Farmers Market Finds & A Goat Cheese, Bacon, Onion & Tomato Pie

This past Saturday, if you haven’t already figured out, I went to Pepper Place Farmer’s Market. Farmer’s Markets are obviously an addiction for me. I could be a Farmer’s Market Hoarder. Because I want everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I’ve bought cutting boards, bowls, jewelry, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, BBQ…pretty much anything I’m in the mood for at the time! Last post, it was strawberries. Before that it was honey. And this week, I just couldn’t make up my mind! Clearly….

Pepper Place Farmer's Market, Birmingham, AL

Farmers Market Goodies

But one thing that was very clear to me was that I wanted some tomatoes. And what a week to want them. They were just gorgeous! Heirlooms, Clusters, Beefsteaks, Cherry, Green…they were everywhere! Swoon!

Combination of Beefsteak & Cluster Tomatoes

Farmer’s Market Tomatoes, Basil & Onion

Now I just had to figure out what to make! I always make BLT’s. I mean who doesn’t?!?! But I wanted more! So the longer I walked around “sampling” the market with my The Home T Tote Bag (Seriously go check them out), it dawned on me. Tomato Pie. With Bacon. And Caramelized Onions. And GOAT CHEESE. Ahhh…this was going to be good. And it seriously was.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Just look at that Tomato Pie Goodness!

This is really an easy dish to make. And one that is so versatile you can eat it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Take it to a picnic, serve it at a party or a reunion! It’s really just good anytime!

First thing to get started. Slice your tomatoes about 1/4″ thick into a colander. I used a combination of Beefsteak & Cluster. You use whatever kind is in season and looks the best from your market. Lightly salt & pepper them and let drain of any excess juice and seeds for at least 30 minutes. You don’t want the pie to be soggy, and this will help.

Sliced tomatoes drained in a colander

Let these sit for at least 30 minutes!

While you are letting those tomatoes sit, prepare your other ingredients. Slice your onions, chiffonade your basil, prepare your pie crust & chop your bacon. If you have forgotten…click here for the easiest way to prepare bacon and always have some ready to go! For the pie crust, I wanted to keep it simple this time. So I used a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust. All you have to do is place it in your pie plate and then pre-bake it for 10 minutes. Simple as that. If you want a homemade pie crust…you can click here for my homemade version from my Aunt Inez. Either way will work just fine.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

While your pie crust is baking and cooling, you need to caramelize your onions. Drizzle your olive oil in a sauté pan. Once the oil is hot, add your onions and sauté for about 25-30 minutes. Don’t stir these too often. Just enough so that they aren’t sticking to the pan. You want them to be a rich, warm & brown in color.

Once the onions are done and the pie crust cooled, it’s time to start layering the ingredients for the pie! Start with your tomatoes. You want these in a single layer barely overlapping each other. Next, add your onions and bacon. About half of each. Then spread out your basil, pinches of goat cheese and mozzarella. About a 1/3 for each layer.

Goat Cheese Tomato Pie Layering

The First Layer of the Goat Cheese Tomato Pie

Continue with the next layer and then finish with a layer of tomatoes. Here is where you will add the rest of the cheese & basil. I also added a little bit of fresh grated parmesan cheese, but that is up to you!

Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until your crust is golden brown, pie is bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned! Let the pie rest and cool on a wire rack or trivet for at least 30 minutes – up to an hour. Then serve! Serve it with a salad, drizzle some balsamic on top, or just eat it by itself! Which is what I did. All. By. Itself.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

We need Smell-o-Vision AND Taste-o-Vision for this!

This is definitely my new favorite way to make a Tomato Pie! And my inspiration came straight from the Farmer’s Market! If you haven’t been to your local market…go this week! It’s well worth your time. You’ll be supporting your local farmers…and who knows what other inspiration you may find!!

