FRIED GREEN TOMATOES WITH BASIL MAYONNAISE (for six)
6 hard green tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup well-shaken buttermilk
dash hot sauce
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
1-1/2 cups Japanese panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil for frying
basil mayonnaise, to accompany
1. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Place the flour on a plate. Whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce in a small bowl or a pie tin. Whisk together the cornmeal and panko bread crumbs in a separate pie tin.
2. Working with one green tomato slice at a time, coat the tomato first in flour, knocking off the excess, then in the buttermilk, then finally in the cornmeal-breadcrumb mixture. Transfer the breaded slice to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining slices. Preheat the oven to 200*. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels. Heat ¾ inch of vegetable oil in a medium skillet to 350*.
3. Working in batches, fry the tomato slices until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked tomatoes to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Keep the cooked tomatoes in the warm oven while you fry the remaining slices. Serve the tomatoes warm, with a generous dollop of basil mayonnaise.
from Patrick and Gina Neely, owners of Neely’s Bar-B-Que in Memphis, Down Home with the Neelys