Monday, September 28, 2020

BACON, LETTUCE, & FRIED GREEN TOMATO SANDWICHES

BLTs are a favorite lunch time meal. This is a Southern version of the classic sandwich, made with fried green tomatoes. Make your Roasted Garlic Aioli in the morning or the day before. You can use regular mayonnaise, if you prefer.




4 slices applewood smoked bacon
4 medium green tomatoes
½ cup corn flour 
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
Dash of cayenne pepper
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
2 T buttermilk or milk
1 t granulated sugar

Peanut oil or avocado oil, for frying
Toasted multi-grain bread
Lettuce
Roasted Garlic Aioli (recipe follows)

Fry bacon in a cast-iron skillet, until crisp on both sides.
Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
Pour out all but about 1 teaspoon of the bacon grease.

Cut each tomato into about ½-inch slices, discarding ends
In a shallow bowl, combine the corn meal, panko, and cayenne pepper.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In another shallow bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, and sugar.

Dip the tomatoes in the egg mixture and then dredge them in the corn flour mixture, coating both sides well.

Add the peanut or avocado oil to the skillet and heat to medium-high temperature.
Fry the tomatoes until brown and crispy on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
Place on a paper towel-lined plate.

Spread some Roasted Garlic Aioli on each slice of toasted bread.
Add some lettuce, two slices of fried green tomatoes.
Add two slices bacon, some more lettuce, and top with another slice of toasted bread.
Cut in half and serve.

Roasted Garlic-Lemon Aioli
1 large whole head garlic
1 t avocado or extra-light olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ t Dijon mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
2 t extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fine ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut off the top (not root end) of the garlic head and place in a small ramekin (oven-proof custard cup). 
Drizzle with oil and cover with aluminum foil.
Bake in oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until garlic is soft.
Remove from oven and remove foil. 
Let cool until cool enough to handle.
Squeeze out the garlic from each clove into the bowl of a food processor.
Add the mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, Dijon, cayenne, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Process until smooth.
Spoon into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
The rest will keep in a small clean mason jar for about one week.
Makes 2 Sandwiches

Sunday, September 27, 2020

CLASSIC APPLE PIE

My favorite apple for baking and eating is the Honey Crisp, but it is only available in the autumn. McIntosh, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala, Braeburn, and Granny Smith are much easier to find year round and are also great baking apples. Use a combination of two or three of the above baking apples for a more complex and interesting apple pie.




Double 9-Inch Crust
¼ cups cake & pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1 T granulated sugar                           
1 t salt
12 T (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut up and placed in freezer for 10 minutes
1 t apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
½ cup ice-cold water                          

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor fitted with a steel blade until combined.
Add butter and pulse until butter pieces are the size of peas.
Pour vinegar or lemon juice into water and through shoot, slowly add it and process briefly until mixture comes together.
Alternatively, you can do this in a bowl with a pastry cutter.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. 
Divide dough in half (one slightly larger than the other) and wrap each piece in plastic wrap, trying not to touch dough with your hands, by gathering up in the plastic wrap.  
Press each piece into a disc and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling out. 

Apple Filling
9 apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups water                                                                          
¼ cup cornstarch                                           
½ t ground cinnamon                                                             
¼ t ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of ground allspice                                                            ½ t salt
3 T unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg mixed with 2 T water

Core, peel and thinly slice apples and place in a large bowl.
Toss with lemon zest and juice.

Place the sugar, water, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and salt in a large saucepan.

Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring mixture to a boil while whisking for one minute.
Add apples to saucepan and stir to coat with the sauce.
Lower heat to medium, cover with a lid and cook until the apples have softened, about 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and add the butter to the pan and stir until melted.
Cool the apple filling for 15 minutes and transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into 2 circles of 14 inches.   
Rotate dough not rolling pin and loosen from work surface with an offset spatula.
Place one into a 9-inch pie plate and spoon apple pie filling into shell.
Roll top dough on top, fold edges up and over and then crimp or make marks with a fork.
Using a paring knife, cut several vents in top of dough to allow steam to escape.
Brush surface with eggs wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Place pie on a baking sheet or pizza pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350 F degrees and continue to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Let cool a couple of hours before serving.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or a slice of sharp cheddar cheese.