I snapped this photo with my phone the other night while we were eating dinner at Cherokee Yacht Club. I'd ordered their Caprese Salad and it was delicious. It had ripe red tomatoes with fried green tomatoes sandwiched in between them and baby mozzarella on the side. There was basil, green onion, and bacon bits sprinkled on top and then it was dressed with a homemade green goddess dressing.
I've never had fried green tomatoes before and was very pleasantly surprised at how tasty they were. I don't know why I had expected there to be a sour flavor or no flavor at all.
The only other time I'd ever eaten a green tomato was at another restaurant on our lake that has a green tomato relish they serve with their catfish. It's yummy too!
For a couple of years I'd been thinking about trying to make some fried green tomatoes but I'd never come across any. Then yesterday while I was driving through our downtown area I noticed the farmer's market. I turned my car around and was proud of myself for being awake and out and about early enough to shop there. Then as if it were my personal reward I saw baskets of green tomatoes! Yippee!!!! I knew that I would try to make the caprese salad I'd had last week.
I came home and googled recipes and came across several. Some called for cornmeal as a coating and some called for bread crumbs. I decided to wing it. I used both cornmeal (my husband brought home self-rising cornmeal and that worked out GREAT) and panko. I added about a teaspoon of Louisiana cajun seasoning to the mixture.
1 cup of self-rising cornbread mix
1 cup panko crumbs
1 tsp. of cajun seasoning spice mix
For the wash I made some home made buttermilk.
Mix one cup of milk with 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, let sit.
Then I added a teaspoon of hot sauce because bland food is unacceptable. :)
I washed my tomatoes, removed the stem and sliced. Then because I saw it mentioned somewhere I salted them. I guess it "sweats" the tomatoes?? I wasn't sure if this was something that needed to be done but I made one and tried it just to be sure it had a good flavor before I did the same with the whole batch.
It was good. :)
I also decided my oil in the pan needed some southern flavor so I added some bacon drippings. :)
Just dip the tomato slices in the buttermilk one at a time and then into the cornmeal.
Then fry them up until they are just browned on each side.
Let drain on a paper towel.
Then came the fun part! Assembling the pretty plate. I used some fresh baby mozzarella chunks, purple onion, bacon crumbs, onion ring salad topping, some fresh chopped basil, some shredded parmesan, herbs to garnish the plates, and drizzled with some bottle green goddess dressing.
The flavor combination was out of this world good and next time I make this I might use a homemade dressing but frankly the bottled stuff was good enough.
This is really yummy. I'd posted this recipe which I'd found on the HEB website a long time ago on my old blog. But, I was learning how to blog and somehow the colors got all messed up and it's very hard to read. Plus, the recipe they posted really doesn't have the salad dressing recipe on it and that's half the recipe! The important half if you ask me!
I vote you make this for your friends for the Super Bowl watch party you should have. That's what I'm going to do! How easy is that? You can make it a day or even two days ahead of time. This picture was taken 3 days after this batch was made and it's almost gone. I decided I'd better snap a quick photo while there's still some left. Slaw, you know gets better after it's a day or two old! And this is HEAVENLY! It will go great with the pulled pork or brisket which you can ALSO make ahead of time! Then you'll be free to enjoy the game and enjoy your party guests.
Here's what you need:
2 bags of pre-shredded slaw mix (mine had carrots in it too which was handy)
1/4 of a red onion, diced
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
3 Jalepeno peppers, diced
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup of mayo
1/4 cup of sugar
and 2 tablespoons of vinegar
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
I mix my dressing in a tupperware bowl and then add the other ingredients and then shake, shake, shake...
If you are like my friend Lori and need extra kick you can add some cayenne pepper!
I first had orzo pasta salad many years ago at The Twisted Fork in Tulsa at Utica Square. I don't even know if they serve it anymore. That had to have been in the early 90's when I first had this. I was only able to find orzo at Whole Foods in Austin and so I set about trying to copy their recipe. Since then I've made this several times and the ingredients change according to what is fresh and in season.
Mom's of picky eaters take note: One time I had this in my refrigerator and a friend who was a very picky eater came over and fell in love with this dish. That particular time I had been short on time so instead of chopping my veggies by hand I gave them a few pulses in my food processor. This person never knew there was carrot, squash, zucchini, spinach, and onion in there! It was flavorful without big obvious pieces of veggies.. so, try this out on your kids!
For this dish I used about 101-15 spinach leaves, diced bell pepper, 1/2 small red onion, 1 minced garlic clove, halved tomatoes, diced cucumber, feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and Italian dressing, and of course cooked Orzo.
You can add a couple of different types of chopped olives for a more Greek version of pasta salad.
To toast the pine nuts, put them on a pan under the broiler but
DO NOT WALK AWAY!
It takes such a short period of time for them to begin browning. This took less than 2 minutes.
As you can tell, I finely diced the veggies. That was half of a small red onion but I really would use 1/4 next time. And my garlic clove was gigantic! I loved these little grape tomatoes!
Just cook your orzo according to the directions on the package. I used a cup and a half. After the orzo is cooked rinse thoroughly in cold water until the pasta is no longer hot. Then drain well.
Put the orzo in a bowl and toss with just enough salad dressing to coat the orzo. This used maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir. Add the parmesan cheese last. This salad is best when refrigerated for a while before serving but you'll have a hard time not nibbling on it! If it seems like maybe it's not sticking and seems to "wet" just toss in some dried bread crumbs. :)
I've experimented with making my own dressing for this but really, why? It's just as good if you use a bottled dressing.
This is the perfect dish for a summer gathering! Enjoy!!
Life on the lake is laid back. When we cook it's far from being fancy affair. It's all about relaxing with friends and family and enjoying comfort food. More often than not it's not all that healthy but boy it sure is good!!!
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