Monday, October 19, 2015

Green Tomato Bounty! And Rhubarb, Too!

Last week, a friend from church found out I collect Boyd's Bears and invited me to come over and pick some of hers to take home with me. I was bowled over by the kindness of that invite and will be going later this week to see her collection. Today, I received a Facebook message from another church friend, asking if I like fried green tomatoes. I responded that I love them. Her husband is a tremendous gardener and had just brought in a couple dozen green tomatoes---did I want some? Did I ever! Not only did they extend that lovely offer, but they threw in a couple of beautiful ripe tomatoes and a bunch of rhubarb! The best part of all, though, was getting to visit with them, meet their gorgeous German Shepherd, and have a tour of her quilt studio! She is terribly creative and makes beautiful pieces of art in fabric.

Because of their generosity, we get to have fried green tomatoes and rhubarb cake! I told her I would post my tomato recipe before I actually make them, so that she can use it, too. The tomato recipe is my adaptation of the Neelys' recipe.

Fried Green Tomatoes
6 green tomatoes, sliced about 1/4" thick
Salt, pepper, and a smidge of cayenne
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. buttermilk
Dash hot sauce (I like Louisiana Hot Sauce best, but use your favorite)
3/4 c. cornmeal
1 1/2 c. panko
Oil for frying

Sprinkle tomatoes with salt, pepper, and a little cayenne---or a lot, if you are a big fan of very spicy food. Whisk the buttermilk with the hot sauce. Mix the cornmeal with the panko. Dredge the tomatoes in flour, then dip in buttermilk, and coat in panko. Fry until golden on both sides---make sure your oil is nice and hot before you put the tomatoes in or they will be greasy and soggy. Don't be afraid to get them deep golden. Place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Adjust seasonings, if needed. Serves 4-6. 

These are good with remoulade or

Basil Mayonnaise
2 c. fresh basil
1 c. mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper

Pulse together in a blender or food processor (of chop basil finely and whisk together by hand). Also good on sandwiches. 

My favorite thing to do with rhubarb is to my my friend Shawna's rhubarb dump cake:

Rhubarb Dump Cake
1 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 c. sugar
3 oz. strawberry jello
1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. water
1/4 c. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 baking pan. Put the rhubarb in the bottom. Sprinkle with sugar, then jello, the cake mix. Pour water and butter over the top. Do not stir! Bake 45 minutes. 

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