Welcome to my first post for Taste of Austin Tuesday!
It’s February, and I’m learning that means spring is just about to happen here in Central Texas. I’m thinking gardens and picking out seed packets and eventually (hopefully!) harvesting the fruits of my labors.
And that has to include tomatoes, right? And there are bound to be at least a few green ones that need to be picked before the-blast-furnace-that-is-summer here lets loose its wrath, right?
So fried green tomatoes are a natural.
Basic fried tomatoes aren’t hard to make. But I wanted a recipe that was a little special, with a twist on the standard dinner fare version. And I found it on We Are Founding Farmers, a blog that celebrates the family farmer for all they give us, from the food to the wise stewardship of the land.
I tweaked the original recipe a tiny bit, like substituting finely pressed fresh garlic for the garlic powder in the original (never could stand the taste of the powdered stuff!). You might prefer the original, but we loved this version!
It also gave me a chance to mention one of my favorite goat dairies here in Austin (because everyone has a favorite goat dairy, right?)
Founding Farmers Fried GreenTomatoes with Goat Cheese
Makes about 8 slices:
- 3 green tomatoes, cored and sliced 3/8” thick
- 1/2 cup panko and peanut bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup yellow corn meal
- 1/2 cup dry tempura mix
- 1/2 cup prepared tempura batter (you will have some left over)
- 1 teaspoon pressed or very finely chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons grated onion
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup Founding Farmers Green Goddess Dressing (you have to go to one of their D.C. area restaurants to get this, so if you’re in Austin, use a local Green Goddess dressing instead. )
- 1/2 cup goat cheese, softened*
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Combine cornmeal and panko in a food processor or blender and blend until fine. Set aside.
- Prepare tempura batter according to box directions, reserving the 1/2 of dry mix in a separate bowl
- Mix the garlic and onion into the tempura batter
- Add 1½” of vegetable frying oil to a large skillet and heat until very hot (preferably 350ºF)
- Season the tomato slices on both sides with coriander, pepper and salt
- Bread tomatoes in the following order: dry tempura mix, prepared tempura batter with onion and garlic, cornmeal/panko mix.
- Place each breaded tomato slice very carefully into the hot oil (using a splatter screen will reduce the oil splatter).
- Fry until golden brown on one side.
- Flip and fry until the other side is golden brown.
- Remove from oil to a paper bag or to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Portion the green goddess dressing and soft goat cheese into small bowls or ramekins.
- Arrange tomato slices on a plate and serve with dips.
*The best source for amazing, fresh, delicious goat cheese around Austin is Swede Farm Dairies. Owners Tim and LeeAnn, and their hardworking kids produce some of the best goat cheese and goat milk I have ever had (you gotta try the chocolate milk!!) The farm isn’t in Austin, but lucky for us, they bring it to local farmers markets every week. Check out their Facebook page, find them at your local farmer’s market (tell them Lindsay from A is For Austin sent you!) and watch for a full post about them soon!
YUM! How have I never thought to combine goat cheese with fried green tomatoes. Now I can’t wait for green tomatoes… and I need to get my hands on some Swede Farm goat cheese. I wish they’d sell at Cedar Park Farmers Market!