All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
I love fried green tomatoes. I had my first one ever in Vicksburg, Mississippi on a cross country driving trip & I have been obsessed ever since. Sadly – I find they are seldom well executed – even in the south. Sometimes too bready, sometimes soggy, sometimes laden with icky cheese – whatever. For these ones here – I intentionally skipped the three stage dredging thru flour, dipping in egg & then in breadcrumbs so that I would get the thinnest possible crust. I used a cornmeal mix & wet tomatoes only. Once they were frying – I removed each from the pan & again pressed them into the cornmeal because the single layer was too fragile for the hot oil. I was very happy with the result. If you want a breadier exterior – simply add salt & pepper to some flour in one bowl, whisked egg in another & then either this cornmeal mix or a breadcrumb (regular or panko) variation in a third – and simply coat your tomato in first the flour, then egg & then breadcrumbs – & proceed with the rest of the recipe or just eat them up on the spot.
I didn’t use a real green tomato here. I used a fairly hard green heirloom tomato. It worked wonderfully. If you know where to buy green tomatoes in Los Angeles – let me know!
The quantity below was for two little towers. Increase it at will.
Fried Green Tomato & Mozzarella Napoleon Towers
1 green tomato
1 ripe red or heirloom tomato
4 slices of fresh mozzarella or several bocconcini (slices will be easier)
1/3 cup corn meal (or breadcrumbs)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp flour
1/4 tsp Cajun spices (optional)
Ranch dressing (optional)
oil for frying ( I used cheap olive oil)
fresh basil chiffonade (explained HERE) – or just chop it up into ribbons for garnish
Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the green tomato so you have 4 decent 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices. Get two equally sized slices from your red or heirloom tomato & then dice the rest for garnish.
Blend all the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
Wet the green tomato & coat with the cornmeal mix.
Heat the oil & when hot – fry the green tomatoes. You can dip them in the cornmeal a second time during the frying process to get a better coating. When nicely golden – remove from the oil & drain on a paper towel.
Assemble the Napoleon towers by putting two slices of fried green tomato on a greased cooking sheet. Tom with the red or heirloom tomato then with the mozzarella then the other green tomato slices & then more mozzarella. I spiked mine with half a wooden skewer (to hold them upright) – but toothpicks will work, too. Bake at 350 for ten minutes or until the mozzarella is all melted.
Put on a plate, remove the toothpicks & garnish with the chopped tomato & basil chiffonade. I watered down a few tablespoons of a good Ranch dressing & drizzled it over these but I don’t think I will in the future. Serve!