If you have not traveled to Andalusia, Spain or have not been watching Anthony Bourdain marathons on Netflix, you maybe have never heard of Salmorejo. Essentially it is a cold tomato soup or sauce that is a traditional dish in Andalusia. It's similar to a gazpacho, but has a smooth and creamy texture from pureeing olive oil and bread with tomatoes, then flavoring with sherry vinegar. There are many variations to be found online, but this one is simple, quick, and full of flavor. For the garlic lovers out there, a recipe with only one clove of garlic might seem silly. However the flavors of this sauce are subtle, and can be easily overpowered by too much garlic. The dish is superb as a cold soup, but with the Spanish tapas culture as inspiration, using the puree as a sauce is full of possibilities. So if you have not been to Main Street Meats, maybe this post will convince you to wander down to Main Street. You can pick up a fresh Baguette at Niedlov's Breadworks, then pop in next door to sample an impressive selection of aged charcuterie.


1 lb ripe tomatoes, cores removed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of fresh garlic

3 oz stale bread, crusts removed

1 Tbs sherry vinegar

Kosher salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until they have a very smooth and creamy texture. Add water to thin if you are having as a soup, or leave thick if using as a dressing or sauce. Chill for a few hours before serving with cured meats, boiled egg, and a drizzle of olive oil.

To make sandwiches as pictured below: Slice fresh french bread, spread salmorejo over the bread, then top with salami, cecina, or lomo cured meats.


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Thai Basil Sauce



3 Cups fresh Thai basil leaves (can substitute other types of basil if you do not have Thai basil)

1/2 Cup canola or peanut oil

Juice from 1 lime

1 Tbs premium fish sauce

1/4 cup honey

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Alchemy Spice Raging Monk Spicy Thai Blend (or more if you like more spice)

3-5 Fresh garlic cloves

A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled



Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Freeze extras in an ice-cube tray, storing in an airtight freezer-proof container or bag after frozen.

Serving Suggestions:

This sauce is great as a dipping sauce or dressing over meats, tofu, or fish. You can also mix it with a can of coconut milk to make a Thai curry sauce or soup.

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Green "Baked Beans" with Bacon Jam



1-2 lbs of fresh green beans (Thai yard long, runner beans, French green beans, etc.)

Juice from 1/2 lemon or lime

1-2 Tbs olive or canola oil

Kosher salt

2-3 Tbs Bacon Jam*

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Wash green beans and trim stem-end. Cut to desired length, or keep long.  Place on a baking tray and toss with a little canola or olive oil. Squeeze the lime or lemon juice onto the beans, then season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 or 15 minutes, or until they are tender but still have a little crunch.

Remove from the oven and toss with the bacon jam. Serve immediately.

*You can make your own bacon jam with this great recipe from, or buy it fresh, locally- ready-made from Main Street Meats.

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Fried Green Tomatoes With Sweet Pepper Sauce


Frying green tomatoes is a great southern tradition.  Every family seems to have their own special way of making them, but this recipe seems to satisfy the average southern traditionalist at the "how mom made them" standard. So if you are too impatient to let those tomatoes turn red on the vines, or you are having a craving for the tangy fried treat, this easy method should hit the spot. photo 1 (8)


2-4 Medium sized, very firm, unripe green tomatoes

1 Large egg

2-3 Tbs water or milk

1/2 Cup cornmeal mix

1/4 Cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Canola oil for frying


Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of a cast iron or heavy skillet on medium to medium-high heat. Place brown paper or a paper towel on a tray or plate and set aside.

For the traditional Appalachian-style dry batter: Whisk an egg and a couple of Tbs of water together in a bowl. In a larger bowl, combine the cornmeal mix, all-purpose flour, salt, and pepper. Slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and dunk in the egg mixture to coat, then dust all sides well with the cornmeal mixture.  Shake off any excess cornmeal and place in the hot oil. Turn once, cooking both sides until golden-brown. Place on the paper to cool a bit, but serve warm.

