Fried Green Tomatoes

Three Tomatoes with Shadows

3 large green tomatoes
2 c. yellow cornmeal
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. paprika
1 T. flour
1 T. butter
1/2 c. bacon fat (from 1/2 lb. cooked bacon)
1/4 c. Crisco

Slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick. Mix together cornmeal, 3/4 t. salt, pepper, paprika, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Dip each tomato in flour mixture on both sides and set aside on a large plate.

Heat butter, bacon fat and Crisco in a large frying pan on medium high heat for five minutes. Gently place two tomatoes at a time in the pan. Cook for about five minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove to a plate with a paper towel to soak up grease. Sprinkle 1/4 salt evenly on top of the finished tomatoes.

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Crusty Fried Pork Chops

Simple Christmas Traditions

6-8 medium sized pork chops
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. Tony Chachere’s original creole seasoning (optional)
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil (can substitute olive or canola)
2 T. bacon grease

Thaw chops, if frozen. Heat oil and bacon grease (if you don’t keep bacon grease on hand, just fry up two pieces and use the oil–you can save the bacon and crush it into bits for a great salad topper) in a large frying pan on medium high. Mix together in a medium sized bowl flour, salt, pepper, Tony Chachere’s and garlic powder. In a separate medium bowl pour in all the buttermilk.

One by one submerge the pork chop in buttermilk then in the flour mixture. Press mixture into pork chop on both sides. Set on a plate. Let sit for at least two minutes before frying one or two at a time on both sides until golden brown–about 8 minutes. I cover the frying pan with the lid for at least five minutes per pork chop. Drain each one on a plate with a napkin. Test to make sure each one is cooked through, showing no pink or red, just white.

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Mama Ora’s Fried Pies

apricot

This is THE dessert that my Chris loves to mention off-handedly at his mom and dad’s kitchen table.  It is like a match to a fuse…leading up to Chris’ dad mumbling about how he hasn’t had fried pies in forever and Chris’ mom looking at Chris, like “Now you have done it.”  Then within a day, the fried pies magically appear…well, with a lot of work by his mom.  Then all the brothers, sisters and their children begin circling in the kitchen, waiting to get the first one and tuck away another for later. It is such a funny family tradition to observe.  But these pies?  They really are very good!

3 c. flour
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1 c. evaporated milk
1/2 c. shortening
12 oz. dried apricots (or apples, plums, pineapples, etc)
1 1/2 c. water (plus 3 T. for moistening edges)
1 T corn starch
2 c. sugar (plus 1/2 c. for sprinkling on the pies at the end)
1 stick butter
3 c. canola oil

In large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut shortening into the size of peas. Beat eggs in a 2-cup Pyrex container and add milk to it. Pour in the center of the flour and mix until it forms a ball. Put in refrigerator until ready to use.

In a medium sauce pan, put in dried fruit and cover with water. Bring to a boil on medium high heat and cook slowly until tender. Mix 1 T. corn starch with 2 c. sugar. Add to fruit. Cook slowly on medium low heat until thick. Then stir in one 1 stick butter until it melts. Remove from heat.

Roll out flour pastry to about 1/4 inch thick and cut with a saucer or circle cutter (about 8 inches in diameter). Put about 3 tablespoons of fruit in the center of each pastry. Moisten edges with water and fold edges together to make a half-circle, mashing them together with the tine of a fork to completely seal all around.

Slip pie into hot oil (375 degrees) in large pot (or Fry Daddy). Turn the pie, when golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle each one evenly with sugar.

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Cajun Fried Turkey

Man Carving Turkey at Christmas Dinner

There is nothing better than a crisp, hot piece of skin from this wonderful turkey.  We love to make this every few years.  It isn’t an every year kind of turkey for us, but it IS very, very good. I love when we get to partake of it.  You could say I am THANKFUL for it.

2 t. salt
1 T plus 2 t. cayenne, divided
10-12 lb turkey (fresh, not injected with butter or other seasonings)
4 T. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. onions, finely chopped
1/4 c. celery, finely chopped
3 T. minced garlic
2 T. ground pepper vinegar
1 T. plus 1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1/2 c. turkey (or chicken) broth
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
5 gallons peanut oil (can subst. vegetable oil)

Mix together 2 t. salt and 2 t. cayenne in a small bowl. Set aside this mixture to rub on turkey.

