Saturday, June 21, 2008

Scrumptious Saturday

Tonight's menu was Barbecue Chicken, Roma Green Beans, Cornbread and Fried Green Tomatoes. I will do a little bit on the beans and Cornbread, but the feature of this post is Fried Green Tomatoes! Never fear I use a healthy oil, whole wheat and white flour. It IS still fried, but at least it's healthier than the "old" way.

Remember those beans we were picking at her Grand dad's garden? Well here we are stringing and snapping them for dinner. We have been doing this together on this swing since she was 2! She's an old pro now at it! SO for the beans, wash them (even organic has dirt on it) and I prefer to cook them in a 10" pan with high sides (larger surface area, more shallow). I put about one and a half cups of water in and a 1" cube of salt pork. I put a lid on it and cook it on low for about 3 hours. Make sure to check that the water is evaporating some, but don't let it all go or you'll have burnt beans and that is NOT a pleasant smell!

Corn Bread / Johnny Cake Style

I added some corn kernels and sugar to this one, but sometimes I'll add sunflower seeds (which goes over really well) or minced hot peppers depending upon my company and their personal taste.

First preheat your oven to temp required on your chosen package. I have and will always use Jiffy Mix for my Johnny Cake. I put my cast iron skillet in the oven as its preheating to heat that up as well. Then mix ingredients as package directions. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Take your skillet out of the oven and coat it with non-stick spray, oil, grease or butter - whatever you choose. Pour batter into the skillet and if its hot enough it should almost pre-cook the sides of the Johnny Cake as pictured here. The sides are a bit cooked (and raised higher than the center if you can see it in the picture).

Cook for approx 20 minutes depending upon the package directions. DO NOT open the oven to see how its doing. It takes the oven a bit of time to recover that heat and when baking this can be detrimental!

When done take the cast iron pan out and set it on something like a cooling rack (my stove works well for this since its gas). Let it sit for a good 10 or more minutes before trying to cut and serve. If you've done really well and greased it perfectly you can turn the pan over and have the whole Johnny Cake pop out onto a plate and cut it into quarters!

And the Coup De Gras... Fried Green Tomatoes!
Not a Southerner that is living in the South? Need to impress someone with your ability to cook Southern Food? Try this recipe, its easy, tasty and will impress the locals and transplants alike!

First thing is first, the tomatoes must be green! This means they will be small because green tomatoes are not yet ripe therefore not grown up to their fullest size. You'll need to figure no more than 3 - 4 slices out of each tomato, so gauge your purchase accordingly.
Notice the flaws in my tomatoes?
Yup, I like the ones that DON'T look perfect. The fruits and vegetables that look too perfect have little flavor in my opinion. I purchased these at the local Farmer's Market this morning. Don't get any that have any signs of ripening (yellow, orange or reddish skin), they just wont taste as good.

Heat oil in a skillet (I always use cast iron to fry in) about 1" deep. The egg wash I use is 2 eggs, about 1 Tbsp. of milk and salt (I always salt my egg out of superstition). The batter I use is White Lily White Flour, King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour (sometimes I'll use Jiffy Mix Cornbread mix instead of corn meal, but I skipped this all together tonight and it didn't seem to make a difference) and some seasonings - I used a basic chicken seasoning tonight. So set your assembly line up like this...

I'm working from Right to left as thats the space allowance in my kitchen. The skillet is on the far left just out of the picture. So Tomato, egg wash, flour, skillet. Repeat until the skillet is full, but do not let them touch if you can help it.

Last bit of info, if you'll put a cake cooling rack on your plate between the plate and paper towel (that you'll have to drain the oil off of the tomatoes) you will drain better and have less oil and grease in your meal. This works for bacon and anything else that you might drain on a paper towel and keeps things ever so slightly on the healthier side.

And here is the finished product. About 21 - 26 Fried Green Tomatoes (hubby ate a few in the process so the exact count isn't available!).
And I don't know if this is Southern or just the way we got the kiddo to eat these, but they aren't too bad with katsup either...! ENJOY


Sygnet Creations said...

ugh... you make me so hungry. Now I have to pan through the cupboard to find something unhealthy! I hope you are

So if you are ever bored head on over to Florida I could use someone to cook me up something "scrumptious".

I should really post some of my recipes. I have a bunch that keeps my friends and family coming back for more.

Great post.............

Beth said...

MMM, that does look scrumptious. I was given cast iron skillets when we got married, and I had to get rid of them, they were too heavy for me! I thought I was gonna break my li'l wrist. So hats off to you for using those, haha. When are we all coming to dinner?

TwoSeasideBabes said...

As a northerner (unfortunate, I know) we don't eat southern food very often. My husband is from the south and he loves southern/spicey food. Hey, ketchup is too spicey for me! So, having never really eaten southern cuisine, I never knew what fried green tomatoes were. They look delicious and I'm sure I will be trying this recipe once my husband comes back home.

By the way, again thank you for your little pick-me-up last night. That bit about the giraffe was hilarious! said...

Maddie...all my favorites!

We have greenbean on the vine....but they aren't near ready,
Johnny Cake is how we like our Corn Bread, and fried green tomaotes....well it's fried so it's good!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm looks so good! Gotta love good Southern cooking! I will definitely have to try them.

MayRae said...

I may have to try out those fried green tomatoes, they look so good! Love your food posts, such great recipes with pics that show everything you really need.

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