Friday, July 26, 2013

"Fried" Green Tomatoes & My Mother's Garden

There's just something about the taste of a slice of green tomato, lightly breaded and fried to crispy golden perfection. Tangy and crunchy with a little bit of sweetness, which is even better reheated with a little Colby Jack cheese for breakfast.

But, take them to the next level and keep your kitchen cleaner by using your Pizza Pizazz and eliminating the grease. I definitely should have tried this much sooner! It's so much easier to wash a pizza tray and wipe down the counter than to clean grease splatters off the wall, over the stove microwave and the stove itself, not to mention drips of egg and breading, and, anything that might make it to the floor.

Plus, there is just so much more room to work on my countertop! Places to set the eggs, cornstarch, crumb mix, and a tray for the finished slices.

First, though, it helps to have some place to secure several nice green tomatoes. A place like your mother's garden! I only took a couple Mom, really. You've a whole pile more on the way and should be nice and ripe by the time you're back.

My Mom didn't get a chance to plant much before she had a family matter to deal with. Her garden doesn't look too bad. Maybe it's just missing her.

Now she can come in an get an update. These stargazer lilies look awesome. The yellow daylilies are basking in their sunny position.

And, since your porch is so quiet, a pair of wrens have set-up housekeeping above your clock.

Complete with little chirping babies. They will probably be flying by the time you get back, so no worries. The parents were hanging around in the nearby lilac bush when we would come outside. They are obviously used to my Mom being around because, while I was sitting in her chair, they had no problem with my being there and taking pictures.

He seemed quite content to pose for this picture for me. Momma was already in the nest with the worm she picked out of the lawn. But as soon as they flew off for the next worm, you could hear the little ones chirping away.

So, all's quiet and mowed. And, there will be nice ripe tomatoes in a week or so. Now, I just need to get my own bottle tree for my yard. BTW, that little bird house to the left also has a little nest in it, so more birds all over. I'm sure they miss my Mom feeding and watering and roaming around.

"Fried" Green Tomatoes
4 to 6 medium green tomatoes, sliced 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick
cornstarch ... I mix in a little masa harina with mine
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Salt ... if you use Hickory Smoke Salt it adds an amazing taste to the finished product
2 Tbsp. dried parsley ... you can use fresh, I was out
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
Slice your green tomatoes about 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick. If you want crisper, go thinner. Place on several layers of paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let set while you set up the pizza maker (this removes excess water).
Start your countertop pizza maker. Spray a round pizza pan and place it in the pizza maker to heat up.
Set up three pie plates in a row. Place cornstarch in the first pan. Whisk 2 eggs with water and place in the second plate. In the last plate mix crumbs, cheese, salt, parsley, garlic and onion powder.
Once the pizza maker is warmed up, start by placing several tomato slices in cornstarch and lightly coating both sides. Tap off any excess. Dip each slice in egg, coating both sides. Then place in crumb mix and coat each side.
Place each slice on the hot pizza pan and once the tray is full set the timer for about 18 minutes. About halfway through, once the first side is nicely browned, you will need to flip each slice. I just used a pair of tongs and flipped them as they came around.
Each batch takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook through. Best part, they don't need to be drained. Now, to keep the spouse from eating them as they come off the pizza maker ... if you can.

Notes: I usually need 4 to 5 tomatoes for my husband and myself. We LOVE green tomatoes this way. If you just want to try them, you should be fine with 3 for 2 people. You can also use thinly sliced summer squashes for this or with the tomatoes. I'm still playing with my recipe and I think I make changes every time I do. Next year I'm going to try one of those heirloom tomato plants that ripens green. Oh, and plant more tomatoes!

I placed a large slice of tomato on my hamburger for dinner and topped it with the usual stuff. Delicious.

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