oven-fried green tomatoes with garlic and onion yogurt sauce

our garden is vomiting tomatoes right now and as a result i am vomiting happiness and sorry that's gross i didn't mean to get on the subject of vomiting...

what i mean is, i've been having fresh tomatoes at just about every meal these days and it's glorious. tomatoes in my breakfast salad, tomatoes and basil on toast, tomatoes shoveled into my mouth on a homemade pita that i just can't eat without feeling really really bad for peeta mellark. 

i may be dressed like it's fall, because outside the mosquitos are monsters and the air conditioning inside is blasting hard, but i've been dining like a summer queen because our garden is nailing it this year, if i do say so myself. i guess it helps to be married to a farmer.

i am a winter girl but with tomatoes, i forget about that.

my love for fried green tomatoes began four years ago at the now-closed sel de mer, in williamsburg. i wrote kind of an awkward ode to their fried green tomatoes here. (tl/dr: it was like a green tomato donut and it was perfect in every way.) but because i am such a wimp when it comes to deep frying, today i am showing you an oven fried version-- you can eat about three times as many as the fried kind before you feel all barfy. and with the amount of tomatoes coming out of my garden, i need all the help i can get eating these guys. did i mention i'm having a tomato party tonight? i don't think my guests know it yet, i should probably go warn them...

ooh and there's a sauce! it's oniony and garlicky and kind of like a lighter fresher version of french onion dip. v easy to make and if you have some sumac lying around, i recommend adding a pinch, but it's not necessary.


oven-fried green tomatoes with garlic and onion yogurt sauce

makes 4-6 servings

ingredients

4 large green tomatoes (or 6 smaller ones)

kosher salt and black pepper

3/4 c flour

1 1/2 c panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika

2 large eggs

1/4 c buttermilk

sauce:

4 cloves garlic, smashed

1/2 purple onion, finely chopped

1/2 c plain greek yogurt

kosher salt and black pepper

clues

preheat the oven to 400f and place an oven-frying rack (or metal cooling rack) over a large baking sheet and set it aside.

cut the tomatoes into thick slices and season both sides with salt and pepper.

set up three bowls: one with the flour, one with the panko, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and one with the eggs and buttermilk (beat them to combine). coat each tomato slice in flour, and then the egg mixture, and then the panko and then place on the oven-frying rack one inch apart. spray the tops with cooking spray and then bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. let cool slightly before serving.

to make the sauce, mix together the garlic, onion, and yogurt, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

enjoy!


-yeh!

thank you so much to edyn for sponsoring this post! these tomatoes and all of the other goodies from my garden were grown with the help of a handy new gadget called the edyn garden sensor, which is a device that sticks in your garden to relay tips and information about moisture, lighting, soil nutrition, and a whole bunch of other fun stuff to your phone. it also tells you when your plants are about to ripen! so you can know in advance when you need to start planning your own tomato party. it works in wifi, so if you're looking to check one of these puppies out, make sure your garden gets wifi or you can use a repeater. if you're a beginning gardener, a full on farmer who wants to geek out (hi, eggboy), or somewhere in between, check it out!

the county fair!

it's happened. i've suddenly found myself knee-deep in county fair culture and i don't see myself ever coming back. and i don't think i need to because there are multiple county fairs every weekend during the summer in minnesota and north dakota. multiple! is that normal? are you not technically a county unless you throw a fair every summer with fried food and creeptastic rides and 4-h ponies?

i'm really tempted to spend an entire summer only going to county fairs on my weekends for a statewide county fair tour. i think i would learn a lot. even just from going to this one, i witnessed my first cow competition, met the biggest bunnies i've ever seen in my life, and learned all about cat diabetes from a presentation by a kid who is sure to be a future veterinarian of america. there was also an actual hay growing competition

this whole time i thought that fairs were just about the fried food, but i've been proven wrong. 

i can't wait until i get to go to the state fair, where there is all of this fried madness and, rumor has it, an entire barn where you can watch animals giving birth. i meannnnnnn....whoa.

how was your weekend??

