Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes

It's nearly October, and we still have plenty of tomatoes on the vine, but most of them The weird summer of early rain/lower humidity slowed tomato growth down, so we have been eating more of them green than ripe. That's ok - fried green tomatoes are a delicious treat.

I didn't feel like wrestling with the flour container, which we keep on top of the cabinet we use as a pantry, so I used masa, a bag of which was easily reached. Seasoned with Old Bay, it served the same purpose as flour, coating the tomatoes as the first step in a crunchy crust. I didn't notice the difference, and was a little disappointed that there wasn't more of a corny flavor. Of course, this might have been because I served the tomatoes with cheese grits, which have plenty of corny deliciousness.

To top it all off, I did a riff on the chipotle aioli that the Gypsy Queen food truck puts on so many of their items. It's smoky, spicy, a little sweet, and absolutely delicious on pretty much anything. Well, maybe not chocolate cake, but I've never tried it, so who knows?

Fried Green Tomatoes

3 green, unripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4" slices
1 cup masa
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more if necessary
vegetable oil, for frying
salt and pepper

Dip tomato slices into masa, then egg, then panko. Fry in a bit of vegetable oil until crisp and browned on both sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with smoky mayo.

Smoky Mayo

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle en adobo, de seeded and finely minced
dash garlic powder
pinch sugar
pinch Old Bay seasoning
large pinch smoked paprika
squeeze lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cheesy Grits

1 cup grits
4 1/2 cups water
4 ounces of cheese - I used soft goat cheese and sharp cheddar, about half and half
2 teaspoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Cook grits according to package directions. Stir in cheese and butter and add salt and pepper to taste.

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