Saturday, July 28, 2012

summer in the south saturdays - fried green tomatoes with Buttermilk Dressing

"Dedicated to all Tennesseans throughout time who have appreciated our heritage as citizens of this nation's sixteenth state and who have cherished this land and the bounty it yields.  May the loyalty, pride, and vision Tennesseans share with each other and with the world continue always."

That's a quote at the beginning of one of my most prized cookbooks, Miss Daisy Celebrates Tennessee.  Daisy King is considered Tennessee's First Lady of Southern Cooking, so I see it only fitting to share recipes from her book for today's Summer in the South Saturdays post.  

Over 15 years ago, John was finishing up his first year as an 8th grade teacher at David Lipscomb Middle School, and I was finishing up as a senior at the university as well as interim choral director at the middle school.  DLMS was our family away from family as we prepared to be married in May of '97 and figure out life together.  

Following one of my classes, there had been a scheduled "event" we were to both attend on the middle school campus, and to our HUGE surprise, the entire 8th grade student body, faculty, and administration threw us a kitchen shower.  One of our many gifts?  This cookbook.  Inscribed on the inside cover, "Best wishes to Miss Bean and Mr. Green.  Love, Amy."  

I know.  Go ahead with the jokes.  But I can assure you, whether or not I had ever become a "Green," growing up as a "Bean...," I have heard them all.

I have now lived in Nashville over half of my life, so Tennessee feels like home in so many ways.  I adore southern hospitality, southern history, southern people, and southern food.  And one can NOT live in the south too long without partaking of fried green tomatoes.  

As they do every year around this time, our tomato vines are producing faster than I can cook or prepare the fruit, so I figure why not pick a few early, and enjoy them crisped up.  I've also included a cool and creamy homemade dressing recipe that makes a perfect accompaniment.  I was excited to use fresh chives from my herb garden for this one and got to finish off the rest of the buttermilk left from last week's Co-Cola Cake recipe, so no waste there.  

Not that there ever is with good buttermilk sitting around.

I never alter a single thing with these recipes... they are perfect just the way the are.  I highly encourage you to follow them to a "T" and enjoy a little south in your mouth!

Fried Green Tomatoes - serves 4
  • 3 medium green tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 cup white cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup bacon drippings
~  Assemble all ingredients and utensils.  Slice tomatoes 1/4-inch thick; sprinkle with salt 
     and pepper.
~  In a bowl, pour cornmeal and coat slices of tomato thoroughly with corn meal.
~  In a large skillet heat bacon drippings until hot and add tomatoes.  Brown on both sides 
     over medium heat.  Drain.

Buttermilk Salad Dressing - makes 3 cups
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. minced onion
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk

~  Assemble all ingredients and utensils.  In large blow of mixer, combine all ingredients 
    except buttermilk.
~  Slowly stir in buttermilk.
~  Chill before serving.

Recipes from Miss Daisy Celebrates Tennessee Cookbook