Fried Green Tomatoes are Southern Comfort – Alabama

When you travel through the Heart of Dixie, as the state of Alabama is known, you’ll undoubtedly see fried green tomatoes listed as either a main course or a side dish on menus in dining establishments ranging from humble meat-and-three roadside diners to more upscale sit-down spots. The association between the dish and the state harks back to the 1991 movie of the

GreenTom.081 label

same name, set around the fictional Whistle Stop Café near Birmingham. Truth be told, we can’t actually say if the dish has its origins anywhere near Alabama, since it’s found on dinner tables throughout the South. But the hot, fried slices – which you can either pan-fry or deep-fry – have become undeniably associated with the state, courtesy of Fannie Flagg’s quintessentially Southern novel. If you’ve never tried this dish, what we can say for sure is that the pairing of fried cornmeal-flour batter with the tart and firm flesh of unripe fruit is irresistible – especially when served with a cool dipping sauce (we chose ranch dressing). Pour a glass of ice-cold sweet tea to go along with it, and you’ve got yourself some good eatin.’

If you’re headed to sweet home Alabama, check out the Whistlestop Festival in Irondale, September 27, 2014.

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 Recipe courtesy of Phyllis Foster of Athens, Ala., used with permission.

Ingredients

  • 4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk (or buttermilk)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Ranch dressing for dipping

Instructions

In a deep fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees. Season tomatoes on both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix flour, cornmeal, garlic powder, cayenne and paprika in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat eggs with the milk. First dredge tomatoes through the flour mixture, then the egg wash, and then back through the flour mixture again. Add only a few pieces to the fryer at a time, so pieces cook evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain on paper towels and serve with buttermilk ranch dressing.

Ooey, Gooey, From St. Louie: Gooey Butter Cake – Missouri

Definitely a mistake. A mistake turned delicious anyway. Gooey Butter Cake is to St. Louis as deep dish pizza is to Chicago. According to the New York Times, fork-lore has it that in the 1930s,

Gooey Butter Cake - Missouri

a St. Louis baker added too much shortening, butter or sugar while making a cake. Not wanting to waste the ingredients this being the middle of the Depression, the baker tried to sell the cake anyhow. Customers loved it and Gooey Butter Cake was born.

Continue reading

BPT is GR8: Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich – Iowa

The breaded pork tenderloin — or BPT for those in the know — is such a simple thing. Just a piece of pork tenderloin pounded thin, dipped in an egg wash, battered, then fried.

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A restaurant in Indiana actually claims to have invented the BPT, but when it comes to pork, Iowa is the country’s top producer, with over 10 billion pounds produced in 2012. Heavens to piggy! The BPT is very close to its German cousin, the schnitzel, the only real difference being that schnitzel is pan fried while the BPT takes a deep oil bath. You can find BPTs all over the Hawkeye State in drive-ins, dive bars, and diners.

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Pecan Crusted Trout – Wyoming

Ah, Wyoming. Big sky country. From Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park in the northwest, Devils Tower in the northeast, to Fossil Butte Monument in the southwest, the Cowboy State is hardly lacking in scenic trails for hiking or biking, breathtaking vistas for wildlife watching, and winding rivers for boating, rafting and fishing.

Pecan Crusted TroutThe cutthroat trout is the official state fish of Wyoming. This fish with four subspecies found in the state used to swim in abundance but their numbers have dwindled in recent years due to development, drought and introduction of non-native trout species that overwhelmed the cutthroat. Some conservation groups petitioned the federal government to place the cutthroat on the endangered species list but were unsuccessful. Conservationists are still concerned, particularly with the native Yellowstone cutthroat.

But don’t worry, most of the trout available in U.S. supermarkets is farmed-raised according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. It is marketed as rainbow, golden or steelhead trout and because it’s sustainable and abundant, it’s considered a “best choice.” This recipe pairs the flaky fish with the nutty crunch of pecans, a flavor duo made in heaven.

Taste of the Tetons is coming to Jackson Hole, September 7, 2014, part of the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival.

Pecan Crusted Trout

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 30 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 trout fillets
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard

Instructions

Toast pecans by placing them in a skillet on medium heat, continually tossing the nuts in the pan so they do not burn. Cook until the nuts brown just a bit and you can smell them toasting, about 5 minutes. Once cool to the touch, chop finely or pulse in the food processor a few times.

Combine the chopped nuts with the other dry ingredients and the chopped herbs. In a separate bowl, combine butter and mustard. Brush the mustard mixture over the fish fillets. Add nut mixture, pressing firmly to the fish so it adheres. Transfer the fish to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, crust side up. Baked in preheated oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until fish is flaky.

