Hassie’s Fried Green Tomato Recipe

Fresh green tomatoes are beginning to show up in the garden just in time to satisfy everyone’s craving for this yearly delight of fried green tomatoes.

fried green tomato recipe
For this recipe you will need:
1 Cup of Buttermilk
1/4 Cup Flour
3/4 Cup Corn Meal
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Teaspoon Black Pepper
4 Medium Green to Pink Tomatoes [I like my tomatoes to have a little color to them, the choice is up to you, but you do want them ripe enough to not have a strong bitter green taste]
Enough Oil to cover the bottom of your frying pan about 1/2 inch deep.
Slice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices, then lay the slices on 2 layers of paper towels, to absorb the liquid.  Too much liquid will keep your dry ingredients from sticking to your tomato slices.  You will need them as dry as possible as you will be adding the buttermilk to act as binder for the dry ingredients.
Fried Green Tomatoes recipe
Mix the dry ingredients and place in a shallow flat bowl.  Pour the buttermilk into medium bowl with enough room to submerge the tomato slices.  Adding buttermilk to this recipe will enhance the fried tomatoes with a little extra zip and tang.
Heat the oil over medium high heat.  Place the tomato slices into the buttermilk, remove one slice at a time, draining off the excess buttermilk,  then dredge through the dry ingredients.  Carefully place the slices into the hot oil.  Fry until a golden brown on both sides [about 2 minutes for each side].
Fried Green Tomato recipe
You can use these golden slices as a wonderful side dish, an appetizer with dip or add them to bacon, lettuce and mayonnaise for a Fried Green Tomato BLT Sandwich.
Sweet Fried Tomato Dip Recipe
1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons of Ketchup
1 Teaspoon Mustard
2 Heaping Tablespoons of Sweet Pickle Relish
Mix all ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.  Store in an air tight container and keep refrigerated between uses.

 

With so many fresh vegetables showing up at the Farmers Markets, it is easy to see how everyone could love all the different summer salads.  I have several favorites including the basic tossed garden salad but the one I enjoy most is a southern delight, the Cornbread Salad.  There are many versions of it and I have tried several of them.  Most southern households have a family recipe for this salad.

summer salads

 

This is mine:

4 – 6 Cups of a crisp Lettuce [Iceberg, Romaine or Spinach] chopped

1 6-8 Inch Cucumber, thinly sliced

4 Large Radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 Cup Celery, chopped small

1 Small Zucchini, thinly sliced

1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 Cup Sweet Bell Pepper, medium chopped

1 Medium Red Onion, sliced in rings

1-2 Cups of Day Old Corn Bread, broken into bite size pieces

Option: Your favorite shredded Cheese

Layer the ingredients in a large salad bowl beginning with the salad greens.  Add the tomatoes last, then top with the corn bread.  Add your dressing just before serving, then toss and plate.

Just about any kind of salad dressing will go with this summer salad but my favorite is what I call my house dressing, and it goes with most of my favorite summer salads.  I use it often and have many requests for my summer salads and dressing when invited to a pot luck.

This dressing only has 2 ingredients, 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise and 1/2 Cup of your favorite Italian Dressing.  Place the ingredients in a glass jar, replace the lid and shake well.  Refrigerate between use.  It will last up to 7 days, if kept refrigerated.

As most of you know, I grow my own fresh vegetables, nine months out of the year.  One of the most ask questions I get is, “What do you do with all those fresh vegetables”?  I eat the most of them but I do give about 25% of them to family and friends.

When I pass them on, I also try to give them one of my favorite recipes for this easy dip.  I use this on cold and hot, fresh vegetables.

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This can be used as a cold dip, salad dressing or drizzled over steamed vegetables.

Recipe:

1/2 cup of your favorite Italian Dressing

1/2 cup of Mayonnaise

Shake in a lidded jar until completely incorporated.  Chill for 2-3 hours before using.  Store in the refrigerator between uses.

Option Recipe:

When I use the recipe on hot fresh vegetables, I change it a little bit with a little Cream Cheese.

1/2 Cup of your favorite Italian Dressing

2 Ounces of Cream Cheese [room temperature]

1/3 Cup of Mayonnaise

Follow the directions from above, making sure the cream cheese has mixed throughout the dressing before refrigerating.

If you want some help growing your own fresh vegetables, check out www.GrowingWhatYouEat.com where I share all my gardening secrets.

Eating fresh organic vegetables every day is one of the top ways to keep yourself healthy and alert for the future.

Try this recipe at your next gathering but be ready to chop a lot of fresh vegetables.

 

 

 

Have you ever tried to come up with a new desert but drawn a blank? Try using a cake mix and see what you can come up with for that special treat.
Here are three of my favorites.

