Monday, October 24, 2011

BLT Bites

I suppose I am a good example of the average American. My heritage is a mixed bag of goods.
My father's family (from Wisconsin) is of German and Polish descent.  Although, don't tell any of them that I can't stand sauerkraut. That's almost sacrilegious to utter aloud.
 My Momma's family (from Alabama and Florida) is part Native American and part Welsh and I'm pretty sure we have lots of other flavors thrown in there as well for good measure. I think it's because of my mixed heritage that I love to learn about different regions and cultures and the food that is popular in those areas. And what better place to learn about different food styles than in the good ole U.S. of A? We have so many different types of regional cooking. There are different types of cooking even within the same state. 

So I was really excited to be asked to review a cookbook that dealt with regional cooking.
This particular region being the Prairie states or as it also known, the midwest.  
It is the kind of food my Dad and my husband Gene grew up eating.  

The book is entitled Prairie Home Cooking by Judith M. Fertig and is
 published by The Harvard Common Press. There are so many types of recipes in this book to choose from.  Traditional German, Russian and Polish meat and potatoes meals, to Italian influenced meals, Native American-inspired to Amish and Mennonite fare.  And surprisingly, I went for an appetizer to share with y'all. I know you were probably thinking meat and potatoes or some sort of apple strudel but it was actually this little recipe in the middle of the book that caught my eye.

BLT Bites

This recipe makes 16. You may want to grab an extra pair of hands to make these and double or even triple the recipe.   I think I ate about 8 of these all by myself.  I've made my notes in parentheses below.

Ingredients
16 cherry tomatoes
1/2 pound apple-smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
1/3 cup minced green onions, white and green parts
2 tbsp. minced romaine lettuce
(Be sure to get the larger size cherry tomatoes or you'll have a very difficult time stuffing these. They are sometimes called cocktail tomatoes. Also, I just used hickory smoked bacon because that is easier for me to find at my local grocery store.  Final note, I think regular ole iceberg lettuce would work fine in this recipe)

Directions
Cut a thin slice off the stem end of each tomato, and scoop out and discard the pulp.
Drain the tomatoes, cut side down, on paper towels for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
Stir gently to mix well.
Spoon this mixture into the tomatoes.
Refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour, but not overnight.
Serve chilled. Serves 4.
Cook's Notes: The flavor of these are really amazing. I just love them. The only difficulty I had was getting them all to stay upright and not fall over. I found that if I used a smaller plate, it helped to balance them. I was afraid to cut anything off the bottom of the tomatoes in fear of the filling seeping through the end. But if you use a large enough tomato, you may be able to do that. If anyone has any other tips or suggestions for keeping these upright, I'd love to hear them! 

Update: I found that cutting the bottom of the tomato, rather than the stem end of the tomato helped to keep them upright.


You could maybe even make this into a BLT dip. Instead of stuffing the tomatoes. Try dicing the tomatoes and add them straight into the mixture and serve with your favorite cracker. 
Also, these are not an appetizer that can be made the evening before. But, I think you could make the filling a day ahead of time. Just be sure that you put the filling in an airtight container with locking lid. This is a great dish to make with a friend!







91 comments :

Mae said...

Good Morning, yes I'd love one of these cookbooks for myself!!! The BLT Bites sounds great, might try them for our monthly Blanket Circle tonight at church. Thanks for sharing :)

Jen said...

I would love to win this!!!! I love down home southern cooking ....and New York style pizza!

~ Mrs. Nom ~ said...

I'd love to win this too!!! :) My mama's cooking is my favorite. Anything and everything she makes :P Concoctions and all! :p

Bev E said...

I was at a party where they served the BLT bites & they were delish! I wondered how to make them & now I know.
If I could have any meal right now I would chose to have the Sour cream noodles that my Aunt Annie made along with her ND/German kuchen for desert. Oh & my mom's K├╝chela (fried buns) she would make on bread making day.

Kendra said...

