Fried Green Heirloom Tomatoes with Saffron Aioli

Classic Southern fried green tomatoes are made with tart, unripe green tomatoes, but I don’t see why you can’t use these beautiful green heirlooms.  Just be sure to find firm ones so they won’t get mushy when you cook them.

They aren’t the most photogenic food in the world, I admit, but boy are they tasty.  And it’s good to know how to fix them for yourself, because you sure won’t find them on many menus outside of the true South.

Get the oil nice and hot before you put the tomatoes into the pan, that way the crust will cook up to a nice crisp golden color quickly, and the tomatoes will stay firm.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Saffron Aioli
serves 4 as a side dish
2 or 3 large, firm, green heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup buttermilk
olive oil for frying

  • Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Whisk the cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika together in a pie tin or dish.
  • Put the buttermilk in another pie tin or dish.
  • Heat about a 1/4 inch of olive oil in a cast iron skillet. 
  • Dip the tomato slices in the buttermilk, then dredge them in the flour mixutre, coating all surfaces.  Drop into the hot oil and fry until golden on both sides.  Flip them carefully.
  • Serve immediately with Saffron Aioli

Saffron Aioli
1/2 cup mayonnaise (homemade is best!)
a good pinch of saffron threads, crushed
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1 lemon

  • Crush the saffron threads between your fingers and mix them into the mayo, along with the lemon juice and zest.  Season with a little salt and then let it sit for about an hour.  This allows the saffron to dissolve into the mayonnaise and release its color and flavor into the sauce.  Mix again, and serve or store in the refrigerator.

Eat them alongside eggs, bacon and grits for breakfast, or just on their own as an appetizer.  The Saffron Aioli adds a colorful touch.  My Lemonnaise would be great with these, too.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob – Three Easy Methods

It’s corn on the cob season. Here are three easy ways to enjoy this great side dish. Grilled corn on the cob, microwave corn on the cob or oven roasted corn on the cob… your choice.

As an Iowan, I clam genetic superiority in all things corn. You will love all three methods. I have published all of these methods before but this is your Spring reminder.

Rating

All corn gets a 5

First Grilled Corn on the Cob
This is my preferred method for that little bit of char but a little fussier and is only a fit if you are already grilling.

Naked Grilled Corn (Link to original post) by DrDan at 101 Cooking For Two August 19, 2010

Ingredients:
Ears of corn, husked and cleaned
vegetable oil
salt,  pepper and butter to taste

Instructions:

1) Husk and clean corn
2) Brush with vegetable oil.

3) Salt and pepper to taste. You can do this here or after grilling

4) Grill over medium high to high heat for 8-10 minutes turning and moving around every 2-3 minutes.
5) Cook until some kernels are starting to char.
6) Salt, pepper and butter to taste.

Now Microwave/Oven  Corn on the Cob
I somewhat prefer the grilled corn but this is just so darn easy. The oven method is great if your cooking something else. Just toss them
in when you have about 30 minutes to go. The microwave method if you’re
moving fast.

Easiest Corn on the Cob (Link to original post)
by DrDan at 101 Cooking for Two July-20-2012

Microwave Corn On the Cob

Your ingredients… Corn. I picked two ears since this is “Cooking For Two”

 Toss the amount of corn you want in a microwave on high for 4 minutes per ear (2 ears = 8 minutes).
Oven Corn on the Cob

Toss them in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes total. As many ears as you want for 30 minutes total.

Remove from microwave or oven with a hot pad. With a SHARP chef knife cut off the
bottom of the ear of corn. I take out the bottom row of kernels. Helpful tip:
while you still have the knife in your hand, slide the knife between
the ear of corn and the husk and cut a couple of slits in the husk about
1 inch up two sides. The next step will be so much easier.

Squeeze the corn out of the husk. It will come out clean.

Don’t you love my piggie corn skewers.  Mine are “imported from Iowa”. But you can get them from Amazon at this link Charcoal Companion Pig Corn Holders, 4 Pairs.

How to Cook Corn On the Cob – Three Easy Methods
by DrDan at 101 Cooking for Two May-24-2013

It’s corn on the cob season. Here are three easy ways to enjoy this great side dish. Grilled corn on the cob, microwave corn on the cob or oven roasted corn on the cob… your choice.
Ingredients
  • any amount of fresh corn on the cob
  • salt, pepper and butter to taste
  • if grilling vegetable oil
Instructions
For Grilled Corn On the Cob1) Preheat grill to medium high. Husk and clean corn.2) Brush with vegetable oil. Salt and pepper to taste here if you want but it works better at the end.3) Grill over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes turning every 2-3 minutes. 4) Cook until some kernels are starting to char. Salt, pepper and butter to taste and serve.Microwave and Oven Corn On the Cob1) Preheat oven to 350 if doing oven method.2) DO NOT husk corn. Microwave: put the corn in a microwave and cook for 4 minutes per ear. Oven: place any number of ears in the oven for 30 minutes total.3) Remove from microwave or oven with a hot pad. With a SHARP chef knife cut off the bottom of the ear of corn. I take out the bottom row of kernels. Helpful tip: while you still have the knife in your hand, slide the knife between the ear of corn and the husk and cut a couple of slits in the husk about 1 inch up two sides. The next step will be so much easier.4) Squeeze the corn out of the husk. It will come out clean.
Details

Prep time: 1 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 11 mins Yield: as many as you want

Updated

May 24 2013

Dan Mikesell

New Potato and Sweet Pea Salad

This is a spring version of the old standby barbecue/picnic potato salad.  It uses the tiniest new potatoes you can find, and fresh garden peas.  The dressing is a lightened up half and half mayo and Greek yogurt blend.  The flavor is brilliant thanks to fresh lemon juice, fresh dill and lots of snipped chives. 

 

Have you come across Peewee potatoes?  They’re the size of large grapes!  They cook up quickly and I think they look so cute in this salad.

Look for the smallest potatoes you can find.  Halve or quarter them them if they are on the larger size.  I put the salad together while the potatoes are hot so they have a chance to absorb the flavors from the dressing.

Dont be shy with the fresh dill and chives.  The more the better. 

I just blanch the peas for a minute or so in boiling water to take the raw edge off.  There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that you’ve used fresh garden peas, but the blanching brings out their flavor and improves their texture and color.  The lemon juice and yogurt make a really zingy dressing, and a little mayo keeps it from being too delicate.

New Potato and Sweet Pea Salad
serves 4
1 lb baby new potatoes (leave them whole if they’re small enough, if not, halve or quarter them)
6 oz fresh garden peas (a heaping cup)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
handful of fresh dill
handful of fresh chives
salt and fresh cracked black pepper

  • Whisk the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice together in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the fresh peas.  Let cook for about a minute or two, then drain and cool the peas immediately in a bowl of ice water.  Drain and set aside.
  • Cover the potatoes with water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Cook until the potatoes are just tender, when you can pierce them easily with the tip of a sharp knife.  Drain and add the hot potatoes to the bowl with the dressing.  Toss to coat the potatoes.
  • Add the herbs, cooled peas, and salt and pepper to taste.  Don’t skimp on the herbs or the salt and pepper.  Toss well.
  • Cover and refrigerate until very cold.  Check the seasonings and toss again lightly just before serving.

NOTES:  I think a couple of eggs, cooked just until their yolks start to harden, then roughly chopped, would be a good addition for the next time I make this.

I’m off to the farmer’s market, how about you?

One year ago today—

Heirlooms

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