(This post is part of a series that begins here.)
Fried green tomatoes are the stuff of Southern myths and legends. The thing about myths and legends is that they always have some basis in reality, in this case, crunchy, fried reality. I can get on board with that. Fried green tomatoes are something special when they are done perfectly. On the other end of the spectrum, they are truly appalling when done badly. I’m here to say that Chef Robert Hall knows his way around an under-ripe tomato and a screaming hot pan of oil.
Sliced green tomatoes from the heritage garden on sight got a buttermilk bath before being dipped into a bowl of seasoned polenta (corn grits). The coarse texture of the polenta gave a nice crunch to the coating. Using the corn grits in place of cornmeal was probably my most useful take away from the entire day. Mixed with thyme, garlic, paprika, cayenne, and chipotle, the coarsely-ground corn made the dish.
Yes, I will admit to slight disappointment that commercial mayo was used as a base for the remoulade, but it certainly didn’t take away my enjoyment of the dish. Mustard, garlic, onion, bell pepper, and celery were added to the mayo and buzzed briefly in the food processor.
This little nibble is now in the top two of my all-time favorite fried green tomatoes. The actual tomato is without a doubt the best, but there is a special place in my heart for Chef Lee Richardson and his penchant for pepper jelly-topped tomatoes.
(For more kitchen tips visit Kitchen Tip Tuesday.)