I would have to say I love the Indian Taco's that they serve here in Oklahoma. So much meat, brown beans, cheese and lettece. It is to die for!!

-Kendra
agent_kasper03@cox.net

alkinsey said...

I love all Southern food, homey, filling and so good for you!

Those BLT Bites will be dead center of my table this Thanksgiving!!

Flea said...

Cheri! Deep fried boudin balls from south Louisiana! Stop in at the station in Krotz Springs for the best EVER!

Lisa @ Flour Me With Love said...

This book sounds great! I also love to read about different heritages too. My favorite is Polish food...yum! The BLT's look really good and I love how quick and easy they are to make!

Staci P. said...

I stumbled across a Cuban/Caribbean shredded beef recipe called Ropa Vieja (meaning old clothes) that is cooked in the crockpot. Oh my gosh, can you say HEAVENLY? If anyone is interested, I've posted the link below. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as my family does.

http://www.mrfood.com/Beef/Cuban-Shredded-Beef

RavieNomNoms said...

This is amazing! What a great idea to have BLT bites like this. I think this would be perfect for a lunch date with the girls...or just a Tuesday haha...YUM

The Mom Chef said...

I love those appetizers! BLTs are an American standard and so sharing them this way is natural. I wish I could give you advice about making them stand up, but tomatoes tend to be obnoxious that way. :)

Oh, there is nothing better than Carolina barbecue with the all the fixin's. I'm loving the pulled pork, hush puppies, hummingbird cake; the works.

Deanna D. said...

I love beef brisket BBQ (when smoked to perfection) from Texas (lived there when I was in high school), but I grew up with a Mom that was a Montana rancher's daughter so meat and potatoes was common fare - and delicious, too! I now live in Arizona, and Mexican seems to be my husband's favorite...so we have that quite often!

Stephanie Hickey said...

I love Burgoo from Kentucky and Montgomery Inn Ribs - so good!

Ashley said...

YUM! Great idea for appetizers!

Kimberly (Badger Girl) said...

What a fantastic appetizer! I can't wait to try these. Thank you so much!

Gosh, favorite regional meal. I am from Wisconsin as well but I am not your traditional beer and cheese girl. I am going to go with sliced ham on a roll for Sunday dinner with german potato salad and a dill pickle. Yum!

Anonymous said...

I am from Colorado, my hubby is from TX where we live now and I have to say that Tex Mex and Texas BBQ are my faves.

Bridget McCain

Mom Of Twins said...

I love Oyster Dressing around the holiday down here in Texas.

Kelly said...

I would absolutely love to win the cookbook. At the moment, I would have to say my favorite regional meal is BBQ food from TX. Although my family is from the mid-west which is why I love your blog so much!
I have made these BLT bites for years. They are always a hit. When I am lazy and want to make them at home for just me and the hubby, we simply chop the tomatoes and add it to the mayo mixture, then serve them with Wheat Thins. YUM!

The Farmers Wife said...

Oh man those look incredible! I love this recipe, not only would this be a great party snack but I seriously think I could eat them for lunch all by myself... haha!!!

As for my favorite regional cuisine... I'd have to say it's probably Carne Asada, a thinly sliced steak marinated in different mexican herbs and spices and lemon/lime juice, and cooked to perfection. Living near the border of Mexico a lot of our cuisine comes from there! And it's GOOD!

janet@cupcakestocaviar said...

Hi there!

Hands down, my favorite cuisine would be practically anything Eastern European. That said, my favorite meal from that region would be pork roast with apples and sauerkraut. (I know... sauerkraut. Ick. :-P )

jenic said...

I love creole cuisine, too bad I live nowhere near Louisiana! That book looks awesome!

Trisha P said...

I am from Illinois so there is nothing like a deep dish pizza or a Chicago style Italian beef

Anonymous said...

will have to try to make those- anything BLT sparks my interest.

Favorite regional meal: low country boil (sausage, shrimp, corn and potatoes).

