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La Belle Cuisine - More Lagniappe * Recipes

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"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."

*Lagniappe (lan-yap)  - a little something extra,
that little unexpected pleasant surprise.


How good does it get? Tomatoes and corn...



Seasonal 468 x 60 

"The best way to eat them is in the garden, warm and pungent from the vine,
so that one can suck unashamedly, and bend over if any of the juice escapes."
.~ M. F. K. Fisher, on tomatoes

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Maize, or Indian Corn Plant
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Italian Vegetables III
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Red and Green Tomatoes
Red and Green Tomatoes
Tracey Thompson
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Gibson, Mark
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Close-Up of Lush and Bountiful Field of Corn
Close-Up of Lush and Bountiful Field of Corn

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La Belle Cuisine


How good does it get? Tomatoes and corn...

We just have to say it one more time... How could the marvelous "Country
Garden" cookbook series be all but out of print? Defies comprehension. We
wish you the very best of luck in your search. (And no, ours are not for sale...)


Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with
Sweet Corn and Crab

Tomatoes: A Country Garden Cookbook icon

by Jesse Ziff Cool, 1994, Collins Publishers San Francisco

“Serve these tomatoes as a luscious summery lunch with a simple green
salad. Best served at room temperature, they also travel well as picnic food.”

6 medium ripe tomatoes
1 cup fresh corn kernels, blanched for
3 minutes, then cooled
1 1/2 cups fresh crab, picked clean
[other seafood may be substituted]
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeńos or habańeros
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion or chives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup toasted bread crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
With a sharp paring knife, remove tops of the tomatoes, and cut an opening large enough to scoop out the seeds and as much of the juicy inner flesh as possible. Be sure to leave at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch of tomato flesh around the exterior of the tomato to hold in the filling. Turn tomatoes upside down to drain while you prepare the filling.
In a medium bowl, combine the corn, crab, bell pepper, chilies, green
onions, tarragon and lemon zest. Moisten with mayonnaise to suit your
taste, but enough to hold the mixture together. Season with salt and
pepper. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, butter, and parsley
and salt. Set aside.
Fill the cavities of the tomatoes with crab-and-corn filling. With your
hand, top with a generous amount of the buttered bread crumbs and pat
into place. Place tomatoes upright in a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake for
10 to 15 minutes or until bread crumbs are brown. Allow to cool to room
temperature. Serves 4 to 6.

"Sex is good, but not as good as fresh sweet corn."
Garrison Keillor

White Corn, Cherry Tomato and Yellow Pepper
Salad with Purple Basil

Corn: A Country Garden Cookbook icon

by David Tanis, 1995, Collins Publishers San Francisco

“When the corn, tomatoes and peppers in the garden are at their peak
in flavor, it is time to make this salad. Resist any temptation to make it
out of season. You’ll see why when you taste it.”

4 large ears sweet white corn, such as White Lady
2 large yellow bell peppers
1 pound cherry tomatoes, such as Sweet 100, or
an assortment of small tomatoes of varied colors

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 to 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup purple (or green) basil leaves

Over high heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the corn and
cook for 2 minutes. Allow the corn to cool.
Preheat the broiler or prepare a grill.
Place the bell peppers as close as possible to the heat and roast them,
turning frequently with a pair of tongs for approximately 5 minutes until
the skins blacken and blister. Put the peppers in a paper bag and close
the bag or cover with a towel for 5 minutes; they will steam a little and
be easier to peel. Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the stem and
seeds with a paring knife or fingers. Scrape the flattened peppers with
the knife to remove the charred skin. Do not rinse – water will dilute
the flavor. If necessary, use a paper towel to remove any stubborn bits
of skin or seed. Slice the peppers into 1/2-inch strips. (If you do not
wish to roast the peppers, you can use them raw, but slice as thinly as
Using a sharp knife, slice the corn kernels from the cob and place in a
large, shallow porcelain salad bowl. Add the roasted peppers. Cut each
tomato into halves or quarters and add to the bowl.
In a small bowl, mix together the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and
green onions.
Salt and pepper the vegetables liberally, pour the vinaigrette over the
top, toss gently and let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.
If serving the salad from the bowl, toss gently once more, then garnish
with torn and whole basil leaves. Alternatively, serve on individual plates.
Serves 4.