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A wet batter is traditional for some families, so here's the method for those if you prefer a thicker breading on your fried tomatoes: Mix the egg, milk, cornmeal mix, flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl to make a thick batter.  Drag the tomato slices in the batter until coated on both sides. Fry in the hot oil until crispy and browned.

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Sweet Pepper Sauce:

1 Cup of oven roasted sweet peppers and onions*

Juice from 1/2 lemon or lime

1/4 cup canola or light olive oil

1/2 tsp paprika or smoked paprika

Salt to taste


Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and thick.  Add a little water if necessary.

*To make the roasted peppers and onions, remove stems and seeds from sweet peppers, then slice.  Toss together with sliced yellow onion, a little oil and season with salt. Bake at 375 degrees until the peppers and onions have browned on the tips.

Bacon & Blue Tomato Pie



3-4 lbs tomatoes (any variety: heirloom, cherry, or slicing tomatoes)

3-4 yellow onions

1 fennel bulb (optional)

Kosher or sea salt


Slice tomatoes. Discard any bad spots, fibrous cores, and stems. Place the slices between double layers of absorbent paper towel, sprinkling salt on the tomatoes before covering with the paper towels. You can stack up to three layers of tomatoes. Press gently to release some of the excess water inside the tomatoes. Let rest between the layers of paper towel for 30 minutes or so.

Slice the onions (and fennel if using) into thin wedges. Heat oil in a heavy skillet and saute for a few minutes.  Sprinkle a pinch or two of kosher salt over the onions (and fennel) and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until they have browned and are quite tender and sweet.


8 oz (by weight), or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp fennel seed

Freshly ground black pepper

2 oz cold unsalted European-style butter

2 oz vegetable shortening

cold water


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Weigh or measure flour and seasonings in a medium sized bowl. Stir until combined evenly.  Cut the butter into small chunks or cubes. Add the butter and shortening to the flour mixture. With light fingertip pinches, begin to rub the flour into the fat until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Do not over-mix pastry dough, as it can make the crust tough. The fat should stay cold if possible, as the flour will absorb the melted fat and cause the texture of the crust to be too hard and chewy.

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Once the fat is rubbed into the flour, add a couple of tablespoons of cold water to the mixture and stir with a fork. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time, until it begins to form a ball when stirred. Again, be careful to not over-mix or work the dough more than necessary.  The dough should be a little sticky, but not wet.

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Turn the dough out onto a floured wooden board. Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough and shape into a flattened ball or circle with your hands. Make sure there is enough flour underneath to keep the dough from sticking to the board. Using a floured rolling pin, gently roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick.

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Place the dough in a baking dish. Roll the edges inward, then pinch to shape the edge.

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Gently press foil into the crust and fill with baking beans to weigh the crust while baking blind.

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Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is firm but not browned.  Remove from the oven. Discard the foil (but cool the beans and save for your next pie crust). Let the crust cool to room temperature.

Bacon & Blue Cheese Aioli:

2 Egg yolks

1 Clove of garlic

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 Tbs white wine

1 Cup canola oil

About 1-3 oz of Sequatchie Cove Farm Battle Blue Cheese (can substitute Roquefort or Stilton)

1/2 lb Main Street Meats belly bacon, fried hard and crispy, then crumbled

Salt and pepper to taste


Place the egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice and wine into a blender and blend until smooth.  On medium speed, begin pouring the oil in a very slow stream into the egg mixture. It is important to pour the oil into the mixture very slowly in order for the emulsion to happen.  After about 5 minutes, and when you are getting to the end of the oil, the mixture will turn from a runny dressing to a creamy emulsion.  Turn the power off, then add about 1-2 oz of blue cheese and 1/2 of the fried bacon crumbles, then blend on low until it is just combined but still chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Assembly & Baking Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spread onions and tomatoes in layers in the bottom of the prepared pie crust, then cover with the aioli.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the topping begins to brown. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with blue cheese and bacon crumbles.  Serve warm or cold.