Archive | September, 2011

Fried Red Tomatoes?

16 Sep

Earlier this week, one of my favorite blogs, GOOP, had an awesome guest post written by Julia Leach of Chance.  In the post, Julia shared some of her favorite things about NYC and LA in September.  Aside from having great style and tips for how to spend your fall weekends this month, Julia also shared a recipe for fried green tomatoes from Seersucker, one of her favorite restaurants in Brooklyn.  Like any good Southerner, I LOVE fried green tomatoes, but I’ve never tried to make them myself.  So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to create a little challenge for myself – follow Seersucker’s recipe for dinner on Friday night and then try their version at the restaurant on Saturday.  Below is the recipe and here the the link to Julia’s blog post so you can read the full entry if interested.  Stay tuned for my review of Seersucker and their fried green tomatoes later this weekend.  Despite my local grocery store being sold out of green tomatoes, the red ones I used worked out pretty great.  D and I had not just seconds, but THIRDS of the fried red tomatoes I made so the bar is pretty high!

Seersucker’s Fried Green Tomatoes

Serves 2 (entree size) or 4 (appetizer size)

4 large green tomatoes
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup breadcrumbs (Seersucker uses Panko, I used regular)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups of oil and/or bacon fat for frying

1. Slice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices and discard the ends or save for making green tomato jam or marmalade.
2. Whisk eggs and buttermilk together in a medium size bowl.  Scoop flour onto a cookie sheet.  Mix cornmeal, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper on another cookie sheet.
3. Dip the tomatoes into the flour to coat.  Next, dip the tomatoes into the buttermilk/egg mixture, then dip the cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture to coat completely.
4. In a large, deep skillet, preferably cast iron, add the oil/bacon fat so that it’s 1/4 to 1/2-inch deep.  Heat over medium flame until the fat is shimmering and hot, but not smoking (this took about five minutes for me).  Place the tomatoes in the pan and do in batches if necessary.  (It depends on the size of your pan.)  Don’t crowd the tomatoes as this will create steam and not allow for good browning.
5. Once the tomatoes have browned fully, flip them over.  Allow the other side to brown completely, then remove and place on paper towels to absorb excess grease.  Season well with salt.  Serve with homemade buttermilk dressing (I used buttermilk ranch dressing) and sprigs of dill.
6. Serve immediately.

I served my fried red tomatoes as a main course with a simple chopped tomato/cucumber salad (seasoned with sugar – a Southern secret!) and maple sausage stuffed apples using a recipe I found on Rachel Ray.  Honestly, neither of us really liked the apples but if I were to make them again, I’d add some cheese and breadcrumbs to sausage so the mixture stays together better.

Easy End of Summer Salad: Grilled Salmon Salad with Grapefruit

6 Sep

After a week-long vacation through CA wine country (more to come on that in a later post), D and I had reached our limit of wine, cheese and hearty foods and were in need of a major detox for dinner tonight.  Despite Labor Day yesterday and the chilly, rainy NYC weather, we weren’t quite ready to let go of summer cooking, so I found and adapted a summer salad recipe I found on Real Simple, one of my favorite websites.  This salad is light, fresh and citrusy.  It also provides heart healthy omega-3s from the grilled salmon and antioxidants from the grapefruit.  Plus, it’s delicious and really easy to make – it took me less than a half hour start-to-finish!  I added some whole wheat Annie’s macaroni and cheese as a side to add some fiber, complex carbs, and complete the meal.

Grilled Salmon Salad with Grapefruit
Serves 2 (entree size) or 4 (appetizer size)

1 pound filet of salmon (skinless, if possible)
1 grapefruit
5 cups mixed greens (I used a fresh herb salad mix from Whole Foods)
1 avocado, diced
1/4 small red onion, diced
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper, to taste

1.  Season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides.  Using a grill pan on medium heat, cook salmon approximately 5-6 minutes per side until cooked through.  (Note: I made a HUGE mess of my grill pan when I did this.  For easier cleanup and a less fishy smell in your home, baking the salmon in the oven at 350 for 12-15 minutes, is a similar alternative.)
2. Once salmon is cooked, transfer to plate and refrigerate for 5 minutes.  Remove and break into large pieces (about the size of a wine cork) with a fork or your fingers.
3. While salmon cooking, cut a grapefruit into 8 wedges.  Using a sharp knife, cut away the peel and rind, leaving only the pulp.  Dice each grapefruit wedge into 2-3 pieces.
4. Mix greens, avocado, onion and grapefruit together in a serving bowl.
5. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.  Dress salad immediately before serving.
6. Transfer salad mixture to plates and top with salmon.