Slathered Fried Green Tomatoes

Without a doubt, red ripe tomatoes signify the best of summer. It's been said many times before, but a tomato sandwich on white bread with mayo, salt and pepper could possibly be the best thing in the world.  Just like the song says, "What'd life be without homegrown tomatoes?"  

A red ripe tomato topped with some chilled Big T crab dip makes for a tasty snack. To shake things up a bit, why not a fried green tomato topped with Big T? I picked up a few green tomatoes at a roadside stand last week after seeing friend and fan, Felicia Wheeler's tomato creation on Facebook. Felicia had the right idea so I couldn't resist making them too! After she covered her fried green tomato with crab dip, she also put a homemade remoulade sauce on top....YUM!  Thank you for getting creative with the dip and being such a big supporter Felicia!


It couldn't be any easier to whip these up yourself.  Here's the lowdown:  

1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 green tomatoes, 1/3 inch slices
vegetable oil

You will need three bowls for this quick procedure. Combine egg and buttermilk in one bowl. I like to salt and pepper this mixture also. In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. In the third bowl, place the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Dredge the tomato slices in the flour, dip in egg mixture and then dredge in the cornmeal mixture. In a cast-iron skillet, heat 1/4 to 1/2 inch oil to around 375 degrees. In batches, drop the tomatoes into the hot oil and cook for around 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain the tomatoes on paper towels. Let the tomatoes cool slightly and then top with a spoonful of Big T Crab dip (jalapeno or original). Place the tomatoes on a cookie sheet and heat under your oven's broiler until the cheese in the crab dip is melted and looks golden brown. Top with a 1/2 slice of bacon and a few basil leaves.  Enjoy!!



Big T Gooey Crab Melt

Summer is here, the kids are out of school and the pace is slowing down...well, at least a little bit.  In the summer, I always look forward to having more time to cook supper and more time to read.....two of my favorite things to do.   

There are nights though, that we may want to hop on the boat for an evening cruise or head out to the beach for a picnic.  My family loves chicken, shrimp and egg salads so this is usually my go to menu for a picnic.  The paper store has those cute Chinese take-out boxes so everyone gets their own little container.  

Thinking that it's time for a change, I decided to do some sandwiches for everyone.  Then I started to think about incorporating Big T crab dip in to the sandwiches.  Think   gooey grilled cheese sandwich meets crab dip and you've got a Big T crab melt that really works!  

So take it outside tonight and pack a picnic!  Below is this super easy recipe for Big T Crab Melt.

Big T Crab Melt 

Sliced Sourdough or a Rustic Bread
Big T Crab Dip- Original or Jalapeno
Melted Butter
Sliced Tomatoes
Romaine Lettuce

Simply melt some butter (you can do it on the stove top but I get lazy and microwave it).  Paint the butter on each slice with a kitchen paint brush.  If you want to use spreadable butter, go for it.  I like the Smart Balance butter products.  Coat your pan with cooking spray and heat the pan on medium.  Go ahead a put the bread in the pan and then quickly load it up with Big T Crab Dip, top it with the lettuce and tomato and seal it with the top slice of bread.  The heat at this point should be a want to get a good light brown crust and also let the cheese in the crab dip get melted.  It should take about 1 1/2-2 minutes on each side but just make sure the crab dip is looking nice and melted.  Some people love burnt grilled cheese....not a fan myself, but if you like it, go for it!  Transfer the sandwich to some parchment paper, wrap it up and head outside!  Cheers!



A Southern "C" Gathering

A chance meeting turned into a wonderful opportunity for us to meet and learn from some of the coolest tastemakers in the South.  I met the founders of The Southern Coterie when I stopped by to meet with Carrie Morey of the fabulous Callie's Biscuits.  As with all southerners, founders Whitney Wise Long and Cherie Leavy and I were able to connect the dots to where we are from and friends we have in common.  Whitney and Cherie told me about the inaugural Southern C Summit they were hosting on Jekyll Island.  I left our meeting learning a lot from Carrie and the exciting prospect of serving up Big T crab dip at the Summit and networking with some fantastic southerners!

