I have another old-style recipe for you today. And it’s one that you can serve any time of day. It’s just as good for breakfast and lunch as it is for supper.
I especially enjoy this recipe during the winter when the only tomatoes you can find are hard as rocks and have little taste. That’s just what you want for this! Although those winter tomatoes aren’t very good for eating plain, something about frying them in bacon fat really brings out the flavor. Could just be the bacon.
The first step is to fry up some bacon. I usually cook my bacon in the oven, but for this recipe you need to do it on the stovetop in a skillet. Cut the bacon crosswise into about 1/4-inch pieces. Put all the bacon in a skillet and cook it over medium heat, stirring often, until the bacon is brown and has rendered most of its fat.
Don’t rush the bacon cooking. Keep it over medium heat at the most. Otherwise you’ll end up with scorched bacon and burned fat. Not good.
When the bacon is nice and crispy and brown, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and put it on a paper towel lined plate to drain while you continue with the recipe. Reserve the bacon fat in the skillet.
While the bacon is cooking, get the tomatoes ready. Remember that you want really firm tomatoes for this recipe. If they’re at all soft, they’ll fall apart in the cooking.
Take thin slices off the ends of the tomatoes and then cut them into about 1/2-inch thick slices. In a shallow pan, mix the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the tomato slices in the cornmeal mixture, turning them so that both sides are coated well.
Fry the tomatoes in the reserved bacon fat over medium heat, turning once, until golden brown. Use a spatula and turn the tomato slices gently. It only takes about 2-3 minutes of cooking per side. Keep the slices warm in a low oven until all are cooked.
When all the tomato slices are finished, pour out all but about three tablespoons of the bacon fat. Place the pan back over medium heat and add the Half and Half and salt, stirring to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal mixture to thicken the gravy. Stir until the gravy is thick and bubbly.
To serve – place two halves of a toasted English muffin on a plate. Top with fried tomato slices, gravy, and bacon. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley if desired. I thought it just needed a little something green on the plate :-)
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 6 tblsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 4 large very firm ripe tomatoes
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 whole wheat English muffins, split and toasted
- Fresh parsley, optional
- Cut the bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Fry in a skillet over medium heat until bacon is crisp and has rendered its fat. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon fat in the skillet.
- Slice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices. Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow pan. Dredge the tomatoes slices in the cornmeal mixture.
- Fry the tomatoes in the reserved bacon fat over medium heat, turning once, until golden brown. Takes about 2-3 minutes per side. Keep the slices warm in a low oven until all are cooked.
- Pour out all but about three tablespoons of the bacon fat. Place the pan back over medium heat and add cream and salt, stirring to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal mixture to thicken the gravy. Stir until the gravy is thick and bubbly.
- To serve - place two halves of a toasted English muffin on a plate. Top with fried tomato slices, gravy, and bacon. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley if desired.
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Other fried tomato recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Fried Stuffed Tomatoes from bell’ alimento
- Lemon-Garlic Chicken Burgers with Fried Tomatoes from My Gourmet Connection
- Fried Tomato and Tomatillo Sandwiches from Scarletta Bakes
- Greek Tomato Fritters from about.com
What I was up to…