Monday, July 23, 2012

Panko-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes

I need to confess something.


There, I said it.  I love fried green tomatoes in all of their incarnations.  I have had them thick cut, thin cut, dredged in batter, dredged in cornmeal... all good.  I even love the movie Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe.  If it is ever on TV, I will watch it, no matter how far into the movie the programming is.

So now that we have established my obsession with fried green tomatoes, let me say, that this is hands down, the best preparation of fried green tomatoes I have EVER eaten.  EVER.

I first had them prepared this way at a restaurant called Founding Farmers, mere blocks from the Whitehouse on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington D.C.  They are thick slices of juicy green tomatoes enrobed in a light flavorful crispy shell of fried panko breadcrumbs.  Once I had them, I had to come home and recreate the recipe.

These little beauties are the absolute essence of summer, since it is about the only time I can easily obtain green tomatoes.  I love to eat these on their own with a little lemon garlic aioli or , I love them slathered in pimento cheese, I love them on a sandwich with crispy bacon and fresh basil leaves and I love them just plain.

Bacon, Basil and Fried Green Tomatoes on Multigrain Bread.  
Shut the front door delicious!

I find these are much easier to prepare in a deep fryer, but a skillet will also work, just make certain to maintain a temperature of 350 or your little green 'maters will be greasy, and that would be a tragedy.

Panko-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes
serves 4

4 medium-sized firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 eggs
2 Tbsp hot sauce
1- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
peanut oil for frying
waved paper

Slice tomatoes into 1/4-inch discs.

In a medium-sized bowl combine flour, salt, garlic powder and black pepper, stir to combine well.

In another medium bowl combine eggs and hot sauce, whisk to combine well.

In a third bowl, place the panko breadcrumbs.

Lay out a sheet of waxed paper.

dredge tomatoe slices in flour mixture, shaking off excess.  Dip in egg mixture making certain to completely coat the tomatoe slice.  Dip in panko breadcrumbs turning to coat evenly.

Place breaded slices on wax paper until ready to fry.

Pre heat oil to 350F.  Fry tomatoes in small batches (4-6 slices at a time), fliping them over from time to time, until they are crispy and golden brown.

Drain on paper towels, serve hot!

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