Let me know what you think! Enjoy! 🙂

Fresh Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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4-6 Fresh Tomatoes (Heirloom, Beefsteak, Cluster) Sliced 1/4″ Thick
Refrigerator Pie Crust (Or Homemade…Click here for recipe)
1 Medium Onion Sliced Thin
3/4 lb Thick Cut Bacon, Cooked & Chopped (Around 6-7 Slices)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Handful of Fresh Basil, Sliced in a Chiffonade. About 2-3 tbsp.
4 oz Herbed Goat Cheese
1 c Shredded Mozzarella (I used a little less)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Fresh Grated Parmesan for Dusting

1. Slice Tomatoes about 1/4″ thick and place in a colander. Salt & Pepper and let stand for at least 30 minutes to drain seeds and extra juice.
2. Slice onion into thin slices to caramelize. Set aside.
3. Chiffonade fresh basil & set aside.
4. Place refrigerated pie crust in a pie plate. Bake according to instructions. Then set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While tomatoes are draining & crust is baking/cooling, caramelize the onions.
6. Drizzle olive oil into a sauté pan and begin caramelizing onions until brown on medium heat. Stirring occasionally. About 25 minutes. Set Aside.
7. Begin layering tomatoes in the pie crust in a single layer overlapping a little.
8. Add bacon & onions on top of tomatoes. Then top with basil chiffonades.
9. Add pinches of goat cheese and mozzarella on top of basil, bacon and onions. About 1/3 of each.
10. Repeat layers until tomatoes are the last layer. Then top with remaining cheese and basil. Dust the top of the pie with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
11. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until cheese is browning & pie is bubbly.
12. Let cool for 30 minutes – 1 hour before serving.

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with a Sriracha, Honey Sauce

Fried Chicken. Not much more to say than those 2 words….

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken with Grilled Potato Salad

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken with Grilled Potato Salad

I’m just kidding (not really). Fried chicken is one of my all time favorite foods. Picnics, Family Reunions, Tailgates, Sunday lunches, Breakfast…. 🙂

I can remember years ago as a kid always devouring the fried chicken at our Lexington family reunions. And there was SOOOO much homemade food around that 2nd Sunday in May to make you feel like you gained 20 pounds in 2 hours! Aunt Ivene’s Green Beans, Vida Mae’s Fried Pies, Hilda’s Strawberry Delight… and on, and on, and on. My families very small contribution to that day??? Sweet tea, ice and fried chicken. Not homemade fried chicken…but a KFC fried chicken bucket. Yep…the “dirty bird”. And I loved it. Every last bite of it. And maybe a couple of last bites from someone else’s plate.

So 30 years later, when I visit new cities and new restaurants…if they have fried chicken on the menu…I’m still a total sucker to try it. Last year, one of my BF’s and I went to the South Beach Food & Wine Festival in Miami. Oh. Em. Gee. What a fun trip! And one of my favorite memories of that trip (and goodness there were so many)…My brunch at one of Miami’s best restaurants: Yardbird, Southern Table & Bar. Because of the fried chicken. Ah-Mazing. And now, oddly enough, one of the founders of that South Beach Food & Wine Festival, Lee Schrager, has a new book coming out on May 20, Fried & True, that is showcasing over 50 of America’s Best Recipes & Sides! That trip was clearly fate…..

Yardbird, Southern Table & Bar--Fried Chicken

Holy Fried Chicken, Y’all–Yardbird, Southern Table & Bar, Miami

But I digress. Although I can’t wait for that book to come out or to eat at Yardbird again…I’ll still have to say, my personal fried chicken recipes are always my favorites. It’s simply hard to beat the inspiration of some of your best childhood memories….So here we go.

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with a Sriracha Honey Dipping Sauce

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with a Sriracha Honey Dipping Sauce

To get started…the first thing you’ll need to do is make sure you are planning this 1-2 days in advance, because you’ll need to brine the chicken for 24-26 hours in the sweet tea mixture. For the brine, you’ll simply make a normal gallon of sweet tea but with 2 tea bags instead of 1 (I always use Luzianne or Red Diamond), the juice of 1 large lemon, 1 c of sugar, 3/4 c of salt & 1/2 c pepper. Then submerge the chicken legs & thighs in the tea and refrigerate overnight.

After the chicken has been taken out of the brine and patted dry, drop it in the buttermilk and let it soak for at least 30 minutes to an hour. In the meantime, mix up your flour with the cayenne, onion powder, salt, garlic powder & paprika.