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Apple Spice Cake
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 Can of Apple Sauce
1-2 Teaspoons of Apple Pie Spices
2 Eggs

Pour the cake mix into a medium size mixing bowl. Stir to remove any large lumps. Add 1 teaspoon of Apple Pie Spices and stir to incorporate. Add the apple sauce and eggs, whisk to mix thoroughly until the batter is smooth. If you cannot smell the spices, add more 1/2 teaspoon at a time. The older your spices are, the more you will need as they loose some of their taste and aroma with age.
If you feel the cake mix is not moist enough you may add more applesauce to the batter, 1/4 cup at a time until you are satisfied with it’s texture.  But don’t over do it or you will end up with a dense cake instead of a light airy one.
Bake at 375 degrees until the top is golden and bounces back to the touch, about 35 minutes. Top with a light covering of Powdered Sugar for a beautiful desert.

Cherry Dump Cake
1 White Cake Mix
1 Can of Cherry Pie Filling
1 Stick of Butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices

Spread the pie filling on the bottom of an 11 inch casserole dish then sprinkle the cake mix over the pie filling. You want to keep the dry cake mix even throughout the covering. Next place the butter pieces over the cake mix and place in a 350 degree preheated over until done, about 30-35 minutes in most ovens. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream for a delightful desert.

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 Yellow Cake Mix
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter, smooth or chunky, your choice
1/4 to 1/3 Cup of Vegetable Oil [start with 1/4 cup and add the extra, a teaspoon at a time, only if you need it.]

Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. You should have a tight dough that you can roll into small quarter size balls. Place each ball on a cool cookie sheet about 3-4 inches apart. You do not need to grease the pan, as the dough has more than enough oil to keep the cookies from sticking. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool for 5-6 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack, to completely cool. You should get 32-36 cookies from one cake mix box.

 

Beets, The Forgotten Vegetable

There are many great vegetables we enjoy during the winter months. While the foods we probably most think about during that time are the turkey, the ham, and the desserts, the vegetables really play an important role, both in that holiday meal and for the rest of the winter.

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Beets In The Garden

Everyone has their must have vegetable at the dinner table but rarely do you see beets on the family table. Beets are a great vegetable to enjoy all winter long. Fall to spring these are in season. They are sweet, especially when roasted, and make a great addition to any salad. So enjoy that garden salad all winter long with some fresh roasted or pickled beets on top.

Mixing beet tops in with your favorite salad greens is another way to get more vitamins and nutrition into your everyday dinner salad. They are packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C. Beets also contain Folic Acid, Iodine, Manganese, Potassium, Iron, Calcium, Copper and Phosphorus. All these things are needed for a healthy body.

You can eat beets that have been boiled, steamed, sauteed or roasted. Select beets that are firm to the touch. Older beets become spongy with age. Beets that are between 3 and 4 inches are best for roasting and cooking but smaller ones can be pickled for use in salads and relishes.

Store your fresh beets in the refrigerator until ready to use. Beets have an outer skin that needs to be removed before eating. If you roast the beets, their skin will slide off easily but if you are boiling or using them raw, peel them with a vegetable peeler first.

Beets go well with other root vegetables, can be added to soups but one of my favorite ways is to make chips that are healthier for you than the regular potato chips.

Beet Chips

3-4 Small Beets

Oil for frying

2-3 Tablespoons of flour

Sea Salt to taste

Peel the beets and slice into thin pieces, using a mandolin. Heat the oil on medium high heat. Add the beets to a ziploc plastic bag, sprinkle the flour over the beets and shake to cover. Add the beet slices to the hot oil, shaking off any access flour first and fry until slices are a golden brown, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the salt over the top. Eat and enjoy while still warm.

 

The first thing that comes to my mind, when dealing with leftovers, is soup. You can make a soup out of just about anything you have on hand, including holiday leftovers.

Roasted Chicken Leftovers

This year we didn’t have turkey for Christmas, we had [3] Roasted Chickens instead. After pulling off the meat, I kept the carcass to make our soup of the week. I’ll add them to 4 quarts of water with a teaspoon of salt, 2 celery stalks, 1 medium onion and 2 carrots. I’ll bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down, allowing it to simmer for an hour or so, then drain off the broth, to use for the soup stock. I’ll reserve any loose chicken meat and the vegetables.

To the stock, I’ll add back in the carrots, celery, onion* and any leftover chicken, vegetables, including the mashed potatoes and gravy. The potatoes will thicken the soup and give it a creamy texture. Taste to see if it needs more seasonings, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, giving the ingredients time to mingle. Serve the soup with a loaf of warm French Bread and a new dessert. No one will know they are eating what was left of their holiday feast.

My second suggestion is a frittata. It’s another easy dinner that can utilize a lot of the stuff you might otherwise have thrown away.

