Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Dripping Southern: Fried Green Tomato BLT With Mozz

May 14th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Find me a Southerner who doesn’t like fried green tomatoes and I’ll show you a fake. A crispy fried green tomato beats any other fried thing I can conjure, and I can never get enough of them.

I hate to fry and don’t do it nearly as much as I once did, for both health and clean-up reasons. A great way to get around it is this:

Slice the tomatoes as you would for frying. Do one of two things: either brush with a beaten egg white, or spray or brush on some olive oil. Dredge the slices in panko breadcrumbs. Heat the oven to 400 and stick them in it; cook until golden brown. They’re not dripping grease, a big plus. You can do this with eggplant slices, too — I love them sliced very thin and brushed with oil, sprinkled with a little oregano and garlic and then baked off till crispy as chips. Yumola!

I make a fried green tomato Parmesan that’s other-worldly, too. But this recipe hit my in-box and I was smitten with it as well. Fry ’em or bake ’em — either way, this is a great sandwich.

From my Southern Facebook friend, Donna Godfrey:

friedgreentomatoesI have had this recipe for a long time…..I love it and pulled it out of my box today. It combines fried green tomatoes and basil and it is just a treat for your mouth!

Fried Green Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil “BLTs”
2 pounds green tomatoes (about 4 medium) — cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 pound sliced bacon — cooked until crisp, and drained, reserve 1/3 cup drippings
8 large slices firm white sandwich bread
3/4 pound fresh mozzarella — cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
24 fresh basil leaves — washed well and spun dry

Preheat broiler.

In a small bowl coat 4 tomato slices evenly with cornmeal and season with salt.

In a 10-to 12-inch heavy skillet, heat 1/4 cup reserved bacon drippings over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Cook tomatoes until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes, transferring them as cooked to paper towels to drain. Coat and cook remaining tomatoes in same manner, using additional drippings if necessary.

On a baking sheet broil one side of bread slices about 3 inches from heat until golden. Make sandwiches by layering, on untoasted sides of bread, mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, and bacon. Top with remaining bread slices, toasted sides up.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ksteinhoff // May 14, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Wife Lila loves fried green tomatoes. I’ve never been fond of them because they usually end up slimy.

    The best ones I ever had were in Okeechobee at the Old Habits while I was riding the Lake O Scenic Trail.

    I was sitting at the bar chowing down on something good when a fellow walked up with a bucket of green tomatoes and asked if the cook would fry ’em up.

    He/she did and the result was shared with everyone in the joint.

    Too bad the 2004-2oo5 hurricane season did away with the place.

  • 2 Charles Keefer // May 16, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Haven’t seen a green tomato in years except in a jar.

    Guess I haven’t looked hard enough.

  • 3 Holley // Jun 22, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I love this recipe! I have found that the tomatoes get browner and crispier if you use equal parts flour and cornmeal to fry.

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