Coffee heat rising

Yogurtified Fried Green Tomatoes

How dearly do I love fried green tomatoes? Let me count the ways…

The grocery store on the way home from this morning’s bidness meeting occasionally carries green tomatoes. Today they had some, so…GRAB!

What I failed to grab was some eggs with which to bread the slices. One can just sauté green tomato slices in butter and/or olive oil. But…what a sacrilege. Lightning could slice right through the kitchen ceiling and strike you dead as you commit this crime before the Stove God.

Contemplating this frightful state of affairs, I recalled the pint of yogurt residing on a shelf in the refrigerator door. And I recalled how good fried chicken can be when breaded with yogurt and flour, cracker crumbs, or both…

The plan:

Place about a third of a cup (give or take: three soup-spoonsful) of plain yogurt in a small, wide bowl. Add a splash of water (you’d like it to have the consistency of very thick cream) and mix together well, so as to make a smooth dip.

On a plate, toss several handsful of white flour (okay, probably whole wheat would work, for the health-food aficionados). If desired and youhappen to remember, add a small amount of cornmeal (or a large amount, depending on your mood and your regional preference). Season to taste, in the time-honored tradition of Our Mothers, with salt & pepper. Or not, if you’re trying to avoid salt.

Melt a generous dollop of butter in a pan while fiddling with the rest of this. Turn off the heat if the butter melts before you finish diddling.

Slice the tomatoes into thick slices. Mine were average-sized tomatoes; I sliced each into three pieces. First thinly slice off the top and the bottom, so there’s un-skinned tomato on both sides of each slice.

Turn the heat back medium or the low side of medium-high,. under the pan of butter. If desired, add a splash of olive oil (so healthful!). (But not necessary.) Dip each slice (both sides) first into the yogurt, and then into the flour/crackers/cornmeal/whatever. Set the coated slice into the heating pan. I always put the side with the most cooking area down first, on some theory that must have made sense at the time I dreamed it up, but today…who knows?

Allow the slices to cook over medium to medium-high heat until the first side is richly browned. Gently turn the slices over. Turn the heat down to low, and allow the tomatoes to cook until they are cooked through (definition: “soft and squishy on the inside”).

Serve these as an appetizer, a snack or a side dish for meat, fish, or whatever pleases you. Or as a meal. WhatEVER.

This, folks, is soul food for WT. But your ethnic persuasion matters not. Cooking a tomato through changes its flavor, and the result is ambrosial.

LOL! Run that word past Donald Trump! 😀

Sweet potato-carrot soup

It’s supposed to rain (but won’t, because I dumped fertilizer on the citrus and left it there for the rain to water into the ground: I have arcane powers). Nice evening for something hot and comforting, like fresh homemade soup.

For the past week, I’ve had nothing to eat but soup and ice cream. I’m mighty tired of soup and ice cream. Especially soup that comes out of a package or a can. I’d like some real food, but doubt that would be a wise thing to consume just now. So, I decided to see what I have in the house that can be reduced to a soup-like form but still taste…well…real.

A survey of the premises revealed the following (yes, the cupboard’s a bit bare just now: I have $152 to last till the 13th; will need to buy gas and dog meat before then, and so am treading lightly in grocery store aisles):

From the pantry: yam, a few carrots, an onion, a box of Target’s finest gourmet chicken broth
From the backyard: an orange, some parsley, some thyme

I chopped up the onion and sautéed it in a little olive oil. While it was percolating away, I decided to sweeten the pot—literally—with some turbinado sugar, added to the cooking onion. Peeled the thyme leaves off their stems and put them into the pot after the onion was nearly done. Meanwhile I cleaned and cut up the yam and carrots, then squeezed the orange.

When the onion was nice and translucent, it was into the kettle with the yam, carrots, orange juice, and chicken broth. The parsley, I reserved until later. Testing this brew led to a couple of afterthoughts:

Added a capful of bourbon and a generous dash of tarragon (about 1/2 tsp?). The result was good and mellow.

And so, to simmer:

When the vegetables were tender all the way through, I puréed the whole mess in the blender. The result was so smooth there was no need to run it through a strainer.

Another few afterthoughts occurred. I added a small amount of vanilla—about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon—some fresh-ground nutmeg, and a dash of cumin.

With the parsley added for garnish, dinner was served. And it was not too poisonous at all. All things considered.