 

 

Deep Dish Pizza is Numero Uno – Illinois

No other place in the country embraces deep dish pizza like Chicago. This delicious amalgam of buttery crust, gooey mozzarella cheese

Deep Dish Pizza - Illinois

and tangy tomato sauce — a definite knife and fork affair — has been around since at least the 1940s but who first created the dish is bitterly disputed in pizza-centric circles. Pizzeria Uno claims that proprietors Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo came up with the recipe but no documentation exists to support this claim, according to the Chicago Tribune. Two employees of Pizzeria Uno, Rudy Malnati, Sr., and Alice Mae Redmond may have been the true inventors. Continue reading

Juicy Lucy – Minnesota

The origins of the first Juicy Lucy — a cheese-stuffed burger — are a bit murky. Our theory is that a Jonas, Sven or Nils from days of yore craved a tasty morsel to ward off the ten or so months of winter in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Sounds good, right?

Juicy Lucy

Two venerable Minneapolis institutions each claim to have invented the carnivorous concoction and each claim to make the best Juicy Lucy. Twin Cities dwellers fall into two camps: pro Matt’s and pro 5-8 Club and the rivalry is similar to the cheesesteak battle between Geno’s and Pat’s on the south side of Philly. Matt’s claims Continue reading

Huckleberry Hounds – Montana

Northwest Montana is home to the edible purple orb known as the huckleberry. A close cousin to the blueberry, this delectable fruit grows best between elevations of 3,500 and 7,000 feet, in forests with about 50 percent tree cover. Wild huckleberries are so treasured in the state that in 2007, Montana passed legislation that made it a misdemeanor to label a product “huckleberry” if it contains any other fruit.

Huckleberry Tea Cake

The huckleberry has never been successfully grown commercially so if you want a taste of these sweet jewels, you’ll have to get thee out to Montana and get to picking. The North Fork and Big Mountain Continue reading

Feel the Need for Spiedies – New York

Never heard of spiedies? That must mean you aren’t a native of the Southern Tier of New York, specifically Binghamton, where it is believed Italian immigrants introduced the famous marinated-meat sandwich in the 1920s. The name spiedie likely comes from the

Spiedies

Italian words for “spit” (as in rotisserie) and “skewer” – and accordingly, the sauced-up meat in spiedies (generally chicken, pork or lamb) is threaded on skewers, cooked on a barbecue grill and served on slices of soft Italian bread. You can buy commercial spiedies sauce as it’s called, but it’s very easy to make at home with Continue reading

Some Fin Tasty, Salmon Bites – Alaska

We didn’t have to mullet over too much, King salmon is dolphinitely our pick for Alaska. The state fish, also known as Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, can weigh over 100 pounds. Holy Mackerel!

Slamon Bites

Just thinking about the size of the Land of the Midnight Sun gives us a haddock, it’s twice the size of Texas with over 573,000 square miles. We don’t mean to carp on and on, but with 34,000 miles of coastline, seafood is a top commodity for the state, providing over half of the nation’s commercially harvest fish.

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You Like Us! You Really Like Us!

Lindsay H., over at Bites and Balance nominated us for a Liebster award!

Liebster

 

 

This award is given from bloggers to bloggers that have smaller followings to help promote their blog and get their names out there!

Once you are nominated, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • Answer the 10 Liebster questions give to you by the blogger who nominated you
  • Select 10 blogs with a small following to nominate for the award
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees
  • Link back to your nominator
  • Inform each of your nominees of your nomination

Thanks Lindsay for the nom! Be sure to check out Lindsay’s great tips for exercise, eating healthy and in moderation.

Here are Lindsay’s Liebster Questions:

  1. If you could visit any place in the world where would it be?

Korea, because the StateEat Kitchen kids are adopted from there and we’ve never been.

2. Are you a cat or dog person? Or just not a pet person?

Dog. We just don’t get cats.

3. What is your daily breakfast routine?

Greek yogurt, plain or vanilla, with some fresh fruit, sprinkled with homemade granola. Yes. Every. Single. Day.

4. What is your favorite go-to summer recipe?

That’s a hard one, we have so many. Bruschetta or tomatoes caprese are both easy and delish and make a weekly appearance in the summer.

5. Where do you go or what do you to do relax and de-stress?

To the gym to either lift weights or do yoga.

6. What workout fad have you been itching to try?

Body Barre. Looks fun and will bring us right back to those ballet classes from our youth.

7.  What was your favorite television show as a child?

The Brady Bunch. Marcia, Marcia Marcia! Pork chops and applesauce!

8. If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?

Oooh, getting HDR here (heavy, deep and real). But seriously, we would eliminate hate. The world needs more peace and love.

9. Where/what is your favorite restaurant?

Another tough one but Café Spiaggia in Chicago is one of the first places we went to when we moved here years ago and it is still tops.

10. What’s your favorite tech gadget?

We can do it all (almost) with the iPhone.

Sooooooo, here are our nominations:

Here are our Liebster Questions:

  1.  What’s your favorite comfort food?
  2.  Where would you like to travel that you’ve never been?
  3.  What is a killer-good dish that you make that impresses everyone?
  4. What song whisks you right back to high school when you hear it?
  5. What is a food or dish you never eat?
  6. Who has served as a role model for you?
  7. Name one ingredient you cannot live without.
  8. What have you discovered about blogging that you didn’t know when you started?
  9. What is a weird food combination that you love that doesn’t sound appealing but is really delicious?
  10. What is the last book you read and loved?

 

Highlighting food from our 50 states

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