Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fresh this Week from Summer Creek Farm

Fresh this Week

  • Potatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Green tomatoes
  • Basil
  • and more!
Notes from the Farm

The farm went from drought to mud this week. We went from fixing irrigation breakdowns to weed control. The rain is very welcome but the weeds go wild when it is hot and wet like this. Slicing tomatoes and peppers are coming on soon. Our cherry tomatoes are in four regional grocery stores this week. I hope you are enjoying them too. We pick on average 50 pints a day this time of year. At the same time we are planting for fall. More crops to continue our harvest through Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving we get a rest, for now we have too much to do!

--Farmer Rick

Green Tomatoes

Green tomatoes are simply regular tomatoes that haven't ripened yet. They are firmer in texture than ripe tomatoes, which are usually red.

There are probably as many fried green tomato recipes as there are Southern cooks. There are plenty of ways to coat and fry your sliced green tomatoes. First, season with salt and pepper. You could use bread crumbs (such as Panko), cracker crumbs, corn meal, flour or even crushed Corn Flakes for the outside coating. The coating will stick better if you coat the tomato slices with flour, then dip them in a beaten egg, then coat with your final outside layer. Then fry in a deep skillet or deep fryer.

Of course, you can always place the tomatoes in a brown paper bag and wait for them to ripen before using. You can find some tips on how to speed the process here. Store tomatoes in a cool place, but try to avoid refrigerating whole tomatoes, for better flavor. Once they are cut, leftover tomatoes should be refrigerated.

Thanks to Chef Christine Van Bloem and Shannon Moore for the green tomato tips.

Recipe Feature
Fried Green Tomatoes
2 medium to large green tomatoes, sliced thick
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup flour, seasoned to taste (salt, pepper, cayenne, etc. to taste)
1 cup Panko bread crumbs, or other coating of your choice
1 large egg, beaten with 2 tbsp water (egg wash)
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat butter and olive oil together in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. (If you don't use a nonstick skillet, you'll need to use more butter and/or oil.)

Season the tomato slices with salt and pepper, and coat lightly with flour. Then dip in the egg wash, and coat with bread crumbs. Be sure the outside is completely covered.

Carefully place tomato slices in the heated oil/butter mixture and fry until the bottom is golden brown (4-5 minutes). Carefully flip and repeat on other side. If you have one, a fish spatula works well to flip delicate items with minimal disturbance of the coating.

Once both sides are golden brown, remove to drain on paper towels. Season again to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Recipe: April Finnen

Link of the Week - About Lycopene

According to the Mayo Clinic, "numerous studies correlate high intake of lycopene-containing foods or high lycopene serum levels with reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration." These studies were based on tomato intake, and while it is not clear that lycopene was the sole reason since tomatoes are high in a number of nutrients including lycopene, study participants who ate a lot of tomatoes fared better than those who didn't. So enjoy those tomatoes!

Summer Creek Farm
15209 Mud College Road
Thurmont, MD 21788
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