Tag Archive for tomatoes

Two Southern Sandwiches: Tomato Sandwich and Pineapple Sandwich

Today I decided that a nice southern tomato sandwich would hit the spot. Dave and Tank agreed so we spent lunch at my mom’s enjoying some local flavorful tomatoes.

There is nothing more savory to my taste buds on a summer afternoon then a locally grown tomato sandwich.

Dave informed us (my mom and I) that he was going to put ham on his tomato sandwich.

My mother, the transplanted yankee, quickly put him in his place and told him his sandwich would no longer be classified as a “tomato sandwich” if he did that. She then asked him if he had ever had a pineapple sandwich.

“Oh sure,” Dave replied.

My mom shuddered. She thinks pineapple sandwiches is gross. Maybe its because she was pregnant at the time I started asking for them. I do have to thank my childhood friend Jasmine for introducing me to pineapple sandwiches during our lunch breaks all those afternoons I spent at her house searching for rolly pollies under cement blocks in her backyard.

I have decided through swapped stories that you are not a true Alabama Southerner if you have never had a tomato sandwich or a pineapple sandwich. The recipes for either are simple, and will make any true Alabama Southern child happy, or any adult daydream about being a child again.

Southern Alabama Tomato Sandwich:

2 pieces of “flat bread” as it is called in my Granny’s  house  (sandwich bread, usually white in most households)

mayonaise

1 thinly sliced homegrown tomato

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Assemble sandwich. Its important to salt and pepper your tomatoes to get the full flavor the tomatoes have to offer.

 

Southern Alabama Pineapple Sandwich:

2 pieces of “flat bread” as it is called in my Granny’s  house  (sandwich bread, usually white in most households)

mayonaise

1 can crushed pineapple, pressed, drained of liquid -or else you’ll have a soggy sandwich (some people say there use sliced pineapple, but we are a fan of the crushed in my family.)

Directions: Assemble sandwich. Eat immediately. Do not pack this ahead of time for school lunch or a picnic. You’ll be sorry and your kids will have a soggy mess on their hands.

Roasted Chicken with Red Peppers and Tomatoes

 

 

Roasted Chicken with Red Peppers and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces. You can learn how to do this from Mark Brittman in his amazing cookbook, How to Cook Everything (and he does mean everything).

olive oil for cooking

2 red peppers, seeded and sliced

1/2 onion, peeled and sliced

3 large cloves of garlic

1/4 teaspoon pepper, salt, mint, thyme, parsley

5 or 6 tomatoes, sliced and sliced again, or diced

pasta, rice, quinoa, or another grain to serve the chicken with

Directions:

1) Place the chicken in a roasting pan, cook at 450° for 15 minutes uncovered (put a little olive oil on the bottom of the pan to help with sticking).

2) While the chicken is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Cook the red peppers, onions and garlic until tender. Probably 7-10 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and spices. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the herbs are blended. Probably about 10 minutes.

3) Carefully add the vegetables to the chicken in the oven.

4) Carefully cover the pan with a lid or foil.

5) Cook for an additional 25 minutes.

6) While that is cooking, make your grain of choice.

7) When your chicken is done, serve over rice, quinoa, pasta, or other grain.

Homemade Garlic, Mushroom and Tomato Sauce

 

Homemade Garlic, Mushroom, and Tomato Sauce

Homemade Garlic, Mushroom, and Tomato Sauce

Homemade Mushroom and Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced

lots of garlic, you can decide how many cloves, we used 5 or 6, diced or pressed.

2 cups of mushrooms, sliced

You can use the prepackaged sliced mushrooms if you wish. I usually don't buy these because they go bad so quickly, but these were on sale and we knew we were going to use them right away.

You can use the prepackaged sliced mushrooms if you wish. I usually don’t buy these because they go bad so quickly, but these were on sale and we knew we were going to use them right away.

3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil for cooking

5 or 6 ripe tomatoes, diced

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1) Heat the olive oil in the pan, add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until tender.

