Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chipotle Onion Relish

Chipotle Onion Relish

Have you ever tried Harry and David's Pepper & Onion Relish?  It is soooo good!  So good, and so far away.  The closest Harry & David's store near me is 45 minutes.  Too far away for me to drive just for a snack.

What's not too far away? A local farm's fruit and vegetable stand + my kitchen.  I picked up some fresh roma tomatoes from the farm and headed home to whip up my own version of this yummy relish!  I know what you might be thinking... RELISH?  I'm not talking sissy sweet relish for hot dogs here, I'm talking smokey, spicy, salsa-like greatness!

After browsing the web for relish and chutney recipes, I finally decided that I had a good idea as to how to create my own.  Amazingly, I even remembered to use actual measurements as I experimented.  Here's what you'll need:

Chipotle Onion Relish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 small red onions
4 cloves garlic
2 T water
3 large roma tomatoes
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1 T honey
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 t smoked paprika

Serve at room temperature on top of whipped cream cheese and crackers.

If you decide to try out my recipe, please let me know of any changes you made!  This was my first time creating a recipe of this sort.  My mom thinks it would be better if I chopped the onion, but I kind of like how the slices of onion help to identify the ingredients!

Happy Sunday Funday!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes {BLT}

I've been making fried green tomatoes since I was a teenager.  I love the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, which is 100% what inspired me to attempt making them so many years ago.

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich {BSFGT Sandwich}

My first attempt was an instant success because I am the best cook ever a complete disaster!!!  I think I was 14 when my friend and I tried to make fried RED tomatoes.  They tasted great, but they were a soggy mess!
Over the years, I continued to attempt fried green tomatoes just about every summer or during Spring Break; we would visit my grandma in Florida, where we'd pick up some firm green beauties from the local flea market.  With the help of my mom and grandma, we have tried a variety of breading mixtures including crushed crackers, egg and flour, coarse cornmeal, and regular bread crumbs from a canister.  I thought I had nailed it a few weeks ago with regular cornmeal and the canister bread crumbs.  They were great, the best I had made yet!  The tomatoes were so crisp and tasty that my sister and I were hungry for them a week later.

We put our brains together and made one more adjustment.
The secret ingredient: Panko.
  Oh, Kikkoman, I love you!!!
My sister suggested that we not only make fried green tomatoes, but make a BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato) Sandwich.  Of course, ours had spinach instead of yucky iceberg lettuce, so I like to call it a BSFGT Sandwich!

So what are you waiting for?!  Get out to your garden or the local farmer's market and get yourself some unripe tomatoes!!!  Here's what you'll need:

Fried Green Tomatoes
3 large green tomatoes
1 cup flour
2 large eggs
2 T milk
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs (or 1/2 come regular bread crumbs)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning or other spice you enjoy
Bacon grease (or olive oil plus 1 T butter)

The instructions are a little lengthy, so here's a

Enjoy!  Please, if you make this, let me know how it turns out!
Thick cut, nice and crispy!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch {Zucchini Bread}

Did you know that tomorrow, August 8th, is National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day?  Well, it is!

I have no idea where this holiday came from, but rumor has it that someone came up with the idea due to the incredible amounts of zucchini that gardeners find themselves with, come August.  That is, all gardeners except for me, it seems!  This is my second year in a row that I have planted zucchini, grew very large plants, but much to my disappointment, am not producing any fruit!

Although I was unable to grow any zucchini for myself, I still had more than enough to go around this year (I wouldn't even mind a little more, if you know where I live.  I don't have a porch, but the front steps will do!).  This season I made zucchini casserole and zucchini bread.  This was my first time making zucchini bread, and it was delicious!  I was able to make two loaves and freeze some shredded zucchini for later use!
Fresh Zucchini Bread
If you look closely, you might see a few specks of green in there!  Here's what you'll need:

Zucchini Bread
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1/4 oil (I used canola but any will do)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans *optional
OR 1/4 nuts & 1/4 raisins (that's what I did) *optional


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