Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes w/goat cheese & tarragon vinaigrette

It's been a long, long time since I've posted ANYTHING!

All I can say is, life (bad, good, and incredible) got first dibs on my attention.   I have two fabulous ladies, who devoutly attend my cooking classes, ( and to whom,  I will owe $20 each, if I don't blog soon) to thank for pushing me back into the water.


FGT's w/goat cheese & tarragon vin..

I LOVE, love, love this salad.

Except for those brief moments in summer, where tomatoes are so perfectly ripe they need JUST the slightest suggestion of salt, the biggest motivation to plant tomatoes is....FGT's.  Fried Green Tomatoes! I purposely plant too many tomato seeds each spring solely to support my green tomato obsession.

I am arriving late to the wonders of FGT's, as I never had them as a child, teenager or even as young adult. Unfortunately, in my "pre chef, food-nerd" days,  if it did not come from a can or was not cooked to a point beyond recognition, my family did not serve such things.  In truth, it was not until a few years ago when someone asked me for additional ideas to utilize a bumper crop of green tomatoes, that I even gave FGT's a thought. Once I made my first batch, I was in love.  For some reason, this is it for me.  I see no reason to even suggest other recipes. If I had to choose my last meal, it would most certainly include various forms of FGT's. This humble little offering captures my complete attention (if you know me, then you know that's saying a lot).   What I love is biting into the crispy, crunchy cornmeal, and then the firm, thick, tangy flesh of the warm tomato.  I honestly eat about three or four ( or six) before any can actually make it to a plate or platter.

 I've paired the green tomatoes from my garden with spicy baby arugula, local goat cheese (Haystack), and tarragon (my garden, too), to make a wonderful end of summer salad.

Note:  Feel free to slice the tomatoes as thin or thick as you prefer, I like thick slices. Also, I use a three part dipping process: flour ( or GF substitute), egg & water mixture, and cornmeal.  I use this combination because I like the results, but feel free to substitute a little panko (japanese bread crumbs) in for some of the cornmeal.  This salad taste best when served while still warm.

    Fried Green Tomatoes w/Haystack Goat Cheese & Tarragon Vinaigrette 

Serves 4
2 large green tomatoes, sliced 1/4"-1/2" thick
1 local eggs
1/4 cup water
1 cup flour ( or GF substitute, or rice flour)
1 cup corn meal ( or 1/2 c. corn meal & 1/2 cup panko)
2 tsp.kosher salt
1 cup canola, vegetable or olive oil 
2 oz. local goat cheese (I like Haystack Applewood smoked, or feta)
2 cups baby arugula
Tarragon Vinaigrette (Recipe follows)

First, slice tomatoes and salt and pepper both sides.

Next, take 3 bowls or shallow containers with rims.  Place flour in bowl one, eggs mixed with water in bowl two, and corn meal in bowl three.  Lightly salt and pepper the flour and the corn meal .  Your bowls should be set up: Flour, egg, corn meal.  Dip each tomato slice in the flour first, then egg mixture, then corn meal.  Set aside until oil is ready.

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium high heat for two minutes,  then add 1/2 cup oil and heat for 1 minute, carefully add tomatoes to skillet (make sure you do not crowd the pan), and cook until the coating is lightly browned. Turn the tomatoes and brown on the other side.  Remove tomatoes and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all tomatoes are browned, adding oil when needed.  NOTE:  if the corn meal in the pan begins to burn after your second batch,  remove the pan from the heat, and carefully wipe out the corn meal bits and begin again with fresh oil.

To plate:  Toss arugula with a little vinaigrette and divide between the four plates, top arugula with 2-3 slices of FGT's, crumble goat cheese on top and drizzle a tablespoon of vinaigrette over the top.  I usually bring extra vinaigrette to the table.  Enjoy!

                      Tarragon Vinaigrette

1 tsp finely chopped shallot
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
1 Tbl local honey
2-3 Tbl Fresh Tarragon, chopped ( please do not use dried)
1/4 cup white wine (or champagne, or rice wine) vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Whisk together shallots, dijon, honey, 1/2 the tarragon and the white wine vinegar until thoroughly combined.  While whisking slowly add in olive oil until emulsified, add other half of tarragon,  season with salt and pepper to taste.  You can also use a blender or a hand held blender to make the vinaigrette, however you may have to increase the recipe to make it work in a large blender.  This Vinaigrette will last about a week in the refrigerator. 


Po said...

Glad that you're back!

Chef Deb T said...

Thank you, I have been traveling a ton, and I've picked up so many unique ideas. I can't wait to share them!!

Chef Deb

C. Martin said...

So glad you are back!! So tell us about your journeys when you have a chance...thought we lost you forever!

Mr T said...

Chef you are amazing! it is nice to see you blogging again!

Mr. T said...

We are looking forward to new exciting recipes from you and to hear about all of your amazing travels and adventures! Love your classes at Mountain High Appliances too.

upstreamrower said...

Just made these tonight. Great! Can't wait to share the recipe with my mom. The dressing was the best. Have you ever tried to make a thicker crust. (husband's request)

Chef Deb T said...


For thicker crust, re-dip the tomato back into the egg mixture and into the corn mixture. I guess that would be double dipping..

thanks for the post and the question


Chef Deb