Cook the onion and the garlic together until tender.

Cook the onion and the garlic together until tender.

2) Add the mushroom and cook until slightly brown.

Add the mushrooms and cook until slightly browned.

Add the mushrooms and cook until slightly browned.

3) Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and any other seasoning you fancy. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the flavors are mingled, approximately 10 minutes or less.

Homemade Garlic, Mushroom, and Tomato Sauce

Homemade Garlic, Mushroom, and Tomato Sauce

4) Serve over pasta

Cilantro, Onion, and Tomato Salsa

This salsa is made by my mom and is my family's favorite by far.

This salsa is made by my mom and is my family’s favorite by far.

Cilantro, Onion, and Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh cilantro, cut off stems and chopped

1 onion, diced

4 or 5 tomatoes, diced

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1) Combine above ingredients and serve with chips or tacos. You can’t beat it!

 

 

Tomato and Onion Cumin Salsa

This cooked salsa is simple, but the cumin adds a slight punch.

This cooked salsa is simple, but the cumin adds a slight punch.

Tomato and Onion Cumin Salsa

Ingredients:

Olive oil for cooking

1 yellow onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, diced or pressed

5 or 6 tomatoes, diced

About 1 tablespoon cumin, use your own taste to guide you on the amount

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1) Heat oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic, cook until tender

2) Add the tomatoes, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are soft

3) Serve with chips or on a taco.

Lavender and Tomato Chicken Cutlet Salad

Today we decided to try out a Chicken Cutlet Salad using lettuce we grew in our own garden.

Lavender and Tomato Chicken Cutlet Salad

Lavender and Tomato Chicken Cutlet Salad

Chicken Cutlet Salad

(Note, you can try this recipe hot or cold. We tried it hot, which was…interesting. For a cold salad, you’ll have to prepare everything and chill it before you serve it, so allow more time.)

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

5 or so tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Herbs de Blanco

Herbs de Blanco is made in Blanco, Texas by my friend Tasha Brieger and available online or at Brieger Pottery in Blanco, Texas.

2 teaspoons of Hill County Lavender‘s Herbs de Blanco Spice Blend (Made by my friend Tasha Brieger, and available at DrHeathersHerbs.com) If you don’t have Tasha’s spice blend, you could make a mixture of your own. If you just want to use one herb you could choose basil, rosemary, or oregano.

salt and pepper to taste

4 or 5 tablespoons olive oil to cook the chicken in

1 0r 2 ripe tomatoes, diced

Homegrown tomatoes have so much flavor!

Homegrown tomatoes have so much flavor and color!

some diced red onion for the salad, if you like onions

You can cook the onion with the chicken, or have it raw on your salad, whichever you prefer.

You can cook the onion with the chicken, or have it raw on your salad, whichever you prefer.

 

enough salad for two salads

Fresh salad from our garden made this even more enjoyable.

Fresh salad from our garden made this even more enjoyable.

Directions:

1) I diced the chicken and tossed it with balsamic vinegar (save 1 tablespoon for later), Herbs de Blanco, salt, and peper.

Herbs de Blanco is a nice light spice blend for cooking chicken.

Herbs de Blanco is a nice light spice blend for cooking chicken.

2) Heat the olive oil in your pan, add the chicken, cook until the chicken is fully done. You can choose to add the onions and cook them with the chicken if you would like, or you can save them to eat raw on your salad later.

Cook the chicken until its well done.

Cook the chicken until its fully done.

3) Add at that tablespoon of balsamic vinegar you were holding back, the tomatoes, and some salt and pepper to taste. Cook the tomatoes until they are tender, but not mushy.

4) Arrange your salad greens on the plate, add the onions if eating them raw, the tomato mixture, and the chicken.

Lavender and Tomato Chicken Cutlet Salad

Lavender and Tomato Chicken Cutlet Salad

 

 

Corn and Tomato Salsa

This recipe is really easy.

