If you know me even a little bit, you’ll know that food permeates my thoughts ever so frequently during any given 24 hour period. What shall I eat? What shall I cook next? What can I create with what I have on hand? These questions form the fabric of my existence.
This morning, I was craving for something different for breakfast. If I knew what I wanted, it would have been an easy choice. It’s too cold for cereal. Not oatmeal again. I already did eggs this week. As these thoughts went through my head, I aimlessly wandered to the refrigerator to see what I might have that could be turned into an interesting breakfast. The taste buds were demanding something savory.
I pulled out a few things and stared at what I had for a minute.
Whole grain bread, a few baby carrots, a few spoons of homemade hummus and chives (a herb that I have only recently discovered when trying out a recipe for Israeli food). I was not convinced, but stayed on task.
I took off the crust and toasted the bread. I spread the hummus I had on the toasted bread. On went the thinly sliced baby carrots and finely chopped chives. It looked pretty but something was missing. Color to tie it all together. Off I went to get my jar of paprika and a few twirls later, my breakfast was ready to be devoured on a beautiful matching plate. And it hit the perfect chord to start my day 🙂
The answer is a resounding YES! Especially when you happen to be living in a town that has a Michelin starred restaurant in its backyard. And when you spot the restaurant’s exact location during an intense hike, your desire to indulge is escalated to astronomical proportions.
This is how I ended up at Shaun Hill’s much raved about restaurant, The Walnut Tree. A last-minute call for reservations, an open table, a short cab ride and we found ourselves seated for lunch in a packed dining room filled with professionals, couples and families. I spent the first few minutes telling my date (my teenaged daughter) how lucky she was to be eating in a Michelin starred restaurant. Her expressions appeared to be saying that I have a crazy mother and this mad dash to eat is another example of her love affair with food!
My fleeting thoughts on not getting enough value as a vegetarian evaporated as soon as we saw and tasted the offerings. Let me walk through this lovely meal with pictures and you can tell me if you can’t wait to try this place out for your own special celebration! Of course if you wanted to make it über special, you could stay at the inn adjacent to the hotel and make it a true romantic getaway! You can find out more about The Walnut Tree Inn at http://www.thewalnuttreeinn.com/Food
Fried Green Tomatoes – What images do those words conjure up? The namesake 1991 film set in Alabama? The southern dish by the same name that leaves you drooling? To me, it brings up memories of an amazing lunch at Friedmans in Chelsea Market in New York City. Aaah – the perfect firm tomatoes, covered with seasoned panko, deep-fried and served with the perfect buttermilk sauce. Each of us at that meal sat transfixed, a tad bit disappointed that we inhaled the plate so quickly!
And today after many months, I recreated this dish in my kitchen. Take a look at the picture and let me know what you think. From a taste standpoint, the multiple testers in my household gave it a giant thumbs up!
While I had many recipes clipped out since that meal in New York City, I decided to wing this creation. Here’s my easy how-to!
Sliced up some beautiful green tomatoes from the farmer’s market into thick slices and sprinkled them liberally with salt and pepper
Dredged the tomatoes in some flour seasoned with chilli pepper,
Dipped the flour covered tomatoes in two eggs whisked with a tablespoon of milk
Tossed the egg coated tomatoes into panko crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper
Deep fried the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes and drained them on paper towels.
Now, this beautiful creation needed an accompanying sauce. And here’s what I did.
Mixed two tbsps non fat sour cream with a half a cup of buttermilk
Squirted in some Sriracha sauce into this mix along with some salt and pepper
Blended the mix well and served it!
And finally for a piece of trivia. Most people believe that Fried Green Tomatoes are the quintessential southern dish. But according to the Smithsonian magazine, the origins of this yummy dish can be traced back to Jewish and Midwestern cookbooks!!
If you have a love affair or a story with Fried Green Tomatoes, please do share!