Flour Battered Chicken Legs

Thighs in the Buttermilk…Legs in the Flour

Now you’re ready to dredge the chicken. I like to do it in batches of the legs first then the thighs. But you don’t have to. It doesn’t actually do anything except make my OCD go away. Next, you’ll need to let the excess buttermilk drain off of each piece. Then coat it well in the flour mixture on all sides–also shaking off any excess. Let the pieces rest either on a wire rack or on parchment paper for at least 10 minutes. This will help the coating stick better while you fry it. While the chicken is resting…heat the oil to around 325 degrees in a cast iron or deep dish frying skillet. But in my opinion…a well-seasoned cast iron is the best way to ever fry chicken. Then fry the chicken in batches of similar size pieces (about 3-4 of them at most) so they will cook evenly on each side.

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey Sauce

Can’t you just hear that sizzle?

I usually cook the legs & thighs for about 10-12 minutes on each side turning 3-4 times to make sure all of the coating is golden brown and chicken is evenly cooked. And start your fry with the skin side down. The most important thing is to not OVER cook so the coating burns or UNDER cook so you get sick. 165 degrees as an internal temperature with a golden brown coating is the goal! Once you get the hang of it after a couple of times, you’ll be a frying chicken like an expert!

Finally, drain on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil then sprinkle with a little salt while it’s still hot!

Serve it with a side of my Grilled or Roasted Potato Salad (click the link in case you missed that favorite recipe), a side of Sriracha Honey and a mixed green salad then you are all set!

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey Sauce

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey Sauce and a side of Grilled (or Roasted) Blue Cheese Potato Salad

I can’t wait to dig in to this deliciousness! Leave me a comment with your favorite recipes and memories..and of course…let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Sweet Tea Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Sriracha Honey Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Sweet Tea Brine:

2 Tea Bags
1 c Sugar
3/4 c Salt
1 Large Lemon, Juiced
1/2 c Pepper

Boil 2 quarts of water. Once a rolling boil, add tea bags and remove from heat. Let steep off of the heat for about 10 minutes. Add in sugar, salt, lemon & juice, pepper. Stir until sugar & salt are dissolved. Mix in 2 more quarts of cold water to cool.

Fried Chicken

Sweet Tea Brine
3 1/2 lbs of Chicken Legs & Thighs, Skin On
1 Cup of Shortening + 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil (There should be at least 2 – 3 inches of oil in the skillet. But no more than 1/2 way up the side of the skillet)
1 quart Non-Fat Buttermilk
2 c AP Flour
1 tbsp Salt + More for Dusting
1/2 tbsp Pepper
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1 1/4 tbsp Cayenne
1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Paprika

1. Place Chicken in cooled, Sweet Tea Brine for 24 hours and no more than 26. Store in refrigerator.
2. Discard Brine & Pat Chicken Dry with Paper Towels.
3. Place Chicken in Buttermilk and Let Soak for 30 min up to 1 hour.
4. Mix Flour, Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Cayenne, Garlic Powder & Paprika while Chicken is in Buttermilk.
5. Remove Chicken from Buttermilk & Place Pieces in a Collandar so Excess Buttermilk Will Drain Off.
6. Dredge Chicken Pieces in Flour Mixture, Coating Well on All Sides. Shake Off Excess then Set Aside on Wire Wrack or Parchment Paper for 10 Minutes.
7. Heat Oil in Cast Iron Skillet to 325 Degrees.
8. Begin Frying Chicken in Batches, Starting Skin Side Down. No More than 3-4 Pieces at a Time.
9. Continue Frying Pieces, Turning Chicken 3-4 Times for Around 10-12 Minutes on Each Side until Golden Brown & Internal Temp Reads at least 165 degrees.
10. Place Cooked Chicken on Paper Towels to Drain any Excess Oil.
11. Dash with Salt while Chicken is Still Hot.
12. Drizzle with Sriracha Honey when Ready to Serve.

Sriracha Honey

2 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Sriracha
1 tsp of Water

Mix ingredients together for desired consistency and flavor. There is really no recipe for this…just what your tastebuds like! If you don’t like the thickness of the sauce, just mix in drops of water to loosen the sauce.

Leftover Chicken? No problem! Buffalo Chicken Sliders, it is!

