August 9, 2011
Tomato. A beautiful heirloom named Simone.
You may or may not remember, at the beginning of the summer I planted some tomatoes…and had no clue what I was doing. Well, turns out I did a pretty good job. The tomato plants are flourishing and growing so tall making Mama (me) very proud. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my herbs. Seems they were taken over by the weeds or just felt under-loved and died on me. May they R.I.P. Except for the basil! Go basil go. We are growing strong and tall and not going to waste as I have been using in salads, to make pesto and in sauce…as below.
Back to my new baby…Simone. It was just this weekend I noticed this first tomato turned the bright and beautiful color yellow. Her complexion so smooth and her skin perfectly ripened. She was a sure fire ready to be picked. I also noticed my cherry tomatoes started to turn red. One in particular which the little man snatched up and popped into his mouth before I could say let’s pick it. He loved every bite of that juicy little tomato.
Tonight’s dinner is chicken parm with a caesar salad and garlic bread. I wanted to debut Simone in a special way so I thought it would be nice to add some cheese and top each piece of garlic bread with a piece of my baby. She did so well. I cannot wait to eat her sisters…
Recipe for the chicken parm…my LM and husband’s favorite:
1 package of thinly sliced chicken breast
plate full of flour
plate full of breadcrumbs mixed with a palmful of parmesan
2 eggs beaten with garlic salt
corn oil for frying
1 16 oz. bag of shredded mozzerella cheese
Set up your station of plates. Take your chicken and dredge in the flour, dip through the egg and pat into the breadcrumbs. Set aside for up to 30 minutes. While chicken is resting prepare your sauce…
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 small vidalia onion finely chopped
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
2 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar
handful of basil (I picked mine from the garden and the leaves were small so I left them whole)
salt and pepper
Heat a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic and onion and sweat them out for a few minutes till they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and brown sugar and stir. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the basil and salt and pepper to taste.
Note: If you’re going to make some pasta as a side…do it now. I made a spinach fettucine. And then forgot to serve it. That’s right.
Onto frying…First preheat your oven to 375. Now, heat your corn oil in a non stick pan over medium high heat. Fry your chicken cutlets in batches till golden brown about 2-4 minutes per side. Clean the pan as you go if it gets too brown. Place on paper towels to drain as you remove from the pan.
Time to assemble…in a 9×13″ dish, cover the bottom with your sauce. Add the chicken cutlets and top with more sauce to cover. Add your shredded cheese and top with some parmaesaen. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the tinfoil and bake for another 2 minutes so cheese can brown. Serve immediately with your pasta…and if you’re as adventurous as me…a caesar salad and cheesy tomato garlic bread!