Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tantalizing Tomatoes!

Although there are quite a few food-blog events that I note, and then never take the time to complete, this event, hosted by Joelen's Culinary Adventures, was one that I just couldn't pass up. Of course, as per usual I'm writing my post at the very last minute...

As a friendly "Iron Chef" competition, this blogging adventure simply required participants to make a dish based around that incredible summer fruit (or veggie), the tomato. I decided to make two different types of tomato; a pan-fried green tomato, and a sweet red-tomato relish. Really, it was a tomato jam, but my parents are rather squeamish about savory food items in "jam", and thus it became a relish.

Both versions of the tomato turned out very nicely; the slight tart-ness of the fried green tomato was balanced nicely by the sweetness of the tomato jam. I kept the jam chunky, but I might puree the tomatoes in the future, and serve it as more of a spread.

The recipe I used for the fried tomatoes was from (originally from Cookie, by Victoria Granoff) at this link. Today I felt comfortable enough to tweak the recipe quite a bit, in that I used panko crumbs instead of cornmeal, added considerably more paprika to the panko crumbs, and pan-fried it in olive oil instead of deep-frying them in vegetable oil. The tomato jam recipe is also from, from a recipe that included the tomato jam to be served with turkey medallions, found at this link.

After taking a few pictures, I devoured my plate-ful (I didn't actually finish cooking until around 8:15pm, due to issues with the cupcakes I was baking at the same time) before realizing that this dish could make a great play on eggplant parmesan! So next time, I think I'll serve the dish in a stack; green tomato slices, topped with tomato jam and sprinkled with fresh mozzarella, perhaps stuck under the broiler for some nice color. Of course, it's quite a broad interpretation of eggplant parmesan (green tomato instead of eggplant, tomato jam instead of sauce, mozzarella insted of parmesan...) but still. It might make a nice presentation.

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