Sunday, August 2, 2009


Each year at the Indiana State Fair they hold a competition to determine the annual Signature Food of the Fair. Past winners have been Deep Fried Pepsi, which I blogged about a few years ago, and just about any deep fried snack food. Since this year at the State Fair, it's the Year of the Tomato, it only makes sense that this year's signature food would involve tomatoes. The 2009 Indiana State Fair Signature Food is...... drum-roll please...... Deep Fried Pizza. Okay, I agree, it's not as exciting as Deep Fried Pepsi, but who doesn't love pizza?

Since the fair has officially started yet (it opens this week), I only have information from what I have read in the newspaper about this delicacy. From what I understand, Deep Fried Pizza consists of hand-tossed pizza dough deep-fried to a golden brown and topped with pizza sauce and grated cheese and will sell for about $5.00. When I read this, I thought it was something new. Then, I did a Google search and found that Deep Fried Pizza originated in Scotland in the 1970's and there are tons of recipes online for it.

Now, on to my recipes. Since my State Fair said that it is the Year of the Tomato and the tomato plants in my garden are producing like crazy, I thought I would share a couple of easy recipes using tomatoes. First a disclaimer, I don't like or eat tomatoes. BUT, I love salsa, ketchup on my french fries, and a slice of tomato on my hamburger. Weird, eh?

A co-worker gave me her recipe for homemade salsa several years ago. It has the best flavor and is so easy to make. I first used it when we had an abundance of tomatoes from our garden. Then, I gave the recipe to my brother and he told me some time later that he uses canned tomatoes and makes it all year round. I love to can salsa for family and friends as a Christmas gift.

The second recipe is for a very popular dish around my part of Indiana, Fried-Green Tomatoes. When restaurants around here have them on their menu, they sell out practically every day. There's lots of versions of the coating for Fried-Green Tomatoes and I will go over that in the recipe below.

Homemade Salsa

12 C. fresh tomatoes, peeled (or 4 large cans of tomatoes)
6 green bell peppers, chopped and seeds removed
2 medium size onions, chopped
3 T. minced garlic
1/2 C. sugar
3/4 C. vinegar
3 T. canning salt
3-4 hot peppers, chopped

Stir all ingredients together in a large pot on the stove. Bring to boil and then reduce heat. Cook slowly for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on how thick you want it. Stir often to keep from burning on bottom. Pour into clean hot canning jars and place canning lids on. Jars should seal themselves, but you can process them in a boiling water canner, if desired. Make sure you check to make sure they have sealed. If not, store those jars in the refrigerator.

You can determine how hot you want the salsa by the type of peppers that you use. Experiment with different batches and see what you can come up with.

Once the salsa cools, serve with tortilla chips.

Fried Green Tomatoes
1 medium green tomato per person
salt and pepper

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 to 1/3 inch slices. Beat a couple eggs together in a bowl and dip each slice of tomato into it and then into a dish of flour to coat. Place slices into a large skillet with hot vegetable oil over medium heat and fry about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Another version that I have seen is to dip the slices into buttermilk instead of egg and cornmeal instead of flour. It's all up to the cook, so you decide which combination you want to try.

My zucchinni plants are really starting to produce, too. Next time, I will post some recipes for zucchinni dishes.

Until next time,

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