When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.
When Shae gives you garden fresh green tomatoes, you fry those babies up!
Until very recently I thought green tomatoes and tomatillos were the same thing. Welpst, I was wrong. Green tomatoes are just actually unripe. After researching the fruit and talking its taste over with Shae, I learned that unripened tomatoes contain alkaloids (also found in the plant’s stems and leaves), which upon ingestion can make you rather sick or….or they could kill ya. Green tomatoes are okay if you don’t eat them by the bushel, and in this case I am making a sandwich. COAST IS CLEAR!
The first time I had fried green tomatoes was back in 2010 at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, Texas. I was seeing Matisyahu in concert there later that night and needed something to grub on. Fried green tomatoes were that best sounding option at a BBQ restaurant to then vegetarian Annie. Oh yeah, I dipped them in ranch. Lots and lots of ranch.
Anyway,back to this sandwich… Shae gave me 2 huge green tomatoes, and I automatically thought – FRY DAT! Then I thought of BLTs. I had all the stuff at home and could not be more ready for 4PM to roll around.
So here we go. A fried green tomato BLT with Swiss cheese (because cheese makes everything better)!
1 large green tomato
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (for soaking)
2 cups flour (for dredging)
spices to taste: cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chipotle powder
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
for sandwich: bread, bacon, baby spinach (better than lettuce!), and Swiss cheese
The longest part of this process will be soaking you tomatillos in buttermilk, about 30 minutes. During this time, you can do prep work for your sandwich, i.e.- fry bacon, mix flour and spices for dredging, butter yo bread.
- With a very sharp knife, you will first want to slice up your tomatillos. Depending on the size, you should end up with 4 to 5 1/4th inch slices.
- Soak the tomatillos for 30 minutes in a buttermilk marinade. I like to use the spices listed in the ingredients. I am also very liberal with the garlic powder and paprika.
- While the tomatillos are soaking in the fridge, cook your bacon! Crack! Sizzle! Pop!P.S. I bought a cast iron skillet over the weekend and I am OBSESSED! I love if for the sole fact that it distributes heat so evenly. And bacon cooked in a cast iron skillet taste even better. It’s like the two were made for each other!
- Now you can prepare your flour mixture. I like to do this in a Tupperware container because it makes it easier to coat the tomatoes. Just put the lid on and shake! Once again, I used all of the listed spices, this time sprinkling the paprika, chipotle, and black pepper with a heavy hand.
- Your tomatillos should be ready to coat in flour, aka dredge! Drop one slice in at a time, cover, and shake until evenly coated. Repeat the process of dipping in the buttermilk and dredging one more time if you like more breading.
- After draining the bacon grease, heat up the vegetable oil in the same skillet on medium high heat. Drop in your coated tomatillos and let sizzle until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- While the tomatillos are frying, begin to prep your sandwich. I put a teency bit of butter on the outside layers of bread as you would a grilled cheese. Inside I layered the Swiss, bacon, and baby spinach and let the cheese melt. When the tomatillos finish, drain on a paper towel, add to the sandwich, and finish grilling!Isn’t that just pretty?
- Hooray! Your sandwich is done! cut it in half diagonally so you can see the cheese ooze out. Don’t even offer to share!
There ya go, a fried green tomato BLT! Honestly you should probably be more scared of all that bacon and cheese killing you rather than those unripe tomatoes!
Yum yum yum yum yum!