Tomato and Corn Salsa

A great cold tomato and corn salsa

Dave and I came up with this simple corn and tomato salsa.

1) We boiled some local homegrown corn from the farmers’ market and cut the kernels off the cob.

2) Mix equal parts tomatoes with the corn, about 2 cups each.

3) Add salt, pepper, and cumin to taste

4) Get some chips or a taco and start spooning it on!

Southern Tomato Gravy from Scratch

 

This recipe is so simple! You can have tomato gravy made with little prep in little as twenty minutes!

This recipe is so simple! You can have tomato gravy made with little prep in little as twenty minutes!

I have always enjoyed southern tomato gravy, though I must admit, it is very difficult to find someone that makes it from scratch and not from a can. Mostly it can come out tasting like tomato soup. With this tomato gravy, that’s not the case. I did everything from scratch, even the biscuits.

Ingredients for homemade tomato gravy from scratch:

4 tablespoons bacon drippings (I used olive oil, you could also use butter)

4 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 garlic cloves

2 cups room temperature milk (I used whole milk)

6 or so ripe tomatoes, diced

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1) Heat bacon drippings, butter, or oil in a pan on medium heat

2) Add flour and whisk continuously until lightly browned (It will look somewhat brown to you from the beginning if you use olive oil or bacon drippings).

The beginning of tomato gravy resemble a runny pancake- keep whisking continuously to avoid making a pancake!

The beginning of tomato gravy resemble a runny pancake- keep whisking continuously to avoid making a pancake!

3) Add milk, blend, and bring to a boil

4) Add salt, pepper, and garlic

5) Reduce heat, add diced tomatoes

6) Cook until the tomatoes and the flour mixture blend together and the tomatoes are softened.

7) Serve hot on homemade southern biscuits.

Biscuits look naked without tomato gravy!

A true southern brunch requires tomato gravy.

A true southern brunch requires tomato gravy.

 

Baked Italian Bread with Cheese, Basil, and Tomatoes

 

Baked Italian Bread with Tomatoes, Basil, and Provolone Cheese

Baked Italian Bread with Tomatoes, Basil, and Provolone Cheese

Baked Italian Bread with Cheese, Basil, and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

2 or 3 tomatoes

1/2 a loaf of Italian bread, or any loaf of unsliced bread

4 slices of the cheese of your choice (We chose provolone)

Fresh Basil

Directions:

Any round loaf will do for this recipe.

Any round loaf will do for this recipe.

1) Cut your loaf in half, then slice it down the middle like so (We chose to use half the loaf to feed two people, and save the rest of the loaf for another date):

Slice the Bread in the middle open faced.

Slice the Bread in the middle open faced.

2) Slice your tomatoes thinly. Use a bread knife with a serrated blade instead of a straight blade. A serrated knife will cut a tomato better, while a straight blade will squash your tomato (unless it is really ripe). Layer the tomatoes onto the bread.

Line the thinly sliced tomatoes on the loaf.

Line the thinly sliced tomatoes on the loaf.

3)  Here’s where we learned our lesson-The first time we made this, we put the cheese on and then the basil. Instead, put the freshly cut basil under your cheese and not on top like we did. This will keep your basil from browning so heavily in the oven.

This was also a great idea from Muffin, since we got to use our overly populated basil from our garden.

This was also a great idea from Muffin, since we got to use our overly populated basil from our garden.

Line your loaf with tomatoes, then basil, then cheese to keep the basil from burning like ours did.

Line your loaf with tomatoes, then basil, then cheese to keep the basil from burning like ours did.

4) We toasted our bread in the toaster oven on the “toast” setting until it looked like the cheese was nice and melted. You can do it in the oven, and just keep an eye on it like we did.

Yummy!

Keep an eye on your bread to make sure you don’t burn it.

 

5) Enjoy!

This recipe comes from our friend Muffin. Thanks for such as tasty dish, Muffin!

*Muffin suggests trying it on a tortilla as well. She likes it better served that way.