Fried Green Tomatoes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Fried Green Tomatoes! The key to success is using solid, firm green tomatoes. Ripe ones will turn mushy and very disappointing. Even if you don’t live in the South, everyone can enjoy these crisp and juicy medallions. The seasoned cornmeal crust will have you resurrecting a southern drawl that sounds as authentic as a waitress in a country café. Try the first one with a fork and then have seconds as a sandwich.

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

Ingredients:

2 green tomatoes, sliced with skin on

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 large egg, beaten

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Instructions:

On a sheet of waxed paper, combine flour, cornmeal, breadcrumbs, cheese, seasoned salt, and pepper. Blend with a fork. In a shallow bowl, mix egg and milk. Dip a green tomato slice in the egg mixture then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Repeat. Set aside. Continue until all slices have been coated. In a deep skillet on medium-high heat add vegetable oil for frying. Place tomatoes in a single layer. Do not crowd. Fry each side 3 minutes until golden brown. Turn over and fry the other side. Remove and place on a wire rack to remove excess oil. Repeat until all green tomato slices are used. Serve hot. Garnish with a dollop of wasabi aioli.

One Fish, Two Fish

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: One Fish, Two Fish! The health benefits of eating tilapia are enough to make you feel like a poet. By choosing a fish that is high in protein and low in calories, why not get creative with a baked and crispy crust? This one has a kick of spice balanced with natural cornmeal and grated cheese. Give it a whirl and pass your comments on to me. I’d love to hear from you.

ONE FISH, TWO FISH

Ingredients:

2 tilapia fillets, boneless and skinless

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/2 cup Jazzy Jerk Sauce*

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°. While the oven is preheating, cover the bottom of an iron skillet with the olive oil. Place skillet in oven while you prepare the breading for the tilapia. Mix together all dry ingredients and spread on a sheet of waxed paper. Pour the Jazzy Jerk Sauce* into a shallow bowl. Dip one fish fillet at a time into the sauce, coating both sides. Once wet, dredge in bread crumb mixture to fully cover both sides. Set aside and repeat for the second fish fillet. Using oven mitts, carefully remove iron skillet from oven. Place fish fillets in pan and return to oven. Bake 8 minutes, gently turn over and bake 4 minutes longer. Do not over cook. Serve with a side of cole slaw.

*Jazzy Jerk Sauce recipe may be found by clicking on the link below.

https://snapshotsincursive.com/2015/10/15

Naan Margherita Flatbread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Naan Margherita Flatbread! Naan is an exotic oven-baked bread that makes the perfect personal size pizza. It can be made from scratch, but today’s version was available at my local supermarket bakery. I was looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal that wouldn’t weigh me down. Add fresh ingredients and you have a healthy choice for dinner. Basil was in abundance in my herb garden, so I decided to utilize it. Yum!

NAAN MARGHERITA FLATBREAD

Ingredients:

One slice of naan bread

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

8-10 basil leaves, whole and cut

1/8 teaspoon oregano

Sea salt to taste

Cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Spread olive oil on naan flatbread. Layer mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, tomato halves, and basil leaves. Sprinkle with oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Bake on a pizza stone sprinkled with corn meal for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Cornbread Cornucopia

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Cornbread Cornucopia! This is the perfect accompaniment to any bean dish. It’s delicious hot and savory when eaten later warmed up in the microwave.

CORNBREAD CORNUCOPIA

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 cups wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 pound smoked sausage link, pre-cooked and diced

1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded

1/4 cup pickled jalapeño peppers, sliced

1 tablespoon pimento, diced

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Sift cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sea salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl. Blend beaten eggs and oil; add milk. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients stirring until just blended. Fold in meat, cheese, peppers, and pimento. Pour into an 8″x8″ pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick oil. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm with butter.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter F

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Clean Plate Club: Firecracker Shrimp! Celebrations bring people together to share joy, laughter, and fond memories. They can be as elaborate as milestone birthdays and anniversaries or as simple as two friends supporting each other. Whatever the reason, emotions are involved to experience peace, harmony, and rapport. Hence, the explosion of bold flavors for shrimp-lovers everywhere. Let your celebrations include food that says “Wow! I’m really glad to see you.”

FIRECRACKER SHRIMP

Ingredients:

1 pound frozen jumbo shrimp, pre-cooked and thawed

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup natural honey

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon chili paste

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 green onion, snipped

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Instructions:

Combine cornstarch, cornmeal, sea salt, and black pepper in a shallow dish. Place beaten eggs in a separate shallow dish. Coat shrimp in dry breading, one at a time. Dredge coated shrimp into beaten eggs, covering both sides. Heat vegetable oil in an iron skillet on medium-high heat. Add coated shrimp to pan; do not crowd. Cook until golden brown, approximately 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all shrimp is pan-fried. To make glaze, combine natural honey, orange juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, chili paste, and ground ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce to Simmer for 2 minutes until thickened, stirring often. Drizzle honey mixture over pan-fried shrimp or use as a dipping sauce. Garnish with green onion snips and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter I

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Impressive Pizza Crust! When it comes to making homemade pizza, two factors are critical to taste: Crust and Sauce. (We’ll address pizza sauce another day.) It becomes personal whether you prefer a thin and crispy crust or a deep dish pizza pie. Fortunately, my husband and I are partial to a thin crust. Choosing your “method of madness” takes practice as well. Experts recommend kneading the dough and getting pretty rough to develop the gluten. Others use a bread machine for maximum results. I found my food processor passed the test with this impressive crust. Later on, I may try another.

