Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 36
Shirley's Tomato Sandwiches
5 or 6 medium, ripe tomatoes
60 thin slices firm, homestyle white bread
About 1 cup mayonnaise, preferably
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp, finely crumbled
All-purpose seasoning salt blend,* to taste
Cut out the stem end of the tomatoes and, if you like, peel them with a
vegetable peeler (a serrated, soft fruit
peeler works best). Cut them into 30
even slices. Spread the tomatoes on a
platter and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let
them stand 15 minutes, drain well and
pat dry. Cut bread slices into rounds
with a large (2-1/4-inch) biscuit cutter.
Blend together the mayonnaise
and bacon bits, and mix in seasoning
salt to taste. *Note: Cannon originally
used McCormick's Seasoning Salt, a
blend that the company has discontinued. I use All 'Round Good Grinder Blend from Georgia's own The Salt
Table. Lawry's Seasoning Salt also can
be substituted. Spread on one side of
each round of bread. Lay 1 tomato
slice over half the bread rounds. Top
with remaining bread, spread-sidedown. You may leave them whole or
cut each one in half to form half-moon
Line 2 (12-inch) round trays with
paper lace doilies. Arrange sandwiches
on trays. If you've cut them into halfmoons, stand them up on the flat, cut
side in concentric circles. Serve immediately. Makes 30 round or 60 halfmoon sandwiches.
1/4 cup grated yellow or Vidalia onion
1/4 cup finely minced celery
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1 tablespoon finely chopped celery leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or wine
Ground cayenne pepper or hot sauce, to
Salt, as needed
6 romaine or Boston lettuce leaves,
About 1/2 to 3/4 cup herb mayonnaise*
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil or
chives, for garnish
2 tablespoons (2 envelopes) unflavored
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
4 cups fresh or canned tomato juice or
Soften gelatin in cold water in
a 2- or 3-quart mixing bowl for 10
minutes. Pour boiling water over it,
and stir until it completely dissolves.
Stir in tomato juice or puree, making sure it is well-mixed with gelatin. Fold in onion, celery, cucumber,
celery leaves, basil and lemon juice
or vinegar. Season to taste with cayenne or hot sauce and, if using fresh
tomatoes, salt (hold back on this if
using canned tomatoes). Mix well.
Taste and adjust the seasonings. If
you're using canned tomatoes, add
salt if needed.
Rinse out 6 (8-ounce) molds
or ramekins, 8 glass custard cups
or 1 (1-1/2- to 2-quart) mold with
cold water, and pour in aspic. Note:
Some cooks rub the molds with oil
or mayonnaise instead of rinsing.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4-6 hours or
To serve, arrange lettuce leaves
on individual serving plates or, if
using a large mold, a platter. Unmold aspic by dipping the mold(s)
or cups in hot water for a few seconds. Slip a knife around the edge
to break the vacuum in the mold,
then invert it over the lettuce leaves.
Gently tap the mold; the aspic
should slip right out. If it doesn't,
dip it again in hot water.
Top each serving with a dollop
of herb mayonnaise *(mayonnaise
flavored with chopped, fresh parsley, rosemary and basil) and sprinkle with chopped basil or chives. If
you made it in a large mold, sprin-
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org
Classic Tomato Aspic
Adapted from "Beans, Greens, &
Sweet Georgia Peaches," second
edition, by Damon Lee Fowler
(Globe Pequot Press, 2014).
DAMON LEE FOWLER
the mayonnaise. Her sandwiches long
have been a standard at coffee hours
and receptions at St. John's Episcopal
Church on Madison Square.
Classic Tomato Aspic
kle herbs over the aspic and pass the
sauce separately. Serves 6-8.
Roasting tomatoes is popular
these days, but the Ladies' Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church
in Houston, Texas, was roasting them
in the late 1800s. They called them
baked tomatoes, a more accurate
name, because our "roasting" is really baking at a high temperature.
Their recipe in their fundraiser cookbook, "The Texas Cookbook" (1883),
included absolutely nothing but tomatoes and heat. There was no salt,
pepper, drizzle of olive oil, pat of
butter or chopped garlic, though you
can pass all that at the table for those
who think they'll need some of it.
Baked Whole Tomatoes
4 large, ripe tomatoes
Place a rack in the upper third of
the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
Wash tomatoes and pat them dry.
Put them stem-side-up in a baking
dish that will hold them all without crowding. Bake until the skins
wrinkle, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
For more of Damon Lee Fowler's tomato recipes, see page
36A of this month's digital ediweb exclusive