Lauren
Law8296@yahoo.com

carolinaheartstrings said...

What a wonderful looking recipe. I bet it tastes fantastic. Well Carolina BBQ of course. What else from the Carolina girls.

Anonymous said...

I love the New England Sunday suppers my family used to have, with roast turkey, baked ham, or pork roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, at least three knds of hot vegetables, homemade rolls, and pie for dessert. My grandmother always cooked more than enough just in case someone stopped by!

melanie_Mallett@yahoo.com

sshallenbu said...

I think my regional favorite would be the Tulsa Coney Islander hot dogs. We've moved to Texas and can't find anything remotely close down here.

Cindy B. said...

I love food from all regions and cultures from Philly Cheese Steaks to Irish roasted potatoes to Native American fried Nana bread.

Anonymous said...

Love your recipes!!!! And of course now I cant wait to go to the store and try out the tomaotoes!! Thanks!!!!!
Sue

Vanessa CouponLovingChicks said...

Living in South Florida, and having easy access to fresh seafood, some of our favorite recipes involve some type of seafood. Our absolute favorite has to be "Seafood Paella"! YUM-O! Paella originated in Spain, but, here in South Florida we make a mean Paella, preferably cooked in a large heavy pot and although making a good Paella is a laborious task, for us seafood lovers, it is well worth it. ♥

couponlovingchicks@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Basque.....don't have any close to where I live though :(
tac_88@yahoo.com

Jeanna said...

Living in MN it has to be chicken wild rice soup with homemade wheat bread and herb butter.

Manda said...

My grandma's "porcupine balls"-meatballs with rice and seasonings and served with tomato sauce. I guess that would be midwestern ;) Would love this cookbook as that's what I grew up on as well! Amanda C, email is lil_manda_t76@yahoo.com

Erin said...

This looks like a great appetizer! I am from WI - so I am going to go with Brats for my favorite regional dish - but NO saurkraut here!

Eliotseats said...

Funny, I was just working on a future post about Frito Pies. I have decided this has to be a regional dish. Have you heard of it?

Anonymous said...

I've made these before and they are so yummy. The recipe I used said to flip them and do the slice on the bottom. The stem side helps them stand and since they're small you really don't taste of feel the stem. Hope that helps.

Cecilia

Tiffany M said...

I love any type of southern, country cooking!
tiffany-mayberry@att.net

Rhonda said...

I would love to win this cookbook! I'd have to say I'd love to have my Mother's cooking again! Mom's cooking is always the best! Since my Mom is gone, i'd have to say I prefer my mother-in-laws Chicken Chow Mein over all others!!!
rhondaree1958@yahoo.com

Faither said...

Fried chicken from Mississippi, or chicken fried steak in Texas

Anonymous said...

I'd have to say my favorite meal is fried chicken, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, homemade biscuits, tea and banana pudding.

Georgene said...

Anything Louisiana, gumbo is the top of that list. Georgene
georgenecook@yahoo.com

The Better Baker said...

I'm from the midwest and guess I'd have to say it's fresh green beans/red taters/ham simmered together. MMM! Oh Brandie - I've got a few terrific recipes that might make you change your mind about sauerkraut! The only recipe my husband insisted I add to my cookbook is a pizza topped with sauerkraut. Kids love it! =) I'm gonna work on changing your mind....Have a good one Friend!

MarthaT said...

I had shrimp and grits in Charleston and have yet to find something that impressed me as much ... or to find a recipe that is as good as they were!

mimiof2 said...

I am a Southern cook! Love all kinds of food though! New York style pizza is also a favorite. Thanks for the chance at a awesome prize! :)

Snowmanlover said...

YUm, YUM, YUM!! I could eat the whole bunch!! In fact I would love some now for breakfast!!

Thanks for the chance to win the cookbook. I love other cultures and love food from many countries too. I love eating out at different Ethnic Restaurants!! Greek, Chinese, Italian, German, Thai, etc, etc. I just love to eat!

