I should start off by saying that my family is that weird group of people that doesn’t swoon over a garden fresh tomato. I don’t know what is wrong with us. I want to love them and have my family love them too. We love the smell of tomato plants and fresh tomatoes. But honestly, cherry, grape and pear tomatoes make us run screaming. Meatier tomatoes are easier for us to handle. We are absolutely working in the direction of learning to love, but it hasn’t come naturally.
One of the first tomato dishes I got my husband to eat was the Fried Green Tomatoes with goat cheese and cashew relish from Flying Biscuit. They are divine for sure. They have even shared their recipe, which you can find here. But when I made these, I ended up with way too much leftovers and it was time consuming. Great for a relaxed unhindered afternoon of cooking, not for trying to make a dinner and wrangle kids. So my goal here was to create something my husband would enjoy while cutting down on time, less appliances/utensils to clean up when I’m done and make it a smaller recipe. True Southerners can’t say no to peaches, pepper jelly or most anything smoked. So I took cues from all yummy Southern-ness! Whether you want to use a garden fresh green tomato up so you don’t get inundated or you just can’t wait any longer for a taste of summer, this recipe won’t disappoint!
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES w/ GOAT CHEESE AND SMOKEY PEACH PEPPER JELLY
- 1 large green (unripe) tomato, sliced into 1/4 to 1/3 inch slices
- 1/2 C flour
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp buttermilk or regular milk
- 1/3 C Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 C corn meal
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning with herbs (other salted seasoning of choice will work)
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1/3 C pepper jelly
- 2 heaping Tbsp peach jam (could sub apricot if its what you had on hand)
- 4 small shakes of liquid smoke (more or less totally optional)
- vegetable oil for frying
- bed of greens for serving, optional
In a pan, warm the pepper jelly, peach jam and smoke flavoring. Heat to combine, then turn off heat and set aside to cool. Sauce will thicken to a honey or molasses like thickness at room temp.
In a shallow skillet over medium heat, put 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to heat slowly while you prep.
In one shallow bowl, mix flour and cajun seasoning. In a 2nd bowl, mix egg and buttermilk. In a 3rd bowl mix the panko and the cornmeal. Take your tomato slices and coat first with flour mix, then into egg mixture and lastly into panko and cornmeal mixture. Set aside on plate while you finish coating the other slices.
When your oil is ready, insert 2-3 tomato slices at a time. Cooking then 1.5 min each side, or until each side is golden brown. Set aside on paper towel to drain while you continue frying.
Serve each warm slice with a dollop of goat cheese and a heavy drizzle of the cooled sauce. Bed of fresh greens optional, but boy was it good.
Hope this gives you some ideas for weekend meal. This one tomato made a hearty entree serving for 2 adults if you made a side. If you decide to double it for a group, definitely double the sauce and the goat cheese. But I’d only refill your breading bowls as you run out because they went further than I was anticipating. Let me add that you can make the sauce ahead and keep it in the fridge and then very lightly warm before serving. And don’t hesitate to prep your tomato slice and even bread them a bit ahead then fry when meal time comes around. For that matter, these tomatoes slices totally came back to life the next day by placing on a baking sheet with the cooking rack in the middle of the oven and broil till each side sizzles (probably 2 min each side).
I’ll have a garden update soon. As always, let me know if you try a recipe. Feedback is always welcome. Have a great weekend!