Thursday, August 13, 2009

Green For A Day

Try as I might to dispel the thought that green
tomatoes are only good for frying, I must admit that it's always the first thing I do with them. They only come around so often and by the time they do, the anticipation for a crispy, spicy on the outside, tart on the inside treat is so great that I can't help but cave to what it is I crave. Last summer I went for a deconstructed BLT approach, using the fried green tomatoes as my bread, and this summer I started out with my favorite: a B.L.A.T. If you've never had one it's basically a a BLT with the added advantage of some avocado. The flavor and texture of avocado bring a lot to the party, especially if you're using tart green tomatoes instead of the traditional sweet ripe ones. I paired my sandwich with a spicy and creamy smoked paprika remoulade for an added flavor kick that tied everything together, and fried green tomatoes.

But I hope you don't think this is the only kind of sandwich these fried guys work in. Imagine an Italian-style vegetable hero piled high with everything from grilled eggplant and roasted red peppers to zucchini, topped with fried green tomatoes and remoulade. Or replace your everyday tomatoes in a meatlovers hero with fried green tomatoes for instant crunch. Think about how fantastic brunch would be if your eggs Benedict sat atop a crunchy fried green tomato, their sweet, bright yellow yokes oozing like lava onto a tart, crispy base, and drizzled with a spicy remoulade in place of hollandaise. I for one cannot wait to make that last sentence a breakfast reality.

There are a myriad other dishes one can make with fried green tomatoes. A platform for greens? Definitely. A bed for a piece of meat or fish? Oh yeah. A crunchy treat to scoop dip with? You betcha. So they're not nearly as limited in their uses as one might imagine. And if all else fails, they're really good on their own, eaten with a knife and fork and drizzled with remoulade (or hollandaise, or any sauce you love). Below is the recipe for the fried green tomatoes and the remoulade--see what you can do to enjoy them!

Fried Green Tomatoes

4 large green tomatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp cayenne pepper
vegetable, canola, or your favorite light oil for frying

Spicy Smoked Paprika Remoulade

1/2 cup mayonnaise
juice of half a lemon (or a whole one if it's not too juicy)
1 tsp spicy smoked paprika (if you only have sweet paprika, add 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper as well)
3 Tbsp finely chopped cornichons or pickles (optional)

1. For remoulade: Whisk all ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside in the refrigerator.

2. For tomatoes: Place beaten eggs in a shallow dish. Combine cornmeal and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish. Season tomato slices with salt and pepper and dip each in egg, then in cornmeal, making sure to coat well and shake off any excess.

3. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Add tomatoes a few at a time (be careful not to crowd) and cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve with remoulade and Enjoy!


No comments: