Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Card Arrives

When I checked the mail I found a cowboy in the mailbox who came all the way from Oklahoma. I thought about cowboy coffee and campfire beans. Thank you to Francy for sending the card as part of the post card blogging event hosted by Meeta at What's for Lunch Honey. Visit Meeta to see names of all of the participants and the cards they received.

Dieter goes to SFBI

Dieter is currently enrolled in the Artisan Breads I class at the San Francisco Baking Institute. After this week he'll be in the Artisan Breads II class for another week. I spoke to him tonight and he made thirteen baguettes yesterday. Who would think there was so much to learn about making baguettes? He is staying at a hotel close to the school and apparently the staff there was happy to get some of the extra fresh loaves of bread. One of the students in the class has been taking photos and posting them on the internet. If you are interested in seeing what is going on at the San Francisco Baking Institute for the next week take a look here. Artisan Breads I. Click on SFBI day 1. I sure miss Mr. Dieter.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Breakfast: Tomato Milk Gravy Sandwich

I would be hard pressed to find a more southern recipe than this one. This recipe originally came from the kitchen of “Miz Evelina Thompson” of Mississippi via the “A Taste of the Gulf Coast” cook book into my home. I had mail ordered this book along with some other cook books and upon seeing the tropical cliché design of the jacket and pages I was put off and didn’t give it second glance. Well over a year later I reopened this book desperate for a new fish dish and started reading the recipies. As it turns out this book is a treasure of southern cooking, well edited family recipes assembled by Jessie Tirsch. What still disturbs me is the design of the book does in no manner of speaking reflect the personal and regional nature of the recipes. For example, the tomato gravy recipe presented here speaks volumes of Miz Eveline Thompson. When you're well seated and enjoying this dish, try closing your eyes and you may see Miz Eveline standing by her stove carefully turning the bacon.

Open-Faced Fried Tomato and Bacon Sandwiches with Tomato Milk Gravy
Makes four servings
  • 12 strips of bacon
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 medium ripe but firm tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 8 slices white bread ( home made if you have some)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

    1) Fry the bacon in a large, cast-iron skillet until it's crisp and brown. Remove the bacon, reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat, and wipe the excess grease out of the skillet. Drain the bacon on paper towels and keep warm in a 200 degree oven.
    2) In a shallow bowl combine 3/4 cup flour with 3 tablespoons basil, the salt, and pepper. Cut the tomatoes into 1/3-inch slices.
    3) Return the reserved bacon fat to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons (olive oil) oil and heat until the fat is sizzling hot, but not smoking. Quickly dredge the tomato slices in the flour mixture. Fry the tomato slices in
    batches until they are evenly brown but not falling apart, about 5 minutes on one side, then 2 to 3 minutes on the other. Take the skillet off the heat, remove the tomatoes, and drain on paper towels. *Set aside 6 of the softest tomato slices, and keep the rest warm. Start toasting the bread.
    (*Cooks Note: After frying all the tomatoes set aside 6, the falling apart ones are good for this)
    4) Place skillet back over medium heat and add remaining oil ( 1 tablespoon olive oil) Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon
    flour and whisk for 1 minute, taking care not to let the flour bum. Reduce heat to lowand gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Add the 6 soft tomato slices, one at a time, and whisk to liquefy the tomato after each addition.(Cooks note: I do this with a fork)
    5) To assemble, place 2 slices of toast on each plate. Cover the bread with 3 strips of bacon. Arrange tomato slices on top and spoon some of the sauce over all. Garnish with the remaining 3 tablespoons basil and serve, or serve with poached or fried eggs for a hearty meal.
  • Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    The Dilemma of the Working Class

    We pose the question once again do you or do you not garnish? (and we don't mean your wages). Does anyone really have the time? Do you care? We know of one person who vehemently garishes. We will find out if our postcard buddy garnishes or not because we are participating in the post card blogging event hosted by meeta at What's for Lunch Honey. The postcard here will be mailed today to our postcard buddy. We can't tell you who that is (its a secret). We'll see what happens...