I decided to post some Southern recipes. Getting in the program with where I am living now. Plus, I added a mint iced tea at the end to help cool you off on hot summer days. Now the spicy shrimp and grits might seem counter-intuitive on a hot day, but heat actually cools you down by forcing your body to turn on its own air-conditioner. Fried green tomatoes can be eaten hot or cold and are just plain yummy.
Fried Green Tomatoes
2 large unripe tomatoes (about 1½ pounds), cut crosswise into ½-inch slices
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 cup panko (or other fine breadcrumbs)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup (½ stick) butter or bacon fat
1. Put the tomato slices in a large colander and toss with a large pinch of salt. Put the colander in the sink and let the tomatoes sit for 20 minutes, then gently pat dry with a paper towel. I like to rinse off the salt and then pat dry but YMMV.
2. Meanwhile, put the flour, the egg, and the panko in three separate shallow bowls; season each with salt and pepper. Beat the egg.
3. Put the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip each tomato slice first in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the panko, letting any excess coating drip off. Transfer half of the tomato slices to the skillet. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and cook until lightly browned on the other side, another 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining tomato slices, flour, egg, and panko. Serve hot.
Makes about 4 servings.
Spicy Shrimp and Grits
1 cup grits
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup extra sharp Cheddar cheese (white)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
Hot Sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chopped smoked bacon or spicy tasso, andouille sausage, etc.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds (20- to 30-count) shrimp, peeled (note: I like my shrimp big U15 or so)
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups sliced white mushrooms
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups sliced scallions
1. Cook grits according to package instructions; as they are finishing, whisk in butter, cheeses, cayenne, paprika and hot sauce to taste.
2. To prepare shrimp, cook bacon or tasso or sausage until it begins to brown; remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon and set aside. Strain drippings and set aside.
3. Heat a large skillet until very hot; add olive oil and 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings. As oil begins to smoke, toss in shrimp to cover bottom of pan. Before stirring, season with salt and pepper. Stir until shrimp begin to turn pink; let pan return to original hot temperature.
4. Stir in minced garlic and bacon bits, being careful not to burn garlic. Toss in mushrooms and coat with oil briefly. Add lemon juice and wine, and stir for 30 seconds or so until everything is well coated and incorporated.
4. When ready to serve, stir in sliced scallions and cook about 20 seconds. Serve immediately over the aforementioned, patiently waiting cheese grits.
Makes 3 to 4 servings.
Mint Iced Tea
12 bags single serving tea
2 quarts boiling water
10 sprigs mint
1 cup sugar (or to taste)
optional- 2 lemons, sliced, mint sprigs
1. In large tea pot (or two small tea pots) pour boiling water over tea bags and mint and allow to steep for 20 minutes.
2. Place sugar in 2-quart pitcher (that will tolerate some heat).
3. Pour freshly brewed tea (minus mint and tea bags) into sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
4. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
5. To serve, pour into tall glasses over ice.
Serve with lemon slices and/or sprigs of mint.
Serves about 8.