Whitney and Cherie put together an impressive array of southern creatives with lively panel discussions, fabulous food and opportunities abound to meet, learn and collaborate.  Typical of Southerners, everyone had a great story to tell and no one was shy to share theirs.  Also typical of this crowd was a most definite style and grace despite the elements attitude.  Jekyll Island must have been smack in the middle of a monsoon but that did not stop the Southern C's from donning their hip dresses and 3 inch heels.  Everyone, especially Whitney and Cherie, kept a smile on their face the entire time we were there.

With Lisa Craig, Whitney Wise Long and Karen Weaver

With Lisa Craig, Whitney Wise Long and Karen Weaver

In the end, we learned about giving our brand a voice, growing our business through social media, pitching media and more.  We even got to meet some of the editors of Southern Living magazine!  The editors showed us a few covers from way back and I must say, I think I recognized quite a few of them from my mom and grandmother's stacks of Southern Livings. K. Cooper Ray of the Social Primer was our keynote speaker.....I want to hit the town with him one night....he was a riot!

To top it all off, we got to serve Big T crab dip to all the attendees before lunch one day.  It was such fun to introduce Big T to a whole new group of people who had not yet tried it.  We are very grateful for the opportunity to tell more people about our products that we are working so hard to introduce to the marketplace!

So thank you Whitney and Cherie for introducing all of us to each other.  We are looking forward to the next conversation with the Southern C! 



How about a little crab dip with that omelet?

Last weekend, Big T requested a crab dip omelet which was followed by the same request from our twelve year old daughter. I have pretty much been a non-egg eater for most of my life. I love going out for brunch, but my ordering options are limited because most menus are heavy on the eggs. I lament that I usually love the tasty ingredients inside the omelet, just not the omelet itself. If I ever go back to eating eggs, it will be for a crab dip omelet! From all accounts at my house, it is worthy of going back. The best part? It's super easy! So if you want to make an impression, follow this recipe and become a hero for the day.

First, decide how many eggs you want in your omelet. I typically use 2-3 eggs in mine.  Whisk the eggs together ( My dad taught me to add a little water to make them fluffier) and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Warm your pan making sure you have sprayed it with cooking spray and pour in the eggs. Let the eggs set up a bit for a few minutes. Then crack open a container of Big T crab dip (original or jalapeno, whichever you prefer) and dollop it down the middle of the eggs. Let the cheese melt a bit and then gently fold one side of the omelet over the other.  Carefully flip the omelet over with a spatula and let the omelet sit for a few seconds.  Slide it onto a plate and serve!  You will be a hero at your house for at least a day!


Kick Up That Crab!

Is it the end of March? Really? I was looking back at my last blog in December (yep, I've been remiss in my blogging duties) and I'm happy to see that we have hit the mark on the things we were looking forward to in early 2013.

Big T Jalapeno Crab Dip, check. We are really excited that as we speak our new containers for the jalapeno dip are being produced and it should hit the shelves in a matter of weeks. I've got to say, it rocks! Big T goodness with a kick of chopped jalapenos will appeal to all those folks who tell me they would love some heat with their crab dip.

Big T really got out to the masses in February with three crazy fun days at the Southeastern Wildlife Expo here in Charleston. We got to meet people from all over the United States. We even had a customer visiting here from Moscow....he loved it! We sampled both the original and the jalapeno dip. By the end of the weekend, I just knew who would reach for the jalapeno and who would stick with the original, but there were plenty of equal opportunity samplers. It was a fabulous weekend that lifted us up and wore us OUT!

Two weeks later we were at the BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Festival. The Piggly Wiggly graciously asked us to be a part of their Grand Tasting Tent for a day during the festival. I had not been to the festival in a few years. Why not?? The city was alive with fun loving people who love good food and good wine. Our kind of people for sure! Thank you to Angela Smith and all our wonderful Pig friends....they are the best!

