Friday, May 7, 2010

Table For One, Please

Hi to all my Foodie Friday Friends! I've missed you all while I made the BIG move to Coastal Georgia and I'm thrilled to be participating in my favorite meme once again. I ended up in lovely, Historic Saint Mary's. Not knowing a soul in town and with the closest relative almost an hour away, I eat most of my meals alone. I'll admit that at times this can be rather lonely, but it would be worse if my meals were eaten on paper plates at the kitchen counter or sitting on the couch. Shellbelle will have none of that! My meals are on the simple side, whose going to try a new recipe that serves 4–6 when there's no one there to eat it? BUT, every night (well, almost every night) I set the table and do a pleasant presentation for myself. Presentation is very important and it lifts my spirits. I rotate which of my dishes I use and the other night I went with my bamboo set.

A nice piece of pan-seared salmon with my favorite mango salsa, buttered rice, and a Caesar salad with veggies. Did you know that sweet tea served in stemware tastes even better? Yummy and doesn't it look pretty?

Since this is Foodie Friday and the day we share recipes, I do have something special to show you today.

The closest beach to me is Fernandina in Florida, while only 7 miles from me "as the crow flies" I have to drive up to the interstate, cross the border and drive back down to the ocean. This only takes about 35–40 minutes and I've already been four times. Last weekend I went to their annual Shrimp Festival and for the second time ate at Kelley's Courtyard Cafe.

Turns out they only opened three weeks ago, so I'm already a regular. I love this place! Their menu is chalkboard style, so the choices are always a surprise. We were there for lunch last Saturday, none of us wanted to wait in the long lines for over-priced, festival food. Besides, I adore being waited on and the service here is fabulous and the staff makes you feels as if they've invited you to their home. Matthew was my waiter when I was there for dinner the week before and again for this meal, he's AWESOME and so is Allie, the hostess. Thanks for making my dining experience so wonderful. See you soon! 

The food at Kelley's Courtyard Cafe is beyond yummy, so when you're in Fernandina visit them at 19 South 3rd Street (just of Centre) and tell them Shellbelle sent you!

I chose their Fried Green Tomato Sandwich. Now I love "mater" sandwiches, but mine consist of lots of mayonnaise, pepper and either fresh tomatoes or left over fried green tomatoes on good quality white bread. The sandwich at Kelley's was AMAZING and I'll never look at a mater sandwich the same. Served on a Kaiser roll with rémoulade, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and fresh pineapple salsa. My taste buds were doing the happy dance. I washed it down with an ice-cold beer, Newcastle Brown Ale to be exact. I didn't think to take a photo, but I thought I would share my recipe for fried green tomatoes with you today.

The most important ingredient is, of course, green tomatoes and they need to be good from the onset. Growing your own or finding them at a "real" farmer's market is essential. Those tomatoes in the grocery stores are already tasteless and frying them doesn't make them any better. I choose my tomatoes when they've turned a light green without a touch of pink. Slice them 1/4-inch thick and arrange them on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with a little salt and leave them for about 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels. This will draw out any excess moisture and they won't turn to mush when fried.

Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 3–4 green tomatoes (see above for preparation)
  • 2–3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup flour combined with 1 cup corn meal and
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
  • Oil for frying (my mom used bacon grease)

Dredge tomatoes in eggs and then flour mixture. (Note: some folks like to use just flour, I like the taste of corn meal in mine.) Put the slices on a baking sheet, lined with waxed paper and put them in the fridge for a few hours until your ready to fry 'em up. This gives the eggs and flour mixture time to absorbed into each other. Now your probably asking why I don't mix them together to begin with, I don't know why, it just doesn't taste the same, so there.

When your ready, heat the oil till a drop of water sizzles and then carefully add the tomatoes, making sure they don't touch sides. Fry until golden, turning only once and then drain on paper towels. Serve immediately as a side dish or make Kelley's Courtyard Cafe-Style Sandwiches. Here are recipes for a rémoulade and a pineapple salsa:

Remoulade Sauce a la New Orleans

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Creole mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 medium scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green olives
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon capers, chopped (optional)

Mix together mayonnaise, chili sauce, mustard, olive oil, hot sauce, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in scallions, parsley, olives, celery, capers, and garlic. Season with chili powder, and salt and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate.

Note: You can use this sauce with any crab, shrimp, lobster, or salmon dishes and it's great on a seafood po' boy sandwich!

Fresh an' Easy Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced sweet red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • dash salt

Combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Makes about 1 cup.

Now layer fried green tomato slices on a kaiser roll with the remoulade, the salsa, a slice of peppered Jack cheese and your favorite lettuce and don't forget to


I am sharing this through our lovely hostess, Michael @ Designs By Gollum, so stop in and see who else is sharing today!

19 Thoughtful Comments:

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

You go Shellbelle! That meal looks fantastic, and you SHOULD make it lovely for yourself...., although, I'm one of these people who happily eat in the living room on the couch, haha..., but with candle lights nonetheless. The courtyard coffee looks so nice!! And I just recently made fried green tomatoes for the very first time -delicious!!