To make one, use two or three eggs per person. Crack into a bowl and beat with salt and pepper. Then, add in vegetable leftovers, using whatever is in the fridge. Cold meat, can be sliced into bite size pieces and added in. Cooked vegetables can go right in. You may want to rinse them in hot water to remove their older seasonings. If so, be sure to drain them well before adding them to the egg mixture or your frittata might become wet and runny.

Firm fresh produce (carrots, broccoli, and even mushrooms) should be sauteed until tender, preferably with a little garlic or onion, before adding to the eggs. Italians even throw in leftover pasta, which is a great way to use those leftovers. Then, heat a little olive oil in a large saute pan, that can also be used in the oven and pour in the egg mixture.

While the egg mixture is cooking, turn the broiler on low. Heat eggs on stove top until they start setting around the edge of the pan. Then, grate some cheese over the top. (Use what you have on hand. Cheddar is really good with broccoli; Italian cheese like Parmesan is delicious with ham and/or mushroom.) Turn off the stove top and place the pan under the broiler until eggs are set and cheese is melted. Allow to cool briefly, then slice as you would a pie and serve.

You have just made good use of food items that might have gotten tossed. In turn, you have a couple of delicious dinners and saved lots of money in your food budget using your leftovers.

* cut the vegetables into 1/2 inch pieces

Cooking Meals and Saving Money on Winter Comfort Foods

The cold weather months are excellent for hearty comfort foods that warm you up and keep you full. Delicious soups, stews, and hot casseroles abound, most so good, that you almost don’t miss the warmer weather. Even better, many wintertime comfort foods can be made without spending a lot and they go a long way.  Often, you can feed a big family or make enough for a week’s worth of meals, and spend very little money on each serving.

enchiladas_nim

Save Time

Most people tend to slow down during the winter. Maybe it’s the cold, or maybe it’s the layer of ice or snow which is keeping everyone in the sloth mode, but people tend to move slower and take their time.  All that extra time spent bundling up and thawing out means you don’t have a lot of extra time to cook a gourmet meal. Luckily, winter is the best time for some simple meal ideas.

Slow Cooked

Slow cookers, or “crock pots” as they are also called, are the perfect solution for family meals on the go. Simply put your ingredients in the cooker in the morning, turn it on, and then come home to a delicious hot meal waiting for you. Most recipes are so simple you just throw everything in and go, while others may require very little prep.

cold weather comfort foods

Fix It and Forget It

Winter cooking is a great time to make use of some super easy “fix it and forget it” type meals. For example, a pot roast with some chopped veggies can be thrown into the oven and a timer set, cooking to perfection while you relax or get some other tasks done.

Savory Staples

To save money and keep your tummies full and satisfied, look to stocking winter staples. Root vegetables like carrots and potatoes go well in just about any savory winter dish, keep for quite a while, and are almost always some of the cheapest produce your grocery store has to offer.

Pantry Perfection

For simple, delicious, and hot meals of your favorite comfort foods, to warm you up when the weather gets cold, look no farther than a stocked pantry. Canned goods, rice, and pasta make for fast, easy, and cheap casserole ideas that cost even less than the time it takes to throw them together.

Extra Tips

Keep it simple – The simplest meals are often the most delicious, especially during the winter when anything hot and savory really hits the spot. Very few ingredients can go a long way.

Prep ahead – A little extra prep in the morning, or even spending time to prep once a week, can make meal times easy in the wintertime. For example, chopping up veggies and putting them in bags in the freezer cuts down on time and makes it super simple for you to just grab them whenever you need to.

Coupons – Most coupons tend to be for canned and boxed goods, so winter is the best time to make use of these pantry staples and save a lot of money.

Cooking is easy when you utilize some of these simple solutions. Not only can you make hot, satisfying comfort foods, but you can also save money in the process.

Have you ever wondered how our grandmothers managed to keep food on the table without going to the grocery store every day? They knew the importance of keeping a few staples on hand in their pantry.  Many great meals have been made using these ingredients.

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Kitchen Pantry

Flour

Flour is the beginning or the end of many great meals. It can be used, not only for bread items but gravies, pies, or making a great batter for frying chicken. There are several kinds of flour. The most common one being enriched white, whole wheat, self rising and all purpose.  Keep your family’s favorite in your pantry and see how often it comes in handy for your meal.

Rice

Rice, like the flour comes in many types. It’s very versatile pantry item and can be used from breakfast to dinner. Brown rice is better with meats, while white rice is what I call company rice. It likes keeping company with other food items, such as soups, salads or casseroles.

Pasta

I love pasta of all kinds. Just when I think I have tried every kind, I find a new one. You can cook a pound of pasta and have several different meals just by what you top or mix it with. It turns a simple soup into something spectacular, a salad into a meal and a tomato sauce into something divine. Choose your favorite, then keep it in your pantry to  save on your grocery budget through out the year.

