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Posts Tagged ‘tomato recipes’

 

GreenTomato

I have posted about my love of green tomatoes in the past, but you can never sing their praises too often. They are one of those vegetables that no one has figured out how to bring to the market in the middle of January. Only in the mid to late summer can you find beautiful green tomatoes right off the vine carrying that pungent fragrance. My husband Steve had a fascinating aunt, Rubie, who when she was very much alive and a gardening fool, would send me a big box of green tomatoes individually wrapped in newspaper that she instructed me to “fry up and few and set the rest on the window sill to ripen.” You know what, that’s exactly what I did and I had sunny, bright red tomatoes for weeks throughout the early fall.

The green ones that I fried got this treatment. To serve six people, you will need about 5 large green tomatoes.

 

5 large green tomatoes, washed, cored, and cut, crosswise, into ½-inch thick slices

2 large eggs

½ cup buttermilk

2 cups Wondra flour

1 cup cornmeal

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil of choice – I use canola

 

Place the tomato slices on double layers of paper towel to drain slightly.

Whisk the eggs and buttermilk together in a large, shallow bowl.

Place 1 cup of the Wondra flour in a large shallow bowl.

Combine the remaining cup of flour, cornmeal, and salt and pepper in another large, shallow bowl.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, working with one at a time, dip the tomato slices into the plain flour, then into the milk mixture and finally into the flour-cornmeal mixture, pressing down to coat evenly.  Shake off excess and place in the hot pan.

Fry each slice for about 3 minutes.  Turn and fry for another 3 minutes or until crisp and golden on both sides. Using a slotted spatula, lift the slices from the pan and place on paper towel to drain.

Serve hot with a spritz of fresh lemon or any tart relish or condiment.  Or, if you like, make a cream gravy in the pan and drizzle over the tomatoes.

 

Fried green tomatoes_image-1

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Don’tcha just wonder where all those heirloom seeds are coming from?  Here it is late fall moving into winter and between the farmers market and the specialty produce stores I’ve come across piles of “heirloom” tomatoes.  Like the sucker I am for beautiful produce, I bought a few – pricey, they are, eh? – and you know what, they were delicious.  I was in the process of cutting one to make Steve a breakfast sandwich of fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomato when he slid by, camera in hand, and shot this big one that I had just sliced – bright red with a tinge of deep green circling the mid-section.  Doesn’t it make you long for an extended tomato season?

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This year the tomatoes began the ripening season in fine fettle – then, the rains came.  We did get to enjoy a few rounds of fresh tomato pasta sauce, tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad, and, my favorite, tomato, sweet butter, and homemade white bread sammich.  But, then came pale pink, none-too-filled with the sun’s warmth, blotchy globes followed by hard, green never-to-ripen fruit.  So, after a couple of fried green tomato and green tomato tart meals (see past posts), I made a couple of batches of my mom’s best green tomato relish.  If you’ve had the same problem, scoop up your greenies and put up a few jars – it’s great on grilled meats, fish, sandwiches, and tossed into salads.  I will give you the general idea but you can really add and subtract ingredients as you wish.  This recipe makes enough to can about 8 pints but it can easily be cut way down to make just enough to have a good-sized container in the fridge.

About 8 to 9 pounds green tomatoes, washed and cored

4 large sweet onions, peeled and trimmed

3 red bell peppers, washed, stemmed, and seeded

2 green bell peppers, washed, stemmed, and seeded

1 jalapeño chile, stemmed and seeded, optional

¼ cup coarse salt or to taste

3 cups sugar – depending on your taste

3 cups white vinegar

1 tablespoon mustard seed

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1 teaspoon celery seed

½ teaspoon ground turmeric 

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

You can deal with the vegetables in any way you wish – hand grate, grate on the grating blade of a food processor, or do as my mom did, push them through the shredding blade on a hand grater.  Once shredded, place all of them into a large nonreactive saucepan or canning pot.  Add all of the remaining ingredients and place over high heat.

Bring to a boil; then, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened and well seasoned.  Depending on your plans, either transfer to clean containers with lids, cover, and let cool.  Then refrigerate for up to 1 month.

If canning, ladle the relish into hot, sterilized jars, cover with the appropriate canning lids, and place in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove from the hot bath, invert on wire racks, and let cool before storing in a cool, dark spot.

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