Happy Weekend!!!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Anytime you want family, Rhonda, you just call me because I'm only a couple of hours away! And we are family in the sense that our ancestors in Colonial Virginia owned the same land! It doesn't take that long for me to hop in the car, either. But in the mean time, treat yourself. You go girl!

We love Fernandina, and we actually looked at property there years ago. The only thing that held us back was the paper mill which I think is now closed. We got fogged in with sea fog one December when we visited, and that was the deciding factor. But we still love it there and love the restaurants. Some of my favorite antiques came from there, too.

Do you have my cell phone number??? Call me!!! We will be in St. Augustine this weekend working on the yard. Or that's the plan. I'm trying to put it off, LOL! ;-)


Sheila :-)

Loui♥ said...

Hi Shelle..
looks like you are settling in very nicely..
would love to join you for lunch at the courtyard..but it's a long way to travel..☺
and yes, sweet tea is awesome in a stem glass!!
I don't do paper plates either..
all meals are served at the table, on real plates..
yes presentation is the key..
I can make a bologna sammich look mouthwateringly scrumptious!
have a beautiful day full of exciting discoveries and laughter!

Nancy's Daily Dish said...

Yummy for my tummy...looks and sounds so good! My hubby makes a very similar salsa and we love it!

Tink *~*~* said...

Hey there, so happy to see that you are settled and having adventures! You are the second blogger I've visited today who featured pineapples - someone else is growing one and treats us to pics of the progress on a weekly basis. Also glad to see your trip to the beach is relatively short, as is mine. Hope to see you continuing to thrive :)

Tink *~*~*

Blondie's Journal said...

All of your delicious meals have me hungry!! The seafood in the Midwest isn't always the freshest!! So I was reading this and saying Yum!!!

It sounds like you are making yourself at home and I am happy for you. Of course you gravitated to the beach first thing!! I love it! ;-D


Ms. Bake-it said...

So happy to hear you are settling in. I love "mater" sandwiches. My favorite way to serve them is on soft French or Miami Rolls (Publix or rolls I made), rémoulade, lettuce or spinach, pepper jack or provolone cheese. Now I want to try it with the salsa!

Thank you for the recipes!

~ Tracy

Renée said...

Ah the're so close and everything looks divine! I'm anxious to try your salsa. Thanks!

SmilingSally said...

It may be lonely with a meal for one, but what a beautiful table you set! Have a happy weekend.

Everything Coastal said...

Just discovered your blog! How fun to live in coastal Georgia - one of the places that is on my list, right after I go visit friends in Key West. Enjoyed your blogs post and your yummy recipes!


the country cook said...

Wow! That meal sounds like a lot of fun. And I agree with you - sweet tea does taste better when it's served up fancy. :-) -

Signing Out said...

Congratulations on your move! It sounds like a great place. (We drove through Georgia today on our way to Nashville from FL to see our son.)

Your meal looks yummy, and Kelly's Courtyard Cafe looks like a fun place.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Rhonda
Sounds like you are settling in well and enjoying your new home.. So glad you love your new beach... I'm like you and love to have the ocean close..

Well Fried Green Tomatoes.. I've seen the movie but never tried the recipe.. so now thanks to you I might just do that.. although... what the heck is green tomatoes??? just not ripe? or something we aussies don't know about? hahaha... oh well.. will have to google it.. you just never hear that term here..

Glad you are enjoying yourself and becoming a local.. xxx Julie

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Oh my goodness, you have made me so hungry!

I'm so glad that you take the time to treat yourself to dinner for one. I think it's so important to celebrate everyday and surround yourself with things you love.

Thanks for the wonderful recipes!
I think the pineapple salsa sounds so good.


Anonymous said...

Would love to pop in Kelley's Courtyard...and YUM, the fried green stack with the salsa, roulade & pepper jack cheese!

P.S. I had my sandwich today on La Brea Bread :-)


Kristen said...

I think I need to come and visit and spend a month in the kitchen with you!!! LOVE your recipes! And I made my friend Sarah watch the movie Fried Green Tomatoes this weekend- she had never seen it. Sigh. I adore it.

Happy Sunday to you!

rjerdee said...

So Shellbelle...glad to see you're back on the blogging circuit...missed you over at my beachsnaps blog and now I'm the one missing in action...will be back on the beach in October.

We really need to explore the upper end of Florida...St. Mary's sounds fab. and I'm glad your move is smoothing out. GLAD to see you back!!!!

rjerdee said...

P. S. Congrats on winning Being Ruby's giveaway...that is TOO COOL!

Sue said...

I've only tried to make my own fried green tomatoes once, and it was with our tiny little end of season green ones. I never see big green ones and our container garden doesn't produce large, I just order them when I can find them. Nothing better. Your sandwich sounds so good!

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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