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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Heirloom, And Fried Green, Tomatoes

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Home alone, and I have the whole day to myself. I went to the market found some heirloom and some green tomatoes. Right then I knew it was a meatless night for me. Fried green tomatoes with a simple salad that has the brown heirloom tomatoes and a lemon vinaigrette dressing.

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I thought, fried green tomatoes, yum, yum! The crust has to be nice and crunchy. I like my green tomatoes a little on the thick side. I just think they hold up better and you really get that tomato flavor to come through. So I slice them about 1/2 inch in thickness.

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Now for the breading stage of these beauties. I start a bowl with about 1-1/2 cups of all purpose flour. Then in another bowl I put 1- 1/2 cups of buttermilk which I add 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper and a pinch of Kosher salt maybe a teaspoon or so.  In the last bowl I have 3 cups of yellow corm meal. To the corn meal I add 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of dried parsley for some nice color. i mix all of that together and let the breading begin. I line the bowls up first, flour, then buttermilk, and finally, the seasoned corn meal.

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I start with a large saute pan and add enough oil, I use a neutral flavored oil, like canola for this recipe. You don’t want anything to over power the tomatoes.

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I fry them in batches, and when I take them out I salt them right away. Set them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil, then place them on a sheet pan to go into a 250 degree oven to keep them warm until all them tomatoes are done. That’s it, dinner for me tonight, tomatoes two different ways.

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Tuna Tapenade

2014-07-09 19.30.16This recipe is one I love because it can be done in advance. It’s great to serve as Hors d’oeuvre for parties or just if you want to have it as a meal. We have this at my house any time we’re in the mood for tuna.

Tapenade is an olive spread that is served on bread. In this recipe, I’ve made the star the tuna. This one is made with Italian style tuna I just found in my local grocery store. Of course, you could use regular tuna and that would be delicious.  Let me tell you how I did this.

Start with red onion, celery, and garlic. In a food processor, fitted with the metal blade, pulse until the ingredients are finely minced. I like to give them a head start before adding the other ingredients.

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There are quite a few ingredients that go into this recipe, so let me just show you those now.

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At this point, I’ve already added the onion, celery, and garlic, next, the tuna. Italian tuna can be expensive so I decided to mix one 6-ounce jar of Italian tuna packed in water,  drained, and 2 small packages (total 6-ounces) of chunk light tuna packed in spring water to the food processor.

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To the tuna, Mascarpone cheese, capers drained and rinsed, lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, chopped and pitted Kalamata olives, flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Pulse all of these ingredients together until smooth.

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When the Tapenade has reached a smooth consistency, it’s done. Taste to make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.

Transfer the Tuna Tapenade to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

If you like a spicier version, at the beginning of the process, you could add some cayenne pepper or add a Fresno chili at the beginning, that would be delicious too. I like to serve this on some toasted or grilled ciabatta bread.

I like to top the Tuna Tapenade with roasted asparagus and even a few julienned roasted Piquillo peppers for a little sweetness.

Toasted Ciabatta Bread

Tuna Tapenade

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yields: 16 appetizers
Equipment: food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients:
12-ounces of Italian style Tuna packed in water drained (substitute Starkist tuna packed in spring water)
half a red onion, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4-ounces Mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons caper, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 loaf Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta Bread, sliced, (yields 16 slices) substitute plain Ciabatta or a good French baguette

Spicy Tuna Tapenade:
Add 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or a Fresno chili, seeded

Directions For Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet topped with a rack. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Note: Each oven may vary slightly in temperature, watch the bread closely to prevent from burning.

Directions:
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, start with half a red onion and 3 ribs of celery and 3 cloves of garlic. In a food processor fitting with the metal blade pulse until the ingredients are finely minced. I like to give them a head start before adding the other ingredients.

Next, the tuna. Italian tuna can be expensive so I decided to mix one 6-ounce jar of Italian tuna packed in olive oil, drained, 6-ounces of Starkist chunk light tuna packed in spring water to the food processor.

To the tuna, add Mascarpone cheese, drained and rinsed capers,  lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, chopped and pitted Kalamata olives,  chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper. Pulse all of these ingredients together until smooth.

When the Tapenade has reached a smooth consistency, it’s done. Taste to make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.

Transfer the Tuna Tapenade to chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

If you like a spicier version, at the beginning of the process, you could add some cayenne pepper or add a Fresno chili at the beginning, that would be delicious too. I like to serve this on some toasted or grilled ciabatta bread.

To serve, I like to top the Tuna Tapenade with roasted asparagus and even a few julienned roasted Piquillo peppers for a little sweetness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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