By Carolyne

Green tomatoes are just red tomatoes en route to becoming red. Picked before they mature, these green tomatoes are beyond wonderful. A really old great recipe, I started making them in the late ʼ70s. That’s the 1970s!

I prefer slices about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick, from a medium large green beefsteak tomato.  Using a serrated knife, slice a pinch off the bottom end. Then proceed to the top, carefully slicing each tomato.  Allow about four slices for each serving.

Arrange tomato slices on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle tomato slices with salt, both sides. Let them sit for several minutes to drain any excess liquid.

Dip each green tomato slice in buttermilk, then in regular flour sprinkled with fresh ground pepper and a bit of sweet paprika powder. Shake off excess flour, then dip in egg wash and then in fresh coarse breadcrumbs to which you have added a mixture of (Kraft) grated dry Parmesan cheese granules and Kraft Romano granules, half and half.

While the tomatoes are salting, fry several rashers of good quality bacon in a large skillet. Remove the bacon strips using tongs. Keep the bacon fat in the skillet. Add a couple of tablespoons of butter and Mazola corn oil. Increase heat to hot, being careful not to burn the fat.

Place each individual breaded green tomato slice into the medium hot skillet. Don’t shake the pan or move the slices around. Watch carefully. Turn and fry the other side. When each side is just barely golden they are ready to eat.

For an extra special gourmet touch, drizzle each slice of fried green tomato with a tiny bit of your fig jar cognac marinade juice, or a drizzle of high quality maple syrup. And/or build a sandwich using two slices of fried green tomato with a bit of minced chopped cognac marinated fig in-between.

Remove slices using an egg turner with holes to let any excess fat drip free. Place the fried green tomato slices on brown paper to drain further.

Keep warm on an oven-proof serving platter. Decorate with fresh handfuls of curly parsley and lemon curls. If you prefer a dip, stir a bit of mustard and maple syrup into homemade mayonnaise. Serve in a dipping dish for each person.

Soup’s on! Don’t miss this recipe.

This is really, really special: dried split green pea soup with pork hocks.

When foodstuffs were in short supply during the war, dry goods staples from the pantry were often the order of the day. This recipe harkens back to those days when cupboards were sometimes bare but tummies were kept full with recipes such as this.

I’ve modified my soup over the years and this is the result. It doesn’t get easier than this.

Here is just one more thing to keep in your dry goods pantry – a few bags of dried split green peas. Nothing beats a bowl of homemade soup as an après ski or skate or toboggan thaw-me-out treat. Or even after a long cold weather rainy walk with the pup. This treat can be breakfast, lunch or supper food.

Start by sautéing a medium large chopped Spanish white onion. Chop quite small. I use butter. Add a bay leaf, a couple of whole cloves, salt and fresh ground pepper. Toss in a small piece of garlic that you will mash when softened (the garlic gets so mild and only enhances other flavours… don’t remove it) and add a pinch of dry thyme.

Add a whole bag of dried split green peas or two bags if you have a very large pot, because this soup freezes really well. It’s always useful to make extra.

Note: dried split yellow peas are also available and are the base for French Canadian split pea soup. Other than using the different peas, the recipe remains the same.

You always have homemade chicken stock in your freezer, right? I know it comes in a box or a can, but it is often so briny and overly salty. I can’t recommend using it, even in a pinch.

It costs absolutely nothing to save chicken bones and boil them over with a stick of celery, a carrot, an onion and toss in your favourite herbs. Strain and freeze.

Boil the chicken bones, gently, for about 15 minutes or longer if you have extra time. Strain and freeze. Instant chicken broth, always ready to use in many recipes. It is the base for many soups. Served alone, this broth is wonderful if someone is under the weather and doesn’t feel like eating.

Back to the dried split green pea soup. Cover the onions and peas with chicken broth. And add a few extra cups of broth. (You can make this soup with plain water; it’s just not as rich).

Add at least 4 (most recipes call for 2) medium size pork hocks. Always have them in your freezer. You just never know when the urge will hit to sate your craving for this pot. Cover the pot on very low heat.

Gently simmer, stirring occasionally (you don’t want stuck-on bits at the bottom of the pot to burn), until the dried split peas are mashable with a fork and the pork hock meat is falling off the bone. Discard the heavy skin, or roast it as crackle.

Serve hot, freshly made. But the soup gets better as it rests in the pot. Add a tiny dollop of sour cream to each serving and a quick grind of pepper.

Serve with fresh made hot buttered toast, or buttered crostini, for dipping. It’s the ideal time to enjoy home baked fresh buttery biscuits.

Whether served in an oversize cup or in a bowl, dried split green pea soup is a winner that will appear on everyone’s best of list.

You haven’t lived until you have tried this simple supper. The thick pea soup freezes well, but the pork hocks, not so much, after they are cooked. But keep plenty of raw ones in your freezer. There won’t be leftovers anyhow.

This is a great recipe to have on hand for teenagers to help themselves after school if dinner is going to be delayed. Or for sports kids who always have their own schedule to deal with. Keep this soup handy.

The soup reheats well in the microwave, but the pork hocks do not. It’s best to slowly reheat on the stove top. Be careful not to burn it because the soup thickens. If it gets too thick, add just a tiny bit of chicken stock.

From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks.

The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking - at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen" additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.


  1. Emergency – Posted with editor Jim’s permission.

    Knowing many REM readers are praying people:
    I asked permission to post a message first in thanks for all your birthday messages on April 1. I had a massive personal injury accident a few months ago and am still recovering. Cannot drive.

    But more important, I am asking for emergency specific prayer. I have a loved one in a unsuccessful cancer surgery “coma.” Praying God that a miracle healing will prevail, and I send thanks for your private prayers at this difficult time.

    You can connect directly with me at my email address at the end of this recipe, here at REM, if you wish, rather than posting at the forum, making extra work for editor Jim.

    Carolyne L ?

Leave a Reply