IMPRESSIVE PIZZA CRUST

Ingredients:

2 cups bread flour, plus more for work surface

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for work surface

1/3 teaspoon sea salt

Cornmeal for pizza pan

Instructions:

In food processor fitted with metal blade, process flour, sugar, and yeast until combined, about 2 seconds. With machine running, slowly add water through feed tube. Process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Then add olive oil and salt to dough. Process until dough forms a satiny, sticky ball that clears the sides of the bowl, 30-60 seconds. Remove dough from bowl and knead briefly on a lightly oiled countertop until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape dough into a tight ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.

After 24 hours divide the dough into 2 equal portions. (Wrap one tightly with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for later use if you are only making one pizza pie at this time.) Shape dough on lightly oiled baking sheet; cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray. Let stand one hour. Preheat the oven to 425°. Then coat the ball of dough with flour and place on a well-floured countertop. Knead and stretch the dough without breaking. Spread olive oil lightly to grease pizza pan. Sprinkle corn meal over the olive oil forming a thin even layer. This keeps the crust from getting soggy and adds a nice crunch to the texture of the crust. Transfer dough to pizza pan. Using fingertips, gently flatten and stretch as you go, until it reaches the edges. Press down around the edges of the pan to create a border, which will keep the sauce and toppings from seeping while baking. Place in oven and bake crust for 10 minutes without toppings. Remove and add pizza sauce plus desired ingredients. Reduce oven heat to 400° and bake an additional 20 minutes until crust is crispy and toppings bubbly.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter C

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Chow Down: Corn Fritter Flapjacks! Add variety to your meals now that hearty comfort soups are on the menu as we stroll leisurely into Autumn. Old-fashioned corn fritters can be as simple as baked or pan fried cornbread. For variety, add sweet corn niblets, dried herbs and spices, or even shredded cheese. You may even be bold and cover them in maple syrup. As always, the key to great taste is in using natural and organic ingredients. I pulled out the old reliable cast iron skillet for frying simply because it maintains a more even heat exchange. Since it is already seasoned, the results mean no sticking and less oil is needed. Get cooking. Try something new tonight!
CORN FRITTER FLAPJACKS 
Ingredients:

3/4 cup cornmeal 

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tablespoon baking powder 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon white vinegar 

1 egg

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 cup sweet corn kernels 

Vegetable oil for frying 
Instructions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and sea salt. Mix well. Set aside. Pour milk into a small bowl; add white vinegar. Whisk the two together. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the milk to thicken. Add egg and olive oil. Whisk to blend wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir just until batter is moistened. Fold in sweet corn. Warm an iron skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Brush the bottom with vegetable oil. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto the greased skillet. Cook until bubbles form around the edges, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat slightly, if necessary. Flip the flapjacks to cook the other side. Cook about 2 minutes longer so the outsides are crispy and the insides are fluffy. The corn fritters should be golden-to deep brown without burning. Repeat with remaining batter. Apply more oil as needed. Keep warm until ready to serve. Makes one dozen fritters. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter R

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Front-Runner Favs: Red Onion Chorizo Flatbread! Get your spice on as we crank up the taste buds a notch or two for a Spanish twist on an old European favorite. Chorizo is a type of pork sausage that made its way to Mexico and South America years ago. Cured in vinegar and chili powder before it reaches the supermarket makes it a spicy favorite from the first bite. Now add cheese and red onions for a complete taste explosion. 
RED ONION CHORIZO FLATBREAD 
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon cornmeal 

1 prepared flatbread 

8 ounces chorizo sausage

1 medium red onion, sliced and divided

1/4 cup salsa or pico de gallo 

6 ounces Mexican cheese blend, shredded

6 Ciliegine mozzarella balls (cherry size)

Fresh cilantro and oregano leaves for garnish
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Brush olive oil on the bottom of flatbread. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Bake 5 minutes, then remove flatbread from oven and set aside. In an iron skillet over medium heat, cook chorizo sausage until browned, about 5 minutes. Add red onion pieces, reserving a few raw onion rings for topping. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 4 minutes. If using pico de gallo, Pulse in a mini chopper to create a sauce consistency. Spread salsa or pico de gallo over flatbread, stopping 1/2″ from the edge. Sprinkle Mexican cheese blend over sauce. Layer next with chorizo/onion mixture. Press Ciliegine mozzarella balls on top. Finish with the red onion rings. Bake 12-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Garnish with fresh cilantro and oregano leaves. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter F

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Fig and Pig Flatbread! Make life easy tonight with an amazing twist on this sweet and salty sensation. Everyone loves bacon. I get it. And the fig preserves provide a sweet after taste that mingles with the natural crunch of crispy crust and salty meat. The gooey cheese is like the icing on a cake. With only a few ingredients, preparation is a snap leaving more time for settling in front of the television with a glass of wine and your favorite program. You can thank me later. 
FIG AND PIG FLATBREAD 
Ingredients:

1 prepared flatbread

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon corn meal

1/2 cup fig and muscat wine preserves 

4 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 

2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Brush both sides of flatbread with olive oil. Sprinkle corn meal on the bottom side of the flatbread. Place onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick oil. Bake 5 minutes; remove from oven. Spread fig and muscat wine preserves evenly over flatbread, leaving a crust edge. Arrange crumbled bacon as next layer. Scatter mozzarella and feta cheese over top. Bake 10 minutes longer until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve with a side salad.