Ok one of my favorites to make is Pulled Pork- made it last night

One of my favorites to eat is FRIED Chicken but I don't make it I eat it out at places that serve yummy mashed potatoes and green beans. I live in the South.

I also go nuts over Chinese Food but again don't make it.

Thanks for the chance, this cookbook looks great!!!

Diane said...

I'm outside of Chicago .....Pizza and beef sandwiches for sure!
I would love to have that book!!

Rachel Goff said...

I love food- all kinds of food! My favorite comfort food at the moment is poutine. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

rrgoff06 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Gumbo, from New Orleans....this is where i ate it the very first time, and absolutely love it.

janice said...

Gumbo, from New Orleans, this is where i ate it the first time.......and still loving it.
And it does look like a cookbook worth having..

Anonymous said...

Lots of great Mexican food here in California. Can't narrow it down to one particular dish. It's all good!!

Vicki
uptowngal001@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I am from the South but love New York Cheesecake




libby smokisno@yahoo.com

Patty said...

Growing up on a farm in Oklahoma my favorite meal was the Sunday roast beef with potatoes and carrots. Now my favorite is Chicken fried steak and potatoes and gravy. I would love to win this cookbook.
carrotcake55@sbcglobal.net

Patty said...

Growing up on a farm in Oklahoma my favorite meal was the Sunday roast beef with potatoes and carrots. Now my favorite is Chicken fried steak and potatoes and gravy. I would love to win this cookbook.
carrotcake55@sbcglobal.net

LoveToCook said...

My most favorite midwestern and comfort meal is homemade chicken and noodles.

The Mommy said...

My favorite regional food is Primanti Bros. sandwiches (pronounced samiches). Served with coleslaw and fresh-cut fries right on the sandwich. Only non-locals take it apart to eat it!

Cookielady said...

I collect cookbooks and would love to win this one.

I live in TX now, but I'm still an Iowa girl at heart. My favorite is corn-fed beef ribeye steak on the grill, baked potato and corn on the cob fresh from the garden. Mmmm.

Trish said...

I moved to Colorado last Fall so I've been enjoying trying new Midwestern foods. We've even been trying some from the Little House Cookbook lately. However, I am from NC and have been aching to find a good Carolina BBQ recipe, my favorite food from "back home"!

Trish said...

Oh Geez..I forgot to leave you my contact info! LOL
Trish
trishhicks.co@gmail.com

April @ PolkaDots n' PinkySwears said...

I love our pulled pork BBQ here in SC!!

Jeanette said...

I love reading your recipes and would certainly have a place for the cookbook in my collection.
Here in Iowa, I'd have to say our favorite meal is a big juicy steak, baked potato, and corn on the cob..

Jen said...

Those look great! I like good old fashioned comfort food! I know that isn't really a regional meal but that covers all my likes.

My email address is: jenbrandes@gmail.com

Jan R said...

Salmon is a big deal here in the Pacific Northwest...and I love it.

Anonymous said...

I would love to add this cookbook to my cookbook-recipe collection. I love to make our Louisiana seafood and okra gumbo. I will be making the BLT recipe from the site :)

Anonymous said...

I would love to add this cookbook to my cookbook-recipe collection. I love to make our Louisiana seafood and okra gumbo. I will be making the BLT recipe from the site :)

Robin McDonald
rdm66@eatel.net

Anonymous said...

We are seafood lovers here in Southern Maryland where the crabs are plentiful. I love to make seafood dishes.
Elizabeth elizabedu3@aol.com

Marilyn said...

I think my favorite is the Cornish Pasty. My aunt used to make them a lot. My Uncle was from Michigan where they are very popular.
Marilyn
Murf_2@ameritech.net

M.j. said...

We are a meat and potatoes kind of family here in the Northeast..thanks for the giveaway...ciao4now64@yahoo.com

JODI said...

Hands down, without a doubt, definitely Chicago deep dish pizza!

Alison said...

Southern-chicken and dumplings, yum!

