Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You Say Tomayto, I Say Tomatto

Yum... the tomatoes are looking so pretty now! I went to my favorite vegetable market and picked up a big basket this morning. I'll turn them into one or two of my favorite tomato dishes when I get home from work. Here are the recipes:

Betty Britt's Fresh Tomato Tart
½ pkg. (15 oz.) refrigerated Pillsbury piecrust
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
3-5 (depending on size) fresh ripe tomatoes (peeled and cut into ½ inch slices)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
6 slices cooked bacon (crisp and crumbled)
2-3 tbsp. parmesan cheese

Fit piecrust into tart pan according to package directions. Generously pierce bottom of crust with fork. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes. Place tomato slices on paper-towel and pat dry. Layer cheese, bacon, basil, tomatoes, basil again, salt and pepper. Top with 2-3 tbsp. parmesan cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes at 400° until bubbly. Be careful not to burn the crust. Enjoy!

These stacked tomatoes (red, green and yellow) layered with fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and topped with a good olive oil and a little salt and pepper... de-lish!

One dish that I've had at a fabulous Birmingham restaurant called the Hot & Hot Fish Club is so good! I may try to "wing it" with the recipe. It is a stack of heirloom tomatoes similar to the photo above. It doesn't have the mozzarella and basil though. It is simply a stack of tomatoes topped with with an aioli chive sauce. Around the base of the tomatoes are a few peas, corn and little pieces of fried okra... a very southern salad. I don't recall what type of peas, but a cream pea or black-eyed pea would probably do just fine.

My Aioli Chive Sauce (to go on top of the stacked tomatoes)
½ cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. lemon zest
1 minced clove of garlic
1 tbsp. chopped chives
a little Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

South Georgia Caviar (this is a dip, but can be used as a cold side dish)
2 15 oz. can black-eyed peas, drained
1 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1 10 oz. can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
½ cup chopped fresh jalapeno peppers
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped onion
1 8 oz. bottle Italian dressing

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir gently. Refrigerate overnight and serve with corn chips.

credit Paula Deen

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