I snapped this photo with my phone the other night while we were eating dinner at Cherokee Yacht Club. I'd ordered their Caprese Salad and it was delicious. It had ripe red tomatoes with fried green tomatoes sandwiched in between them and baby mozzarella on the side. There was basil, green onion, and bacon bits sprinkled on top and then it was dressed with a homemade green goddess dressing.
I've never had fried green tomatoes before and was very pleasantly surprised at how tasty they were. I don't know why I had expected there to be a sour flavor or no flavor at all.
The only other time I'd ever eaten a green tomato was at another restaurant on our lake that has a green tomato relish they serve with their catfish. It's yummy too!
For a couple of years I'd been thinking about trying to make some fried green tomatoes but I'd never come across any. Then yesterday while I was driving through our downtown area I noticed the farmer's market. I turned my car around and was proud of myself for being awake and out and about early enough to shop there. Then as if it were my personal reward I saw baskets of green tomatoes! Yippee!!!! I knew that I would try to make the caprese salad I'd had last week.
I came home and googled recipes and came across several. Some called for cornmeal as a coating and some called for bread crumbs. I decided to wing it. I used both cornmeal (my husband brought home self-rising cornmeal and that worked out GREAT) and panko. I added about a teaspoon of Louisiana cajun seasoning to the mixture.
1 cup of self-rising cornbread mix
1 cup panko crumbs
1 tsp. of cajun seasoning spice mix
For the wash I made some home made buttermilk.
Mix one cup of milk with 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, let sit.
Then I added a teaspoon of hot sauce because bland food is unacceptable. :)
I washed my tomatoes, removed the stem and sliced. Then because I saw it mentioned somewhere I salted them. I guess it "sweats" the tomatoes?? I wasn't sure if this was something that needed to be done but I made one and tried it just to be sure it had a good flavor before I did the same with the whole batch.
It was good. :)
I also decided my oil in the pan needed some southern flavor so I added some bacon drippings. :)
Just dip the tomato slices in the buttermilk one at a time and then into the cornmeal.
Then fry them up until they are just browned on each side.
Let drain on a paper towel.
Then came the fun part! Assembling the pretty plate. I used some fresh baby mozzarella chunks, purple onion, bacon crumbs, onion ring salad topping, some fresh chopped basil, some shredded parmesan, herbs to garnish the plates, and drizzled with some bottle green goddess dressing.
The flavor combination was out of this world good and next time I make this I might use a homemade dressing but frankly the bottled stuff was good enough.
Life on the lake is laid back. When we cook it's far from being fancy affair. It's all about relaxing with friends and family and enjoying comfort food. More often than not it's not all that healthy but boy it sure is good!!!