Being from the South…we shut the cities down for a single snowflake.  But Ice Storms?  Forget it.  Especially ones named “Pax” or “Leon”.  Where do they come up with these names anyway?!?!  Leon stranded a lot of people on the roads for a few days.  So no one was going to take any chances with Pax!  The grocery stores were empty 2 days before “Pax” was set to strike!!  Bread, Milk, Eggs, Beer, Wine, Sweets, Jerky (depending on your priorities, of course)…mostly gone.  And I was no different!  I bought lots of chicken and ground beef and bread.  Made sense at the time with my gas oven.  Plan for a blizzard. Or being snowed in until March. 3 feet of Ice. Stranded Cars.  No Power for weeks. See…I think I’m convincing you of my logic.

So the dilemma once none of that happened.  All of this food and little snow.  Or Ice.  I decided I could freeze most of it.  Or just put it in my bunker (I kid, I kid).  But what to do with that yummy, non-freezable Rotisserie chicken I purchased?  Let’s make some sliders!  Buffalo Sliders!  Buffalo Sliders with Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw and Swiss or Provolone!  Score! Finally…my previous logic began to make sense.  *wink, wink*

So here is what you need. A Rotisserie chicken, slider buns, your favorite buffalo sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce), blue cheese dressing, broccoli slaw, carrots, spray butter & swiss or provolone cheese.  Very, Very simple!

Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw

Ingredients

Now…just shred up that Rotisserie.  Every bit of it!  Don’t waste a single shred of that chicken! And add a little salt & pepper to taste.  Then heat up about half a bottle of your favorite wing sauce with a tbsp of butter until it’s well mixed.  Or don’t add the butter.  Your call.  You don’t have to heat up the sauce if you don’t add the butter…one less step. Mix the chicken with the buffalo sauce, a couple of tablespoons at a time.  Use as little or as much as you like to your taste and then set aside.  Next for the broccoli slaw. I purchase this in the produce section. It’s just like shredded cabbage slaw! I make homemade blue cheese (let me know and I’ll post the recipe).  It’s too easy not to.  But if you don’t have it and don’t want to make it, then just buy yourself a jar of GOOD blue cheese dressing like Naturally Fresh Blue Cheese.  And just mix a couple of tablespoons to the broccoli & carrot mixture!  Simple and Easy.

Now for your assembly line.

Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw

Assembly Line, Ready!

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up later).  Put the bottom of your slider buns down first.  I always use Publix Deli Sliders.  You can use Hawaiian Rolls, Hamburger Buns or whatever you like. Next add the cheese.  I added half a slice of swiss on one half and provolone on the other half.

This is how they will come together….

Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw

Coming Together!

Next spoon on the chicken, then the slaw and another small slice of cheese if you wish!  I totally wish for extra cheese!  Once you have each slider assembled, then spray the tops of each bun with a couple of dashes of no calorie spray butter.  Bake on 350 degrees until cheese is melted and buns are lightly browned!  About 10-15 minutes!

And that’s it.  Use that leftover chicken you have from these snow days…or make these for your next tailgate…or your next picnic!  Or just a fun night with the kids!  These are sure to be a crowd pleaser for any occasion!

Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw

Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw

Take THAT Winter Storm Pax!!!

Let me know what you think!  Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Broccoli, Carrot, Blue Cheese Slaw

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Simple Southern Living

1 Rotisserie Chicken
1 Bag of Broccoli Slaw
1 Bag of Shredded Carrots
1 Bottle of Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
12 Slider Buns
6 Provolone Cheese & Swiss Cheese Slices
Blue Cheese Dressing
Spray Butter

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
2. Shred the Rotisserie Chicken into pieces then salt & pepper to taste.
3. Mix the Wing Sauce into the chicken until coated & set aside.
4. Mix half of the Broccoli Slaw with 1/4 of the Shredded Carrots.
5. Add a couple of tablespoons of the blue cheese dressing into the slaw mixture.  Set aside.
6. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and align the bottoms of the slider buns evenly.
7. Layer half a slice of cheese, then chicken, slaw & more cheese if desired.
8. Place the tops of the buns on each and spray a couple of times with no calorie butter spray.
9. Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through, cheese is melted and buns are golden brown.