In 1992, Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Mary Stuart Masterson delighted audiences everywhere in Fried Green Tomatoes. Or at least they delighted female audiences, while men at time pretended not to like the film – but, oh, who were they kidding? That movie was great.
Well, these fried green tomatoes – courtesy of award-winning Chef John Kunkel – will delight even more, because they’re coated in flour and panko, then topped with pimento cheese, frisée salad and a dollop of tomato sauce. Oh, and bacon. Let’s not forget about the slab bacon.
And because it’s 2017, and we’ve grown a lot as a society, nobody will have to pretend not to like these fried green tomatoes.
For the sandwiches
- 6 oz slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 6 teaspoons sweet tomato sauce (packaged or homemade)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 6 pieces sliced green tomatoes
For the pimento cheese spread
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 2 oz diced roasted red pepper or drained pimentos
- 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
For the breading
- 1/2 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
For the frisée salad
- 6 oz yellow frisée lettuce (or another sturdy lettuce)
- 2 tablespoons lemon vinaigrette (packaged or homemade)
- 1 Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- 2 Prepare the tomatoes: Mix the flour, salt and pepper, and place in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the two eggs. Pour the panko bread crumbs on a shallow plate. Coat the tomatoes in the flour mixture, one at a time, making sure to knock off any extra flour. Dip the tomato into the eggs, then into the panko. Be sure to coat the tomatoes evenly, then set them aside.
- 3 Sear, then bake – like you would a steak – the thick slices of bacon to render out most of the fat.
- 4 Mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, roasted red peppers and garlic powder in a bowl and set aside.
- 5 Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s to temperature, add the tomatoes and fry them until they are golden brown. Once cooked, remove them and drain them on a paper towel. Season to taste with salt.
- 6 Mix the frisée lettuce, chopped chives and lemon vinaigrette in a bowl and set aside.
- 7 To plate, dollop a bit of tomato sauce onto a plate and place a fried green tomato on top. Top with 1 oz of the pimento cheese mixture, 1 slice of bacon, another dollop of tomato sauce and 1 oz of the frisée salad.