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Fried Green Tomatoes with Bacon Vinaigrette and Warm Frisée.
It was bound to happen. The summer here in New Hampshire is brief. A fleeting few months of sizzling hot afternoons quickly rolls into the milder, chilly days of fall. I'm not complaining mind you, fall here is a beautiful time of year. The temperatures are often times more comfortable compared to the blistering heat of August and with the change of weather comes the magnificent change in leaf color.
But as much as I enjoy fall, there are some things that I wish to not say goodbye to. One of those things is my garden. During the summer, we tend to a small garden bed that reaps surprising rewards. Although several of the plants are still producing, I know that it is only a matter of time until the first frost will put an end to my green zebra tomatoes and purple basil.
In fear of the inevitable, my husband and I decided it was time to pick what was remaining and put the garden to bed. Dangling from a few spindly vines were a few green tomatoes. Not certain if they would have time to ripen before a frost blanketed them, we plucked them and made plans for a little frying.
A few local sources selling green tomatoes:
Looking for additional NH farms? Check here:
- 3-4 large green (unripe) tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
- 1 large clove garlic, minced and smashed
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 ounces (about six slices) thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-1/2-inch strips
- 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Canola/vegetable oil for frying
- 1 large head frisée lettuce, washed (if needed) and torn into pieces
- Cayenne pepper
- salt & pepper to taste
Paula Deen Cooks Fried Green Tomatoes
- Gently toss the sliced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and let stand for 10 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels or brown paper bag. Pour off most of the bacon fat, reserving 2 Tablespoons;stir in the vinegar and set aside.
- Preparing the tomatoes:
- In a pie plate or shallow bowl, season 3/4 cup of flour with salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne and half of the thyme.
- In another pie plate, whisk eggs with water.
- In a third pie plate, mix the cornmeal with the remaining flour, the remainder of the thyme and another pinch of cayenne.
- Working with 1 slice at a time, dip the tomato in the flour. Tap off excess flour. Dip into egg and then dredge in cornmeal;press the cornmeal onto the tomato slice to help it adhere.
- Transfer the slices to a lined baking sheet until you are ready to fry. It is best to line the sheet with wax paper so the tomatoes do not stick.
- In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil until very hot. (oil will be ready when it shimmers and appears more like water than oil)
- Fry tomato slices in small batches over moderately high heat, turning carefully until golden brown. 3-5 minutes per each batch. Drain on paper towels or paper bag. Salt immediately when removed from fry oil.
- When your tomatoes have all been fried. Rewarm the bacon fat and vinegar over low heat. Add the frisée. Gently toss the frisée in the vinaigrette wilting slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place fried tomato slice on plate. Top with frisée. Sprinkle with the bacon and serve.
- [Like most fried foods, it is best not to allow the fried tomatoes to sit. Their crisp coating will begin to become soggy. If you are making this salad for a larger crowd, I recommend that you place the tomato slices on a wire rack and keep in a 250 degree oven to keep warm. DO NOT wrap the tomatoes. The warmth will only make them sweat and create a soggy tomato.
One of the simplest ways of cutting bacon is to partially freeze it then slice, however, when you are going to be deep-frying, the water created from the freezing process will make the oil splatter. Another easy method is just clipping it using kitchen shears.
If you do not have bacon, I recommend that you try slices of prosciutto. Place 4-5 slices of prosciutto on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven until crisp, about 10 minutes depending on your oven. Allow to cool slightly and then crumble on top of salad.
What's the Difference? Bacon, Pancetta, and Prosciutto
- What's the Difference? Bacon, Pancetta, and Prosciutto | The Kitchn
These three pork products look alike, taste somewhat similar, and even get regularly substituted for each other. It's no wonder we get them confused!
Can I substitute anything else for the egg-wash?
For this recipe, a mixture of whole egg and water are used for dredging, however, there are several other ingredients that can be used with equal success. The flavors of the fried tomatoes may vary slightly, but all work well.
- egg whites
- light cream
- plain yogurt
- skim milk
- evaporated milk
When it comes to seasoning, timely is everything. Never directly salt a food before deep-frying it, as the salt will draw moisture to the food's surface and cause the hot oil to splatter. Always salt a food immediately after removing it from the hot oil, when it has the best chance of sticking to the food.
In French, frisée means curly. In culinary terms, frisee is a pale, light green variety of curly endive with a slightly bitter flavor. It belongs to the chicory family and is often used in mesclun mixes. My mom always enjoyed frisee, but growing up she would generally refer to it as chicory.
Frisee is one of those lettuces that stands up especially well to hot ingredients, in other words, warm vinaigrettes, a hot entrée or wilted; frisee doesn't loose its' flavor and its' texture is not sacrificed when warmed. A French bistro classic, the Lyonnaise frisée salad features fried baconlardons, a poached egg and a mustardy vinaigrette.
The darker green tips of the frisée are the most bitter and can be snipped off, however, the bitterness of this lettuce works quite nicely with the tartness of the green tomatoes and the smoky flavor of the rendered bacon.
Typically a head of frisée at the market is rather clean. I prefer to was all my lettuces and frisée is no exception. After you have torn the frisée into pieces, submerge in a sink of fresh cold water. Pat well to dry or use a lettuce spinner to be sure that you have removed as much water as possible.
|Serving size: one serving/based on one slice of tomato|
|Calories from Fat||153|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 17 g||26%|
|Saturated fat 4 g||20%|
|Unsaturated fat 11 g|
|Fiber 2 g||8%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
- Frisée-Apple Salad: Recipe: bonappetit.com
You may also like to try this frisée and apple salad-perfect for this time of year. With apple picking upon us in New Hampshire, this would be delicious alongside pork chops or roast.
What apples are good in salads?
Here are but a few apples:
- Granny Smith
- Golden Delicious
- Pink Lady