Overmiller began her professional career as a bartender and waitress at Proximo Restaurant Group's Austin Grill in Washington, DC. Realizing she craved more experience in the kitchen, she then made the shift to Cafe Atlantico, also part of Proximo, where she worked as a line cook while attending the esteemed L'Academie de Cuisine in Maryland. In 2002, she graduated and accepted a position at Ristorante Tosca under the direction of Chef/Owner Cesare Lafranconi. At Tosca, she quickly moved her way up from Line Cook to Pastry Chef to Sous Chef. With a desire to broaden her experience after spending three years at Tosca, Lanfranconi made a phone call to Chef/Owner Cathal Armstrong on Overmiller's behalf, which brought her to Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Chef Armstrong's leadership taught Overmiller about the importance of local vendors and sourcing from local farms, along with honing in on her technical culinary skills. Armstrong added French techniques to Overmiller's Italian preparation, and soon she found a balance between both of her mentors' skills. As a 2004 Jean-Louis Palladin Foundation award recipient, Overmiller had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Italy and learn about ingredients and cooking techniques. She has proven herself in many kitchens and now, as the Executive Chef at the latest addition to the Armstrong's projects, which opened in May 2007, Overmiller continues to use the skills she has developed throughout the years.
Fried Green Tomatoes - Breading Tomatoes
Chef Shannon Overmiller demonstrates how to properly bread fried green tomato.
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Fried Green Tomatoes - Breading Tomatoes
2 Large Green Frying Tomatoes
A pinch of cayenne
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
2 teaspoons of salt
A pinch of pepper
Juice of two lemons
3 cups of canola oil
2 cups of olive oil
2 cups of sugar
4 cups of salt
Juniper berries and dried herbs
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of butter
1/2 teaspoon of garlic
2 Cups Flour
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 Cup Cornmeal or Semolina
2 Cups Buttermilk
4 Cups Plain Breadcrumbs
1. To make the garlic aioli, separate two yolks and place them in a blender with minced garlic. Blend for 10 minutes or until the mixture is fluffy and white. Add the olive oil slowly. When it is mixed in, add the canola oil slowly. This process should take 15 minutes. Add a pinch of pepper, salt, cayenne and lemon juice.
2. Grate the Ricotta Salata cheese in a cheese grater and put it in a bowl.
3. To make preserved lemons, slice the lemons lengthwise into a container. Add 1 part sugar to two parts salt. Pour the lemon juice and water in to cover the lemons. Add in juniper berries and other dried herbs. Leave the lemons in a sealed container for 2 weeks, stirring occasionally. Take off the yellow and dice finely to use as a garnish for the tomatoes.
4. To make onion tomato ragu, slice up an onion. Add olive oil and butter to a skillet. Add chopped garlic and onions. Let the onions saute. Prepare the herbs. Take canned tomatoes and add them to the ragu mixture. Let it simmer on low heat for 35-40 minutes. Add the herbs. At the end, add a little more olive oil and fresh basil in.
5. Take the green tomato and slice it half an inch thick. Season flour with salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg and semolina. In a mixing bowl, add two eggs and mix with a whisk. Dry the tomatoes slightly with the flour mixture, drop them into the egg mixture and then cover them in breadcrumbs.
6. Fry the breaded tomatoes in oil set at 375 degrees. Set them in a basket in the oil until they are golden and crispy.
7. Place a little ragu on a plate, put the fried tomatoes on top and add Riccota salata. Drizzle the garlic aioli over it and add the preserved lemons.
Shannon Overmiller: Hello, my name is Shannon Overmiller. I am an Executive Chef at The Majestic in Old Town, Alexandria. Today I am preparing for you fried green tomatoes, and this is the stuff, and I will show you how to properly bread fried green tomato. Hence, the fried green tomato is simply an under-ripe tomato. They are very popular in the Eastern Shore, Maryland, Virginia; all of the Eastern Shore upstate New York. Tomatoes, usually in season, fried green tomatoes are just for summer month, especially early summer for the fried green tomatoes, and now all the regular tomatoes are starting to really ripen. This is the probably the final step in the fried green tomatoes once you have done on your garnishes. So, you want a nice firm tomato, green bright in color, before its turning to orange, because this is the texture you want when you are frying your green tomato. It needs to withhold the heat of the oil, so when cutting tomatoes, you should always use a serrated knife with teeth because at flat knife the acid from the tomato will dull your blade immediately. Begin cutting you tomatoes, save this for salads, stock or pickling. Pickling green tomatoes is a wonderful method to utilize your scrapes of tomatoes. You want your tomatoes sliced about half-an-inch thick, may be little thicker depending on what you like, I like them about a half an inch. At the end, mindful of your hands, reserve, so at this stage with your tomatoes what you want to do, you have three components to breading, this is a classic breading technique. Always the same always, always. For one you want to have your seasoned flour, I like to season my flour for fried green tomatoes with salt, pepper, black pepper, a touch of cayenne, a little paprika, a pinch of cinnamon, and pinch of nutmeg, a little bit of semolina or even whole yellow cornmeal, because it gives that nice texture. Second, in mixing bowl, you want to take two eggs, two whole eggs; this is perfect time to utilize the white that I reserved from the aioli, and butter milk. Just make enough for the amount you need. I like to add a little salt to this stage too, again layering, it is very important, and black pepper, maybe a touch more, its good, just mix with a whisk. Your third component is just simply fine breadcrumbs, you can use scrape bread and grind them up or purchase some plain breadcrumbs. I dont like seasoned breadcrumbs. I like breadcrumbs to be plain, because this as you see, it affects the texture, does not come out quite as crispy, and I dont like anything else thats seasoned ahead of time anyway. So, when breading, simply dry it slightly, your flour mixture, release excess flour, dip in into the egg mixture, coat, and then into -- with the other hand lets dry the breading, and you want this to be compact, so it adheres to the fry oil, and this is how you bread a green tomato. Repeat.