Heirloom Tomato, Fried Goat Chevre, Caramelized Corn And Basil Chiffonade

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Did I sort- of- kind- of -complain that the price of tomatoes at J&W Valley View Farm had increased to $3 a pound? Really? Silly me. OK–here goes the hyperbole and superlatives. The heirloom tomatoes I bought last Sunday at the West End Alexandria Farmers Market were perhaps the best tomatoes I’ve ever tasted. That includes the big, beefy “Jersey” tomatoes I grew up eating in Philadelphia. This– this tomato is what I will miss long after summer has relinquished it’s nurturing heat and daylight to the cool, crisp twilights of fall. The taste was simply sublime. The tomatoes were meaty, with minimal pulp. A little sprinkle of kosher salt, and these puppies were summery heaven on a plate. I can’t wait  to buy more-and wish every tomato I purchased from J&W was an heirloom. It’s going to be a hard act to follow.

Speaking of tough acts to follow, I stuck with J&W’s white corn upon my last visit to the West End Alexandria market because the prior batch that I bought was sweet, fresh and bursting with milky juice. This week’s corn did not disappoint. Per usual, I stripped the husk and silk off of one ear as soon as I got home, gave the ear a quick wash and took a bite to taste how fresh and sweet it was. It’s hard to wait until I get home sometimes, but I think it would be oh, somewhat off-putting if I did this at the market! Not to waste, I prepare my “test ear “to eat right away-nuked, grilled, sauteed or poached in water with a bit of milk.

Of course, this dish could not be complete without a good goat cheese-chevre. For this, I go to Tom the cheese guy who sells Apple Tree Goat Dairy cheese. The tangy flavor and creamy texture of this cheese is wonderful, and perfect for combining with summer vegetables and herbs.

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For this dish, I began by sauteing the kernels from one ear of corn in a non-stick pan with a pat of butter. Once the kernels were cooked through and slightly caramelized, I set them aside in a bowl.

While the corn was sauteing, I prepared each plate by slicing the tomatoes rather thick, about 3/4 inch. I topped each tomato slice with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, then drizzled with my best olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Next, I heated the same non-stick skillet over medium high heat. I added about 1/3 inch of olive oil. While the oil came up to temperature (the oil is hot enough when it starts to shimmer), I prepared the goat cheese disks by rolling pieces like a hamburger and flattening (your cheese log may be round already and if it is, then skip this step) into a disk 1/2 inch thick. Each disk was lightly coated with flour. Then ,I dipped each piece into a beaten egg, and coated each one thoroughly with bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper.

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The easiest way to do this traditional breading is to set out three shallow bowls (pie pans work really well) with the flour, beaten egg, and seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange the bowls so that the nearest one to the skillet is the last one used for dipping, which is the bread crumbs.

I transfered the bread crumb-coated chevre to the hot oil and cooked on each side until nicely browned. The chevre disks were then transfered to a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

One piece of fried chevre was placed atop each tomato. I plated the corn on an Asian spoon aside the tomato for presentation and garnished the dish with the chiffonade of basil.

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The corn is tossed over the tomato and cheese prior to eating (kind of fun to do!) so you can get a taste of everything in one bite. Like this;

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22 Responses to “Heirloom Tomato, Fried Goat Chevre, Caramelized Corn And Basil Chiffonade”

  1. This is a combination of all of my favorite things! Pour a squirt of Vanilla Fig Balsamic over the top and I may just fall over from taste bud happiness!!

    The way you prepared the goat cheese reminds me of the Warm Goat Cheese and Spiced Pecan salad at Mike’s Grill. YUM!

  2. That’s exactly right, Susan. The fried goat cheese is (and the corn, come to think of it) is from the GAR restaurant Arties. I guess Mike’s does the same one. It’s a fantastic salad.

  3. Winter is going to suck.

  4. Wow, that sounds amazing! That last photo looks way too good.

  5. My mouse stopped on Food Gawker when it saw this one – Wow really looks amazing and the way the goat cheese just ozes out – Off the charts yum.

  6. What a beautiful dish! I was excited when I saw the fried goat cheese, but was even more enticed by the caramelized corn. I think I might make this for company this weekend!

  7. Cannot WAIT to make this!!!!! Maybe tomorrow.

  8. Thanks everyone! Please report back when you make this….I have more of everything on hand and plan to make this dish for Frank and I once again today.

  9. Um, OK this looks insanely good! And what beautiful photos. Divine.

  10. Thanks Mary…Let me just say that this dish is a total do-over. Great ingredients=great food!

  11. one word: wow!
    one question: can you fax some of it over to me?

  12. Looking at this and feeling the cold right now just makes me teary! I am going to miss the tomatoes! It seems such a short season.

    I suppose I better make hay while the sun shines (if it ever) and grab me more tomatoes and more tomatoes.

    This is just perfection on a plate.

  13. This was a fabulous supper!!! I made a lot more corn and enjoyed every bite. Even brought out my expensive balsamic. Yummmmm. You’re my hero.

  14. Wonderful to hear! I am off to the farmers market to get more goat chevre from Tom the Cheese Guy so I can make this again.
    Cheers!

  15. [...] The Houndstooth Gourmet: Heirloom Tomato, Fried Goat Chevre, Carmalized Corn and Basil Chiffonade [...]

  16. [...] [...]

  17. That looks divine! I love warm goat cheese.

    You should really consider submitting this recipe to cookthink’s root source challenge–this week’s ingredient is corn.

    check it out:
    http://www.cookthink.com/blog/?p=1118

  18. oh my…. that looks like heaven!!! i am sooooo excited to have found your website and can’t wait to try this recipe! i’m going to see Tom this Saturday and pick up some of that chevre!

    FYI – the white corn at the Amish stand at the Del Ray market has been fantastic lately, too. i can’t decide which i like better — Toigo’s yellow or the Amish white.

  19. [...] made us take Keillor’s remark a bit more seriously. From corn relish to corn fritters, from fried chevre with corn to corn salad inside tomatoes and corn soup with bacon, it was a good week for corn and the Root [...]

  20. Wonderful recipe. I had a similar dish last night just outside of Stockholm, sans tomato, and had to try this recipe today. The basil really finishes it off well.

  21. WOW. What a brilliant idea! We love the Apple Tree Goat Diary cheese–buy it at the Del Ray farmers market–and this gives me a great idea for what to do with it (aside from eating it straight–which is what we’re doing so far with no complaints!) :)

    Do you get the plain cheese or the garlic or the garlic+herb?

  22. Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any tips? Thanks a lot!

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