Thursday, 31 March 2011

Fried Green Tomato and Grilled Portobello Sandwich with Basil Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise

Is that the most wonderful sandwich you have ever seen? I love portobellos, and this one is complemented with basil roasted red pepper mayo and fried green tomatoes for the ultimate in veggie burger delight.
This is just one of the fabulous offerings from the new Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook, a book of healthy and innovative twists on Southern cuisine from the popular cafe of the same name in Asheville, North Carolina.

Tupelo Honey Cafe
Spirited Recipes from Asheville's New South Kitchen

by Elizabeth Sims and Chef Brian Sonoskus
Hardcover, 240 pages

You have to love any restaurant whose executive chef is also a farmer. Brian Sonoskus's Sunshot Organics supplies seasonal produce, flowers and herbs to the restaurant and cultivates a close relationship with other area farms and farmers for a true farm-to-table experience.
Co-author Elizabeth Sims writes for Southern Living Magazine and is past president of Southern Foodways Alliance.
They hold local and sustainability so dear to their hearts, that a portion of the proceeds of this cookbook will go to the Manna FoodBank and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.
Tupelo Honey Cafe was even named one of the Top 10 Farm-to-Table Restaurants by epicurious. 

So, halos all around - but how are the recipes?
In a word - delicious.

They have put a fun and refreshing spin on Southern classics, and have served up a book of cafe recipes that you will want to make at home.

Some of the delicious recipes include:
Grateful Dead Black Bean Burgers with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise
Buttermilk Pork Chops with Creamy Red-Eye Gravy
Chicken Apple Meat Loaf with Tarragon Tomato Gravy
Pecan-Crusted Red Snapper with Spiced Black Beans and Orange Cilantro Butter
Tupelo Honey Wings
Smoked Jalapeno Aioli
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Peach Butter and Spice Pecans
Peach Cobbler with Candied Almonds

Fried Green Tomato and Grilled Portobello Sandwich with Basil Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise
From Tupelo Honey Cafe

This sandwich is guaranteed to tempt even the staunchest omnivore to become vegetarian, just so he can indulge in this explosive combination of flavors on a regular basis. It will remind you of Mediterranean fare, with the earthy portobello teamed with tangy green tomatoes, basil, and roasted red bell peppers.

Makes one serving

1 cup balsalmic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
2 large portobello mushrooms, stems and gills discarded
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 slices artisanal sourdough bread * I used 2 sourdough English muffins
2 ounces softened goat cheese
Romaine lettuce
3 slices Fried Green Tomatoes (page 178)
2 tablespoons Basil Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise (page 80)


In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper, whisking to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking the whole time until the vinaigrette is thoroughly blended. Add the mushrooms to the bowl and toss with the vinaigrette marinade. Cover and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature. Drain the mushrooms. Heat your grill to medium and grill the mushrooms for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until tender. Lightly butter the bread slices and place butter down in a skillet over medium heat until grilled and lightly browned. Assemble the sandwich by spreading the goat cheese on 1 slice of bread and layering the lettuce, fried green tomatoes, portobellos, mayonnaise, more lettuce, and the remaining bread slice.