We got to participate in the James Beard Award Finalists luncheon at the idyllic Lowndes Grove Plantation. I am a food TV, magazine and cookbook freak so hearing all those familiar names was very cool. 

Big T friends donned their aprons for SEWE

Big T friends donned their aprons for SEWE

Piggly Wiggly Grand Tasting Tent at BB&T Charleston Wine and Food

Piggly Wiggly Grand Tasting Tent at BB&T Charleston Wine and Food

James Beard Finalists Luncheon … a little fun involved too!

James Beard Finalists Luncheon … a little fun involved too!

One of the biggest goals on our list was to get Big T out to more stores and more people. We are so excited and proud to tell you that this week, we ship our first order into Harris Teeter warehouses. That means all you crab dip lovers in FL, SC, NC, GA, TN, VA, DC, MD and DE can pick up some BTCP crab dip in 190 Harris Teeter seafood departments. We are beyond thrilled! Please help us show HT that Big T will be a big hit with their customers....spread the word to all your friends and family!

So again, we end this note with so much gratitude for all the wonderful friends, family, colleagues and people we don't even know that have done so much to help us along in this journey. Thank you to all of our hard working friends that helped at the SEWE tent.  I feel certain they didn't know how crazy it would be (neither did we to be honest!). A really special thanks to our sweet friend, Lisa Craig, who has worked tirelessly alongside us at these events and has texted me ideas late at night and early in the morning.....couldn't have done it without you.  THANK YOU!!

Hopefully I'll get another blog post out sooner next time.


Resolve to be crabby in 2013!

It’s the last day of 2012 and I am filled with excitement for the new year! We fulfilled our first order of Big T Coastal Provisions crab dip to the Piggly Wiggly two months ago today. Since then, we’ve kept their deli cases stocked with Big T, handed out hundreds of samples to really nice folks and I now answer to the moniker, “Crab Lady”! Who knew??


There is so much to look forward to in 2013. I can’t wait until January 2nd to start a whole new year of getting Big T out to more folks! We will have a spicy version of Big T out in the first quarter of the year and are testing other new recipes to add to the line.  Big T is excited to showcase our products at the Southeastern Wildlife Expo and the Charleston Food and Wine Festival in March. Fun stuff! We are also actively working on getting Big T out to more stores and more locations which is really exciting.  

The resolutions are endless for 2013 but they are good ones and we just can’t wait. We cannot thank everyone enough for coming to see us at samplings, for taking Big T to football games and parties, for giving it as Christmas gifts and shouting it out from the rooftops. We are so grateful for all of your support and wish everyone the very best in 2013!  

Real, Local...Lovin' it.

In the last 3 weeks that Big T crab dip has been in Piggly Wiggly stores, I’ve had the opportunity to do product tastings in many of their stores. It has been so much fun! As much as Tony, aka, Big T and I know that this crab dip is awesome and will make a splash, it’s still scary to “put ourselves out there.” When I do these tastings, my fears are laid to rest! I have come home from each tasting with so many great stories to tell Big T about people’s reactions, comments and excitement.  


Even though I have repeated all of the Big T highlights hundreds of times in just a few short weeks, I realize what an impact these things have on people.  Typically, they go like this:

Big T is made from 100% real crab…"Wow, I can really taste the crab!”

It’s made from an old recipe handed down through the generations in my husband’s family... "Well, I’m glad it survived all these years.”

You can serve it right out of the container with crackers or we have several serving suggestions on our website… "Never mind that, I’m going to eat it in the car.” 

I am Tracy Blanchard and my husband is Big T… "Well, where is Big T? (Home with the kids or working!!)”

We are a local company…"I love that you are local. That makes a big difference to me.”

We recently started our business and are excited to be here at the Pig… "Wow, that is terrific!  Best of luck to you.” 

Truly, all of these folks have been so kind! And hungry too… I’ve had lots of people circle back around for another bite. I don’t mind, it means they like it!