Friday, August 15, 2008

Hot Tomato (or do you say tomatoe?)

Farmer G came home to see the first harvest. He was in awe. These tomatoes are perfect. And to top that, they are pretty large; I'd say, around 4" in diameter. I have my thinking cap on, deciding what to do with this first crop.

While we were in Alabama (first time there, by the by) I sampled some local food preparation while at a small town restaurant. There was a private buffet after Maria's fathers wonderfully done eulogy and two things in the spread came to my attention and that of others. One was what I would call the typical cucumber sandwich and the other was a BLT. They were not prepared in the normal fashion. They were mini's. I wanted to take some appetizer to a party my gal pal Laura was having so I decided to try my own hand at making these two small bites. It seems as tho' if I discover something I like and I immediately make it, that it tends to go into my repertoire without my forgetting about them and never trying them.

I have to start out by showing you my new, most favorite thing in the refrig. Thanks to my SIL Claudia, I have
become aware of this new olive oil mayo. It has become so popular at this casa that I am on my third container since discovering it. You gotta try it; plus it's reduced fat along with it being the better fat. Onward.
At the buffet, the mini blt's were white bread (you could surely use multi grain but I chose not to for my first making) that are cut out rounds with a 1 1/2" cutter. These I toasted, although the originals were not. Then it was just a matter of construction - mayo, lettuce (I used and always use romaine for such things - stays crispier), tomato, bacon (precooked frozen and from Sam's) and then topped off with another toasted round
that had been spread with a thin layer of mayo. Perfection. I took them to the party last night and asked for critique and got none but raves. I was wondering about the toasting, as it makes it less user friendly, being much firmer. No one thought it needed any changing. I am thinking that next time (tonight when the kids come) I may use the skinnier bread, like Pepperige Farm to narrow the appetizer down. These are not one bite snacks; they are more like two or three. They quickly disappeared from the plate, as did these white bread
rounds that were spread with softened cream cheese, sprinkled with celery seed, topped with a slice of cucumber that had been salted and then topped off with another bread round that had cream cheese on it.
I sprinkled celery seed on the top of these and although they taste wonderful and can be made in five minutes, their presentation quality is a bit lacking. I am gonna think of how to make them look more appealing. I only got to make a few because I ran out of bread but they are equally yummy. You could do two things in one by using celery salt instead of the seed and salt but I used what was in my pantry. Now, what could we do to doll these boring bites up? Chocolate? Ha ha.
You know I gotta show you some of the food before it was scarfed up. There was twice as much stuff elsewhere but sometimes I am a bit embarrassed by all my ridiculous picture taking, especially when I don't know everyone around me who knows what a nut I am.
My girlfriend Laura makes beautiful jewelry. I managed to purchase a necklace and order earrings to match.
This picture is hardly worth showing, because the reflection of the background fabric, pretty much cancels out the jewelry on top of it.
She had other gals showing their wares. This girl made all sorts of clutches and purses and bags. I would have bought one in a heart beat but I was looking for something that was considerably larger and most of this girl's
stuff was on the small side. She makes most of her things out of upholstery remnants. Very clever. There were also a very large variety of wine bags
and this one in particular caught the eye of Kate Kelley. Wonder why?


Anonymous said...

You could use dillweed instead of celery seeds and top each cucumber sandiwch with a cherry tomato or green stuffed olive on a toothpick to give it some color? Just a thought. The BLTs look and sound wonderful! I'm going to try that Olive Oil Mayo next time.


Mary Ann Littlejohn said...

Thanks for the tip about the olive oil mayo.

For my cucumber sandwiches (usually open face) I roll the peeled cucumber in hot paprika before slicing.

dee said...

I make the cucumber sandwiches with that small square party rye which can be easily cut into rounds and somewhow the darker bread looks really good. Also-my German grandma used to make a small-bite-type thing by spreading a round of good dark German grainy bread with a small amount of whipped sweet butter and topping with slices of salted radish. Idealy it should be white radishes but we often used nice big red ones. It's still one of my favs. Love the BLT idea. What better way to use good tomahhtoes-(I'm feeling my European roots today...har)

Karen said...

I love the pictures of food...don't be intimidated by others! My take on the cuke/mini is to use the cocktail rye also, but I mix the cream cheese with a package of dry italian dressing, add the cuke and use fresh dill as the topping. Yum-O