Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fried Green Tomatoes

I recently tried a recipe for fried green tomatoes. I’ve been intrigued with the dish since the ‘91 film by the same name, and have had the recipe bookmarked in my William’s Sonoma Southern cookbook for the last two years. Finally, two weekends ago, despite the fact that I’ve never actually tried a green tomato, I couldn’t resist the urge to purchase a few at the farmer’s market. And thus, my quest to make fried green tomatoes began.

The recipe was somewhat time consuming. The most frustrating part was that the cornmeal coating didn’t stick to the tomatoes quite as well as I would have liked during the frying process. I also think the tomatoes must be served hot. They just didn’t taste the same coming out of the fridge the next day. Other than that, it was a unique and tasty dish, a perfect summer appetizer.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

6 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 green tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick
about ½ cup peanut oil
¼ lb. soft fresh goat cheese
1 large, very ripe tomato, seeded and finely diced

1. In a large frying plan, preferably cast iron, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off about half of the drippings and discard. Reserve the bacon.

2. In a pie dish or shallow bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Coat each tomato slice on both sides with the seasoned flour and place on a wire rack.

3. Add about ¼ cup of the peanut oil to the drippings in the pan and place over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tomato slices in batches, and cook, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute on each side. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining slices, adding more peanut oil as needed.

4. Carefully spread and 1 teaspoon of the goat cheese on each slice. Arrange the tomato slices, overlapping them, on a round serving plate and top with the diced tomato and bacon. Serve at once.

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