8.20.2014

Buttermilk Fried Green Tomatoes W/ Spicy Sweet Corn Slaw + My Thoughts On Ferguson Mo.

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“We'll walk hand in hand, we'll walk hand in hand, 
We'll walk hand in hand someday; 
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe, 
We'll walk hand in hand someday.” 
                                   --- We Shall Overcome, Key Anthem of the Civil Rights Movement 


This is inherently a food blog, which I know.
However, social media is a platform- one that in this day and age is stronger than any traditional letter writing or phone calls could ever be. Food is never a respite in the matters of the day. If anything we head to the table to vent, to collectively tell the tales of the days, weeks, and months. This morning I’m feeling some type of way about the situation in Ferguson Missouri. Saddened, disheartened, or as my mother said yesterday.. Defeated.

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As I read article after article, watch media coverage and hear first-hand accounts from my friend as he currently nurses his eyes from the tear gas residue. Tear gas that was thrown at his camera as he reports for CNN.
“They’re throwing that shit at everyone, from the news trucks to the kids in the streets.” 
This is killing me. It has killed me since it was first reported.
The anger, I understand.. That I truly do. Every time I stare at my 3 year old son, the anger bubbles over to rage. For he is Michael Brown.
But as Gil Scott Heron told us, “The revolution will not be televised” 
We are not seeing the peaceful protest or those begging for justice, both black and white rallying in the streets in solidarity. We’re shown coverage of looters and rioters violating that of their own community. There is no justice in that.
There is no peace in robbing your local grocer of the food that is there to sustain you, my brothers and sisters. This is just perpetuating the myth that the use of “excessive force” is supposedly justified by. You can’t say “hands up don’t shoot” and in the same breath throw a brick through the window of a store front.
How is this helping the cause of our dialog?
Why would they not shoot?

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We have been here before, we will continue to exist on this precise of inequality if we do not exercise the rights that our ancestors protested, fought and died for.
Go and vote-exercise that right, you don’t like the laws of the day, well fight them, legally, peacefully. Turn the anger into a thirst for knowledge and learn that law better than those who use it against you. No, we should not go quietly into the night but we should also not create turmoil on our own front lawn. Accountability, we must take it. Look amongst ourselves and the disrespect in our own community. We are so eager to create warfare behind the injustice of this shooting but say nothing of the anarchy happening on the streets of Chicago. That is our problem also. So again, tell me why they should not shoot?
More so tell me this; would our ancestors be proud of what we’ve become?
We do not need Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson or the National Guard. We need each other.
..We will not survive without understanding.

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What’s it going to take?! To see that we are a community living together here, a community that consists of all ethnicities and that we as a community must remain vigilant. Together we must work to fight against injustice and inequality for everyone. In tandem, we must move onward upward in peace. No tear gas or rubber bullets necessary.
We MUST walk hand in hand. We must walk hand in hand someday.
Until then, I’m gonna keep cooking and praying, wishing.. For I am hopeful
That We Shall Over Come…. Someday.

To Michael Brown. Son of Lesley McSpadden. Grandson of Desuirea Harris. You’re in my thoughts and its weighing heavy on my heart. I prepared this meal with thoughts of you as I pray for justice.
Rest in Eternal Peace… and know that you will not be forgotten.



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Buttermilk Fried Green Tomatoes W- Spicy Sweet Corn Slaw 10 (1 of 1)


Fried Green Tomatoes and I go way back like red light green light. It was rare that we had them, but when we did they would always be fried after soaking in buttermilk. Then topped with this red tomato, cucumber vinegar based "salad". I thought I'd adapted that somewhat with this here simple slaw that has a kick and the sweet crunch of corn. 