Vickie said...

Sweedish Meatballs and buttered noodles that my Mother used to make would be lovely right now!! (and I NEED another cookbook!)

GayLynn said...

Wish I would have had the BLT Bites recipe this summer when I had oodles of cherry tomatoes! I'll save it for next year! I'm from Wisconsin! Love our cheese and Beer so, my favorite is Beer Cheese Soup! Love your recipes!

Anonymous said...

I love southern cooking like my grandmother taught me, like her chicken & dumplings, buttermilk biscuits & fried chicken. Also, my mother being from New Mexico, I enjoy real mexican like chile relieno!

Vicki Chambliss vickischam@earthlink.net

Jennifer said...

I would love to win a new cookbook. Being from Arkansas I have to say I love fried catfish with the works!

Anonymous said...

Tex Mex is one of my all time favortie foods. I just love all kinds of Mexican Cuisine, but I prefer the Tex Mex take on it.

Jessi Maple
cjtemaple@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

i love garlic crab legs they are the best with fully loaded baked potato :) <3

Anonymous said...

My family loves Mexican food the best; although I consider myself to be a Country Cook. polnackfamily@yahoo.com

Deb said...

YUM!! Would love to add this cookbook to my collection. :-) I really enjoy Mexican cuisine the best....but enjoy lots of variety in my eating habits!!

Hannah said...

We like Blackberry Jam Cake here in Tennessee!

bairdmtn said...

Sweet tea, fried okra or fried tomatoes, BBQ, coleslaw, tater boats, a dill pickle with watermelon for dessert is the perfect East Tennessee meal!! I know that's a LOT, but cooking for a crowd-you have to have it all!! Would love a new cookbook for new ideas! Love to try new recipes!!

Elaine Mundy Pry said...

I really like fried gizzards and livers here in Indiana. Burgoo is big here too. Can't say I like it much. Fried chicken and steak are big here too. Lots of fried foods....no wonder we are fat. lol

Anonymous said...

I live in TX but grew up in MI and love homemade Spatzael or homemade soup that I use to eat at soup and sandwich suppers at church. Thanks for the chance to enter.

Andrea D.
short74717@msn.com

Sugar & Spice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

So this past weekend I made these for a friends brunch. I couldnt find any good size cherry or grape tomatoes so i used regular ones and just got the smallest i could find. They were UHH-MAZING! Everyone loved them and everyone left with your blog address and the recipe :) They were all mad when they were gone! Thanks!

Erin
x0xmiss.erinx0x@gmail.com

The Country Cook said...

That is so great!! Thank you so much for letting me know how they turned out for you! SO happy they all loved it!!

Carolina HeartStrings said...

I think these would make a great summertime appy too. As far as keeping them upright not sure but I'd spear each with a toothpick to help pick them up. Especially in a situ with guests where I'd want to touch the adjoining ones as little as poss.

Elisha said...

My husband is a BLT fanatic so I was anxious to give this a try. I ended up just dicing the tomatoes and mixing them with everything else and served on King's Hawaiian sweet bread like a sandwich and it was delish!

Sweet Sue said...

Maybe this was already mentioned, didn't read all the comments. A pre-made mini skewer with 2 or 3 tomatoes on each would be self serve easy and keep them corraled on the serving platter.

Anonymous said...

I am going to be making these for a woman's brunch in a couple of weeks. these sound and look awesome!!! :)

Joanne said...

I love this idea!! Maybe a little California Avacado on the top too! A BLTA!

Debbie said...

Roma tomatoes sliced lengthwise. Could be served in Deviled Egg Tray.

Anonymous said...

Would love to have this book. I come from the South, then too The Midwest area, and now Tx, Have made the blt a couple of times and they were always a hit. Would love to try the entire book....being greedy.

Love your blog, look forward to receiving it

Anonymous said...

I was thinking that maybe you could group 2 or 3 (depending on the size of the tomatoes) in each cup of a miniature cupcake pan.