I first spotted them Friday a couple hours before service at Nola. I gathered a few along with a red pepper and walked back home wondering what would come of my latest purchase. A simple amuse bouche to go with a glass of sparkling jumped into mind as I searched the kitchen for leftover ingredients.
Down in New Orleans and other parts of the dirty south we tend to fry our green tomatoes. Sometimes we’ll top it with crab meat and other times we’ll serve it with a classic Creole sauce. I went with the sauce due to the lack of shellfish and garnished them with a bit of roasted peppers. They were A HIT.
Creole Sauce ::
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small green pepper, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1 small jalapeno, diced
- 1 roma tomato, coarsely chopped
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt & pepper
- splash of cream
- 20g of cold butter
In a small saucepan saute onion, green pepper, celery, and jalapeno til soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomato and a big pinch of salt. Continue to cook until tomatoes start to break down. Add cream and lightly simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cold butter til fully melted. Transfer to blender and puree til silky smooth. Add lemon juice and check seasoning. Set aside.
Fried Green Tomatoes ::
- 3 green tomatoes, the harder the better
- 1/3 cup corn meal
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk + 1 TBS lemon juice, or buttermilk
- sunflower oil or other frying oil
- 1 roasted red pepper, diced
Slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and lay in a single layer on a plate. Sprinkle with equal parts salt & sugar. This will help the high acidity in the tomatoes and give the flavor more depth. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Place your cast iron on the stove and add 1 inch of oil. Heat to 350°F.
While the oil heats up prepare your breading station. In one bowl lightly beat the egg and add the milk/lemon mix. Mix til incorporated. In another bowl combine the corn meal and flour and season with salt & pepper.
Crack some fresh pepper on the tomatoes and individually bread them by placing them in the flour mix, egg wash, back to the flour (coating well but shaking off excess) and then gently into the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan and don’t fuss with them once they’re in. Once the edges get golden brown carefully flip and continue cooking for another minute. Transfer tomato to a napkin lined plate making sure NOT to stack them. Use multiple plates if necessary. Continue til all tomatoes are fried and then sprinkle with salt.
Spoon sauce over tomatoes and garnish with red pepper. Serve immediately.