Tuesday, May 23, 2017

RECIPE: MeMama's Tomato Pie

So I got a little carried away in my kitchen on Saturday afternoon, and then I posted this pic on my social media feeds:
Roasted chicken (Ina Garten's recipe) with roasted snap beans (from my neighbor's garden) and baby potatoes; tomato pie (MeMama's recipe with tomatoes from my neighbor's garden); corn on the cob (FIL's garden); and squash patties (MeMama's recipe with squash from my garden).  The only thing missing was cornbread!  And that's only because by the time I thought about it, it was a little too late in the game.

So, yes, I roasted a whole chicken.  Skin, bones and all.  I say this only because my FIL loves to kid me about my boneless, skinless chicken.  I don't do meat, and I certainly don't do bones.  But this recipe is so stinking simple that I can't help myself.  And it's something everybody eats.  That's a very rare win win in my house.
What surprised me was the reaction to tomato pie.  I learned several things.  First of all, tomato pie is definitely NOT a Louisiana thing.  My husband had never had it before, much less even heard of it!  Nor had his parents.  And then I had several Louisiana friends ask about it, too.  And then a few asked for the recipe.  Y'all, this is so super simple, it's super good and it's super southern!

But you know what?  I didn't eat tomatoes when I was a kid.  Nope.  Wouldn't touch them.  As a matter of fact, I kind of hated them.  What??!!  They ranked right up there with turnip and mustard greens.  I didn't eat them on salads, sandwiches, burgers or sliced on a plate with salt and pepper.  Tomatoes were a staple in my house growing up.  Especially during the summers when Granddaddy's garden yielded an ABUNDANCE of them, Mama would slice one up and put the plate on the table at supper time for folks to grab to accompany their meal.  As beautiful as I thought they were, I wouldn't touch them.  Now I'd eat crushed tomatoes in my sauce over spaghetti.  And there were always so many tomatoes that Mama would can them every year.  On Saturdays she'd cook a pot of pasta and then grab a Mason jar of those canned crushed tomatoes and dump them on top of the noodles.  That was one of my favorite Saturday meals.  But sliced and diced tomatoes?  No, Ma'am.

But a couple of years ago I decided I could no longer grow veggies in my garden that I didn't eat.  So I got hooked on BLTs.  And, I mean, I ate them every day all summer.  I don't always put them on my salad or even a burger, but they're on my sandwiches now.  When we were in Georgia for spring break, my mom made a tomato pie for supper one night.  I instantly knew that's what I wanted to do with all the tomatoes my neighbor shared with us last weekend.  

So, here it is.  My MeMama's tomato pie recipe:

Frozen pie crust (or, as MeMama said, you can make your own using 2 cups bisquick and milk)
sliced tomatoes (I used 3)
sliced onions (I used a little more than half an onion)
dried basil (I actually had fresh basil on hand so I used that instead)

Layer the tomato slices, onion slices and basil and then repeat.  Mix together 1 cup mayo (something else I don't eat but made an exception here!) and 1 cup grated cheese (I used white cheddar, but you could use yellow cheddar or whatever cheese you like.  Next time I'm going to mix some parm in there. I think it would also be delish with a little goat cheese.  And my mother just died.) and then spread it on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

That's it!  Tomato pie.

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