Farmer’s Market Gems Put a Greek Twist on the Classics.

Breads and Muffins / June 23, 2016

It’s not always easy being original. You know that deciding what to make is  about being inspired by ingredients around you. And you can’t always be inspired standing in front of the oven thinking, “I should clean this thing….” You have to get out and smell the produce!

It all started at the @waxhawfarmersmarket this last weekend. Arriving at 12:45 p.m., just 15 minutes before they rolled up the proverbial green carpet, I found little left to plunder. Then they appeared. These little oblong jewels: Roma green tomatoes. I love fried green tomatoes and wouldn’t these things make the cutest little southern medallions? So I bought them. A LOT of them…along with a HUGE bag of fingerling potatoes, some fresh herbs and some fabulous granola. YUM.

Then it happened. While strolling out of the market I saw the booth for Olive Crate oils and vinegars. We all know I NEVER pass up an opportunity to taste fine oils and vinegars, not to mention the most fragrant Greek dried oregano. Wow, was it an experience!!! Then, while dribbling oil on my chin I became best-est-est friends with Dimitri, who is from Greece, and he told me about the six generations of olive oil manufacturing, and we tried all the flavors, and we talked about cooking, and I told him I have a blog, and, and, and, we started to just go crazy with ideas!!!!!

I have one question: Why haven’t I found these guys BEFORE? (Yes, I was probably at home cleaning the oven. Hah!)

​Lucky for me, and for you if you’re ever at my table, I did find them. And I was so excited to create not only these beautiful Fried Green Tomatoes with Oregano, Drizzled with Olive Crate’s Honey Balsamic Vinegar then sprinkled with Paprika Cayenne Cashews, (above,) but an entire menu using two of their fine products.

Yes, those eggs look good, right? This was just the perfect thing to FINISH with a drizzle of their Kores Estate Late Harvest Extra Virgin Olive oil. OH. MY. GOODNESS. SO. GOOD.

So first there’s the obvious choice: What to slather on my baking dish before pouring the egg mixture into it to bake in the oven. It elevated my fine mild italian sausage, sweet yellow peppers, and fresh basil to a decadent and creamy level; made even more fluffy by taking some of the egg whites and whipping them. I was really pleased with it, and I thought the neighbors were going to come rescue us I was moaning SO LOUD.

And don’t think you I can’t bake with fine olive oil! I combined candied ginger, brown sugar and used the Kores Estate oil to make these AMAZINGLY moist muffins you see next.

If I’m ever on death row, (of which the chances increase the older I get and the more I come close to going postal,) PLEASE serve me these muffins.

It was hard not to just eat every single one! See how puffy and beautiful they are?
You can only imagine how many other things I will make with these oils and vinegars. And the next Farmer’s Market is right around the corner. Dimitri, here I come!

Italian Fried Green Roma Tomatoes

With Cayenne Cashews and Honey Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:

6 green Roma tomatoes (or regular sized green tomatoes)
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C plain bread crumbs
2 eggs whisked until smooth
2 T Olive Crate™ Greek Oregano
3 + T of light oil, like canola
1 t kosher salt
½ t fresh cracked black pepper
1/3 C salted cashews chopped into various small sizes
¼ t cayenne pepper
¼ t paprika powder
2 t white sugar
Drizzle generously with Olive Crate™
Honey Balsamic Vinegar
Flat leaf parsley for garnish


Directions:

  • Chop the cashews into small pieces, leaving some large and other very small. The varying size makes the dish look prettier. Add the paprika, cayenne, and sugar, stir and set aside.
  • Slice the tomatoes into ½ inch slices. Make sure they’re patted dry.You’ll need three bowls:Blend the oregano in the first bowl with the bread crumbs,then blend the salt and pepper with the flour in a second bowl, and then a third bowl for the eggs. Heat a large saucepan to hot and add oil. Reduce heat to medium. Working quickly, dip the slices first into the flour mixture, then the egg, then the bread crumbs, pushing the bread crumbs into the egg/flour mixture.
  • Set in hot oil and cook about 1 minute or less on each side until the breading is nice and dark brown and crispy.May need to do in two batches. If your oil gets too dark, wipe out and start again with new oil for the second batch. However…a good Southern Fried Green Tomato is not blonde. It is dark! Remove and drain on a paper towel. Can be served room temperature, in fact they’re better that way. Arrange on a plate, sprinkle with the cayenne cashews, drizzle a generous amount of the honey balsamic and garnish with the parsley.YUMMY, y’all!!!

Ginger Brown Sugar Muffins

Makes 12 regular sized muffins


Ingredients:

2 C all-purpose flour
½ C sugar
¼ C light brown sugar
¼ C finely chopped candied
ginger
1 t ginger powder
½ t allspice
½ t cinnamon
1 t kosher salt
1 heaping T baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 egg
1 C less 2 T heavy cream
½ C water
1 ½ t vanilla extract
¼ C Kores Olive Crate™ olive oil*
Raw sugar for dusting
Butter for greasing muffin tin


Direction:

  • Butter the insides of the muffin tin. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and the other dry ingredients down to the baking soda. Blend well. In another bowl, add the egg first and whisk it well, then add the cream, water, vanilla, and olive oil to the egg. Mix all of that together blending very well. Add that to the flour mixture and mix with a large spoon ONLY until all combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  • Divide batter evenly into the 12 muffin openings. Sprinkle generously with raw sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool in the muffin pan for about 10 minutes, then remove and enjoy!

SERVING TIPS:
  • Make these in a loaf pan for a great gift. Or as mini muffins for fun. These are amazing eaten with just good quality butter, or you can serve it with fruit compote and whipped cream for a dessert. Or just a simple bit of fresh herbs for a decadent and grown-up treat with a lovely dessert wine.
  • *The use of this olive oil gave these muffins a velvety and moist feel and an undetectable but perfectly rounded flavor. This oil is mild and slightly grassy, and perfect for baking!


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