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Oh, I Love Your Tomatoes!



Owner of Ragin' Cajun Restaurant in Belmar, New Jersey. Author of "Sittin' Bayou Makes Me Hot!"

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Sittin’ Bayou Makes Me Hot!

"Sittin' Bayou Makes Me Hot!" is not only a cookbook with easy and delicious recipes, the stories will make you laugh. As Tracie Orsi Godier will tell you, "Laughter is free, share it."
What better way to have fun and laughter with your best friends then to cook up a delicious meal, have a few glasses of wine to make life a little more enjoyable?

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tomato-producers-534x356So I’m thinking of a small garden this year. The past two years I didn’t have a whole lot of luck as I worked too many hours and sometimes, well, I was too darned tired to stand for an hour with a hose on my tomatoes.

But what’s summer without fresh tomatoes? Our Jersey Tomatoes are famous! So I thought, what about getting those big barrels and fill them with dirt?

And then I get to thinking. I don’t really need zucchini and squash. I love cucumbers and how watery they are straight off the vine. I don’t like tomatoes except in the summer for some strange reason but then I eat them every day. And Basil. You have to have basil!

So here’s the plan:

We’ll call the first one the Bruschetta Barrel. In it I’ll plant my Roma tomatoes, some onions and of course basil. When all is said and done, I’ll cut up 4 ripe tomatoes and 1 onion finely chopped. Chop about 6 basil leaves and stir in with some salt and pepper. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of olive oil and 3 Tbs. of red wine vinegar. Stir and cover for at least an hour. Spoon over garlic bread and indulge!

The second container will be the Pico Barrel for my salsa fresca or as some say pico de gallo. Another tomato plant, some more onions, jalapeno and cilantro. Same as the bruschetta with the tomatoes and onions. Then chop up a good handful of cilantro (about 2 Tbs.) Finely chop a jalapeno (cut the seeds out first and if you don’t wear gloves don’t touch your eyes or go to the bathroom for a while). Add salt to taste and squeeze the juice of 2 limes. Let sit covered in the fridge for at least an hour. Great with tortillas or in fajitas. Mash up an avocado, add a Tbs of the pico and ole!

Holy guacamole, Batman!

I had success with cucumbers in the past so I’ll plant a few with a beefsteak tomato plant. I love cucumber tomato salad in the summer or a nice caprese salad with fresh mozzarella. I drizzle avocado lime vinaigrette and yum!!!! For the cucumber salad: Peel and slice cucumbers. Cut tomatoes in bite sized chunks. Coarsely chop an onion. Use the same dressing as the bruscetta, but add a little more vinegar. Again, let it sit for at least an hour.

Another good tomato recipe:

cut up tomatoes in a bowl. Add 1 Tbs. crushed garlic, 1 tsp finely chopped jalapeno, 8 chopped basil leaves, 1/2 cup olive oil and salt to taste. Let sit for 2 hours. Heat it up and toss with some pasta. Easy and good!

I’ll have a pot with several herbs like dill and oregano. My rosemary and thyme always flourish year round, so I don’t have to worry about that. I even have some lemon oregano which is awesome in a big fat Greek salad.

So that’s it. Even if you go to the market for your ‘maters, here are some easy recipes. And when you make a salad, everyone will look straight into your eyes and say, “Hey lady, I love your tomatoes!” 644588_4589382978671_1732029917_n

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