Combine melted butter with onions, celery, garlic, pepper vinegar, 1 T. salt, 1 T. cayenne, black pepper, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Inject into turkey (with this). Rub salt/ cayenne mixture on the outside. Refrigerate overnight.

Fry the turkey, using a turkey fryer (like this), according to instructions and with the peanut oil. Heat oil to 400 degrees. Lower the turkey into the hot oil. Adjust the flame slightly down to maintain a temperature of 350 degrees. Oil should be hot enough to bubble during the frying, but not so hot that the turkey burns. Make sure that the turkey remains submerged or turn very carefully every 10-15 minutes. Let the turkey fry until the juices run clear–about 3 minutes per pound (about 35-45 minutes). The turkey will look very dark brown when it is done. Don’t be afraid that it has burned; this is the right color. Carefully remove the turkey and place breast side down on the platter with paper towels. Let drain about 5 minutes, turn over and drain and cool for 15 minutes more before slicing. From Bessie Gartman.

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Crusty Fried Pork Chops

Family Praying Before Dinner

This is a recipe my Chris and I have enjoyed since we married over 19 years ago. It is most certainly tasty for a Sunday afternoon family dinner!

6-8 medium-sized pork chops
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. Tony Chachere’s original creole seasoning (opt.)
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil (can substitute olive or canola oil)
2 T. bacon grease

Thaw chops, if frozen. Heat oil and bacon grease (if you don’t keep bacon grease on hand, fry up 2 pieces and use the oil.  You can save the bacon and crush it into bits for a salad to mashed potato topper) in a large frying pan on medium high. Mix together in a medium-sized bowl flour, salt, pepper, Tony Chachere’s and garlic powder.  In a separate medium bowl, pour in all the buttermilk.

One by one submerge the pork chop in buttermilk then in the flour mixture.  Pres mixture into pork chop on both sides.  Set on a plate. Let sit for at least two minutes (can put on a cookie sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes to help the crust stay on while frying) before frying one or two at a time on both sides until golden brown–about 8 minutes.  I cover the frying pan with the lid for at least five minutes per pork chop.  Drain each one on a plate with a napkin. Test to make sure each one is cooked though, showing no pink or red, just white.

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Fried Bow Tie Pasta

Bow Tie Pasta

We first enjoyed these tasty appetizer at Copeland’s in Shreveport many years ago.  They are crisp and flavorful–a great “scoop” for your favorite dip.  Serve with spinach artichoke dip or 3 cheese fondue or just eat by themselves!

8 ounces bow tie pasta
2 eggs
3 T. milk
Italian bread crumbs (recipe below)
2/3 c. olive oil
12 slices bread (cook for 15 minutes at 250 degrees to dry), grate finely with food processor
Add in:
1 t. oregano
1 t. sweet basil
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
4 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Boil bow tie pasta in boiling water for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Mix eggs and milk in a small bowl. Dip each piece of pasta in egg mixture, then roll in Italian bread crumbs in a large bowl. Set on a plate.

Heat oil on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Place a handful of pasta in oil. Cook for 2 1/2 minutes and turn. Cook another 2 1/2 minutes. Set aside on a plate with a paper towel to drain excess oil.

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Fried Chicken Salad

Fried Chicken Salad

One evening, my Chris concocted this wonderful salad.  Using funnel cake batter, he covered and fried the chicken. Then he put it on a salad and called it healthy.  And…um…well, it isn’t healthy really. But it is very good!

2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs (separate from below)
2 c. milk
1.5 lbs. chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 c. canola oil plus 2 T. butter (or 1 1/2 c. bacon grease)
1 head Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium onion, minced
3 eggs, boiled, peeled and sliced
French dressing to taste

In a mixer, blend together flour, baking powder, 2 eggs (not boiled), milk, cinnamon and salt. Stir in chicken pieces.

In a large frying pan or stock pot, heat bacon grease over medium high heat for about 3 minutes. Add chicken pieces in a single layer, cooking for 3 1/2 minutes on each side (’til golden brown) until all are done. Place fried chicken in a bowl lined with a paper towel to soak up the grease.

 In a large bowl, toss lettuce, onions, tomatoes and boiled and sliced eggs. Serve in individual bowls, adding a generous amount of chicken and French dressing (or your favorite) to taste.

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