"Aļoli intoxicates gently, fills the body with warmth, and the soul
with enthusiasm. In its essence it concentrates the strength, the
gaiety of Provence: sunshine."
~ Frederic Mistral

Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy Aļoli
and Crisp Bacon

Tomatoes: A Country Garden Cookbook icon

by Jesse Ziff Cool, 1994, Collins Publishers San Francisco

“When we first started making this dish at my restaurant, we would have to
beg farmers to supply us with unripe tomatoes, especially during the height
of the season. At first they thought we were simply nuts. [Obviously, this did
not take place in the South, where fried green tomatoes are a well-known
and beloved delicacy!] Then we fried them up a sample and we never had
trouble getting them again.”

Spicy Aļoli:
1 teaspoon seeded and chopped
red or green jalapeńo
2 cloves garlic
1 egg yolk *
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
Cayenne pepper, to taste

3 pounds underripe green tomatoes
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups yellow or blue cornmeal
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
2 eggs
Olive oil, bacon fat, or a combination
of both, for frying
6 strips of bacon, fried to a crisp
and crumbled

* Egg Safety Information

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, finely chop the chilies and
garlic. Add the egg yolk and purée. Very gradually, stream in the olive oil, processing constantly, until it thickens to a mayonnaise-like consistency. Season with salt, paprika and lemon juice. Taste for spiciness and add a
pinch of cayenne should you desire it hotter. Chill until ready to serve.
Makes approximately 3/4 cup of aļoli.
While the aļoli is chilling, slice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch slices. You can
use the stem end as long as you remove the eye.
In a small bowl, combine the flour with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the
black pepper. In another small bowl, combine the cornmeal with the
remaining salt and the chopped herbs. Whisk the eggs with a few table-
spoons of water in a third bowl.
Pat the tomatoes dry. Bread each slice as follows: Dust in flour, then the beaten egg and, finally, in the seasoned cornmeal. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan or skillet [a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is perfect!], pour in 1/4 inch of oil or fat. Heat over a high flame until
it smokes slightly. Turn heat down to medium high. Place tomatoes in hot
oil. Brown on one side, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and brown on
the other side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add more oil if neces-
sary, making sure the oil is very hot each time before putting the tomatoes
into it. (If the tomatoes brown before they are soft enough for your taste,
place them in a 375 degrees F. oven on a baking sheet and heat for approx- imately 5 to 10 minutes.)
Serve on a plate with a dollop of spicy aļoli and a sprinkling of crispy bacon. You can fry the tomatoes ahead of time and rewarm them in the oven just before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

[In Louisiana you will often find Fried Green Tomatoes served
with either red or white  Rémoulade Sauce.]

See also Craig Claiborne's Fried Green Tomatoes!

This marvelously simple dish is, in our opinion, nothing short of heaven…

Marinated Cherry Tomatoes with
Warm Provolone Garlic Bread

Tomatoes: A Country Garden Cookbook icon

by Jesse Ziff Cool, 1994, Collins Publishers San Francisco

 “Covering the tomatoes in the marinade is the key to the success of
this simple tomato salad. Spooning the tomatoes over the warm
cheese bread creates a rustic dish that is deeply satisfying.”

2 baskets cherry tomatoes (yellow pears, green grapes,
sweet 100s, or any available miniature ripe tomatoes)
2 green onions, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon  finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon truffle oil (optional)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Provolone Garlic Bread:
4 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large, thick slices of crusty white bread
4 slices Provolone cheese, 1/2 ounce each
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or aged
Italian grana cheese

In a 2-quart casserole or bowl, mix tomatoes, onions, parsley, rosemary, garlic, oils and vinegar. Cover and marinate at room temperature for at least
1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Ideally, the mixture should marinate
long enough for the tomatoes to crack and burst.
To assemble the Provolone garlic bread, first preheat the broiler. Combine
the olive oil and garlic and let stand for 10 minutes. Brush one side of each piece of bread with garlic and olive oil. Broil only brushed side until lightly browned. Cover the toasted side of the bread with 1 slice of Provolone
cheese and a generously sprinkling of Italian cheese. Set the bread aside
until tomatoes are marinated.
Just before serving, preheat broiler. Toast bread under broiler until cheese
is bubbly.
To serve, place a piece of warm, cheesy bread in a shallow soup bowl.
Spoon approximately 3/4 cup of the tomatoes and marinade around the
edges of the bread. Garnish with more grated Italian cheese. Serves 4.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Colache (Summer Squash with
Corn and Tomatoes)

The Tantalizing Tomato
The corn is as high a an elephant's eye...
Tomato and Sweet Corn Risotto

More Lagniappe Recipes!
Index - Summer Holiday Recipes
Index - Vegetable Recipe Archives
Daily Recipe Index
Recipe Archives Index
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