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1.  Fabulous Parties by Mark Held, Richard David & Peggy Clark. 

2.  Nell Hill’s Entertaining in Style by Mary Carol Garrity.

3.  Williams-Sonoma Entertaining, Chuck Williams, editor.

My Top Ten Cookbooks

October 23, 2009

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1.  Frank Stitt’s Southern Table.  A world renowned chef from Birmingham, Alabama, I read his cookbook like it was a novel.

2.  Baking With Julia.  A must for anyone who loves to bake.

3.  Easy Weeknight Favorites by Southern Living.  Do I need to say more?

4.  Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.   One of these days I am going to perfect my cake baking skills, and this will be the book I use.

5.  Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals.  Needs no  explanation, okay I will give you one anyway.  I have never tried one of her recipes that I didn’t like.

6 & 7.  Food For Thought and Magic by the Junior League of Birmingham, AL.   These girls know how to cook.

8.  The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook–The New Classics.  Martha is a good teacher.

9.  Feast of Our Lady of Victory.  A local cookbook put together as a fundraiser by a neighbor.

10.  Betty Crocker’s Cookbook.  A good basic that I have had since I was 16.  I think it was probably my first ever cookbook.

Future Fried Green TomatoesThe tomato plants are done dealing!  The daytime and evening temperatures are too cool to set any blooms on the tomato plants so they are going to be heaped into the compost pile, but not before I pick all the green tomatoes.  My mouth waters as I anticipate our last fried green tomatoes of the season.  Forget all the batter mixes you can buy at the grocery store, my method is simple:

Fried Green Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes

Salt

Flour

Peanut Oil for deep frying

Slice green tomatoes just slight of 1/4 inch thick.  Sprinkle with salt and let sweat for about 30 minutes.   In a gallon size storage bag add enough flour to coat tomatoes.  Add tomato slices and shake to cover.  Fry green tomatoes in peanut oil until golden brown, turning once.  Drain on paper towels and salt to taste if needed.  Temperature of oil should be 350-375 degrees F.  The key to crispy fried green tomatoes as opposed to soggy fried green tomatoes is not to try to fry too many at once as this will lower the temp of the oil.

This is also the way I fry yellow summer squash, only I use cornmeal instead of flour.  You can also peel eggplant and cut into french fry strips and prepare same way as tomatoes.