


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