Spices to keep on hand.

You should always have salt and pepper in the house but a few more to have on hand are:  Basil, Chili Powder, Cinnamon, Gloves, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Sage and Thyme

These are my favorites but you should experiment with several spices and see what your family likes best. Buy them in small container as they will loose their strength as time goes on. Large containers can be a waste of your food budget.

Beans

There are many kinds of beans.  All are a great source of protein and can stretch your food budget.  They can be used alone of in salads, dips, soups or stews.

Pinto Beans are usually the most popular but I like the dark red Kidney Beans and the small Northern White Beans for most of my meals.   

Sugar, Honey, Molasses

Keeping one of these sweets on hand in your pantry, will ensure you the best results in your cooking and baking.  We all love something sweet in our meals.  It can be the baked beans, or the chocolate cake but having that little bit of sweet taste makes the whole meal, seem better.

Vegetable Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Natural Butter

Very little cooking can be done without using one of these pantry stable.  Adding a little oil or fats will enrich the flavors of  meats or vegetables.  They also allow us to make a more fulfilling meal with salad dressings, gravies, breads and deserts. 

When you have these staples in your home pantry, there will always be a way to put a meal on your table.

Most of us are busy throughout the year but with the holidays coming we sometimes need a little extra help in keeping up with our duties.  These are a few of my favorite quick and easy dinners to do, just that.

Chicken Pizza Casserole:

Line an oven safe casserole dish or pizza pan with frozen chicken nuggets, get them as close as possible. Then pour a can of tomato sauce over the nuggets. Layer in about ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese and your favorite veggie toppings*. Cover tightly, with foil.

If you are going to use within 48 hours, place it your fridge until needed, then bake covered at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake until the cheese has melted and slightly browns.

*Cut your veggies into bit sizes for even cooking. A Jar of pizza sauce can be used instead of the tomato sauce for extra flavor.

Cheesy Mac and Beans Casserole:

Cook one or two packages of macaroni and cheese, depending on the size of your family, following box instructions. When done, place in oven safe large bowl or casserole dish. Make a dimple or path in the macaroni and cheese then pour in a can of drained dark kidney beans. Chop a large onion and do a quick fry with 1 tablespoon of oil, in a medium skillet until the onion is almost cooked. Spread the partially cooked onions over the cheese and bean mixture. Cover mixture with about 1 ½ cups of chopped chicken, ham or grilled beef, spreading it evenly. Cover with foil.

Cover your casserole dish with foil, then place in fridge until needed or freeze for later use. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the cover and sprinkle about ½ cup of shredded Cheddar cheese over the top and bake another 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and turned a light brown.

Serve with a tossed green salad for a nourishing quick meal. 

These two easy dinners, can be time savers for any night of the week.  They are delicious enough for company or just for family night.

More tips for easy dinners can be found at  http://hassieskitchentable.com/whats-dinner/

Fall is coming, we can feel the coolness in the air and see the leaves beginning to turn in color. Today I am passing along one of my Mother’s favorite cool weather recipes for Fried Green Tomatoes. Growing up I was never a big fan of this recipe but as it was one of mother’s favorites, I taught myself to make it when she came to live with me.

While it calls for green tomatoes, I always thought they were too tart, even after frying, so I use tomatoes that are just on the verge of turning pink but are still firm to the touch.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

For this recipe you will need:

About ¾ cup yellow cornmeal

About ½ cup all purpose white flour

Salt and black pepper

About 1 teaspoon sugar, optional

About ½ teaspoon crumbled dried Italian oregano or sweet marjoram

1 extra-large egg or 2 medium

¼ cup of milk

3 to 4 green tomatoes, sliced about 1/2-inch thick

Oil for frying (I use vegetable or olive oil)


In a shallow bowl, mix the flour and cornmeal with the seasonings; season generously with salt and pepper. Beat the egg and milk, in another small shallow bowl.

Pour oil in a large skillet to about 1/2-inch deep then heat over medium heat. While the oil is heating place paper towels on a baking sheet.

One at a time, dip the tomato slices into the egg, and then dredge them, on both sides in the flour/cornmeal mixture. I use a fork or my hands, which ever you like, to handle the tomato slices, taking them from egg to dry ingredients, to skillet. Carefully drop them into the hot oil until the pan is full. Saute them in one layer, you might need to make them in a few batches. Turn them in about 3 to 5 minutes, when they are golden brown on the underside. Saute for another 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown and remove them from the oil, [use tongs for this move], then to the pan with the paper towels to drain, while you cook the rest.

Fried green tomatoes can be eaten, alone, as an appetizer or with a garlic aioli or corn salsa. They are often served as a side dish with supper, or they can also be served on a bed of greens with goat cheese rounds on top, as part of a salad. How ever you like them remember to serve them hot.