Buttermilk Fried Green Tomatoes W/ Spicy Sweet Corn Slaw
Prep Time- 30 mins Cook Time- 15 mins Yields- 6 servings

Ingredients:

4 Green Tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons coarse salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Peanut Oil, for frying

For the Slaw:
2 ears fresh corn, shucked and kernels removed
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cups green cabbage shredded
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, finely shredded
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon.
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper 


Directions:
Add buttermilk to a medium size bowl. In a separate bowl add the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper.
Place each slice into the buttermilk, then dredge in flour mixture to completely coat.
In a large skillet, pour peanut oil until there is about an inch of oil in your skillet. This will vary depending on the size of the skillet you are using.  Heat oil on medium high heat. Place tomato slices in skillet, make sure they are not touching each other. (about 3-4 at a time)
When the tomatoes are golden brown, flip over and fry on the other side.
Remove from skillet and drain on paper towel lined plate.
For the slaw: In a large bowl, combine corn, jalapeno, cabbages, carrot, bell pepper, and cilantro. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour over cabbage mixture stirring to combine.

To assemble, simply place one fried tomato on a plate and top with prepared slaw.

Enjoy!

8.13.2014

Honey Roasted Peach Biscuits …. Tales From The Roadside Vendor…..

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Has it really been over a month since I visited this space?
Time truly files quicker than intended; Even as you slowly make your way down a South Georgia road, in search of peaches. Along every journey, you come across someone or thing. Depending upon how profound that meeting is, it can often change the course of one’s life. When I was 11 years old I ran away from home. Got about a mile down the street and was picked up by Mr. Zechie and his truck full of pecans. He went on to explain that he’d discovered me walking and informed my grandmother that he could use my help that day. So I spent that hot southern summer day selling pecans and watermelon out of the back of his truck. Nothing like dusty gravel and 100 degree sunlight to help put things into prespective. As I laid dying of a heat stroke, I promised to never try and run away again. As a child, I never really understood why we would pile up into Granny’s old cutlass and make our way down highway US70 headed in no particular direction because either way you’ll find what you’re looking for.
As time passed, I would come to understand.

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How Mrs. Ann has the best peaches, you can find her on the way to Milledgeville GA, Mr. Zechie and his flavorful pecans right outside the exit for Smithfield NC, and the gentleman that was parked on the way to Conyers GA, with the kind eyes and the sweetest strawberries. So I found myself driving one day, with no direction in particular. Looking for peaches and maybe a story or memory of some sort, one that talks of time passed that I could share with others. I discovered both on a South Georgia highway and thought I’d share in the form of biscuits.

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It was early July, and about 100 degrees outside when I came across a little wooden house with a sign for fresh peaches and homemade molasses. I stopped of course, I mean molasses why not. My teenage daughter was with me and noticed a crooked tree in the field along the side of the house. It stood out amongst all the others mainly because of its awkward shape but also the tree’s bark seemed to be white. We bought several bags of peaches and a few ears of corn and as we were leaving my daughter asked about the tree in the field.
 “Oh, the tree was struck by lightning 23 years ago, never been the same since.” Says the petite peach pusher in a worn straw hat.
 Fully intrigued by this twisted tree we decided to walk over to take a closer look as I regretted not bringing my camera. After a while the little lady joins us and talks about the field and how she’s witness the winds of time change these lands.
“Yea, that lightening stuck that tree while my husband was standing by it. The tree lived but he didn’t”
I missed the end at first until it replayed in my head and I found myself repeating how sorry I was for her loss. (Never mind how long ago it was)
 “I ain’t sorry, he was a real pain in the ass. Y’all come back again; I’ll have figs and a few muscadines in about a week”

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Let’s eat some biscuits…

Honey Roasted Peach Biscuits
Prep Time- 35 mins Cook Time- 30 mins for roasting + 10-15 mins for baking Yield A dozen + a few extra. 

The biscuit is a basic cream biscuit; it’s the simplest way to make biscuits from scratch and can be transformed into an incredible variety of the most amazing biscuits just by adding anything from fresh herbs to peaches. 

Ingredients: 
8 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
3 cups self-rising flour
2 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg
1 tablespoon cream
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling.


