Fried Green Tomatoes

Serves 6

4 medium green tomatoes, cored and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
Salt
Sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more if needed
Freshly ground black pepper

Lay the tomato slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously (like you’re seasoning a steak) with both salt and sugar. Turn over the slices and season the other sides. Let sit for 30 minutes. Have a large non-stick sauté pan on the stove. Add the beaten egg to a wide shallow bowl. Combine the panko and Parmesan in another wide shallow bowl. Set them near the stove. Lay the tomato slices on paper towel, top with another layer of paper towel and press on the tomatoes to dry them well. Season the slices again with a little salt. Working one at a time, dip the tomatoes in egg, then the panko-Parmesan mixture. Really press and pat the panko into the tomatoes. Set the tomatoes on a clean baking sheet. Heat the sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil and butter. When the foam subsides, add the tomatoes, enough to cover the base of the pan in a single layer. Let them be for a few minutes and when you see browning on the egde, check the tomatoes. You want a nut brown crust. Turn them and brown the other side. Keep working in batches, adding more oil and butter to the pan as needed, and transfer the tomatoes to a warm serving platter. Grind (coarsely!) fresh pepper on top, sprinkle with extra cheese, and serve!

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Serves 6

  • pattypan squash
  • cups roughly chopped kale
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2cups corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1/3cup diced white onion
  • 1tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2teaspoon salt
  • 1/8teaspoon black pepper
  • 1cup grated Cotija cheese 
  • 1/4cup basil
  • Oil or cooking spray for the pan
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Chop kale and place in a pan with olive oil and vegetable broth and cook over medium-high heat until all of the liquid is absorbed (about 8 minutes). Once cooked, set aside.
  2. While kale is cooking, prep pattypan squash by cutting the stems off top and bottom, removing as little of flesh of the squash as possible. Then scoop out seedy center of each squash, leaving a cup to place stuffing into.
  3. To prepare stuffing, mix together kale, corn, white onion, garlic, salt, pepper and 1 C of cotija cheese in bowl.
  4. Lightly grease a large casserole dish with olive oil or cooking spray and place pattypan in the dish, cup side up. To stuff pattypan squash, squeeze together a ball of stuffing in your hands (as if you are making a snowball), and place into one pattypan cup. Stuffing balls will be about the size of medium ice cream scoop. Continue doing this until all pattypans are filled.
  5. Bake at 350º F for 35-45 minutes. Cooking for a shorter amount of time will yield a firmer squash and cooking for 45 minutes will result in a softer squash.
  6. Once cooked, remove pattypans from oven and sprinkle with cotija cheese and basil.

Tempura Garlic Scapes

Tempura Garlic Scapes

  • pound garlic scapes
  • 3 to 4 cups canola oil for deep frying
  • egg yolks
  • cups ice water
  • 1/4 cup ice cubes
  • cups flour, cake or all-purpose
  1. Prepare scapes: cut off the stringy tip from the flower end, and trim off the very bottom of the stem end. Cut each scape in half or into thirds, so that each piece measures about 4- to 6-inches in length.
  2. Fill a heavy pot with tall sides (something with a wide opening is ideal) with canola oil to a depth of at least one inch. Use a deep fry thermometer to gauge the temperature — it should be steady at 360° F. Maintaining a consistent temperature is important.
  3. While the oil is heating, line a sheet pan with paper towels and set aside. Place two egg yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix the yolks with two cups of cold water. Add one-quarter cup of ice cubes.
  4. Add two cups of flour. Hold four chopsticks with their tips pointed down and stab at the flour to combine it with the liquid until a loose, lumpy batter forms, about thirty seconds. Do not whisk, and do not use a fork — the batter should be barely mixed with pockets of dry flour visible. The liquid will be the consistency of heavy cream.
  5. Dip a scape into the batter, then gently lower into the oil. Repeat until there are 5 or 6 scapes in the oil. It is important not to overcrowd the pan. Note: Do not rush through the frying process by crowding the pan — the scapes won’t cook properly.
  6. Cook until the batter turns golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes total. Remove the scapes from the oil using a spider or slotted spoon, and place them on the paper towel-lined tray to drain. Season with a pinch of salt immediately, then repeat the dipping and frying with the remaining scapes. Serve immediately with the aioli.

Easy Kimchi

Makes approximately two twelve ounce jars.

Ingredients

2 heads Napa cabbage, chopped
2 pieces daikon radish, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic
1-2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1/4 – 1/2 cup  red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like it
1-2 tsp fish sauce optional
3-4 TBSPs sea salt
Directions
1. Trim ends of cabbage and chop any way you want – thin or thick strips is fine.  Chop the daikon radish and scallions as well.
2.  Add the salt to the vegetables and mix thoroughly.  Let sit for an hour or two.  The salt will draw out the water.  This is known as the “dry salt” method and the one I prefer.   If you don’t want to wait a few hours you can simply crush and squeeze the veggies with your hands.  Do this for a minute or two until the veggies get nice and wet from the water that is released.
3. In a food processor, blend the garlic, ginger and chili flakes into a paste.
4. Pack mixture into mason jars
5.  Press mixture firmly into the jars until the water starts rising
6.  Put the lids on and leave the jars at room temperature for 2-7 days.  Open the lids every day to release the gasses that form as a byproduct of fermentation.  If the water level rises, drain some off.  If the vegetables rise above the level of the water, pack them back under the water with your hands or the veggie stomper.
7. Taste the kimchi after 2 days.  It should taste pleasantly sour.  If not, continue to let it ferment and taste it every day until you find the taste acceptable.  Transfer to the fridge where it will continue to ferment (and the taste will change!) albeit at a much slower pace.  It will last for at least six months.