While watching an episode of Unique Eats on the Cooking Channel, my husband and I became enthralled by a recipe from Yardbird Southern Table and Bar in Miami. It was a layered Fried Green Tomato that included Pimento Cheese, Pork Belly Bacon, and Tomato Jam. No recipe was included. After doing some research, my husband came up with his version of the dish. Because there were so many steps to the dish we decided to use a good quality Pimento Cheese Spread purchased from our favorite market. We served it to extended family during the 4th of July holiday to rave reviews. —lakelurelady
For the Fried Green Tomatoes:
2 to 3
Green tomatoes; Each tomato will yield 4 3/8" slices
Salt and Pepper to taste
Flour, or more as needed
Seasoned Panko Bread Crumbs or more as needed
1 to 2
Milk for egg wash
Cooking Oil to fill a large skillet to a depth of 1/2 inch
8 to 12
slices pork belly bacon or thick sliced apple smoked bacon cooked crisp and drained
Pimento cheese spread, homemade or purchased.
Tomatoes. Can use a combination of regular and romas
Lightly salt and pepper both sides of the green tomato slices.
Make an egg wash with one or more eggs and a little milk in a bowl large enough to accommodate the biggest tomato slice. Mix the flour with a little salt and pepper in another bowl, and pour the panko crumbs in a third bowl.
Flour both sides of the tomato slices, then coat thoroughly with the egg wash and dip in the panko crumbs. Place on a large platter.
Heat the oil in a large deep skillet until the surface is shimmery. Place several slices in the pan without crowding too much and fry until golden brown on one side, then flip and fry until golden brown on the other side. Remove the slices to a paper towel covered baking tray and place in a warming oven while you continue with more batches if necessary.
Place fried green tomatoes on a platter. Top each tomato with a dollop of pimento cheese spread and 1 strip of bacon cut in half and criss-crossed. Finish with a spoonful of the Tomato Jam. Recipe follows.
Peel the tomatoes by placing in boiling water for about 1 1/2 minutes and then move to an ice water bath in a large bowl. After they cool, you can easily remove the skin by hand. Cut the tomatoes into a medium course chop and place in a large pot.
Add the sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Stir it all together and let it sit for half an hour to generate some liquid before heating.
Bring the mixture to a boil uncovered while stirring occasionally, reduce the heat to a heavy simmer and continue to cook uncovered, and stir once in a while to make sure it isn’t sticking and burning on the bottom.
It may take up to an hour for the jam to thicken. Just keep an eye on it and remove from heat once it has reached a jammy consistency.
You may have more than you need for the Fried Green Tomatoes, but it will keep well in the refrigerator. It can also be used as a topping for crostini.
I have been a serious cook from the time I first took an introductory course in French Cooking from a professional chef and cookbook author. My first love is French cooking but I also value the importance of fresh local ingredients. The freshest ingredients seasoned right and prepared with love will result in the perfect meal.