-yeh!


p.s. read all about what i ate at the county fair in last week's grub street diet!

pictured: bag // dress

chocolate mint cake with mint buttercream frosting

whoops! i lied. i told you i was giving you three fresh mint recipes this week but actually i'm giving you four. so go ahead, smooch everyone, because you're gonna have really good breath.

eggboy and i are off on a road trip to chicago for one really quick second before wheat harvest starts. we're gonna eat car snacks and listen to the third plate on tape and hopefully not have to stop at too many gas station potties along the way, and when we arrive, we are going to eat many many tacos!

we're gonna miss macaroni, but they'll get to have some quality grandma and grandpa time :)

have a great weekend, everybody!

this cake is a nice rich chocolatey moist thing that's been infused with fresh mint leaves and frosted all ombré-like, making it the cool kid in school. the frosting also has mint in it! it is double mint. like the gum, but better.


chocolate mint cake with buttercream frosting

makes one 2-layer 8-inch cake

ingredients

cake:

about 8 fresh mint leaves

1 1/4 c whole milk

1 3/4 c sugar

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour

3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 c flavorless oil, like canola

1 tb vanilla extract

2 large eggs

3/4 c boiling water

frosting:

about 8 fresh mint leaves

2 c unsalted butter

4 c powdered sugar

a good pinch of salt

assembly:

green food coloring

 

clues

cake: 

preheat oven to 350.

grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment.

muddle the fresh mint leaves in a saucepan and pour in the milk. bring to a simmer over medium heat, and keep it at a low simmer (lowering the level of the heat as needed), stirring often, for 15 minutes. remove it from the heat, strain out the mint leaves, and measure out 1 cup of milk. set it aside to cool slightly. discard the remaining milk and mint leaves. 

in a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. in a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs. (make sure that the milk has cooled enough so that it doesn't cook the eggs!) whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then stir in the boiling water. pour into cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes.

let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn the cakes onto a lightly greased cooling rack.

frosting:

muddle the fresh mint leaves in a saucepan and add the butter. melt the butter and heat over medium low for 15 minutes, stirring. strain out the mint leaves and then add the butter to a large bowl. place the bowl in an ice bath and use an electric mixer to beat it until it becomes pale and fluffy. beat in the sugar and salt.

assembly:

once your cakes are fully cooled, level them. place one layer on a cake board, spread a thick layer of frosting on top, and then place the other layer on top of that. use an offset spatula to frost a thin layer of frosting all over for a crumb coat. place the cake in the freezer or refrigerator so that the crumb coat firms up. divide the remaining frosting into five bowls and color four of them with green food coloring, increasing the amount of coloring for each bowl, so the colors get darker and darker. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with the white frosting and pipe around the top edge of the cake. Once you’ve made a complete rotation, squeeze out all of the remaining frosting from the bag and then fill it with the lightest green and pipe directly next to the frosting that you just piped on. Repeat until you’ve covered the whole cake. Use a bench scraper to scrape off all of the excess frosting and create smooth edges. Scrape off the bench scraper each time you scrape down the cake. (for some helpful cake decorating tips, go here.)

enjoy!


-yeh!

this post features wooden measuring cups, measuring spoons, a mixing spoon, and a spatula from one of my most favorite makers, polder's old world market. it is a family-owned company that makes some of the most beautiful handmade wooden kitchen utensils that i've ever used. i've had these goodies for months now and i use them nearly every day. they are the sponsors of this post and from now until the end of the month, they are offering 25% off of all orders with the code yeh25! thanks so much, polder's!!!

also pictured in this post: cake stand // mixing bowl // saucepan

one bunch of mint, three courses: ras el hanout chicken pitas + tabbouleh + yogurt sundaes

i have a really complicated relationship with herbs because, 

1) i love them

2) but apparently not enough to be able to keep them alive when i grow them myself

3) and apparently not enough to use them up before they go bad when i buy big massive bunches at the store.

this summer, eggboy has officially put me to shame in the herb growing department because he has been spearheading our garden and suddenly these past few days we are up to our ears in basil and rosemary. (get at me, pesto!) i kind of get it because he is a farmer. but one problem this doesn't solve is our love of fresh mint because we have been told *multiple* times not to grow it, since once it starts growing it does not stop until your whole yard is covered in mint. so fresh mint coffee, fresh mint milk shakes, fresh mint everything else doesn't make it into our lives as much as i'd like it to, but when it does and i spring for the big bunch from the store, we have to use it up, quick like a bunny. 

