Spicin’ up Fried Green Tomatoes!

So I’ve always heard of fried green tomatoes, but never got around to trying them. Well, this weekend, my boyfriend decided to join me in the kitchen and his one request: Fried green tomato sandwich. With my sous chef in tow, I set out to both cook an ingredient I’ve never had as well as take on the looming frying process. I’m happy to announce that we managed to make a delicious sandwich without starting any fires/burning ourselves/burning down the house. We had a few inspirations for this dish as well as a little improvising of our own. Here’s what you’ll need:

Hot Habanero Cheddar cheese
2 large green tomatoes, slice 1/3 in thick
kosher salt, pepper
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (or really any type of hot sauce – we used a barbecue bourbon hot sauce)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups panko (japanese breadcrumbs)
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 3 cups)
4 kaiser rolls (or ciabatta, whatever you prefer)
Baby romaine lettuce
Spicy Remoulade sauce (we found ours at Wegman’s in the international aisle, but you can use any sauce you’d like)

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First, you’ll need to cut up your tomato slices into about 1/3 in thick slices. I was able to get about 8 slices from the two tomatoes. Make sure to pat them dry to absorb any of their extra liquid. It will make it harder to bread and fry if there’s too much extra liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Next, you’ll want to get everything ready for your breading.

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So we mixed the hot sauce into the egg wash which brings the heat into the tomato that will marry well with the heat from the habanero cheddar cheese. Your flour batter will consist of the flour, garlic powder, and paprika and then you’ll top it off with the Panko bread crumbs.

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Once your oil is heated to 350 degrees (and you can use a candy thermometer to make sure your oil is at the right temperature), you are ready to drop in your tomatoes. Drop them in, in batches (about 3 per batch) to make sure you don’t crowd the tomatoes and allow them to cook evenly. Place them on a cooking sheet lined with paper towels to drain any of the excess oil.

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Now, you need to prepare your sandwich bun. Slice your kasier rolls, butter, and pan sear to toast the bun. We put the spicy remoulade on both sides of the bun (like you would a mayo), place the lettuce on the bottom bun, place the tomato on top, then top with the habanero cheddar and enjoy!

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And what perfect pairing than with a margarita!? It was SO delicious. Probably one of my new favorite sandwiches. It had the tanginess from the green tomato (which is very different from regular tomato’s sweetness) as well as a nice kick from the habanero cheddar and remoulade. I found the tomato cut into the heat and the nice crunch from the lettuce gave it an element of freshness. Definitely need a soft roll – I would not recommend anything remotely hard. I personally wanted to put it on a potato roll but my boyfriend insisted on a kaiser roll that resulted in a Wegman’s showdown- but I have to admit that it was a wonderful choice! Overall, just a really great dish. A little labor intensive, but I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed taking on a new cooking technique like the frying. I would like to make it again and figure out new toppings to put on it and different flavor combinations. Highly recommend!

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