Fried Green Tomato Caprese

27 Sep

Fried Green Tomato CapreseThis week’s post was inspired by happy hour…yep…there is a bar down the street from us and my husband and I hit happy hour last Friday.  Since everything was $5…well…we basically had…everything {oops!}.  The upside was that they served tasty drinks.  The downside was the food…it was like they weren’t even trying.  The most offensive was the fried green tomatoes…they were soggy, the batter was tasteless, and they took deli sliced cheese, tore it, and placed the sad little squares on top.  But, out of that less-than-good dish,  was a voice in my head saying, “I could totally do that and make it great.”  So, I did…{and I hope you think so too!}

sliced tomatoes{Gina’s Take}

I love fried green tomatoes.  Every time I travel back home to the South its one of the dishes I seek out on a list of southern goodness, including fried okra and grits.

Luckily for me,  heirloom tomatoes are in season and there have been plenty at the market, so I picked up a basil prepcouple to experiment with.   I also caught a good break with my basil plants, which are still growing off the charts despite making 5…yes…5 batches of garlic & basil pesto, giving two ‘bouquets’ of basil away, and giving away the bonus plants I accidentally grew.

tomato fryingSo I sliced up the tomatoes and mozzarella, went to my basil plants and cut a couple of fresh stems, cut up the basil leaves with my favorite pair of  scissors ever, herb cutting scissors, and dredged and fried away.

sliced mozzarella cheeseFor the marinara sauce – whatever your favorite variety of this is will work.  I make marinara sauce in bulk from my grandmother’s recipe, then freeze in mason jars, so I pulled one of the jars out of the freezer and defrosted it for the occasion.

Assembly is super simple and the results are delicious!

{Pretty Little Tip}

Firm is fine!  When selecting your green tomatoes, you want a firm flesh…they’ll stand up to the frying better.

{Special Note}

As always, a special thanks to my friend, Toni, for letting me borrow her beautiful ceramics.  She was featured this week on Sweden with Love’s Ask 5, along side some great company:  actress Maria Bello, interior designer Kimberly Rider, personal trainer Thomas Roe, and publicist Sara Vahabi.

plated fried green tomato caprese

 

Fried Green Tomato Caprese

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 10

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 green tomatoes, sliced ~1/4 inch thick
  • 3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/16 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced ~1/8 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat fryer oil to 350F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt & pepper, and garlic.
  3. In a second small bowl, combine the eggs & milk to create an egg wash.
  4. In a third small bowl, combine the panko, cayenne pepper, and paprika.
  5. Once you've got your bowls of ingredients set up, dunk each tomato slice first in the flour mixture, then in to the egg wash, and finally into the bread crumb mixture, then set each slice aside on a plate or tray until all the tomatoes are used up.
  6. Next, fry each breaded tomato until crispy and browned - about 1-2 minutes per side, then set aside on paper towels to collect the excess oil.
  7. To assemble, starting with the bottom layer, place a fried green tomato on a plate, top with a slice of mozzarella, then add ~1/2 Tbsp of marinara sauce, and finally place a few of the chopped basil leaves on top. Serve immediately.
http://prettylittledishes.com/2013/09/27/fried-green-tomato-caprese/

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