does anyone else have this problem with herbs or just me?

so taking a cue from these one ingredient, five dinners articles, i've got three (3!) fresh mint recipes here! the first is a tasty chicken pita that uses a hefty dose of my new favorite spice mix, ras el hanout, which is common in moroccan cooking. each spice maker has a different (secret) recipe, but it is often heavy on the coriander, cinnamon, and cumin. to give you your ancient grain fix for the day, the pitas are paired with a nice refreshing cucumber and tomato tabbouleh with mint. and for dessert: a fresh mint sundae, complete with homemade chocolate magic shell and yogurt in place of the ice cream for a healthier twist.

two of these recipes, the pita and the tabbouleh, come from blue apron, the magic meal subscription service that i'm obsessed with because it is basically a grown-up lunchable in that you get perfectly portioned ingredients in cute individual packages. (in other words, the perfectly portioned ingredients is one of my favorite answers to my herb conundrum.) every time my box is delivered i squeal out of cuteness and sigh out of relief that i don't have to put on pants to go to the grocery store and clap in excitement, especially if there's mint involved. all of the blue apron recipes that i've had are so freaking good and there are a bunch that i'm still itching to try, like five spice pork buns and spring miso rameni'll get to the recipes now but see below for some more info on blue apron and a link to get some free meals!


ras el-hanout chicken pitas

adapted from blue apron

makes 2

ingredients

1/2 c plain greek yogurt

1/2 cucumber, grated

1 clove garlic, smashed

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper, to taste

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tb ras el-hanout

4 tsp flavorless oil

2 plain, pocketless pitas

a handful of mint leaves

1 tb pistachios

 

clues

first, make your yogurt sauce by mixing together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. set it aside.

pat the chicken dry with paper towels. season both sides with salt, pepper, and the ras el-hanout. heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large pan over medium-high until hot. add the chicken and cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum foil, for 3-5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. transfer to a cutting board and set aside to cool slightly. 

add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan, let it heat up, and then heat the pitas for about 30 seconds per side, until warm. 

to assemble, thinly slice the cooked chicken on an angle. spread a layer of yogurt sauce onto each pita, divide the chicken between the pitas, and top with pistachios and mint leaves. enjoy! 


cherry tomato & cucumber tabbouleh

adapted from blue apron

makes 2 servings

ingredients

1/4 c bulgur

4 oz cherry tomatoes, chopped into wedges

1/2 cucumber, chopped

a small handful of mint leaves

1 clove garlic, smashed

juice of 1/2 lemon

a drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

clues

heat a small pot of salted water over high heat. once it boils, add the bulgur and cook 12-14 minutes, until tender. drain it and return it to the pot. add the tomatoes, cucumber, mint (tear the leaves just before adding it), garlic, and lemon juice. drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

enjoy! 


chocolate mint yogurt sundaes

makes 2

ingredients

3 tb chocolate chips

1 tb coconut oil

2 large mint leaves

1/2 c plain yogurt

clues

in a small microwave-safe dish, microwave the chocolate chips and coconut oil in 15-second increments, stirring after each, until melted.

chop up your mint leaves and divide them between two small bowls. using a muddler or the back of a spoon, crush the leaves and rub them all over the inside of the bowl. divide the yogurt between the two bowls and top with chocolate sauce.

enjoy!


-yeh!

thank you soooo much, blue apron, for sponsoring this post! i love you guys! some additional information on blue apron: they offer two meal plans, one two-person plan that delivers three meals per week and one four-person (family-style) plan that can deliver two or four meals per week. pricing is under $10 per person per meal and shipping is always included. blue apron ships to most of the country (they just added texas!) and the meals come shipped in refrigerated boxes, so even if you're not home to receive the boxes, they'll keep for a bit until you get there. there are a ton of awesome recipes, which can all be prepared in 40 minutes or less and they're each 500-700 calories per person. the blue apron chefs are always adding new recipes as well and if you're wanting to skip a week or cancel, you can do that at any time.

if you're wanting to try blue apron, click here! the first 50 who do will get their first two meals free!