Fried Green Tomato BLT
Bacon sandwiches are common in Great Britain, but the BLT by that name is an American standard for going on 100 years. For our Bacon Blow Out dinner party last night, one of the main entrees was this sandwich but Chef Zach put a twist on it with fresh red tomato and fried green tomato. The vegetables we used were natural or organic, with the red tomato from our garden and the green from Zach’s mom’s. If your tomatoes aren’t red enough yet, look in your grocery store for softer tomatoes, just a little give but nowhere near mushy.
For 15 people
6 lbs. of Niman Ranch applewood smoked bacon
2 rounds of sliced sourdough bread from Boudin Bakery
10 green tomatoes
10 red tomatoes
1 large head of iceberg lettuce
2 cups of bread crumbs
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 cups of mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
1 cup of corn meal
1 cup of peanut oil
1/4 cup of Lowry’s seasoned salt, divided in 3 equal parts
Heat a large griddle over medium heat. Fry the bacon on the griddle. As you remove the cooked bacon, transfer to a sheet pan lined with lots of paper towels. Keep this sheet pan in the oven on a warm setting (no higher than 180 degrees F). Every time you add more bacon to the griddle, you will need to get rid of the previous bacon’s grease; remove with a metal tablespoon or a baster. You don’t have to remove all the grease, but you don’t want the bacon swimming, either.
Cut the red tomatoes into 1/4″-thick slices. Cut the green tomatoes into 1/2″-thick slices. Wash the lettuce and tear into sandwich-sized pieces.
In 3 large bowls of equal size, put the flour in one, the buttermilk and egg in the second, and the corn meal and bread crumbs in the third. Evenly distribute the Lowry’s seasoned salt among the three bowls, and mix each bowl separately.
Fill a large cast iron pan with 1/2″ of peanut oil. Heat between medium and medium-low until the oil is at the temperature where if you add a drop of water, it splatters.
With a dry hand, dredge the green tomatoes first in the seasoned flour. With your other hand, dredge the floured tomatoes in the buttermilk mixture. With the wet hand, drop the tomatoes into the bread crumbs and dust with your dry hand. By keeping one “dry” and one “wet,” this will prevent you from getting your hands excessively dirty.
From the bread crumb dusting, transfer the green tomato slices to the hot oil. Fry for roughly 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. When done, drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
The sourdough bread comes in large oval slices, so cut them in half to make more manageable sandwiches. Toast the bread very lightly and spread both pieces with mayonnaise.
Build the sandwich with 1 slice of red tomato, 2 green tomato slices, 2 strips of bacon halved (for 4 pieces at a good length for the bread), and 3 pieces of lettuce.