Back several years ago I had a terrible restaurant fever. It was pretty bad. I had a great opportunity to open a restaurant with a friend and was so determined to do it.
But God changed my heart and made me realize that it wasn't the right season in my life to marry a restaurant. I was already married to a wonderful man anyway and had four beautiful, young children. I am grateful to be available to my church and home families now, instead of being a full-time "restrauranteur".
Anyway, this was one of the dishes I had in mind to include in the menu. The epitome of Southern Cuisine with a bit of Asian flair. They don't call me Sneaky Asian Cook for nothin'.
Slice green tomatoes 1/4 inch thick and lightly salt them and let sit for 5-10 minutes to draw some liquid out. Dry well with paper towels before flouring. This extra step keeps coating extra crunchy without access water oozing after frying.
For cornmeal dredge, I added panko bread crumbs. I love panko. If you have never tried using Panko (click here for my favorite brand), please give it a try, you will fall in love with it, too. Everything you fry will be light and wonderful.
Typically tomatoes were fried in bacon fat , because that was most available back then. So I gave it a try. But after taste testing the ones fried in vegetable oil versus bacon fat, the ones fried in vegetable oil had cleaner taste. Bacon fat flavor was too overpowering and masked the fresh, tart taste of green tomatoes.
Fried Green Tomatoes
4 large green tomatoes
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, for sprinkling on sliced tomatoes
3 teaspoon Dry Rub, divided.
1 quart of vegetable oil
Slice tomatoes 1/4 inch thick. You will get four, nice slices per tomato. Lightly salt the slices and let sit on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes. Lightly press paper towels to dry them.
Whisk eggs and buttermilk together in first flat, container.
Scoop flour onto a second bowl.
Mix cornmeal, panko bread crumbs on another plate. Add 1 teaspoon of Dry Rub mixture in each containers. If you don’t have it available, substitute ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper in each mixture.
Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into buttermilk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat. Place them on wire rack until ready to fry.
In a large cast iron skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat or until oil reaches 350 degrees F. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes, they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on wire rack. Serve with Wasabi-Basil Mayo.
For BLT, add crispy bacon and lettuce.
1/2 cup Hellmann's Mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon already prepared wasabi paste, more if you want HOT
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 large clove of garlic, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a food processor, pulse until all ingredients are smooth. About 1 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.