Friday, August 16, 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes & Jalapeno Yogurt Dip

Not sure what to do with the green tomatoes that you have at the end of the season? Or perhaps you're like me and have tomatoes falling off the vine a little early thanks to a dog's tail.... er, I mean windy weather knocking them off? Well, I have a solution: fried green tomatoes. They're super easy to make, delicious and are great with a wide range of sides (eggs, chicken, fish, steak, a salad) or just on their own.

I first tried fried green tomatoes in NYC at the best breakfast place- Clinton Street Baking Co & Restaurant on the Lower East Side.  This recipe is adapted from theirs (they have an amazing cookbook!).

5 green tomatoes, cut into 1/2" slices
1/2 cup canola oil for frying
Dredging stations- there are three in total:
1) 1 cup all purpose flour, mixed with 1 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2) 2 large eggs, beaten together with 2 tbsp cold water and a pinch of salt
3) 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, mixed together well with 1 cup ground cornmeal and a pinch of a salt

Dredge the tomatoes in flour first, then egg mixture, then the cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture.

More details after the cut!

Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Get the oil hot in a sautee pan, and then gently place the tomatoes into the pan.  Do not touch the tomatoes once they're in there until you are ready to flip them.

I left them alone for 1.5 minutes, then flipped them over.  I cooked them for another 1.5 minutes.  I then took them out and placed them on a papertowel-lined baking sheet. I sprinkled a teeny tiny bit of sea salt on them.

Now, onto the jalapeno yogurt dip!
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, tightly packed
1/4 cup lime juice
1 large bulb of garlic
1 medium sized jalapeno
2 tsp sea salt
Pinch of fresh ground pepper
1.5 cups of plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp milk

I put the first 6 ingredients into my small blender and mixed everything well. I would have preferred to use fresh lime juice but didn't have any limes, so I went with bottled.

I then added the yogurt and milk, and mixed it together again.  I like using yogurt for the texture, tang, and consistency.  The result: a beautiful dip that smells divine. The spice, garlic, lime, and cilantro all play nicely together, and the greek yogurt gives it some contrast.

You can use the dip with a lot of different things, and it goes very well with these tomatoes.  You could have it on tacos, with potatoes, on the side with chicken or fish... there are a lot of possibilities. If you prefer spicier things, you can replace the jalapeno with a hotter hot pepper, just be careful that it doesn't overwhelm everything else.


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