Directions:
Heat oven to 350 In a large bowl, toss chopped peaches in lemon juice. Then add in brown sugar, cardamom and honey and toss to coat. Add peaches to baking sheet and roast until peaches are tender, about 25-30 minutes, turning them over with a wooden spoon about 10 minutes into roasting. Remove from the oven and set aside to add to biscuit dough. In a separate large bowl, add self-rising flour. Make a well in the center and pour in heavy cream. Stir together just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the sticky dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle the top with a light dusting of more flour, Using floured hands, fold the dough in half and then pat into about ½ inch thick. Flour again if necessary and fold the dough in half for a second time. If the dough is still clumpy, pat and fold a third time. Now pat the dough out into about ½ inch thick rectangle, add roasted peaches to one side of the dough. Fold the other side over top of the peaches and gently pat down keeping the rectangular shape. Add remaining peaches to one side of the dough and fold over top again patting gently. At this point, I used a knife to cut them into squares. Feel free to use a biscuit cutter if you want to stick with the traditional circular shape. Place cut biscuits onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1 inch apart. In a small bowl, mix the egg with the cream and brush the tops of each biscuit with the egg wash. Sprinkle each biscuit with a light dusting of Turbinado sugar. This step is optional but it gave the biscuits a nice golden color with a bit of a sweet crunch on the tops. Bake biscuits in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve while hot.

6.25.2014

Ancho Chili Lime Pineapple Popsicles….. #Popsicleweek

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It’s popsicle week… Just in time to combat the 6,000 degree weather here in Hotlanta..
Let me tell you.. Popsicle molds and my freezer are like Solange and Jay-Z. I’ll put the molds in the freezer thinking it’s all good, but as soon as the door closes my freezers jack-up settings go all crazy on the molds and only freeze them to this slush like state that really ain’t that cute..
So I struggle, then turn the settings up to something strange and then everything in my entire fridge turns into a of block ice.. But the molds freeze and give me ice pops for days.. so problem solved..  So what if everything else is frozen..
These were going to be some type of watermelonish ice pops.. because.. Beyonce and Surfboards and “we be all night” would of made for a great post… WaterMELON…
But then I made them and they really turned out to be sorta basic..


Since basic bitches need not apply..I rethought my idea, then sent someone to the store for another watermelon.. And they came back with 2 pineapples..



 This proved 2 things.. One, the people in my house don’t listen to me.. Two, the people in my house
 don’t listen to me..



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So with my 2 pineapples and an attitude behind the fact that I’m ignored more often than expected, I made margaritas and these here kick ass Ancho Chili Lime Pineapple Popsicles.. The spiciness from the chili-lime infused syrup adds an intense flavor to these pops. That same syrup turned out to be major when added to tequila.. Just saying.. you might wanna try that too...

If spice ain’t your thang, dial it back a notch to tone down the heat. But honestly, what’s life without a little spice..


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I’m dedicating all the gif’s seen to my "hey bebe boo" Billy over at Wit & Vinegar who has put together yet another legit group of folks to help you get down with some popsicle realness.. He out did himself this year by making the unofficial/official spokeswoman aka the shade throwing queen of butterflies and wind machines. Mariah Carey..



Head over to Wit & Vinegar to peep all the popsicling going on this week..
Until next time my good people…



Ancho Chili Lime Pineapple Popsicles
Makes 8-10 popsicles


Ingredients:
1 cup water
Juice of 2 limes
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 pineapple, diced (about 4 ½ cups)


Directions:
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine water and sugar, stirring until mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved. Add in lime juice and chili powder, lower heat and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes. 
Add 2 cups of the diced pineapple to a blender or food processor, add in chili-lime syrup and blend until smooth..
Drop the remaining diced pineapples into each mold, dividing them up evenly. Pour the blended pineapple mixture evenly between the molds over the diced pineapples. (I used a popsicle stick to push the pineapples to the bottom once the mixture was poured over the top) Place molds in the freezer for about 30 minutes... then place the popsicle sticks in each mold.
Freeze until solid. This will vary depending upon your freezer. Some might achieve this in 4-5 hours.. if your like me it might take 4-5 days.. I’m kidding.. sorta…