As a Southern-born girl, there are certain things you must learn how to cook. Well, my parents are from California. But I WAS born in Arkansas, so I guess I have to fry SOMEthing!!
   There are a few things I have never made until recently... Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Fried Steak, and FRIED GREEN TOMATOES. I must have found the absolute best recipes, because they have all turned out incredible! 
   My husband loves my version of Chicken Pot Pie, posted in this blog previously. And the Chicken Fried Steak recipe I found online was awesome (the one with the hot sauce in the batter!! Look for the link on my FB page...) 
   So the Fried Green Tomatoes... hmmm... Well, if you like cornmeal, it's pretty good! Honestly, I think they'd be even better with the Chicken Fried Steak batter... Nevertheless, here you go!

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal (I didn't have self-rising, so I added about 1/2 tsp baking powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1. Whisk egg and buttermilk. Combine other ingredients, but only 1/4 cup of flour in another bowl. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour, dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture.
2. Pour oil to a depth of about 1/2 inch in a skillet heated to med-high temp. Drop in tomatoes in batches,and cook two minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt to taste. 

You can dip them in ketchup or ranch dressing!
   
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Even on a warm day, this is so yummy... Instead of dried basil, I use the fresh stuff. Such a better taste, and I even put it on my grilled cheese sandwiches, too!
Spicy Tomato Bisque and Grilled Brie Sandwiches
4 oz. Brie cheese
4 slices Rye bread
28 oz can tomato puree
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp dried basil (or 4-5 fresh leaves)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup milk
4 oz cream cheese, cubed   

Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 400 F. Spread cheese onto 2 slices of bread and top with other 2 pieces. Place on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes, turning once about halfway through. Cut in half, set aside.   In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together puree, red pepper, black pepper, basil (if you're not using fresh basil) and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 min. Whisk in cream cheese until well blended, then stir in milk. Heat without bringing to a boil and stir in fresh basil and remove from heat.   Voila!Prep time should be about 10-15 minutes!
 
 
Feeling lazy? This is a simple, practically fail-proof way to throw dinner together in FIVE minutes and still eat delicious and healthy food!

SIMPLEST ROAST CHICKEN EVER

One whole fryer chicken
2-4 potatoes chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic seasoning (3tbsp?)
salt to taste
Rosemary, garlic

Put chicken, breast up, in baking dish. Place potato and onion around chicken. Sprinkle chicken with seasoning. A couple of dashes of salt all over chicken and veggies. Sprinkle veggies with rosemary and garlic.

Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes, covered with foil for the first half hour. Remove foil and continue to bake for remainder of bake time.


NOTE: Wondering why I didn't use olive oil to grease the dish? It's not necessary! The chicken makes it's own juice, and while it's covered, the steam from the chicken cooks it. Instead, you can make a salad and use the olive oil there if you want...
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Before baking.
 
 
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I have no idea where my mother got this recipe, but it has been a "Special Saturday Morning" treat since I was a kid. Swedish Pancakes are essentially crepes, typically topped with Lingonberries. Those are a little scarce around here, so a great alternative would be a cooked down mixture of raspberries and blueberries, or even blackberries. But our family always did it the Southern way: peanut butter and syrup, washing it down with a glass of milk. (Or coffee!)

SWEDISH PANCAKES

6 eggs
1 can evaporated milk
1 can water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour

Mix with blender. Pour about 1/2 cup at a time on buttered skillet on med-high heat. Cook about 60-90 seconds on each side. Set on a plate, place about a tbsp peanut butter on the pancake and fold over so the heat will make the peanut butter easier to spread. Drizzle syrup, roll up using your fork, and eat!!!

By the way, this recipe makes A LOT. You can half it if you want... If this is still too much, you can store the rest in the fridge up to a week or so; be sure to stir it up. It tends to separate if it sits.
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